Creating tasty treats for your pooch using tropical fruits such as banana, coconut, papaya and mango, is a great way to add variety to his rewards for good behavior. Making the treats is easy and lets you control the ingredients and the size of the treats.
Coconut-pineapple treats are safe for dogs and delicious. Combine 1/2 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut; 1/4 cup of dried, no-sugar-added pineapple chunks, cut into dime-sized pieces; 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour, one tablespoon of olive oil and two whole eggs. Mix the ingredients in a bowl until a thick dough forms. If dough is too thick, add water a few drops at a time, until it is the consistency of modeling clay. Place the dough in a covered container and refrigerate about one hour, or until firm.
Roll the chilled dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Use a small cookie cutter to cut out the treats, and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. The treats will last about a week at room temperature.
Bananas are a familiar tropical fruit that dogs can safely enjoy.
Place a large, ripe, peeled banana in a bowl, and mash it up with a fork. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce, an egg white, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour. Drop the dough in teaspoon-sized balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, and bake at 325 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack, and serve to your dog sparingly. Store unused treats in a sealed container, or freeze them until you are ready to use them.
Mango Papaya Treats
When it comes to tropical fruits, mangoes and papayas definitely come to mind, and dogs love them.
Place 1/2 cup of plain rolled oats in a bowl and mix in one egg and 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce. Mix the ingredients until a batter forms. Put 1/4 cup each of unsweetened, dried papaya and dried mango into a food processor, and process the fruit into pieces about the size of a chocolate chip. Mix the chopped fruit into the batter, and drop teaspoons of the batter onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes. Let the treats cool completely before you let your pup taste-test them.
The treats will be okay for up to a week in an airtight container, or they can be frozen to extend their shelf life.
Tropical fruits contain a variety of helpful vitamins and minerals, making them a nutritious addition to your furry friend's treats. Dogs can safely enjoy tropical fruits in moderation.
Overindulgence in any kind of fruits or treats is not recommended for dogs. They do not have the same digestive flora as humans, so in large amounts, some fruits can ferment in their digestive tracts and cause gas. Tropical fruit-containing treats should be limited to one or two per day, depending on your dog's size. Consult your veterinarian about any doubts you have before adding unaccustomed foods to your dog's diet.
Leeann Teagno has been writing professionally since 2006. An English major, she continues to study information systems management at American Public University. Teagno is an organic gardener, cook and technology buff with past employment in mobile communications. She also volunteers at an animal shelter and operates a home bakery.