New Year, new puppy! I had been on the lookout for a puppy to adopt for the last several months, and I am now the proud mother to a fur baby, Archer, aka the puppy vacuum. This guy will eat anything and everything.
Since adopting him, I’ve discovered that dogs are one of the best ice breakers and a topic of conversation that can keep going forever. I have been absorbing so much advice and information from everyone that making the best decisions for my dog can feel overwhelming. One topic that stirred up a lot of opinions was whether or not it’s appropriate to feed table scraps and human foods to your dog. A conversation with my vet helped me decide that Archer would stick to dog food and treats as well as the occasional dog-friendly human snack since he has some Chihuahua in him and that breed is prone to easily gain weight.
However, the choices for dog treats out there are equally overwhelming! I also didn’t know that my dog could potentially be allergic to certain foods. So do I put Archer on a raw diet? Chicken or fish?? Then my coworkers mentioned that I could even make my own dog treats. Thus began my downward spiral into the DIY world.
I have a love/hate relationship with DIY crafts. They always take me at least twice as long as the instructions state, and I end up super bitter while the DIY thing never ends up looking right. I told myself if I was going to make my own dog treats then they had to be simple recipes with ingredients I already had in my pantry. Here are the ones I tried:
These called for:
- 1 banana, peeled
- 1 cup oat flour
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup dried parsley
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
I didn’t have any oat flour so I simply poured a cup of rolled oats into my blender and cranked it up until my oats turned into oat flour. I also didn’t have dried parsley on hand so I didn’t include it in the recipe. I wish I did, though, because Archer could use some help with his doggy breath.
For this recipe, I thought it would be so cute to make dog-shaped biscuits. First, I tried to use the cookie cutters by rolling out the dough and peeling away my shapes but the dough was too sticky. I decided that the cookie cutters would work better if I baked the biscuit as a sheet and used the cookie cutters after it had cooled. This method was perfect and gave me really defined shapes which I don’t think I could have achieved otherwise. I used Poodle, Collie, Scottie and Schnauzer cookie cutters. They turned out so cute and were Archer approved. Next I tried:
These called for:
- 1 cup peanut butter, preferably unsalted and unsweetened. Check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain any kind of xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
- 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
- Water, as needed
I was looking for a pup-sicle recipe since Archer is teething and I’d heard that this would be a good way to soothe his gums. I love peanut butter cups, so I figured Archer would too. I also thought these pup-sicles would be perfectly portioned and shaped appropriately if I poured them into my silicone baking cups. Nothing sticks to these baking cups and cleanup is a breeze, so I like using them anytime I can. I saved myself some cleanup time with this recipe by doing my mixing and pouring in my handy measuring cup. I froze the pup-sicles for about six hours and they were good to go. I also poured some of the extra mix into an ice cube tray and easily popped it out after about nine hours. Archer gave these treats two big paws up. Then the last one I tried was:
Which called for:
- 1 sweet potato
When I stumbled on this recipe, I was a little upset. I had just bought Archer some sweet potato jerky from the store the other day! This recipe was so fast and easy that I hope I can keep these on hand versus having to buy some. I thought I would give this treat an extra touch of love by cutting my slices with a dog bone cookie cutter. They didn’t end up keeping their shape as I expected but I imagine these will look adorable stored in my treats jar. I think next time I make these I’ll use a mandolin so that all of my slices are the same thickness and have the same baking time. Also, Archer is definitely a fan of this sweet potato jerky.
Do you make treats for your pets? Share your recipes in the comments below and let me know if there’s something I must make for Archer!