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Why and how to make homemade dog treats

Posted on December 02 2015

homemade dog treats

In recent years, the eating habits of Americans have taken a healthier turn. Even major chains like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell have pledged to remove trans-fat and artificial colors flavors and colors from their food, acknowledging at some level the importance of what people consume.

The same cannot be said for dogs: Lawsuits have claimed commercial dog food is leading to animal deaths and the FDA is investigating more than 5,800 reports of sick dogs in relation to jerky treats, among other cases.

One way to combat the lack of transparency and regulation in animal food is to make your own. Below are five dog-friendly treat recipes to try at home. When done, seal and store in a FoodVacBags vacuum sealer bag for extended freshness. Most recipes require refrigerator storage.

Apple Cheddar Dog Biscuits

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 2 cups barley flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients to form dough.
  4. Between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a bone-shaped cookie cutter.
  6. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.
  7. On prepared baking sheet, space biscuits 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned and firm.
  9. Transfer biscuits to wire rack to cool.
  10. Store at room temperature.

Bacon Doggie Treats

Recipe from kitchn

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup melted bacon fat
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix by hand until dough forms.
  3. Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick and cut out treats with a bone-shaped cookie cutter.
  4. On a baking sheet, bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  5. Turn the oven off, flip the treats and place back in the oven until cool.
  6. Store at room temperature.

Chicken Jerky

Recipe from Money Crashers

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 chicken breasts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Remove any excess fat from the chicken.
  3. With a paring knife, slice the chicken breast into 1/8 inch thick strips.
  4. Transfer strips to baking sheet and bake for 2 hours.
  5. Check the chicken before removing from the oven. It should be dry and hard, not soft or chewy. Allow the chicken to cool completely before serving.
  6. Store in refrigerator.

Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats

Recipe from Whole Foods.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried parsley or mint
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, use a spoon or potato masher to mash banana.
  3. Add flour, oats, parsley, peanut butter and egg.
  4. Stir until combined, then set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. Roll mixture into 24 balls, using roughly 1 tablespoon of dough per ball.
  6. On a large, parchment paper-lined baking sheet, transfer treats and use the back of a spoon or the heel of your hand to press each ball into a 2-inch coin.
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until firm and golden brown on the bottom
  8. Transfer treats to wire rack to cool.
  9. Store in refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Chews

Recipe from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes

Directions

  1. Set dehydrator* to 125 degrees.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  3. Place in dehydrator for 8 hours, or until almost dry but not brittle.
  4. Store in refrigerator.

*If using an oven instead of a dehydrator, set the temperature as low as possible and check the potatoes after 4 hours.

Does your pup have a particular treat he or she enjoys? Tell us what it is in the comments below!

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