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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.