Fresh Spices or Dried Spices in Dog Treat Recipes

by Elle Di Jensen
    I pawsitively don't care if you use fresh or dried spice!

    I pawsitively don't care if you use fresh or dried spice!

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    If you go to the trouble of making your dog's treats from scratch, you want him to enjoy them. You may even want to add a dash or two of your favorite spices to enhance the flavor. But then you have to decide whether to use fresh spices or dried. When your dog is concerned, don't sweat the question of the spice. For him, less is more.

    Fresh vs. Dried

    When it comes to shopping for spices to add to dog treats, neither fresh nor dried is superior. Fresh spice will add more depth of flavor than dried, but the flavor that dried spices provide is more concentrated, so you'll use less. Most of the bigger supermarkets carry a wide selection of dried spices, but very few if any fresh spices, because transportation and storage can affect the flavor and color of fresh varieties. Some exceptions you might be able to find at the store are fresh garlic, gingerroot and nutmeg. And there's sure to be a few specialty or gourmet shops that might carry less common fresh spices like cloves, cinnamon and saffron.

    Dogs Don't Need It Spicy

    So you've made your decision between fresh and dried spices but don't overdo it. Spices don't make a biscuit any more or less appealing to your dog, and some spices like mace, tumeric and paprika can make him sick. Even foods containing dog-safe spices can cause vomiting and diarrhea if they're overly spicy, so spice it sparingly when cooking for your dog.

    Some Dog-Safe Spices

    The list of spices safe to feed your dog is a short one. You can feel secure adding spices like cinnamon, ginger, poppy and sesame seeds to treats for your dog. Some dog treat recipes call for fresh garlic or garlic powder, and some commercial dog foods and treats list some form of garlic as an ingredient. But that's a gray area becuase garlic is from the same family as onions, a well-known toxin for dogs. When in doubt it's always best to play it safe and not add garlic to treats for your dog. He won't mind, and at least you won't be compounding doggy breath by adding garlic to it.

    Spiced-Up Snack

    If you're certain your canine craves a delicious spice cookie, you can whip up a batch of cinnamon-ginger biscuits that would please any pooch's palate. Just mix 1/2 cup each of wheat and white flour with 1 teaspoon of dried ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of dried ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 or 3 tablespoons of water until it forms a stiff dough. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too crumbly to stick together. Roll the dough out on the countertop and cut it into shapes with a knife or a cookie cutter, then place the cookies on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes, then allow them to cool before feeding them to Fifi.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.

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