Homestead Dog Treats

If you don’t already know, we have four dogs. We didn’t exactly set out to get four dogs. We intentionally got two. The other two we somehow accumulated. I know some people have more, but our four keep our home plenty excited and full of hair. We have an Australian Shepherd, a cattle dog mix, a true heinz57 mutt that kind of resembles a German Shepherd, and a Malamute.

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We’re pretty picky about what we feed them. (Though I’m not sure why because they love to eat horse poop & or worse, their own poop. 🤢) We bought a 1 year treat subscription box one year for them for Christmas, but some of the treats were questionable and would sit in the closet for months going unnoticed so we cancelled it. But, we still wanted to reward and treat our dogs. Turns out, our dogs like a lot of the same homestead “treats” as we do. Here are some we’ve tried.

Kale

If you had told me that our blood-thirsty Malamute would have liked kale, I never would have believed you. She has caught and eaten squirrels whole. She kills any little creature she can catch including but not limited to snakes, moles, rats, birds & a kitten 😔. Our friend found her emaciated on the side of the highway while we were in college, so we’ve always just assumed that her hunter instincts came came from however long she was roaming north Georgia. She’d turn her nose up to veggies of any kind in the beginning, but when we moved to the farm and started growing Dino kale, that all changed. Whenever I clean the kale, I throw the dogs the pieces with lots of brown spots. When I strip the kale off of its stem, they get the stems. They stand by the kitchen sink and anxiously wait for it, even the Malamute. When they see me in the garden picking the kale, they get soooo excited. It’s their favorite treat.

Cherry tomatoes


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Cherry tomatoes are so easy to grow and are delicious on salads, so we grow them every year. They are indeterminate, meaning that they grow and grow without stopping until they die off after the season. You’re supposed to keep them trimmed and orderly, but towards the end of the growing season, we let them go wild. The dogs (& the birds, squirrels & rats) thank us for this. The tomatoes grow through the chicken wire of the garden and cascade down towards the ground. They are prolific until the very end, so the dogs take this opportunity to impress us with their jumping/climbing skills while claiming the tomatoes for themselves. I’ll also collect them as training treats for mental stimulation inside.

Lettuce

Same reactions and use as the kale.

Watermelons

The dogs love love love watermelon rinds. This year, we had a few promising watermelons until they broke into the garden and devoured them. Ideally, we get to share the watermelons. Maybe next year.

Peaches

Luckily our peach tree is in the front yard out of their reach so we don’t have any thieves, but they still love to sit, lay, bang, and be-a-bear for peach slices!

Blueberries

They have unfortunately discovered our blueberry bushes in the backyard… It’s a race to who can get to them first. Them or us. If they’re lucky, I’ll share.

Blackberries

Same as the blueberries, once the dogs discovered the blackberries, that was all she wrote. We do get to pick the ones they can’t reach.

Cucumbers

Definitely a fan favorite!

Carrots

Horses and dogs alike love to munch on carrots.

Calamondin oranges

Calamondin tree - The Homestead Kong’s

When these are ripe and ready, I pick them and eat them as I’m in the yard. The dogs follow me everywhere for the peelings.

Loquats


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Not the seed! They throw those up, but they love the actual fruit and skin of loquats.

Hoof trimmings

So, we don’t eat horse hoof trimmings, obviously, but it is the premiere dog treat. They know the farrier’s truck. They whine and whine to get to the horses after he has gone. As long as the horses don’t have thrush, we let the dogs eat as many hoof trimmings as they like. Our Aussie did eat thrush-riddled trimmings once and had to go to the vet for meds. It gave her an infection, so be careful about that. And, make sure the trimmings are small enough to not get stuck in their throats. Once again, that happened to our Aussie. She’s always getting into some kind of trouble.

So, it’s not a complete list, but it’s a sample of what our homestead dogs love. Thank God we have a door on the garden or they’d rob us blind, but we like to share our spoils and especially like to see them happy and healthy off of raw, real treats. What treats do you feed your dog?

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