As you get started making homemade dog treats, one thing quickly becomes obvious; your dogs will be your best critics. It is difficult to find a recipe they will not appreciate. For this reason, it is certainly an easy habit to get into, aside from the savings and knowing that you are giving your pups something you can trust is good for them.
Be advised that not all the same things you would eat are going to be good for your dogs; specifically, chocolate. These aren’t like human treats that are sweet. They are more for health and nutrition, and anything you make in the form of a treat will have your dogs turning into five year old children who love it when you get out the tools and ingredients to start making their special treats.
Homemade dog treats are a growing niche, which makes endless recipes available from a variety of sources. Despite this, you will find that there are some staples that you turn to in nearly all recipes, such as wheat flour instead of white flour, wheat germ, flax seed and oats, for starters. Additional ingredients will be items you generally consume, such as apples, peanut butter, carrots, sunflower seeds, molasses, cinnamon, honey, fresh herbs and cranberries, just to list a few.
It is true that dogs are carnivores, but they have no problem enjoying these homemade biscuits because they have a lovely chewy consistency, as a rule. You may be tempted to taste-test your batch, and there is nothing wrong with that, but don’t be surprised to find them somewhat bland or flavorless compared to human treats. Not to worry, however. Perhaps it is the fact that they must recognize you are cooking homemade treats just for them. Maybe it is a flavor peculiar to a dog’s enjoyment, much the same way there are sounds only they can hear, but your dog will love you more for taking the trouble.
You will need, of course, the cookie cutters that follow a dog theme and a rolling pin for the dough, the consistency of which will have you thinking you did something wrong. You are not using eggs or butter so you only have water to adjust the consistency. However, too much moisture will mean your treats may spoil more rapidly. You can use antioxidants such as vitamin C or E as these are fat-soluble. It is better for your dog to avoid resorting to preservatives. You are also better off with non-stick cookie trays or using an easy-release cooking spray. You can also use parchment paper so your homemade dog treats come off the trays easily. Then, just follow the recipe instructions and you and your dogs will be very pleased with the results.
Dog Treat Recipe
Here’s a dog treat recipe from AllRecipes.com that your pooch is sure to enjoy!
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup margarine
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, margarine, and boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Grease cookie sheets.
- Thoroughly stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, milk, Cheddar cheese, and egg. Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, until a stiff dough has formed.
- Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, mixing in additional flour as necessary until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Roll or pat out dough to 1/2″ thickness. Cut with cookie cutter (I prefer bone shaped), and place 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Cool before serving. Store in a loosely covered container.