Treats and Chewies
(what's safe and what's not)
The chewies and treats you give your Malamute is a personal thing. Whereas one person swears rawhides are evil dangerous things from hell, another loves them for the pleasure and activity enjoyed by the dog. I suppose it really depends on if you or someone you know has had problems. But the real factor should be your dog - some can handle a big ole rawhide, others can't...like toys there are shredders and holders (those that destroy their toys, and those that carry them) the same with chewies and treats. Some devour a knuckle bone in a single setting, others leisurely enjoy. The first caveat is know your dog and supervise the first few times you get a special treat so you know what to expect. Above all, avoid treats and food made in China these days as generally they tend to be exposed, if not filled, with toxic chemicals!
Some people don't feed rawhide for several reasons:
- Some dogs will gorge on the rawhide - eating it in minutes (and sometimes throw it up)
- Some get diarrhea from them
- Many rawhides are processed with arsenic and formaldehyde and made in China - check to make sure they are 100% made in the USA, which does not allow this.
With a Malamute, it's not so much the "eating" that's important with a chewy, but the mental-stimulation. It's going back to their roots of being able to knaw for long periods of time and work at getting something out (like the marrow out of a bone). It's not about the food as much as it's the stimulation to the brain. Some ideas for keeping your Malamute thinking:
- Kongs filled with stuff and FROZEN
- Beef knuckles can be smoked, RAW is THE BEST, or BAKED. The knuckle is the hip ball, the SOFTEST most likely to wear down bone in the body so note some Mals may devour one of these in a couple of hours.
- Pork or turkey necks, RAW for teeth cleaning
- Sterilized hollow bones that can be stuffed with cheese, peanut butter, etc, and FROZEN.
- Deer (have your hunter friend save you the parts nobody wants - legs, bones, etc. but leave them raw)
- Rabbits and Squirrels (your Malamute will likely take care of obtaining this treat himself - check for fleas afterwards though - a swallowed flea is an invitation to tapeworm too)
- Mice and other rodents are NO NO's - while your mal may eat field mice and moles - it's dangerous. Mice get into garages and houses - and poisons are often left for them there. Your mal can be poisoned by eating a poisoned mouse so if you see any symptoms of poisoning after your mal has eaten a critter - get him to a vet IMMEDIATELY!
If you know of a butcher or rendering plant that can get you large, raw beef bones - they'll keep your Malamute occupied for a whole day. After about 24 hours they'll stink, and they make something of a mess (no carpets!) but after a couple of days the stink goes away and they will be enjoyed for a long time.
Frosty Paws Substitute : A great substitute for expensive "Frosty Paws" is Frozen Yogurt. Freeze it in tuna cans then remove to serve.
O'Mal Liver Cookies: Pulverize fresh raw liver in a blender and add assorted things like banana, egg, wheat germ, Cheerios, tuna, salmon, brewers yeast, garlic powder, and bake on an old cookie sheet until hard (it will ruin a good cookie sheet).
Some links of where to find some good dog cookie recipes:
Did you know you can give Iams Biscuits instead of food (it's the same recipe as their food, just in biscuit form)? That can be real handy when you get home late or are on the road. Just toss them a few biscuits and it's dinner!
I would be careful with anything that can be stuffed - a friends Mal ate a kong trying to get to the peanut butter inside. You know your dog best - supervise and don't do this if it's a possibility! It's best to freeze the Kong for your Malamute - it will make the treat last longer and he's less likely to chew up the kong to get to the treat.
- Smear some peanut butter on a slice of bread. Fold up the bread and cram it into the Kong. Freeze and serve.
- Use your finger to line the inside of the Kong with something sticky (like peanut butter or honey) then toss medium-sized dog treats inside -- the kind that barely fit inside the hole and are hard to get out.
- Try micro waving the peanut butter or cheese first -- this makes it runny and easy to pour into the KONG and leaves very little to waste. Then layer with another food item. Then freeze. The micro waved peanut butter and cheese fills every crack and crevice inside the Kong acting as a glue around the other ingredients making it much more challenging for your dog.
- For the simplest Kong treat of all, just smear a little peanut butter or honey around the inside of the Kong. You'd be surprised how long your dog will work at this simple little treat.
- Freeze yogurt in the Kong.
- Put some Kong Stuff 'an product (or Cheese Whiz) in the small hole first. Then toss in some dry dog food and/or small dog treats -- broken in pieces -- next. (We use Bil-Jac for this.) Top with some canned dog food mixed with dry dog food and/or peanut butter smeared around the entire inside of the larger hole. Place a dog biscuit into the large opening, and leave about 1/3 of it sticking out. Freeze. (Or not.)
- Moisten your dog's own food, then spoon it into the Kong toy. Freeze.
- Cram a small piece of dog biscuit (or freeze-dried liver) into the small hole of the Kong. Smear a little honey (or Kong Stuff 'n product) around the inside. Fill it up with dry dog food. Then block the big hole with dog biscuits placed sideways inside.
- Combine your dog's favorite treat with some moistened dry dog food.
- CHEESY ELVIS: Combine a ripe banana, 3 spoonfuls of peanut butter, and a slice of cheese. Mix until blended well. Fill the Kong and freeze.
