Spend a little extra time in the kitchen this fall and create homemade treats for your dog. On Halloween, prepare treats to give to your friends who have dogs and are expected to trick-or-treat at your house. Keep it simple by wrapping a few treats and personalize the gift by including the dog’s name and recipe ingredients. For a special occasion, create a basket of homemade treats, a recipe book, a variety of dog biscuit cookie cutters, and some of the ingredients required to make more treats featured in the recipe book.
My favorite cookbook for dogs is The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook, by Jessica Disbrow Talley and Eric Talley. I discovered this book at the library last year and made the snickerdoodle-poodle-poos (recipe on page 120). They were easy to make and a big hit with my dog, so I used the remaining ingredients to make more treats to give to my dog-loving friends, neighbors, and family during the Christmas and New Year holidays. I also bought a copy of the book and refer to it often.
Many of the recipes in this book include brown rice flour and oat flour, so if you have those in your pantry you’re off to a good start. The focus is on organic ingredients, omitting wheat, soy, and corn ingredients since they are common sources of food allergies in dogs. All recipes are preservative-free, so the treats must be stored in a container in the refrigerator. If they aren’t eaten within a week they’ll need to be frozen to thaw later.
Apple products are plentiful this time of year and they’re a good snack for dogs. Here’s another easy recipe from the Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook that includes unsweetened applesauce. I haven’t made these yet so I’m not sure what the total yield of this recipe is, but remember you can freeze the extras.
An Apple a Day*
1 cup oat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thickness. Use an apple-shaped cookie cutter (or knife) to cut into shapes. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Transfer and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.