What's Cooking: 2 Easy Dog Treat Recipes

Our home can sometimes go through 2 cups of treats per day, so we often use dog food or cut up "people food" as treats. But sometimes our dogs like a special treat and for that we love to make our own. It saves us quite a bit of money, ensures that our dogs aren't eating large quantities of preservatives or processed junk, and the dogs like "new" factor that comes with the change of flavor/texture of the treats.

I know a few of you have been asking what I give my dogs for treats, so here are 2 of the recipes I've been using lately. Both recipes are fine to store in a treat pouch for a few hours at a time, but they should be stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a few months (I find that they defrost very quickly, so you can pull them out right as you need them). Disclaimer: I am very casual in my measuring and baking time when it comes to dog treats- so add ingredients until the dough looks like something you can work with and bake until the treats have reached your dog's preferred crunchiness- or search for a recipe more precise than these :)

Whole-Grain Peanut Butter Pumpkin (Soft) Treats

1 C. plain pumpkin

1/2 C. rolled oats (can be substituted for whole wheat flour)

1/2 C, whole wheat flour

1/2 C. peanut butter (be sure it doesn't contain ingredients harmful to your dog!)

1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions are straightforward. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until a soft dough forms (the dough should be soft but not sticky. Too sticky? add a little more flour. Too dry? add more pumpkin. Too soft/liquidy? add more peanut butter). Then roll them out and bake them.

Roll into whatever shape you would like (we make training treats which are about the size of tic-tacs). Since I had extra time on my hands and like treats to look nice so that I can give them out to clients, I took the time to use a ravioli cutter to make them look pretty. However, I assure you your dog does not care what his treat looks like, so if you're in a hurry just drop pieces of dough on a cookie sheet and press them to be about 1/4 inch thick so that they cook quickly and evenly.

I bake mine for about 10 minutes, until the outside is dry to the touch and they will hold their shape when moving them. There is nothing in these treats which MUST be cooked, so it's okay to underbake them. The longer you bake them, the crunchier they will be. (Sherlock is not a patient dog when it comes to treats baking in the oven.)

Grain-Free Peanut Butter Banana Treats

1 C. peanut butter

1 large egg

2 Tbs coconut flour (or another non-grain based flour)

1/2 nearly rotten banana (needs to be mushy enough to be mashed with a spoon)

drizzle of honey

pinch of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix with a spoon until ingredients come together into a somewhat sticky dough. The dough should be slightly sticky but very oily so it shouldn't stick to your hands too much. If it is too sticky to work with, try adding another Tbs or two of coconut flour, or put it in the fridge for a few hours. Shape however you would like and bake for 15-25 minutes (treats should be dry, but not burnt). I hope your pup enjoys them as much as mine do!

#HealthyPet #WhatsCooking

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