Healthy homemade dog treats
You didn't think I was going to leave the Puppyface out of all of this Handmade Holiday fun, did you? Heck, no! That spoiled little girl not only gets quite a few presents under the tree every year, but also has her very own stocking—which will be chock full of these dog treats this year. Shhhh….don't tell her.
This was my first try at making homemade dog treats, and I did a ton of research before settling on a recipe. There are tons of (many times conflicting) reports about what to and what not to feed your dog. Some people say milk is okay. Others say it's a no-no. Some swear that garlic is a death sentence. Other say they've been feeding their dog garlic for years. Basically, I decided to avoid any products that are well-known doggie no-nos (like, say, chocolate!) and focus on ingredients that are generally accepted as good for doggie-dom.
But even with all my research, just like with human food, it depends on the individual. Your dog might be allergic to wheat or eggs or pumpkin or something else. So keep a close eye on your puppy any time you give them a new food or treat. Even though these dog treats are formulated to be as gentle on their systems and give them as many added nutritional benefits as possible, it still might not agree with some pooches.
That being said, Puppyface has a historically weak tummy (we actually buy special food made for dogs with sensitive tummies) and these treats didn't cause a hint of issue with her. She's happy as a furry clam.
And as far as taste goes, I didn't try 'em out (although I could, because it's all human food), but Puppyface is a big fan. She will literally stand in front of the cabinet that holds these treats and whine at the door—hoping that it'll magically open and the whole bag of treats will spill onto the floor. She's a big fan. And I'm a big fan that I know all the ingredients and can save a pretty penny over the high-quality, all-natural treats I have been buying her.
I snuck in a few ingredients that are nutritional superstars for our canine friends. I want The Fluffy One to stick around as long as possible, and if I can give her some treats that help with that? I'm all over it.
The ground flax seed in these is a great source of Omega-3s which help keep your puppy's coat and skin healthy. Eggs are an amazing simple source of protein, especially for pups who may have adverse reactions to other proteins. Pumpkin is full of fiber which helps keep your dog's gut balanced and beta-carotene which is a powerful antioxidant. The applesauce is full of phytonutrients which are thought to help protect against cancer. The olive oil helps get much-needed healthy fats to your puppy and contains compounds that may help prevent cancer. The wheat germ is packed with Vitamin E that helps make your puppy's coat soft and silky (although, admittedly, Puppyface's wiry coat has a soft and silky limit).
Yeah, these little bones are big winners.
Speaking of bones, I was able to snag my bone-shaped cookie cutter at a local supermarket (Meijer) for $0.99. It was the perfect size for the 60-pound Puppyface, but if you have a smaller or bigger dog, you might want to think about finding a different cookie cutter. I, of course, am totally swooning over the adorable bones, but you could just as easily roll out the dough and cut it into long or short strips depending on the size of your puppyface. Or even just use the rim of a glass and make circle-shaped treats. No adorable cookie cutter necessary. Your dog definitely won't care either way.
I'm not sure I'll ever buy dog treats again. This recipe was so simple. It uses ingredients we always have on hand. It makes a ton of treats. And PF loves 'em. I'm a very happy dog mom.
HEALTHY HOMEMADE DOG TREATS RECIPE
MAKES: 3 DOZEN
- Cooking spray
- 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup wheat germ
- ½ cup ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup applesauce
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, and flax seed. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, combing honey, eggs, oil, water, applesauce and pumpkin puree until well combined. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until well-mixed.
- Form into a disc and roll out on a well-floured surface until about ¼" thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place on prepared baking sheet about 1" apart.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until treats are very brown and very hard.
- Let cool completely before giving them to your pooch to try out. Store in an airtight container out-of-reach of your puppy.