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Treats for sensitive tummies?

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Diet' started by Featherpaw, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Featherpaw

    Featherpaw New Member Registered

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    I'm wandering what does everyone use as training treats for dogs with food sensitivities? For our collie x GSD, we have been using pieces of boiled chicken and pre-made treats that are all grain free and "natural". But I'm concerned that chicken is the cause of her itchy skin and digestive upset.

    We've changed her main food to one that is fish and potato (instead of poultry and rice) and we haven't had an issue since. I thought it may have been the rice causing her issues, but after a couple of good long training sessions yesterday she had a dodgy poop this morning, and she's still super itchy (no fleas and can't see a rash or anything like that). We use the chicken as she loves it and we get a much better response from her than the pre-made treats (she likes them, but doesn't go nuts over them). We use the pre-made ones when we have run out of chicken or haven't been able to prepare any. But these "all natural" treats are super expensive and it's seems to be really hard to find ones that are in large amounts that don't have chicken in them! But even then, she prefers actual meat over them any day. She also LOVES cheese, but obviously we can't use that as her main training treat.

    She spits out treats that she doesn't think is adequate for the trick/behaviour she performed and then will lose interest, so this is why things need to be high value. We tried carrot yesterday and she spat it straight out and gave me a look lol! She does the same if we use her dry kibble as a treat... She loves it when it's meal times, but I guess she thinks it's only for meal times?

    So yeah, what would be good to use as a training treat that isn't chicken and is cheap? I've read that liver is good, but have also read that too much of it can cause pancreatitis... so i'm not too keen on using it as her primary training treat.

    Additional info:

    - Her current diet is Arden Grange - Sensitive.

    - The brands of pre-made training treats we currently use are Pet Munchies and Feelwells. We use a few different flavours to try and keep things interesting for her (unsure if this actually works though!).

    - We've had her for nearly 2 months now and she was originally being fed Chappies. I switched her onto Skinner's Field and Trial (Duck and Rice), but it wasn't agreeing with her (soft stools, a couple of bouts of diarrhoea, constantly scratching/biting herself). I initially put it down to stress of moving to a new family, but after a month it didn't improve. I also used some Forthglade (with brown rice... oops!) wet food mixed with her dried food to stuff her Kongs with, but I stopped using it after the diarrhoea. Then I tried her on Arden Grange - Adult (Chicken and Rice). There was some improvement, but her stools were still on the soft side and she was still itchy. Now she's on the sensitive version her stools have been fine... but she is still itchy. She's got a vet appointment tomorrow so I will ask about the itchiness just in case something else is causing that.

    - Over the time that i've made the switch from Skinner's to Arden Grange, I have not been feeding her much chicken. We've been using the pre-made treats instead (but non-chicken versions). This was more accidental though as we were on holiday and couldn't easily cook up some chicken for her and we just happened to have non-chicken treats on us. But yesterday we went back to using the chicken treats and she was OK, but had a soft stool this morning.

    - Other treats we've tried; cheese, turkey pieces, ham, cocktail sausages (tiny pieces), "Good Boy's" Mini Bites - Fish and Cheese, Pedigree Tasty Bites - Beef and Cheese, Harrington's Training Treats. I am unsure if any of these added to her tummy upset, as we've only tried them fleetingly. I found the sausages to be the best as they were cheap, easy to chop into tiny pieces, didn't go sweaty or slimy in my treat bag, and she really liked them. But they're pretty fattening. So they're great as a jackpot (like cheese), but not as a primary treat.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    It's surprising how many dogs get problems with chicken. What about using pork as a treat?
     
  3. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Active Member Registered

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    Home made liver cake or pilchard flapjacks. ..
     
  4. Featherpaw

    Featherpaw New Member Registered

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    That's a good shout... didn't think of that! Guess my brain thought it was more expensive than chicken, but it turns out Tesco sell 800g bags of frozen pork chops for only £2.50! I'll add that to my shopping list immediately.

    How do you make liver cake and what is a pilchard flapjack? Both sound interesting!
     
  5. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Active Member Registered

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    If you google both you will find recipes ;)
     
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  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    My liver cake recipe is below - you can also substitute canned tuna in spring water if you prefer.

