(42) Are You Cookin’? Part II – Baking for your dog

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Golly, Miss Molly

A blog about a service dog and her veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the veteran and the family caregiver)

 Not all dogs beg for a treat like Miss Molly. A pat on the head is the only thing she pleads for more than a doggy biscuit. Regardless, a simple treat appeals to all dogs. The smell of home cooking and the taste of a homemade dog treat create a loyal family member. When the dog bites into a soft, freshly-baked treat, he or she will love you forever.

Recently, I joined Pinterest (an on-line social media pin board) and selected the category “Animals” as one of my areas of interest. On my first day, I viewed a post for baking healthy dog treats. The recipe ingredients ranged from wheat germ to sweet potatoes. Skeptical about how healthy the treat would be, Molly stumbled on to a tray of sweet potato and peanut butter treats at the dermatologist’s office. The receptionist assured me Molly would love them and that they were healthy tidbits in moderation, which meant Molly could only have one and not the whole tray. While Molly likes every food, your pup may be more discriminating. On-line recipes offer a variety of ingredients for every taste.

Most recipes can be baked in an aluminum pan you can buy at a discount or grocery store. Once baked, the treats cut easily to right-size portions.

For the dog that enjoys a nice presentation, cookie cutters that are shaped like a bone are available at pet stores or maybe even in doggie boutique shops.

Homemade recipes do not include preservatives so freezing them will keep them longer. Just keep a few thawed at a time. I learned this the hard way when I opened a full stash of them and discovered mold ruined the lot of them. Also, be sure to mark them clearly as dog treats so you don’t come home one day to find the kids nibbling on them.

Finally, treats should be limited because they may contain fat and can be high in carbohydrates. We do not want to create a generation of obese canines. After all, our service dogs need to fit into their service vests.

Commercially purchased dog treats do not require nutritional information on the package, as do our foods. Consequently, you can measure this yourself, as you make the treat. Plus, you can adapt the recipes to your dog’s preferred tastes. Some of the recipes I viewed in the links below even make great use of leftover people food and dog food! YUM

Dog bone cookie cutters:

Here are just a few sites where you can find the dog bone cookie cutter, including other dog-themed shapes:

http://www.thecookiecuttershop.com/dogcookiecutters.shtml

http://www.joann.com/wilton-metal-cookie-cutter-3in-blue-dog-bone/8218257.html

http://www.gooddogexpress.com/page/GDPEI/CTGY/CC

http://www.k9cakery.com/Dog-Bone-Cookie-Cutters_c_91.html

Free dog treat recipes:

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/everyday-cooking/more-meal-ideas/pet-food/pet-treats/

http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dog-nutrition/Recipe-Ideas-for-Quick-and-Healthy-Homemade-Dog-Treats

http://www.pinterest.com/bigbark1/homemade-dog-treats/

http://www.thekitchn.com/cookies-for-canines-homemade-d-135078

There are so many links for free dog treat recipes. Google, pick, and choose for yourself (I mean, choose for your dog). These treats make good Christmas gifts as long as you remember to keep them frozen until you are ready to deliver them so they do not get moldy.

Happy munching, little and big critters!

(Again, I’m referring to dog critters—not kid critters.)

Post your Comments:

What is your dog’s favorite treat? Please comment below. 

About the blogger

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her grandchildren.