Tag Archive for: treats

Photo collage showing baked dog treats, two cocker spaniels begging for a treat, and the text Dog Training Treats Cheap. High Value doesn't have to mean high ost.

79 Cents for High Value Dog Treats from Safeway

Photo collage showing baked dog treats, two cocker spaniels begging for a treat, and the text Dog Training Treats Cheap. High Value doesn't have to mean high ost.

I can’t believe I’m going to share this secret with you. Especially if you shop at “my” Safeway (the new one on Rockville Pike). If there’s a sudden lack of my secret dog treat weapon, I’ll have no one to blame but myself for telling you all about this…

But it’s okay because Your Dog’s Friend fans deserve it.

Secret Cheap Chicken

At Safeway, there is a cooler where they keep hand-trimmed chicken breasts. Next to those beautifully trimmed chicken breasts are packages labeled “Chicken Fat.”  They are $0.79 a pound. Grab a package of about 1.5 lbs (under $2!). Look for one that appears to be more meaty than fatty.

These are the trimmings from those expensive chicken breasts. They have fatty bits attached, but getting rid of the fat is as simple as boiling water.

Getting Rid of the Fat

Go home, fill a pot with water and put the chicken in it. Boil for 20 minutes or so. This will render off the majority of the fat, leaving just chicken. Scoop out the chicken pieces, rinse them (if you want), and bam, you get about 12 ounces of perfectly useable boiled chicken!

Ta-da! You Can Be Done Right Here.

Cool off the chicken. Chop it up. Toss it in your treat pouch and bring it to class.

You can use the fatty broth for anything else you like. Make soup. Mix it into mashed potatoes. You get the idea.

Make Some Cheap Dog Treats!


  • 12 oz (or so) of boiled chicken meat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour (for grain free, chickpea flour or rice flour works!)
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese (I use the sprinkle kind from a can)
  • (Optional) 1 tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter) or 1 tbsp fresh or dried parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a food processor, process the chicken chunks until they’re a ground meat consistency. (You may have to add a little water depending on the amount of chicken and the strength of your food processor.)
  3. In a large bowl, mix ground chicken, eggs, flour, and parmesan cheese thoroughly.
  4. You should have a consistency that will form into loose meatballs. If it’s too crumbly, add water. If it’s too squishy, add flour. (It’s not an exact science.)
  5. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  6. Spread the chicken mixture so it fills about half the tray. It should be a fairly thin layer.
  7. (optional) Sprinkle the top with PB2 or parsley.
  8. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
  9. Turn oven down to 200F. Bake another 20 minutes.
  10. Turn the oven off. Leave the tray in the oven another 20 minutes, longer if you want them more dry.
Tray of Dog Treats

(This is a double batch, so it takes the whole tray.)

You will now have a pan of delicious homemade chicken treats!

Treat Size

Slice them into whatever size works best for your dog.

One they’re cool, store them in a ziplock bag or sealed tupperware in the fridge. They’re usually long gone before you have to worry about them going bad.


A cookie sheet with rows of small cookies.

Cheap and Easy Training Treats for your Dog

A cookie sheet with rows of small cookies.

Peanut Butter cookie treats, fresh from the oven!

In our Puppy Kindergarten and Basic Manners 1 classes, students often ask, “How am I going to afford all these treats?”

Easy! You’re not going to buy them at the pet store.

Easiest Dog Treats

Pre-cooked, frozen chicken breast: Toss it in the fridge to thaw the day before class. Cut into small pieces.

Plain rotisserie chicken breast: White meat only for dogs. Eat the rest yourself.

Low-fat string cheese: Cut it up before class or break pieces off with your fingers.

Baby food: Lickable meat!! Read the labels. Avoid onion powder and garlic powder.

Deli meat: Yes, it has fillers, but some brands are better than others, so check the labels. Deli meat is also handy for infusing a lower-value treat (kibble, cheerios) with a bit more value. One piece of deli meat rolling around in your treat pouch will make everything else smell more delicious to your pup!

Peanut butter: A super awesome treat! Read the label and avoid brands with xylitol (deadly for dogs). Use peanut butter sparingly as it is a high fat food.

Easy Dog Treats

Meat: Boil chicken breasts or make your own jerky if you have a dehydrator.

Lickable treats:  In a blender or food processor, make a paste of tasty ingredients. Put the paste into a PetToob/GoToob, Coughlin tube, or a small tupperware or baby food jar.


  • pumpkin/banana/peanut butter
  • strawberry/peanut butter (PBJ!)
  • tuna in water (drained), mashed potatoes
  • leftovers (meat/potatoes/vegetables)

A good consistency for use in tubes is somewhere between baby food and toothpaste. Thin with water or broth. Thicken with plain rolled oats.

Tuna fudge: Sounds gross but dogs go CRAZY for it.


4 cans of tuna in water (do not drain)
4 eggs
3 cups flour
(Tip: Tapioca flour is AWESOME for non-crumbly treats. You can find it in the gluten-free section of the store.)


Preheat oven to 350F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or grease it).

Mix together eggs and tuna.

Once eggs are mixed in, gradually mix in the flour.

Spread mixture on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Let cool completely, then use a knife or pizza cutter to slice into squares.

Portion out the tuna fudge into snack-size zip baggies and store in the freezer.

Bake cookies:  This sounds difficult, but it really is easy and tons of fun. Fill in the _____ with some sort of protein: 90/10 ground beef (drained), chicken or turkey breast, a pouch of salmon or tuna (drained), peanut butter, grated cheese.

