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Treat Your Pet to These Real Meat Pull-Aparts

September 23, 2022 | General

Pork pull-apart pet treats are a hit with most dogs and cats, they can also be beneficial for animals with food sensitivities. These treats, made from a simple recipe of three nutrient-packed ingredients, are chewy and moist, a texture most pets love, including dogs and cats with dental disease or a tender mouth.

High-quality, species-specific protein should be the foundation of any treat you offer your pet, but unfortunately, most commercial treats are loaded with carbohydrates (primarily grains), sugars, and fillers, and little to no high-grade animal protein.
Even popular store-bought treats such as feet, hides, tails, and snouts, which are 100% protein, won’t be of any benefit to your pet because they are wholly indigestible. Soy is also high in protein, but this is not a biologically appropriate food for dogs and cats.
Fortunately, it’s easy to create protein-rich, species-specific pet treats at home, and the one I’m featuring today is a hit with both cats and dogs.

Pork Pull-Aparts Pet Treat Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lean ground pork
  • 1 organic, pastured egg
  • 2 tablespoons ground seeds (I use a flax/chia blend)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Mix all ingredients together
  3. Press into a greased pie plate
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown
  5. Remove from oven, loosen edges, and flip onto drying rack until cool
  6. Tear into bite-size pieces
  7. Store in an airtight container in freezer for up to 3 months

Pork Pull-Aparts Contain 3 Health-Boosting Ingredients

As I mentioned above, many commercial pet treats don’t provide species-specific nutrition. Neither dogs nor cats are designed to thrive on the by-products, fillers, and cheap grains found in most store-bought pet treats. Whole food snacks made with real meat are ideal for most pets, and healthy add-ins like eggs and seeds make them super nutritious.

  • Pastured pork (a novel protein) — Feeding your dog or cat the same diet over a period of years, feeding the biologically inappropriate ingredients found in most commercial pet foods (including additives and preservatives), and/or feeding poor-quality ingredients can lead to the development of food allergies and intolerances.

    Food sensitivities are quite common these days and can pose a challenge when choosing what to feed your pet. Animals with food allergies should be placed on novel protein diets, also called elimination diets, to allow their immune systems to stop overreacting to allergens and give their gastrointestinal (GI) tracts time to detoxify, heal and function normally again.

    The novel protein should be just as the name implies — an animal protein your pet hasn’t eaten before. Examples of novel proteins include ostrich, quail, rabbit, bison, duck or even alligator and kangaroo. Pork, however, can also be used as a novel protein, so even pets with allergies can enjoy these pork pull-apart treats (assuming they’re not sensitive to pork, of course!).

    The pork in these treats is a high-quality, species-specific form of protein even for dogs and cats without allergies. Ideally, seek out pastured, humanely raised pork, which will typically be higher in beneficial omega-3 fats.

  • Organic free-range (pastured) eggs — Eggs are a phenomenal source of protein, fat, and other nutrients, including choline and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Free-range or “pastured” organic eggs are far superior when it comes to nutrient content, while conventionally raised eggs are far more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella.

    Testing has confirmed that true free-range eggs are far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs. Their dramatically superior nutrient levels (e.g., more beta carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, D and E, and less saturated fat and cholesterol)1 are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free-ranging, pastured hens and those from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

  • Ground seeds — Adding ground seeds to homemade pet treats adds yet another layer of nutrition. For example, chia seeds are high in protein and contain a significant amount of plant-based omega-3 fats, or alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

    They’re also rich in valuable amino acids, antioxidants, fiber, and flavonoids, along with nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and niacin. Flaxseed has a similar nutritional profile, with beneficial protein, lignans, fiber, omega-3s and antioxidants.

Excellent Nutrition and a Texture Most Pets Love

Dogs and cats tend to love pork pull-aparts because they’re moist and chewy. If your pet has dental disease or a tender mouth, these treats are perfect. And keep in mind that the cute shapes (e.g., a tiny dog bone or fish shape) of commercial treats require the use of undesirable ingredients like grains and other starches, along with fillers, preservatives, sugar, and other additives.

Those cute shapes are designed to appeal to pet parents — not pets. Trust me, your dog or cat won’t care one bit that her homemade treats aren’t formed into cute shapes. She’ll just appreciate the flavor, meatiness and real satisfying nutrition they offer.

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