canine health, feeding dogs, foster dogs

Low Calorie Doggie Snacks

Our latest foster, Moose, is on a diet. I can’t remember ever having a foster dog who seriously needed to lose weight. Moose needs to lose about 20% of his weight. He arrived weighing close to 95 pounds and really should be closer to 75.

No problem, right? Since we control what he eats and how much he exercises. (I’ve always thought I’d love to go to a diet camp where someone controlled all that for me.)

And we are controlling how much he eats – measuring his food (only a high quality, grain-free dry food) and serving it with a vitamin and probiotics.

The thing is, though, that Moose LOVES to eat. He arrived with a slow-down bowl to prevent him from eating his food too fast and possibly choking.

The other thing is that Moose needs training. And Moose will do anything for a treat. He’s embarrassingly easy to train thanks to his shameless affection for food.

So in addition to his carefully measured food, he was also getting lots of tiny treats. And those tiny treats, being treats, are full of calories no matter how tiny they are.

I needed something I could use copiously without compounding Moose’s weight problem.

Enter the sweet potato. Most dogs like sweet potatoes. Moose is not a big fan of raw sweet potatoes, but baked? He’s all in.

Now I can be generous with treats for everything he does – he’s happy because he gets to eat more, I’m happy because eating more isn’t countering his diet plan.

Just in case you’d like to make sweet potato treats for your dog, here’s the recipe. And note, sweet potatoes are good for dogs, even if they aren’t on a diet. AND, they’re inexpensive, so there’s no excuse not to give your dogs lots of treats.

Sweet Potato Dog Treats

1 large sweet potato

  1. Slice the sweet potato into thin discs (a mandolin works great for this). Slice the discs into strips.

2. Use a nonstick pan or stone (or lightly spray a regular pan) and lay out the strips so they are not touching.

3. Bake at 300 degrees for twenty minutes.

4. Turn off oven and leave in oven for an additional twenty minutes.

5. Cool chips on a rack and store in an air-tight container.

(note: these chips are also lovely snacks for humans – but I salt them or season them with Old Bay)

Until Each One Has a Home,


For information on me, my writing, and books, visit

If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and occasional foster cat updates (!) be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.

And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds.

If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. Or its follow up that takes you to the shelters in the south One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues.

I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at

Many of the pictures on my blog are taken by photographer Nancy Slattery. If you’d like to connect with Nancy to take gorgeous pictures of your pup (or your family), contact:

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