We’re now full-steam into 2018! A new year. For some, that can mean lots of resolutions, lists and plans. For others, a small shift in thinking can be a welcome change allowing a new way to live the year. 

In Webster’s Dictionary, one of the definitions of resolution is “the process of reducing or separating something into components.” This month, as we continue our journey towards a chemical-free life, we will be looking into “reducing” chemicals further by making more informed choices about our dog food. I know Santa brought these furry friends to several homes this Christmas, so for those just starting out, this will hopefully get you inspired!

As early as 37 BC, there were written instructions on feeding dogs, but it was not until the mid-1800s that the world saw its first food made specifically for dogs. 

American electrician James Spratt concocted the first dog treat. Living in London at the time, he witnessed dogs around a shipyard eating scraps of discarded biscuits. Shortly thereafter he introduced his dog food, made up of wheat, vegetables and meat. By 1890, production had begun in the United States and became known as “Spratt’s Patent Limited”. Today, U.S. pet food is a $75 billion-dollar industry, with dog food accounting for half of those sales.

As with processed food for humans, dog food manufacturers include preservatives, additives, and sometimes chemicals to keep the products shelf-stable and at a lower cost. The good news is that a lot of the big brand companies are now offering “natural,” whole-food versions of their products at a more affordable price. 

If your budget does allow for clean, organic dog food, a good idea can be to substitute the packaged dog treats with real food snacks such as carrots, green beans, or sweet potato fries to keep costs down. If you would like to check your current dog food, this is a wonderful site for reviews: www.dogfoodadvisor.com. Then you can discuss changes with your vet to make the healthiest choice for your little friend. 

Easy 3-ingredient organic dog treats!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 F.

2.  Mix together the flour, peanut butter and eggs in a large bowl until slightly combined.

3.  Add in a little bit of water (one tbsp at a time) until the mixture becomes wet enough to roll out as dough.

4.  Roll out the dough and cut out your favorite shapes.

5.  Place your treats onto your baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes. 

— Sara Lemons Vaules is the founder of Lemon and Light, which offers consulting, products and strategies for moving with ease into an organic, chemical-free lifestyle.