DIY                 DOG COOKIES

1/2 can of chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1 cup of ______


Preheat oven to 350F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, whiz the rolled oats until they are flour.

Add the _____. Whiz.

Add everything else. Whiz.

Check the consistency. It should be like thick mashed potatoes.

If you need to adjust, add water/broth to thin or more oats to thicken.

Using a spoon, drop rounded blobs on your cookie sheet. Don’t worry about spacing them out. They don’t expand like human cookies do.

Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes. They are done when the bottom of the cookies are starting to brown.

Cool before letting your dog taste test!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. They also freeze well.

Your dog will enjoy these tasty treats and your wallet will enjoy the extra cash you’ve saved!

Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers: Fruitables Treats

Photo by svadilfari on Flickr

Looking for a gift for a dog parent in your life? Or maybe some stocking stuffers for your own special pup? Here are some of Your Dog’s Friend’s favorite things…


Looking for a yummy treat that smells good to both human and dog? This stocking stuffer is perfect!


What is it?

Delicious, fruity treats for your pup! Fruitables are available in crunchy cookie or chewy treat forms. The Pumpkin & Blueberry flavor smells exactly like a fresh blueberry muffin.

How much does it cost?

$3.74 – 5.99 per bag.

Are the treats made in the USA?

Yes! No worries there!


Help Your Dog’s Friend When You Shop at Amazon

Your Dog’s Friend is a nonprofit and we are always grateful for donations to help us fulfill our mission. We have a way you can help us while you do your holiday shopping.

Amazon Smile is a program that donates a portion of Amazon’s profits to organizations like ours. Please click here and select Your Dog’s Friend as your charity of choice. Then, whenever you shop at smile.amazon.com, a portion of the money will be sent to Your Dog’s Friend.

Thank you for your support!


Holiday Gift Guide photo credit: Svadilfari on Flickr

Positive Training Without Food

Photo by speshulted on Flickr

Photo by speshulted on Flickr

Positive training naysayers will say things like:

  • “The dog only does what it’s told because it wants the treat.”
  • “If you don’t have treats on you, the dog won’t work.”
  • “The dog doesn’t respect you; it just wants food.”
  • “What happens if you don’t have treats on you?”

The good news is that while positive training works extremely well with treats (and even later if you don’t have treats on your person), it can also work well with other things your dog finds reinforcing. In this article from our Newsletter Archives, read more about other ways you can tell your dog, “GOOD JOB!”

Read More

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Review: What’s In A BarkBox?

titaniabiscuitYour Dog’s Friend has partnered with a monthly dog goodies delivery service called BarkBox. For every new BarkBox customer that uses the code YDFBBX1, our Foster Dog Alliance program gets a $10 donation. But that’s not all! You also get $10 off your first BarkBox.

YDF student, Titania the Cocker Spaniel, would like to tell you a little about what she received in her BarkBox this month (with a little help from her Mom):

The Box for September 2013


Titania says: So many smells when Mama opened the box this month! I smelled cheese and deer and beef. No duck though. There was duck last month and it was soooooo good.

Mom says: I love BarkBox’s presentation. The wrapping paper folds over the goodies so it’s like opening a present every month! There’s also a card that tells you a bit about each product along with a link to the vendor’s website in case your dog falls in love with something and you need more.


Two Chews

Mom says: This month we got two stick-shaped chews. The first was a beef tendon from Barkworthies. These contain joint-friendly nutrients and are 100% natural and digestible. The second was a deer stick, which contains venison and a bit of rawhide for the crunch factor.

Titania says: On first sniff, I chose the beef tendon. I love bully sticks and this smelled a lot like one of those. It was very chewy so I had a lot of time to savor the delicious flavors. The deer stick was good, too, but more of a three bites and I’m still hungry kind of thing.


First Aid Liquid Bandage

Mom says: This is an alcohol-free spray that serves as a liquid bandage for any cuts and scrapes a dog may get while out and about. It disinfects and protects and is a good bandaid option for small injuries that don’t need a vet’s attention. We’re throwing this in our agility trial bag!

Titania says: I can’t eat this. Why is this in my box?



Pizza Biscuits

Mom says: These smell so good that I want to snack on them! 100% USDA organic ingredients and no wheat, corn, or soy. In essence, they’re a small cheesy biscuit with Italian seasonings.

Titania says: YUM! Cheesy biscuits are the best, even if they don’t have any meat in them. I like to take my cheesy biscuit, throw it across the room, and then pounce on it! Then I bite it in half and toss around the pieces. When I’m done, it’s time for eating them.



Venison Chew (aka Deer Ear)

Mom says: I have a feeling Titania may be much more interested in the deer out behind our fence now that she’s had a taste for their ears. Superior Farms products are free of chemicals: they’re washed, rinsed, and dried — that’s it!

Titania says: Deer ear was also tasty! They’re a little smaller than the pig ears Mama buys at the farmers market, so they’re easier to eat. Of course, they don’t taste like bacon… but deer is pretty tasty.



Treat Ball

Mom says: Titania loves treat balls. As a fearful dog, they were invaluable in teaching her that good stuff can come out of “scary” new things. They’re also handy for keeping her busy if I need a little time to get things done. This particular ball has an adjustable opening so you can make the difficulty level harder as your dog gets better at using it.

Titania says: I roll around the ball with my foot or my nose and it drops out kibbles! Check out my video below.


Treat Ball Video

Here’s a quick video I shot with my cell phone of Titania trying out her new treat ball for the first time. Notice that at first, she’s unsure of what to do with it… but once she notices that it pays in treats, she’s on board!

Get Your BarkBox

Use code YDFBBX1 for $10 off!