A guest post by Joe Hughes – Village Bakery
Making your own dog treats can be a rewarding experience, especially for kids. But there are also many benefits to baking your own treats.
When you make your own treats, you’re in full control of the ingredients. That means you can make healthy treats using wholesome ingredients – no preservatives required. It also means that you can tailor the recipe to your dog’s personal taste preferences or dietary needs.
There are dozens of baked dog treat recipes out there, but we’re going to share three of our favourites, which are sure to make Fido drool.
1. Nutty Bacon Dog Treats
Peanut butter and bacon may seem like an odd combination, but your dog will dig the salty and savoury flavor of these treats.
We use a modified version of these treats from Dog Hill Kitchen to make these tasty delights.
Here’s what you’ll need to make a few dozen treats:
- 2 slices of bacon, diced
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter – please make sure it’s Xylitol free
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup pastry flour (whole wheat preferred)
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
First, start out by frying the bacon until crispy. Don’t be surprised if that sweet smell lures in Fido from across the house.
Next, preheat your oven to 149°C, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you may need two baking sheets, depending on how big your treats are).
Remove the bacon from the pan, but reserve the fat. Let the fat cool for three to five minutes.
Next, add the peanut butter, egg, water, maple syrup and bacon fat. Mix until smooth.
Add in the wheat germ and flours until well combined. Stir in the bacon pieces.
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes. We usually cut them into squares or circles, but you can also get those cute dog bone cookie cutters for this recipe.
Transfer your cookies to your baking sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes until the treats are lightly browned. Cool, and serve.
2. Flax Seed Dog Biscuits
Flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which are great for both dogs and humans. These treats combine the wholesome goodness of flax with eggs and dog-friendly flours your pup is sure to love.
Here’s what you’ll need for these DIY treats:
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup wheat germ
- 3 tbsp. flax seeds
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1-1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. sugar
To get started, preheat your oven to 190°C.
Next, combine the eggs, olive oil and water in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, wheat germ, salt, sugar and flax.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
Mix to form a firm dough. Add water or flour as needed to get a dough-like consistency.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
Roll out the dough until it’s 1/2″ thick. Cut the biscuits using cookie cutters.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until brown.
Allow the treats to cool, and let Fido be the taste tester.
3. Bread Machine Biscuits
For pet parents who have extra-busy schedules (don’t we all?), this recipe uses a bread maker to take most of the hard work out of baking treats. Trust me, your pup won’t know the difference and will enjoy every minute of devouring these goodies.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 9 ounces chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 whole egg.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 3 tbsp. parsley
- 1/4 shredded cheese
Add all of the ingredients to your bread machine, select the dough cycle, and press start. Stop the machine five minutes after the first kneading has started.
Set the dough on a lightly floured surface, and allow to set for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 175°C degrees.
Roll the dough out to 1/2″ thick, and cut out shapes. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and hard. Allow the treats to cool overnight before serving.
Store in an airtight container. This recipe makes a lot of treats, so make sure you have a large container ready to go.
Do you have a favourite dog treat recipe?
About the Author
Joe Hughes, known by most as the Village Baker, is an expert in homestyle cooking techniques, with a primary interest in baking. He runs the very popular website, http://www.village-bakery.com, which provides the latest homestyle cooking news, techniques, tricks, and recipes. He can be reached at Joe@Village-Bakery.com.