If Snowflake has started experiencing health issues and you're not sure what's causing her to throw up, or scratch, sneeze and lick at her paws constantly, her diet could be to blame. You might want to start home-making her dog treats with healthy ingredients that won't cause an allergic reaction.
What's the Deal with Corn and Wheat?
Common ingredients in dog treats, like corn and wheat, sometimes begin irritating a dog's system out of the blue. You may have been feeding your dog a certain brand of treats for years, but then suddenly she'll show signs of an allergy and can even suffer a yeast or bacterial skin infection from all the scratching if you don't pinpoint and eliminate the food she's allergic to. Being the most common fillers in dog foods, corn and wheat are a good place to start. Eliminate both items from your dog's diet and watch to see if her condition improves.
Binding Ingredients in Dog Treats
Corn and wheat are used as fillers or binders in dog food and dog treats. Trying to make a dog treat without them is like trying to bake cookies without the flour, and when you're trying to take the corn and wheat out of your dog's diet, that is exactly what you're trying to do. It's not a lost cause, though, thanks to the fact that many humans are now going gluten-free. A number of flours are available that you can find to use in place of cornmeal or wheat flour in a dog treat recipe, such as rice, amaranth, oat and potato flours.
Creative Corn- and Wheat-Free Treats
When you think "doggy treat" it could be that the only type to pop into your head is the stereotypical bone-shaped cookie. However, dog treats that contain no corn or wheat can take all forms. Using a corn or wheat flour alternative, you could make waffles or crackers for your pooch. You can eliminate the flour alternative, too, and use crisp rice cereal with some peanut butter and a dab of honey to make canine truffle treats. Once you give your imagination the green light, you might amaze yourself with the tasty and creative treats you come up with to please your pup.
Yummy Meat Snacks
Cook up a yummy corn- and wheat-free meat snack that doesn't need any kind of flour, because it relies on rice, potatoes, rolled oats and eggs to hold it all together. Just mix 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice with 1 grated potato, 1 grated carrot, 1 stalk of chopped celery, 3 pounds of lean ground beef, 4 eggs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3/4 cup of rolled oats. Spray the cups of a muffin tin with cooking spray, then fill each cup with the meat mixture and bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to cool the meaty muffins before serving them to your best friend and refrigerate any leftovers.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.