    A pack of liver (supermarket packs are usually about 500 grams)
    About 250 grams of flour - I use gluten free as some dogs are gluten intolerant
    1 egg
    A slosh of olive oil or salmon oil for a glossy coat (optional)

    Cut the liver into pieces and use a hand blender to blitz it with the egg until it's a sloppy mess. Stir in the oil if using and the flour. It still should be a sloppy mess.

    Turn into a parchment lined baking tray measuring about 6"x9". It shold be about an inch deep.

    Bake at 170 degrees for about 15 minutes until a knife comes out clean.

    When it's cold, cut into kit kat finger sized pieces - half them again for a smaller dog - and freeze them in a freezer bag. They freeze in separate pieces so you can take out one at a time and break into smaller pieces for training.

    Dogs love it, it has no sugar, salt or other nasties and lasts for weeks. It also is cheap to make - a recent survey showed some dog treats to be more epensive, ounce for ounce, than fillet steak!
     
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  7. Featherpaw

    Featherpaw New Member Registered

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    That sounds super easy to do actually, thank you for that! I'll try it out.

    How does it compare to simply cooking/drying the liver and cutting it into pieces? Do your dogs prefer the cakes to whole liver pieces? Or is it just something to change up the routine a bit?
     
  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    The main thing for me is that it reduces the amount of liver. I think it is the risk of vitamin A overdose that you need to watch for with liver.
     
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  9. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    I use little ostrich treats for Murphy which althugh he reacts to chilcken he has no reaction to Ostrich?
    Also dried lamb strips which really are not that expensive and Im a meany and cut them in half anyway!
     
  10. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    I use dried kangeroo for Harri - it comes in strips like jerky and it's easy to tear a bit off to treat with. My other mainstay is dried lambs lung. Again broken into small bits
     
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  11. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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  12. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I made @JoanneF's liver cake today, using a small tub of chicken livers, a couple of small cans of tuna, some chick pea flour that had been in the freezer for about 3 years, and some strong wholemeal bread flour, nearly two years out of date:oops: and a sprinkling of turmeric, quite possibly also out of date.

    It came out really well, and Jasper likes it! I'll have to do it again 'properly', with in-date ingredients, and maybe some turmeric paste.
     
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  13. Featherpaw

    Featherpaw New Member Registered

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    I made a liver cake the other day and I've never had Teasel so interested in what i'm doing! She was pretty much all over me whilst I was chopping the liver into pieces, and then again when I was cutting the cake into little pieces... she was also hanging around the oven the whole time it was cooking. Haha! Pleased to say it's a big hit! I couldn't find any wheat-free flour in the supermarket, so I blended up some oats into "flour" and used that. It worked pretty well! She's also been very responsive during training when using the cake pieces. I think she likes them (still not quite as much as squirrels, cats, and little dogs though!). It was really really easy and quick to make to be honest. Also super handy to have them ready in the freezer for whenever I need them! Thank you so much for the suggestion.

    I'm going to try it with fish next in place of liver as it completely stunk the house out. The husband was not pleased, but fish is easier to cope with than "rotting organ" smell (it wasn't rotten, it just stinks super bad before, during, and after cooking). I am also a bit concerned (maybe overly paranoid) of the risk of vitamin A overdose. Not really sure how much is too much liver?

    Has anyone tried it with other organs? We saw kidneys and hearts for sale, but weren't sure if that would be suitable? Also, what animal is better to use; chicken, lamb, pig, or cow? We used pig liver as it was there and I wanted to avoid anything chickeny as now i'm 99% sure she's sensitive to chicken. Would lamb be better? Or does it not matter too much?
     
  14. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    The 500 grams of liver I use lasts us about two months so I'm not too concerned about the vitamin A. And I just use whatever liver is in the supermarket when I need it.

    But by all means experiment with other things, and of course let us know how you get on!
     
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  15. millymojo1

    millymojo1 Member Registered

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    I have had big problems with my dog’s allergies, I seem to have it sorted now - touchwood. Fish and fish oil are one of her triggers, so I have to look carefully at ingredients because a lot of treats and kibble have fish oil in them. I mainly use natural treats dried meat now and you can’t go wrong. I use an online company called zooplus. They are very good and always list ingredients.
     
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