Dog treats aren’t always good for dogs! They can be packed with preservatives, food coloring, and chemicals even scientists have a hard time pronouncing. Not only that, but dog treats can be really expensive. Instead of not buying dog treats (which will make your dog sad!), you can bake your own homemade dog treats. Not only are you able to feed your dog yummy treats with wholesome ingredients, you can also save a lot of money.
I can personally vouch that homemade dog treats actually taste good! A friend of mine once made dog treats that looked like Oreos. Another friend mistook them for human cookies and started eating them. I walked in on him munching on a treat. His hand was in the bag, about to grab another one. I told him that the “cookies” were actually for the dog. Surprised, he said that they tasted just like human cookies, and he convinced me to take a bite. I did, and found that he was right. So, yes, your dog will definitely like the treats you’ll make for him! Maybe he’ll even think that you’re giving him your own snacks!
The first step to making your own dog treats is to find a recipe you (and your dog) will like. You can look online, get a book, or talk to your vet. You also have to make sure that the recipe includes ingredients that meet your dog’s dietary needs. You might want to go with a recipe that has a protein source, a carbohydrate source, some fat, and enough vitamins and minerals. Here’s a good recipe, courtesy of Two Dog Press:
Peanut Butter Bones
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup mashed potatoes
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup chunky peanut butter
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose white flour
Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C).
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in water. In a large saucepan, mix together the potatoes, milk, molasses, stock, and peanut butter. Heat, stirring frequently until boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add yeast mixture. Gradually blend in the egg, wheat, rye, and rice flours. Add enough white flour to form a stiff dough.
Transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth (about 3-5 minutes). Shape the dough into a ball and roll to 1/2-inch (12 mm) thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out biscuits. Place on ungreased baking sheets, spacing them about 1/4-inch (6 mm) apart. Gather up the scraps, roll out again, and cut additional biscuits.
Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool overnight. Makes several dozen bones that freeze well–and have the consistency of pizza crusts, a favorite snack for most spoiled dogs!
Not all recipes are good for dogs. It’d be a good idea to do your own research before trying out a recipe. Some foods, like garlic, grapes, nuts, and chocolate, are toxic to dogs, so you have to avoid them. ASPCA has a good list of foods to avoid feeding your pets.
Good luck, and happy baking!