Whether you are making your dog’s food at home or just looking for a fun treat to make, homemade treats made with powdered milk offer additional protein and calcium. Throw in a cute little bone-shaped cookie cutter and you have a winner.
When it comes to your dog’s diet, the main food group should be protein. Your dog’s digestive system is designed to process and convert protein to energy. Dogs need protein for the 10 essential amino acids their bodies need for overall good health. Because powdered milk is nutritionally the same as regular milk, minus the fat content, adding powdered milk to a homemade dog treat adds protein.
In addition to protein, powdered milk provides your dog with a source of calcium. Your dog needs calcium for the formation of healthy bones and teeth, muscle contraction and the transportation of nerve impulses. Diets that do not provide enough calcium, especially in the early years, can lead to weak bones and skeletal abnormalities.
For a basic treat recipe with powdered milk, you will need 2 1/3 cups flour, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup grated cheese, one large egg and 1/4 cup powdered milk. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Roll the dough out and cut with cookie cutters or a knife. Place the treats on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and turn the oven off. Open the oven door a crack and leave the treats in the oven to harden and cool for a few hours.
Before adding anything new to your dog’s diet, consult your veterinarian about any possible medical conditions or diet needs. As with humans, some dogs are lactose intolerant and milk gives them upset tummies. If you notice your dog has increased gas or diarrhea after eating the new treats, this may be the case and powdered milk may need to be removed from your treat ingredient list. If your dog is allergic to wheat grains, substitute rolled oats or rice flour for the all-purpose flour.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.