Remember the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” Well, the same goes for dogs—just ask my dog, Nora, a mini cockapoo and lover of socks, belly rubs, nooks, naps, and all things food (except spinach and apples). Nora is an elemental part of our family and she is undoubtedly one of the most spoiled dogs ever. There aren’t enough words to explain my love for this little furry being, so I won’t even begin to try. Seeing as baking is something I love to do for the ones I love, I can’t get over the fact that it took me this long to bake a homemade treat for my beloved Nora.
We’re not the sit-down-at-the-dinner-table types. Yes, we have a dining room table, although it only ever gets used for special occasions and thus accumulates household/personal crap. While I feel this is typical for most 20 somethings out there, it becomes problematic if you have a dog—and an agile one at that. My dog’s unremitting begs for bits of food can get annoying, albeit cute, yet they leave me feeling guilty for not letting her join in on the eating. Therefore, I figured it was definitely time to make/bake something for Nora that she could actually eat and enjoy herself.
Most of the homemade dog treats I referenced were extremely easy recipes, so I decided to make her two different kinds of treats: one with a peanut butter base and one a little bit more savory. The peanut butter treats are made of pumpkin puree, peanut butter, an egg, oats, and whole-wheat flour (If your dog is on a strict diet, brown rice flour is an alternative to whole wheat flour). To the human pallet, they don’t taste so hot, but your dog will love them–plus, they’re not loaded with unnecessary sugars found in other treats.
The savory dog treats consist only of whole-wheat flour and baby food. I used beef baby food and sweet potato baby food, but you could use any type of meat/vegetable baby food you think your dog would enjoy (just make sure there is no onion!!). Not sure what to give your canine? This is a great website for dos and don’ts concerning your dog’s food. And just remember, like with any other dog treat, let your pup indulge in moderation. These homemade treats can be larger than store bought ones, so we gave Nora (a small breed) just half of each treat.
Nora absolutely loved her homemade dog treats and thought they were bowwow-wonderful. She didn’t leave my side in the kitchen while I was prepping and baking—it was almost as if she knew I was baking for her. She devoured both types of dog treats and was left wanting and begging for more. After Nora saw me put the treats in the pantry, she stood next to the pantry door for over 20 minutes until I turned the lights off and went to bed–something she’s never done before.
I’ve officially become that crazy dog lady and I’m proud of it!
Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats
-1 cup of pumpkin puree
-1.5 tbsp peanut butter (smooth)
-1/4 cup oats (I used quick oats)
-1.5 cups of whole-wheat flour
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a bowl, mix together the flour and oats. Set aside.
-In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, egg, and peanut butter. Mix until well incorporated.
-Stir the flour and oats into the peanut butter/pumpkin mixture until well incorporated.
-On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough.
-Cut out your desired pieces. With a fork, poke holes in the middle and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
-Cook for 25-30 minutes.
-Let cool for at least ten minutes before serving to your furry best friend.
Beef and Sweet Potato Dog Treats
-1 cup whole-wheat flour
-2 tbsp sweet potato puree or sweet potato baby food (I used the baby food – much easier and timely).
-6 tbsp beef baby food (I could only find beef with gravy and it worked out fine. Just make sure whichever baby food you use does NOT have onions in it).
*You can use any mixture of baby food/puree as you choose—chicken, turkey, etc., just make sure you have at least 4 oz. of puree for one cup of flour.
–Preheat oven to 350 degrees
–Combine the wet ingredients with the flour.
-Stir until well combined and dough has formed.
-On a lightly floured surface and with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to about ¼ of an inch thick.
-Either with a cookie cutter or a knife, cut out your desired shape. With a fork, poke holes in the middle and then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
-Bake for 20 minutes and let cook for at least ten minutes before serving to your dog.
*Note: I didn’t use all of my dough and chose to freeze the leftover dough to use at a later time. These treats aren’t packed with preservatives, so use them within one week or so.
And a plate full of homemade dog treats leaves a happy doggy begging for more and a happy mom for knowing exactly what’s in those dog treats!