When working with dogs and their owners, we often ask them to have on hand three sets of treats, each with varying levels of enjoyment for the dog. The lowest value treat is likely to be their dinner kibble - yummy, but not highly scented, with a dry crunch. The second, mid-level treat may be diced carrot or apple cubes - lovely, moist, crunchy, low calorie, but not smelly. The third and most highest value is a moist, highly scented treat about the size of a pea. But buying high quality treat can be challenging both in price and finding a moist, pea-sized, smelly treat. So we like to provide this easy under $10 recipe which produces about 80 rewards.
Here's how we recommend investing $9.28:
You need a package of ground meat, around $6.00 and two cans of sardines or anchovies, approximately $1.44 a can. Add in one egg, about $0.40. Mix together and press into a well-oiled cookie pan. Cook the meat tray in a 350 degree oven, until well cooked. We don't burn it, but we dry it out - approximately an hour, but keep an eye on it. Once it is out of the oven, you should be able to move the cooked meat slab onto a cutting board and cut it into pea size pieces. You can freeze, if you make several batches. We have never counted how many we can get but would hazard a guess that we have over 80 pieces, depending on how you choose to cut it.. One other note: we recommend you open the windows - it can really stink up the house, but your dog will love it.
We are often asked, why anchovies/sardines? The reason is simply to make the treats more smelly. Since dog's taste buds are not as advanced as ours, but their noses far more advanced, we rely on their amazing ability to smell, to attract their attention and create deeper pleasure sensations in their brain.
Any questions, we would love to hear them, just send them along to Sparky@executivepetservices.ca.
'Sparky' Smith is a Canine Behaviorist and Practioner, educated through the International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour, earning her ISCP.DIP.CANINE.PRAC.