Monday, September 29, 2014

Recipe: Easy, Healthy, Homemade Dog Treats

I smell those treats baking...
The last bag of treats (I won't name the brand but they are pricey and popular) I bought for Barry turned out to be not as healthy as I thought. I always read the ingredients just to make sure. Unfortunately these particular treats had some hidden ingredients. I can be in a little rush when picking things up and maybe not really think too much about a particular ingredient. Like soy, nitrates, and natural flavors. I know nitrates are no friend of anyone. I just didn't see it in the ingredients until later. Also, if you aren't aware, the FDA has not regulated the word natural in foods we eat. The ingredient natural flavors can really mean just about anything. It's usually a proprietary blend of things with one or more of those things being something the FDA would consider natural. Many times it can contain MSG, colorings, aspartame, just to name a few. It's best not to trust anyone but yourself when feeding yourself and your loved ones. Including your pets. If the package says Natural it means nothing. Read the ingredients. If you see an ingredient called natural flavors you might want to think twice. This is just my experience. If your dog does well on any food or treats then continue doing what you're doing. Sadly, Barry doesn't do well on just anything. We can't afford too many more visits to the vet.

I'm really hoping those are for me.
As most of my followers know by know, Barry is so very very sensitive. I don't want to take anymore chances. I want him to be his healthiest and I want him to live his years in the best shape he can be.

I'm going to start making homemade treats for him. I'll know exactly what I'm putting in it. If Barry has a reaction to anything I'll be able to pin point the issue since I'm using only a few ingredients. Unlike most store bought treats which can have dozens and dozens of ingredients.

I perused the internet for some ideas and what I made is a take on this original recipe (you can find tons of 2 ingredient dog treat recipes and they are all basically the same). It's supposed to just be a 2 ingredient recipe but Barry, being the picky little bugger he is, I figured I'd do a few extra add ins so that he loves it. He seems to totally love it.

I started with 2 cups of a gluten free flax and whole grain flour blend. You could easily use a grain free flour for you pooch. Grains don't seem to bother Barry, thankfully. I picked a simple two ingredient apple sauce about 4 oz. The ingredients are apple and cinnamon (I used this). Then I smashed a very ripe banana, one organic egg (because why not?) and a couple of scoops of organic peanut butter (I use this kind). The only ingredient in the peanut butter is peanuts. Instead of flouring the surface where I rolled the dough I poured some oats down. It works just as well.

You can see chunks of peanut in the dough.
I don't have a dog bone shaped cookie cutter (or any cookie cutter for that matter) so I used a pizza cutter to slice the dough into rectangles. At the end there was some dough left over and I made those into hearts with my artistic abilities. I plan on getting a cool cookie cutter for next time because these just look sort of sad.

I decided to not spray or grease the baking sheet but instead lined it with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. They turn out slightly soft but still have a bit of a crunch which Barry loves. 

The nice thing about this recipe is that it is so customizable and really hard to mess up. Next time I might add turkey puree (baby food) and whatever else. Definitely an easy recipe to start with. They are best stored in a paper bag so they stay crunchy. If your dog likes chewy or soft then store in a sealed container or ziplock type bag. Barry likes them and to me that is the most important outcome.

This was take two. The first picture I attempted turned into Barry jumping up and eating the
whole heart shaped cookie in one swoop. Luckily the first attempt was with the smaller
heart cookie. I think he likes them.


  1. Great post/recipe! I'm going to have to try it at our house!
    What a great look he's giving you too, over the top of that cookie!! :-)

    1. I love his face too. This was after I freaked out and he gobbled down the other heart cookie. This time I was serious with him so he was sort of backing off but you could tell he was eyeing that cookie. He was actually checking out the bag of them on the counter and the cookie in front of him. He was trying to be sneaky. Of course he got a little more for finally sitting and waiting!

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