- MONSTER MASH: Instant mashed potatoes (without the salt) -- or leftover mashed potatoes from dinner -- mixed with crushed dog biscuits.
- DOGGIE OMLET: Combine a scrambled egg, some beef, yogurt, cheese and mashed potatoes all together
- FIBER CRUNCH: Combine bran cereal with some peanut butter.
- KONGSICLE JERKY POPS: The equivalent of a popsicle... Seal the small hole of the Kong toy with peanut butter. Fill to the rim with water and a pinch of bouillon (or just use chicken broth instead). Place a stick or two of beef jerky inside. Freeze. (This one gets messy in a hurry, so it's recommended only for outdoor use.)
- GOOEY CHEERIOS: Combine cheerios and peanut butter. Freeze.
- FRUIT KITTY NOODLES: Mix together some dried fruit, cooked pasta, banana and dry cat food.
- BANANA YOGURT: Plain yogurt and mashed bananas. (You can also add a little peanut butter or other fruits.) Then freeze it.
- PEANUT BUTTER GLUE: Fill Kong 1/3rd full of dog food. Pour in melted peanut butter (after it has cooled from micro waving). Add more dog food, followed by more melted peanut butter until the Kong toy is full. Freeze until solid.
- ROCK-HARD KIBBLE: Combine some of your dog's regular food with cream cheese, which acts as a cement, keeping everything inside.
- STICKY BREAD: Smear peanut butter on a piece of bread. Fold it over and stuff inside the Kong. Mix together plain yogurt with some fruits or vegetables (carrots, celery) and pour inside. Freeze. The yogurt sticks to the bread holding everything together.
- APPLE PIE: Squeeze a small piece of apple into the tiny hole. Fill the Kong with a small amount of plain yogurt. Add a few slices of mashed banana, more apple, yogurt, banana. End with a slice of banana and chunk of peanut butter on the top.
- CRUNCH 'N MUNCH: Combine crumbled rice cakes and dried fruit with some cream cheese and plain croutons.
- PUMPKIN PIECES: Combine some plain yogurt, canned pumpkin, and cooked rice in a small baggies. Mix well inside the bag, then snip off a corner of the bag and squeeze it into the Kong toy. Freeze.
- KIBBLE-SICLE: Put a glob of peanut butter into the Kong first. Then add some dry dog food. Pour in some chicken broth. Add some more peanut butter, followed by more dry dog food. End with another glob of peanut butter at the very top. Freeze until solid.
- OLD STANDBY: Soak some of your dog's regular food in water (or chicken broth) for a brief time before placing it inside a Kong, then freeze.
- MUTT and CHEESE: Melt a cube of Velveeta cheese in the microwave, until it's gooey -- not runny. Fill the Kong toy with cooked noodles. Pour cheese over noodles.
- FROZEN BONZ: Mix up some bananas, unsweetened applesauce, oatmeal, peanut butter, and plain yogurt. Freeze.
- CHEEZY DELIGHT: Combine small chunks of cheese (or cheese spread) with some dry dog food and microwave until the cheese melts. Let it cool completely, then pour into the Kong toy. Freeze thoroughly.
- CARB DELIGHT: Combine some canned dog food with pasta noodles, rice, mashed potatoes, and some of your dog's dry dog food. Freeze.
- NUT CRUNCH: Take 2-3 dog biscuits and crunch them a bit into very tiny bite-sized pieces. Add a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter. Then add a couple spoonfuls of plain yogurt. Mix in bowl until soft, but not runny. Stuff inside Kong.
- BABYLICIOUS: Mix together some fat-free cream cheese, peanut butter, and either sugar free applesauce or a jar of baby food (like bananas, carrots). Cram a solid food item into the small hole at the end of the Kong, then fill with the mixture. Seal the large hole with either more cream cheese or peanut butter.
- FRUITOPIA: Combine applesauce with chunks of fruit. Freeze.
- PUPPY TRAIL: Fill the Kong with some cashews (unsalted) and freeze-dried liver bits. Add some dry dog food and/or dog crushed dog biscuits and some Cheerios. Drop in a spoonful of peanut butter, followed by some dried fruit. Finally, top it off by using a piece of ravioli or tortellini to close the large opening.
- RED ROVER: Smear the inside of the Kong toy with peanut butter. Put a tiny piece of apple into the small hole, then drop some more apple pieces in next. Drop in a scoop of peanut butter (or cream cheese), then drop in some dog food or broken dog treats. Add another scoop of peanut butter (or cream cheese), then more apples. Plug the large opening with a final scoop of peanut butter (or cream cheese) and freeze.
- FROZEN TUNA SALAD: Mix together well: 1 6oz can of light tuna, 2 T. plain yogurt, and 1/4 C. grated carrot. Spoon into KONG toy. Freeze.
IMPORTANT: While it's perfectly fine to give your dog a Kong toy that just came out of the freezer, it's NOT okay to give your dog any food item that just came out of a microwave! Make sure any heated items have completely cooled to room temperature before serving to your dog. And don't microwave the items IN the Kong - it may melt the Kong!