The fact is dog treats can be expensive. Plus, the ingredients in them aren’t always best for your dog.
That being the case, making your own homemade dog treats can be one of the best ways to not only be sure of what you are feeding your dog, but it can actually save you money too.
What in the Bleep is in pet treats? I looked at a bag of my puppy’s doggie bacon and then did more research and I was shocked and a bit queasy!
Number one ingredient is a type of animal digest: (def:) Which is a material that results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.
Basically a disgusting rue, this is the rendered remains (or cooked down remains) of ANY type of animal including but not limited to: dead, dying, disease, and / or decomposed cows, chickens, horses, turkeys, pigs, from slaughter houses or euthanized animals, including dogs, cats, rats, etc.
Animal by products, meal, fat, corn and bone. Then if a dog eats too much it can cause severe kidney problems similar to the symptoms of Fanconi Syndrome. Most dogs recover, but there have been some deaths related to the chicken jerky and yam treats with a lot of Animal by products. Symptoms may show up within hours or days after a treat is eaten and include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and increased thirst and urination.
Fall is here, the oven is on, Bugsy is staring at me…
Lets make our own! I have compiled 6 wonderful recipes, taste tested and approved by the canines in my hood.
We will get to the oven, but first hit up the food dehydrator for crispy yam treats.
Crispy Yam Doggie Snacks
6 or 7 large sweet potatoes, with the skin on, cooked till tender
(save the cooking liquid) 2 cups dry quinoa (cooked as per the package instructions, but instead of using water, use the cooking liquid from the sweet potatoes) 2 tbsp. seaweed, chopped and added to the quinoa at the start of cooking 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 cup parsley, minced
After the sweet potatoes cool, add them to a large bowl and smash them. I used a potato masher, but if you add a bit of the cooking liquid you could use an immersion blender. I like the masher because it keeps in some of the chunkiness.
To the bowl, add the quinoa, garlic and parsley, mix well, with a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, drop mounds of the dough into your hands and flatten out slightly
Load the flattened dough onto your dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8 – 12 hours or until the cookies are completely dried and hard.
In the oven now…
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
2 cups whole-wheat flour 1 tbsp. baking powder 1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth) 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350′F. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk, and then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Bake for 20 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.
(Keep an eye on these if your oven is a bit off they can burn easily)
Apple Cinnamon Doggie Cookies
1 large apple 1/4 cup honey 1/2 cup of water 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1-cup oatmeal 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour 1/8 cup whole-wheat flour
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 ° F (180 ° C).
Core, slice and mince the apple (use a food processor if you have one). In a large bowl, combine the minced apple bits, honey, water, cinnamon, and oatmeal. Gradually blend in the wheat flour, adding enough to form stiff dough.
In a small bowl, add 1/8-cup wheat flour. Spoon the dough by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches (5cm) apart. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in the wheat flour (to prevent sticking), flatten each spoonful of dough into a circle. Adjust the size of the drops based on how big a treat you like to feed your dog.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and flip each cookie to brown evenly on both sides. Reduce oven temperature to 325 ° F (180 °C). Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool overnight.
Oatmeal Bark Bites
2 cups rice 2 packages Reg. Flavor oatmeal (mixed w/milk) 1/4 cup molasses 1 cup carrots 1/3 cup spinach 1 1/4 cup flour 1/2 tbsp. brown gravy mix 4 tbsp. applesauce 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Stir Ingredients, but adding flour gradually. Drop on cookie sheet using tsp. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes approx. 20 cookies.
1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup shortening 1 cup honey 2 eggs 3 ¾ cups white flour 2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ cup cornmeal 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mix vegetable oil, shortening, honey with eggs. Beat well. Add flour, soda and cream of tartar. Knead dough until mixed well. Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls. Mix the cornmeal and cinnamon together in a bowl and roll balls in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Press the balls down with a fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400F. Cool on a rack. Store in airtight container.
Bad Breath Banishers
2 cups brown rice flour, 1 Tablespoon activated charcoal (find this at drugstores, not the briquettes!)
3 Tablespoons canola oil, 1 egg, 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, 2/3-cup low-fat milk
Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Combine flour and charcoal. Add all the other ingredients. Drop by the teaspoon on an oiled sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake 15-20 minutes. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.