Despite the fact that it’s National Dog Day today, we got a question from someone asking if we had a recipe for “cat snacks”. True story, actual phrasing.

I love the idea of cat snack time. While the world may be full of road rage and Twitter fights and stock market woes, somewhere somebody’s cats are lining up for snacks before their naps. That visual just makes the world seem like a kinder place.

So yes, actually, we do have a recipe for freeze dried cat snacks. It’s simple and it’s low in calories so your little ball of fluff won’t become a big ball of fluff. And, because it’s National Dog Day, we’ve also got a new tip for healthy dog snacks from our favorite natural food advocate veterinarian, Dr. Ruth Roberts.

Cat snacks:

Cats are carnivores. They don’t want or need grains or anything else. We’ve shared The Crockpet Diet for cats and dogs before, and you may have noticed that Dr. Ruth’s recipe includes vegetables in her recipe for cat food. I’ve seen cats knock people down for curried butternut squash, so I’m not going to argue against feeding your cat vegetables.

However, cats really want protein-based snacks, so our healthy cat snacks are a one-ingredient recipe: Just freeze-dry cooked chicken, turkey or salmon. You don’t need to season it before or after, but some cat parents note that their cats go wild for treats tossed with nutritional yeast.

Nutritional yeast has a strong cheesy flavor, like Doritos, and it’s high in protein. It’s a secret weapon for cat owners who are trying to switch their cats to healthy, home-cooked food. Also note that it costs about the same to buy a whole chicken as it does to buy boneless chicken breasts.

If you’re going to make cat snacks, buy and prepare whole chickens, serve the breasts to your family and then freeze dry the rest for your cat (chop the dark meat into tiny bite-size chunks about the size of a cat treat). You’ll be eliminating all kinds of questionable preservatives, using the whole chicken, and your cats will love you for it.

Dog snacks:

For dogs, just cut your pieces a little bit bigger, the size of a dog biscuit. No need to get fancy, as dogs also appreciate these one-ingredient freeze dried protein treats. Dr. Ruth recommends beef liver for dogs – just cook it thoroughly, dice it and freeze-dry it.

Happy National Dog Day to all, even cats, and if you’re making healthy freeze-dried treats for your furry best friends, let us know!