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With recent news of dog illness and deaths associated with store-bought dog treats and recalled kibbles, many of us are turning to homemade alternatives to treat our furry friends. Besides saving a few bucks, making treats at home allows you to make sure that your pooch gets his daily treat without the chance of unpleasant side effects related to consuming commercial foods. Unlike most commercial foods which contain food coloring and preservatives that can trigger many side effects, homemade treats contain only the ingredients you add – no hidden dangers.
Here are a few simple, do-it-yourself, homemade dog treat recipes to get you started!
Dog Bone Bonanza:
Ingredients: ½ pound of uncooked ground beef, ½ cup of chicken broth, ½ cup of mashed black beans, ½ of cottage cheese, and 2 teaspoons of low-sodium soy sauce.
Directions: Start by mixing the ground meat and the chicken broth in a huge bowl. Add the cottage cheese, soy sauce, and black beans into the blend. Mix these ingredients thoroughly and then form them into small bone shapes. Put the moulds on greased cookie sheets and then bake for about 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Allow the bone treats to cool before storing them in a container to avoid mold growth.
Peanut Butter Poppers
Ingredients: 2 cups whole-wheat flour, 1 tbsp. baking powder, 1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth), 1 cup milk
Directions: Preheat oven to 375’F. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk, then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Bake for 15-20 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.
Buddy’s Bacon Bites
Ingredients: 6 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled, 4 eggs, well beaten, 1/8 cup bacon fat, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup non-fat dry milk powder, 2 cup graham flour, 2 cup wheat germ, 1/2 cup cornmeal
Directions: Mix ingredients with a strong spoon; drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cookies on baking sheet in the oven overnight to dry out. Yield: about 4 dozen dog cookies.
Remember, when making your own treats at home, to allow the treats to cool completely before putting into a container. Storing hot treats allows for the growth of molds and bacteria when heat isn’t allowed to escape and instead forms condensation inside your container.
When buying the ingredients for your treats, choose only high quality, all natural products whenever possible.
When you make your own treats at home, not only can you feel assured that your dog is getting only safe ingredients, there’s a wonderful sense of joy when your dog enjoys the treat you’ve made yourself.
Do you make your own dog treats? We’d love to know your recipe!