It's gotta taste good.
Recently I made a batch of cookies; they were to assist in getting some extra pounds onto Luke after his bout with a stomach bug. He loves them and every time I open the can I think "donuts;" they don't taste bad either. They are a little bland with no sugar but I'd eat them with a cup of tea. :) Anyhow, I am always on the look out for yummy tasting and healthy dog cookies. Not an easy task I might add. There is so much garbage out there to buy for your dogs. Just let me say this, if it comes from a big box store, do not buy them for your dog. I spent an hour one day going through every bag of treats at Target. Reading ingredients, just to see if there was anything half decent, nope.
I've been making my own dog cookies for years; after all I use to be known as the cookie lady at the Farmers Market. I still like to buy them now and again; but finding good tasting ones that are healthy is quite the challenge. The other day I was at my local health food store; so I headed over to the dog section. I grabbed a bag of "organic" dog cookies made by Castor and Pollux Organix. They looked good in the package, a little greasy so I thought maybe, just maybe. Well, when I opened the bag and offered one to Luke he turned his head in the "I'm not eating that" way that he does. Okay, so not unusual that Luke won't eat it. I offered one to Elsa; she took it and spit it on the floor, nope she wasn't eating it either. I smelled the contents in the bag; yuck, no wonder they don't want to eat these.
At that moment I thought "does no one taste these things?" Much like I ask myself the same thing when I taste a new human product that is horrible. If dog cookies are made with human grade products then someone should taste them; and that someone should not be a dog that will eat anything. Some dogs will you know, the ones who love to scarf down anything that isn't screwed to the ground. These days more and more people are feeding raw and/or cooking for their dogs. Dogs have very personal tastes; what one likes another may not. But there is a much more general "this is good" when something tastes good; most will like it but there will always be some that don't. When I bake cookies, I bake for taste, nutrition and texture. I like them to be eaten but I also want them to hold up in the dog cookie can.
What is the point of making something that doesn't taste good? Just because we are giving them to our dogs does not mean that flavor is out of the picture. Plus if you are going to feed it to your dog; fill it with nutrition and not empty calories. My dogs have things that they love; there are some food items that will literally get Luke off the couch and into the kitchen. While, like the bag of yuck cookies, he will not eat no matter what. I want nutritionally packed cookies/treats for my guys; hence the little fish eyed critters that they now get even though they creep me out. :) Unfortunately I don't want a pocket full of these on our walks so I look for something dry yet yummy.
I just now finished sharing my paleo coconut cake and almond butter with Elsa; she loves it and if she smells it, comes running. Smart girl, it is very yummy and great for both her and I. Nutrition is number one, then taste; if something doesn't taste good it's not going to do our dogs any good. So taste it if you can. I know everyone I ask to taste my dog cookies gets a funny look on their face. Like just because it's "dog" means that there is something gross in it. When in fact it should just mean that it has been made with a "dog" in mind.
If you are going to give your dog treats or cookies then give them great tasting, nutrition filled ones. Why not?