In the spirit of Earth Day, here are three ways to turn trash-bound cooking scraps into healthy and tasty treats for your pooch.
peeled carrot
Photography by Christopher Testani
| Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

1. Fruit & Veggie Peels

"Carrot and potato peels are actually great sources of nutrition," says Tina Wismer, a veterinarian and the medical director of the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center. "Apple peels contain more soluble fiber than the flesh and are rich in vitamins." For Fido-friendly chips, drizzle washed and dried peels with a bit of olive oil, pop them in a 400 degree oven, and bake until brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.

2. Overcooked Meat

Superdry chicken breast, absurdly well-done steak, a burger that looks more like a hockey puck—hey, we've all been there. But before you trash your dinner fail, see if your pooch will bite. As long as the meat isn't burned to bits (yuck!) or overseasoned, you can cut it into small pieces and save them in the refrigerator for extra-special treats. Your pup is bound to wolf 'em down, so triple-check for bones.

3. Herb Stems

Humans may prefer the leaves (they're just so darn pretty), but don't forget about the stems. With the exception of chives (and other members of the onion family), herbs like oregano, basil, mint, and parsley are all A-OK for dogs and can be finely chopped over their food for a fancy puppy garnish.

Tip from Rachael: "I add carrot trimmings and parsley stems to my dog Isaboo's rice, then simmer it in chicken stock. It adds flavor and nutrition."