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Homemade Dog Treats

There are endless options of dog treats to purchase, but there are just as many options to make your own treats. Whether you are looking to save money, guarantee safe ingredients, or want another way to show your fur baby some extra love, homemade treats may be the answer for you. I started making my own treats with my former dog due to his allergies. Making my own treats saved time from reading endless labels in my search to find treats that were safe for him. You can make a basic dog biscuit quite easily with ingredients you already have in your home. A quick search on the internet and/or Pinterest will give you plenty of options. Please beware that not all recipes contain dog safe ingredients.

Here is a list of some ingredients to avoid:
Caffeine (Chocolate, Coffee)
Stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants (any fruit pits/seeds)
Grapes & raisins
Nuts (macadamia, almond, pecans & walnuts)
Onion, Garlic & Chives
Large amounts of salt (small amounts may help preserve some treats)
Yeast/Yeast Dough

**Please note that this is not a complete list and you should always consult with your veterinarian on the safety of any and all ingredients you plan use.

Here is a favorite baked biscuit treat of my two boys. They both give it four paws up:
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Biscuits:

3 Cups Oats
½ Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
Flour for rolling out cookies ( I use stone ground, whole grain)

1. Place the oatmeal into a food processor & pulse it until it’s not so coarse, but it doesn’t need to be fine as flour.
2. Add oatmeal, pumpkin, peanut butter, cinnamon, baking powder, & eggs to a mixing bowl then blend on medium speed until it’s all mixed.
3. If it’s overly sticky, add a tablespoon of flour to help dry it out a little so it’s not difficult to roll out.
4. Roll out with a little flour and cut with cookie cutters
5. You can also roll out in between wax paper sheets, then cut with cookie cutter & place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
6. If you don’t want to roll out & cut the dog treats with a cookie cutter, simply roll tablespoon size balls and bake them on the baking sheets.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
8. Cool on a rack until completely cooled
9. Place in a container to keep fresh or in the freezer. They don’t freeze solid as there is little liquid.

**Note: the creator of this recipe claims her dog likes the treats direct from freezer. I add approx. ¼ teaspoon of salt as a preservative and let them bake to almost hard and then let them cool/harden in the oven for a few hours or overnight. The treats are then a hard biscuit & I am then able to keep them in an airtight container on my counter for a longer time. My boys tend to gobble these up before they have any chance of spoiling.

Besides baked treats you can also use your food dehydrator. One of the easiest treats I have made with my dehydrator are sweet potato chips. My former dog loved this crunchy treat. You can also the use the dehydrator to make jerky treats. Jerky is a little more consuming. I like to make chicken jerky. I start by first cooking the boneless, skinless chicken breast (preferably grilled), then slice and finish drying it on the dehydrator. Note, with a dehydrator it takes a 1.5 to a couple of days at times, so please make sure it is in a safe place if you have counter surfers living in your household.

Most households now have automatic ice makers and no use for their ice cube trays, until now. You can make frozen treats using the old discarded trays. A quick idea is plain, Greek yogurt, mixed with peanut butter (make sure it does not contain xylitol) and a banana. I smash the banana then do an approximate 2 to 1 ratio of yogurt to peanut butter. Mix the ingredients together and evenly distribute into ice cube trays. Once frozen I remove them and place in a freezer safe bag/container to keep from getting freezer burnt.

You cannot forget about Kong toys. These are a great way to make special treats for your dog if you need a little time to get things done with out them under your feet. My quick go to is a mixture of plain Greek yogurt, carrots and food kibble. I mix it up inside the Kong toy and place in the freezer to make it more of a challenge. The possibilities are endless for stuffing a Kong and the internet/Pinterest has some great ideas.

I hope this helped start your ideas of different homemade treats you can make for your fur babies. Please make sure all ingredients are safe. You can check the list above and of course always consult with your veterinarian. We only want to do what is best and safe for our fur babies. thor