KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Making dog treats at home is easy and inexpensive! However, there are some key tips you need to look at before making your own treats.
- If your dog loves peanut butter, you can’t go wrong with this simple recipe. All you need is flour, peanut butter, eggs and water. Mix it all together, add enough water to make dough, and roll it out. You can use cookie cutter shapes for a little professional pizazz. Bake for 20 minutes. These taste as good as they smell!
- Bake these at 350 for best results. They come out like a little muffin and are human-friendly, though probably not going to appease our taste buds the same.
- No ingredient (especially check the peanut butter) should include sweetener (artificial or natural).
- Ingredients – always read ingredient labels of any items you might use to prepare your dog treats and avoid ingredients that are toxic to dogs like grapes or raisins, chocolate products, onions, garlic, milk products, xylitol (and other fake sugars or sweeteners, best to avoid sugar as a whole), avocado, macadamia nuts, and high levels of salt, to name a few.
- Instead, look for ingredients that will be beneficial to your dog like: blueberries, sliced apple, or bananas; oats, pasta, or rice; sweet potatoes or pumpkin; boiled chicken or beef (fat trimmed off); or fresh veggies like carrots, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, or cucumber. Also, avoid adding seasoning to your pet’s treats as many seasonings could upset their stomachs.
- Baby food can make a fun frozen treat for you pup! Simply pick out a flavor or two that has safe ingredients, swirl together in a freezer-safe container, and when you’re ready to give it to your dog, pop it out of the container and serve! My favorite combo (or my dog’s favorite) is swirling strained sweet potato with banana. Note – this will be messy, so might be a good treat for outside. Make several at a time and store for several weeks. You can also mix in a few bits of kibble, small treats, or bits of raw fruits or veggies before freezing for a fun surprise.
- A more savory treat could include 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup rice flour, 2 TBS flax meal, ¼ cup chicken or beef broth (low sodium), 2 oz. shredded, boiled chicken (no seasoning), and 2 eggs. Mix all of these ingredients together and scoop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet (parchment paper or silicone baking mats on top are best!). If you use a non-stick cooking spray, make sure it’s also pet safe (olive oil or canola spray is okay). Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes and let cool before serving! These should keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Making biscuits like the second recipe allows you to break pieces off to use for training treats or for fun games like hide and seek or treat puzzles. If you replace the savory ingredients in the second recipe (the chicken and chicken broth) with ¼ cup applesauce, 2 TBS water, and 2 oz. of shredded fruits or veggies, you’ll have a sweeter version too!
The best part about making homemade dog treats is that dogs don’t care what the end result looks like – so they’ll even eat the ugly or slightly burned versions!
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