Courtesy of Sainsbury’s Bank

Looking for ways to indulge your four-legged friends? Return their love by treating them to a special meal or gift. Here are some ideas for pet parents looking to indulge their furry family.

1. Whip up your own homemade treats

Treats are often used as a training tool for dogs, whether your pets are into tricks or not, they’re sure to feel spoilt rotten if you make your very own homemade treats for them.

The number one ingredient to avoid

First up, the one ingredient you should never include in your dog treats is chocolate. As most of us know, dogs are extremely allergic to chocolate, so anything that includes cocoa is an absolute no-no. Chocolate is the most commonly reported form of dog poisoning, so you should be extremely careful and tuck away any human treats that contain chocolate in high cupboards where your dog can’t get to them.

Recipe for homemade dog treats

Making dog treats is easier than you might think. You can whip up luxury treats with minimal effort with our recipe for no-bake dog treats. All you need is 125g plain yoghurt, 250g natural peanut butter and 270g rolled oats.

  1. Whisk the yoghurt and peanut butter together until it forms a paste.
  2. Add the oats slowly, making sure that they’re fully coated and no dry spots form. You’ll be left with a heavy mixture.
  3. Scoop out bite-sized pieces with a spoon and roll into balls – you should be able to make around 30.
  4. Put the balls on a flat tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Pop them in the fridge for an hour to chill and set - then it’s time for your pup to tuck in! These treats will last between 7 and 10 days when stored in the fridge.

Healthy treat options

Just like their human friends, pets need to eat a balanced diet. So, while an indulgent treat is great every now and again, having some healthy treat options in your repertoire is sensible. For dogs, vegetable peelings make a cheap, natural and healthy treat that’s packed with vitamins. You can also give jacket potato skins to your dog as long as they’ve been cooked thoroughly and cooled. Plus, you get green points for reducing your food waste!

2. Mix up some cake mixture

If you’re planning to throw a birthday party for your pet, you’ll want to make a celebratory cake! They’ll know they’re in for a delicious surprise when the cooking smells are wafting around and they start to be the envy of all the other animals in the neighbourhood.

3. Raise a glass of pet-friendly booze

When you’re celebrating a big event, there’s no better way to treat yourself than with a glass of something fizzy. Alcohol isn’t safe for dogs, no matter how small the amount, so your pet can’t usually join you in a celebratory tipple. However, with a range of pet-friendly (and alcohol-free) booze options recently becoming available, your best friend can now indulge in a Friday night glass of Pawsecco or dog beer with you.

Kick back with a beer

Believe it or not, dog beer is best served at room temperature and poured over dry dog food. Pouring flat chicken or beef flavoured beer over your dinner might not sound particularly appetising to us humans, but it’s a delicious treat for dogs. Some of the best-known brands include Bowser, Snuffle and Woof Dog Beer, all of whom make their beer from natural, human-grade ingredients, so you know that your dog is getting a healthy treat.

Crack open a bottle of wine (or Pawsecco!)

Wine for dogs is non-alcoholic as well as being non-carbonated and grape-free. This is the case because aside from alcohol being dangerous for our pets, carbonated drinks can cause animals to experience indigestion and diarrhoea. On top of that, grapes are also toxic for dogs and can cause them to have kidney failure.

So, you can crack open a bottle of still white or rosé Pawsecco for your pets and know that they’ll slurp it down without experiencing any of the problems us humans endure after a bottle of Prosecco. Pawsecco is made with natural herbs including Elderflower, Linden Blossom and Ginseng, so it smells a lot better than dog beer. You can serve it over your pet’s food or in their water bowl – whatever they prefer.

4. Spoil them with a gift

You know you’re being truly pampered when you receive a thoughtful gift, so buying your pet a gift is the perfect way to show them you care. From putting together a doggy hamper to buying them their favourite toy, there are plenty of options to choose from.

We all look after our pets with the basics – plenty of food, water and a generous pet insurance cover. But it’s also important to take time out to really pamper our pets from time to time. After all, they’re the ones who are always there to put a smile on our faces, no matter what kind of day we’ve had.