With Christmas only around the corner, so many of us wonder what we’ll pamper our pets with.

While most pets are usually thrilled with a new squeaky toy, why not consider saving your pennies this year and whip up a batch of yummy (and healthy!) treats that your pet will love?

Homemade treats for dogs –

You’ve probably seen a whole heap of recipes for dog biscuits that involve mixing loads of ingredients and or fussing over complicated recipes. Not here. We believe that simple is best (for both you and your pooch!), and these all-natural dog chews are a hit among the dogs in the clinic, who naturally, like to chew things until they’re obliterated.

Simply preheat your oven to around 120 degrees, thinly slice a clean, unpeeled sweet potato, and bake on a greased or lined baking tray for at least a few hours. The result should be a dry, chewy, dehydrated slither of goodness that your pooch will love munching on – a bit like a veggie jerky. Make sure you keep any spare in an air-tight container to avoid them spoiling though.

For the meat bandits you can also make thin strips of meats of their choice and even fish as a jerky. If you have a dehydrator even better.

Homemade treats for cats

Cats can be a little fussy. Actually, cats can be SUPER fussy, but we think they’ll love these homemade cheesy, fishy croutons that are both cheap and easy to whip up.

All you have to do is mix one can of tuna, one cup of coconut or wholemeal flour, a splash of olive oil, an egg and some water into a dough like mixture before rolling into crouton shapes and baking for 12(ish) minutes in an oven preheated to 180 degrees. They might not sound like your cup of tea, but you’ll yield a pretty hefty batch and your cat will love them (or not, who knows when it comes to cats?!) though these are treats and only offer very small portions daily. Large amounts of tinned fish prepared for human use can cause health issues for cats.

Homemade treats for birds –

Turn your present shopping list in to an easy craft idea the kids can get involved in! Winning!

Get the kids to roll an empty toilet paper roll in some peanut butter or honey (remember, this is a Christmas TREAT, not an all-year round kind of offering for your feathered friends!). Once the toilet paper roll is covered all over in a thin smear, roll into some bird seed and press until the seed sticks. Thread a piece of string through the roll, hang from a tree or in your birds’ home, and let them enjoy the sticky, delicious homemade bird feeder. Too easy.



Homemade treats for rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets –

Keep your small animals cool and entertained with their very own frozen ice blocks for Christmas this year.

Another fun and easy for the kids to get involved with, and you have to do is fill an ice cube tray with a selection of chopped fruit and/or veg – think corn kernels, apples cubes, berries, carrot slices, spinach – if your guinea pig or rabbit likes it ordinarily, they are going to LOVE it chilled in this hot, summer weather! Cover with water, freeze overnight, and offer to your furry friend on warm days (but only if they’re on the ‘nice’ list!)

Christmas is a fun time of year and we all love to spoil each other with thoughtful presents. While our pets are no different, and can absolutely get caught up in the festivities, you don’t need to spend a fortune or sacrifice your pet’s health with unhealthy, preservative-ridden packaged foods.

If you’re not a fan of baking up a storm in the kitchen, BlackDog treats offer some awesome natural treats at affordable prices – all available at the Direct vet Services clinic or online at  Obay.com.au (use the DVS code VE91AI8N).