Taking Care of Your Pet Can Improve Your Health

Taking Care of Your Pet Can Improve Your Health
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Owning a pet has proven to be a health benefit for humans. Pet ownership helps to get us moving, reduces stress, lowers the risk of depression, lowers blood pressure, increases self-esteem and protects against allergies. Oh yes – they can sometimes raise blood pressure and increase stress when they get ornery and dig into the trash or chew up your shoes, but overall they contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

In fact, there are studies that show prisoners will actually change their negative behavior and start following the rules in order to be given the privilege of taking care of a rescue pet. Pets are also used to help children with developmental disabilities. Autistic children who have treatments with horses, cats, or dogs are shown to develop their social skills faster than those without contact with animals. The bond between pets and humans are extremely strong.

We take care of ourselves – we watch what we eat and we exercise. And because pets are so important to our lifestyle, taking care of them in return is only the right thing to do. Unfortunately, many pet food products and treats are extremely unhealthy. Their ingredient list is one that should make you shudder. Studies that test commercial pet foods and treats show that they often contain low-quality meat products, waste products from slaughtered animals, toxic levels of arsenic, lead and mercury, illegal levels of preservatives and multiple fillers that make your pet fat and unhealthy.

Although it sounds like it would be hard, making your own pet treats is actually pretty simple. If you can whip together a simple dinner, you can make your own treats that are healthy and contain nutritious ingredients. Because the recipes below do not contain preservatives, keep in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen if batch is not used within several weeks

Cat treat recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 baked sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 1 can tuna or sardines – drained, but with the juices saved
  • ½ cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp dried catnip (optional)
  • Approximately ½ cup coconut oil or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together all ingredients except the coconut oil or olive oil. Add up to ½ cup of oil and mix thoroughly. If the dough is still too dry, add a little of the tuna or sardine juice to get a good dough mixture. If the dough is too wet, add some additional garbanzo bean flour until the dough is a good consistency.
  3. Roll dough into little balls and place on a greased baking sheet
  4. Press down with a fork to make flat
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown on top
  6. Let cool completely before feeding to pet

Dog treat recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups oat flour (can make at home by grinding whole grain oats)
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree or applesauce
  • 2-3 strips bacon, chopped into pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all ingredients together. If too wet, mix in some additional healthy flour (such as oat flour or coconut flour). If too dry, add in some olive oil or coconut oil.
  3. Roll small balls of dough and place onto greased cookie sheet
  4. Press flat
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown on top
  6. Let cool before feeding to pet 


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