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Cat and DogWe all love giving our pets treats. The problem? Many packaged picks are loaded with calories, preservatives, and ingredients that can cause digestive problems—all of which can wind up harming, rather than helping, your furry friend. “I personally think most pets are overweight for the same reasons we are—eating all the wrong, nutrient-deficient, processed foods,” says Kim Bloomer, C.V.N.D., N.D., co-founder of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. For a healthier alternative, Dr. Bloomer and Hilary Wheeler, D.V.M., C.V.A., a holistic veterinarian at The Whole Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center in Los Gatos, CA, are big fans of homemade treats.

Here are three of Dr. Wheeler’s favorite, easy-to-make recipes.

Yummy Liver Dog Treats

Ingredients:
2 pounds liver, raw
4 eggs
1 cup molasses
4 cups flour or breadcrumbs (or use garbanzo bean, coconut, or farro flour for dogs with wheat sensitivity)

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a food processor, puree liver, eggs, and molasses. Pour the puree into a large bowl and mix in about 4 cups of your choice of flour or breadcrumbs until you get a dough-like consistency.
3. Pour dough into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan.
4. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, depending on desired crispness. Cut into bite-size pieces.
5. Store in refrigerator or freezer and bring to room temperature before serving.

Fishy Pumpkin Cat Treats

Ingredients:
1 can salmon or minced turkey
½ cup mashed cooked pumpkin, unsweetened
1 Tablespoon fish oil
1 Tablespoon kelp

Instructions:
1. Mix all ingredients together well.
2. Roll into small teaspoon-size balls.
3. Store in refrigerator or freezer and bring to room temperature before serving. (Never feed cold food to cats as it can cause stomach upset.)

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Parsley Dog Treats

Ingredients:
1 medium banana, peeled
1 cup whole wheat flour (or use garbanzo bean, coconut, or farro flour for dogs with wheat sensitivity)
²/³cup rolled oats
½ cup dried parsley
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 egg, beaten

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Mash banana in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Roll out mixture to desired thickness and cut with cookie cutters of your choice.
4. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets for 40-45 minutes, depending on desired crispness.
5. Store in refrigerator or freezer and bring to room temperature before serving.

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