In the spirit of the holidays, particularly Easter this year we here at Pets Own Us wanted to share our favorite recipes for homemade treats for our furry best friends. As humans we base the holidays around excuses to delay or pause diets and healthy eating lifestyle habits in lieu of celebrating special moments shared with loved family and friends. Our sweet four legged family members should enjoy the indulgence as much as we do.
I often used to wonder how Charlie (our German Shepard) happily devours almost the same meal daily sometimes with a raw egg cracked over it with such enthusiasm. We recently switched him to a raw diet. We are people who live to eat not eat to live. Charlie with not much encouragement inevitably has adopted our philosophy since I started spoiling him with a variety of meaty treats. He seems to love his other 'homemade' treats as much as I love making them and they are easy to freeze and available on demand. Everything in moderation, sticking with my mom’s mantra ~ “a little of what you fancy does you good!”
‘Human’ ingredients that are safe and apparently yummy and healthy for most dogs are peanut butter (ideal for getting your pouch to pop a pill crushed or whole), cinnamon, carob , eggs, pumpkin, whole wheat & rice flour, honey or molasses and obviously all the meaty treaty bits. Here are 5 easy recipes with a combination of some of the above ingredients sure to have your doggie salivating whilst they baking in the oven. They are recipes for dog biscuits as well as frozen treats (easy and quick to thaw).
If you are into attempting an easter egg hunt this Sunday for your dog and testing his hunting skills, rather use a broken (cut) up tennis balls to hide treats inside as opposed to the traditional half screw style plastic egg. It may end up as a little longer lasting recyclable toy and less chance of the doggie swallowing it along with his or her Easter treat.
#No 1 ~ Healthy Pumpkin Balls
This snack is not only delicious but is also filled with fiber, vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and iron.
1/2 cup canned pumpkin or boiled
4 tbsp molasses
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, and water together in a bowl
Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixture and stir until dough softens
Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough and roll into balls on your hands (wet hands work best)
Bake for 10 -15 minute
#No 2 ~ Basic Doggie Biscuits (what is in the cupboard?)
These basic biscuits can be customized to cater to your canine’s palette
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour (substitute regular flour or oats if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
1 tsp. salt (or less)
1 tsp. beef or chicken bouillon granules (can substitute beef or chicken broth/stock)
½ cup hot water
Bacon or chicken broth, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese, bacon bits- mix it up here, add in what you have available and test
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Dissolve bouillon in hot water
Add remaining ingredients
Knead dough until it forms a ball (approximately 3 minutes)
Roll dough until ½ inch thick
Cut into slices or bone shapes (you can purchase a bone shaped cookie cutter to make shapes with)
Place dough pieces on lightly greased cookie sheet
Bake for 30 minutes
#No 3 ~ Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Dog Treats
Irresistible cool licking treats for your pooch after a good old long walk
1 cup all-natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon, unprocessed coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
silicon paw print tray
Be sure the coconut oil is not in liquid form. If not, place coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook until melted.
Add peanut butter and cinnamon. Stir until mixture is completely smooth and thoroughly mixed. Mixture should be thick, but pourable.
Pour mixture into a tray and freeze until set.
Carefully remove from tray and store in air-tight container in the freezer (they soften quickly).
These are made for dogs in the 10-15 pound range. Adjust the amount of coconut oil accordingly. Rule of thumb is that you use 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds of your dog's body weight.
#No 4 Recipe ~ Carob Crunchies
A little Carob love for our wheat sensitive doggys. Ingredients
1 cup white rice flour
½ cup carob powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup of water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and knead until dough is formed and smooth, you may need to add a little more water as the dough tends to be on the dry side.
Roll onto a heavily floured surface 1/4 inch thick and cut with small cookie cutter of your choice. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or the cookies start to crackle.
Cool and refrigerate.
Make sure you knead the dough very well, it may take some work to get the dough to come together. The smaller the cookie cutter the better as the dough is very crumbly.
#No 5 Recipe ~ Nutty Bacon Dog Treats
3 slices of bacon, diced
1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Fry the diced bacon until crispy. With a slotted spoon, remove the crispy bacon but save the fat. Allow the fat to cool slightly (2-5 minutes)
Add the egg, peanut butter, maple syrup and water to the bacon fat and mix thoroughly.
Add in the flours and wheat germ and mix until combined. Stir in the crispy bacon pieces.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thick. Cut into desired shapes. I used three different 1" cookie cutters.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes (for 1" diameter shapes) until lightly browned
Cool and make them beg for it.