This is a repost from a great article last year by our own Jay Robison. Let’s show our dogs how thankful we are and whip up something homemade just for them!
If you’ve been a DogBoy’s client for any length of time, odds are good that we’ve shared our views on the importance of diet and the ingredients that go into your dog’s food. Most of us don’t think twice about limiting, say, our children’s sugar intake. After seeing my 4 year-old rampage through a store after he shared my milk shake the other day, I was forcibly reminded of why that is a good idea! Unfortunately, dog food manufacturers—especially the large companies—aren’t exactly forthcoming about the ingredients they use and can hide unhealthy ingredients behind jargon that can leave even the most conscientious dog owner scratching their head.
One solution is to make your own dog food from raw ingredients. Several of the DogBoy’s team do this, particularly our Director of Training, Paula Baker Prince. It is probably the best way to ensure that your dog’s diet contains the best possible ingredients.
If you think you might want to try home-made dog food, but want to try something maybe a little less intimidating first, you can always try to make your own dog treats. Maria Carlson, an old friend of mine, has been making her own treats for years. She says that books, blogs, even online recipe sites like Allrecipes.com are great places to look for easy to make (but yummy) dog treats. To get you started, the DogBoy’s Dog Blog presents three tasty treat recipes that will put a smile on the face (and a wag in the tail) of your favorite four-legged friends.
Our first two recipes come courtesy of Marg Pedroza, whose dog Lily is a regular daycare and Chelsea’s Charm School client. Marg knows that wheat flour isn’t the best thing for dogs—they tend to process it like sugar. Marg uses oat or potato flour but there other good alternatives out there, such as spelt or even garbanzo bean flour.
Salmon Treats a la Lily
1 can salmon (pink)
½ cup chopped parsley, or 1 bunch fresh
3 eggs, shells included
½ cup ground sesame seeds
½ cup ground flaxseeds
(NOTE: Coffee grinders work great for grinding the seeds)
2 to 3 cups potato flour
Preparation & Cooking
Marg says “Put these ingredients in a food processor and mix VERY WELL. Pour potato flour through the opening while the processor is on. Use 2-3 cups until dough forms to consistency of a pie crust and rolls into a ball—now it’s ready to take out. Dump it onto a potato-floured counter or kneading board. Knead more flour into the dough and when it’s rolled out to a cookie-dough like consistency, roll it out one last time to about a ¼-inch think. Use a knife or pizza cutter to make small squares; you can also use cookie cutters if you want to be fancy. Bake on a greased or papered cookie sheet (you will probably need 2) at 375 for 20 minutes. Turn and rotate the cookie sheets and bake for about 10 more minutes.
If cooked until crisp, you can store these biscuits at room temp for 1-2 weeks.
Sweet Salmon Aux Pommes
2 medium sweet potatoes (can also substitute one can of cooked plain pumpkin)
1 can of salmon
2 ½ cups non-wheat flour (oat flour works especially well)
1 tablespoon flaxseeds (optional)
Boil the sweet potatoes approximately 20-30 minutes until done. You should be able to easily stick a fork in them and break them apart. Put the potatoes into a food processor, add the salmon and set to “pulse.” When the salmon and sweet potato mixture is combined, add 1 cup of flour and process until smooth, then add the next cup of flour and repeat, repeating again with the last ½ cup. If adding flaxseeds, add at the end. They’ll give the treats an extra nutty flavor with the added benefit of more Omega-3 fatty acids (especially good for the skin and coat). Using a tablespoon, make “drop” cookies on a greased cookie sheet, evening out with the back of the spoon.
Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until brown. Refrigerate.
Maria Carlson of Elkhart, Indiana and proud doggie mom of Ruby, was kind enough to share her favorite recipe—heartily endorsed by Ruby for its bacon-y goodness!
1 cup milk
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons melted bacon fat
5 cups of flour
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Beat eggs in a large bowl; stir in milk, salt, and bacon fat until well-blended. Gradually stir in flour to make a stiff dough. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into 2-inch balls. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 35-40 minutes and cool on racks. Store in a covered container in the fridge.
Three great recipes to get you started! If you try any (or all) of them, please let us know how they turned out. Better yet, snap a picture of the results and share them on our Facebook page. And if you and your dogs have other great recipes, don’t keep those to yourself either! Feel free to add them in the comments section below.
A big thank you to nyominx on Flickr for this photo!