Monday, August 5, 2013

All-Natural Homemade Dog Treats

Mark and I used to talk about getting a dog all the time after we graduated college.  I wanted a small dog, one who was cuddly and would sit on my lap.  He wanted a German Shepherd.  We put off getting a dog because we couldn't agree on what kind.  Well, knowing my weaknesses he started showing me YouTube videos of German Shepherds playing with bunnies, kitties, and babies.  I was sold!  We found a guy in our local paper who was breeding his pet dog and wanting to sell the puppies.  We picked out our boy 4th of July weekend in 2008.  Kaiser is a wonderful dog.  He is very disciplined, listens well, was potty trained in a week and taught how to sit, stay, shake (with both hands, using the proper one of course) and high-five all in one day (speak came later)!  And much to my surprise and delight, I got my cuddly lap dog.

We have been feeding Kaiser Science Diet since we got him and have been happy with it.  We started with the puppy formula and moved to large breed dog when he turned 1.  We usually buy it in bulk (6 or 7 bags) when it's on sale.  It's a little more expensive, but the better quality is worth it.  He loves the food, and he is very healthy with a beautiful coat.

Until recently we've been feeding him whatever dog treats were on sale.  As part of my "going homemade" switch I decided Kaiser is worth the switch too!  I began by making a homemade "doggie birthday cake" this year when he turned 4.  I used this recipe, but instead of putting carrots on top I crumbled up a dog treat and used it as "sprinkles."  Kaiser approved of his cake!  (Note:  This cake lasted a few weeks, he didn't get it all at once!)

Today I gave Kaiser his last packaged dog treat.  I baked him some homemade treats using this recipe.  I only had vegetable oil on hand, so I subbed that for the canola oil.  Also, I recommend only using 2 cups of flour, because you'll need to keep sprinkling some on the dough each time you roll it out.  The dough was so easy, I whipped it up in about 2 minutes (with no mixer!).  I wanted to cut the treats in a bone shape, but my bone cookie cutter was huge and I didn't want to mess with breaking the treats each time I went to give him one.  So I selected a small star from this mega pack of cutters I found at Wal-Mart for $10.

Quite the steal!  One batch made all these treats:

Kaiser only gets 1 treat a day on an average day, so I estimate one batch will last about 3 months, give or take.  Since the treats are all-natural, they won't keep like packaged ones will.  What I did was put about 2 weeks worth in his treat jar and stashed it in the fridge.  I put the rest of the treats in a freezer Ziploc bag and stuck it in the freezer to re-stock the jar every couple of weeks.

Kaiser had a very successful taste-test after his dinner tonight!  I will never buy treats again, these are all-natural, easy to make, and very inexpensive!  Give the recipes a try, you won't be disappointed!

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