Monday, July 9, 2012

Bone Appetit

This is my Very Serious Writer pose.
By Nova
(with some help from Anna Geletka)

Hi! I'm Nova! 

I live in Greenville with my people and a cat, but no one cares about cats so forget I mentioned him. My owner Anna writes for the HSEC blog and when she was having trouble coming up with ideas for posts, I stepped in with an amazing idea. This blog is supposed to be about dogs, and what do dogs like better than food?

NOTHING, that's what.

Bowl licking: integral to the process
So why not write a post with some recipes for homemade doggy treats? Anna was intrigued by my idea. I then suggested that in the name of journalistic integrity, we couldn't recommend any treats without testing them first. And then Anna tried to turn my awesome idea into a terrible idea.

"We'll take them to the dogs at HSEC," Anna said.

Wait just a second, that is not in the spirit of the idea. I tried to explain that if the HSEC dogs got to eat the treats, then Nova would not get to eat the treats. Humans. They're sweet, but not too bright. Eventually we worked out a deal. In exchange for bowl licking privileges and a trip to Loreeta's Frozen Yogurt in Greenville next Monday July 16th (dogs get free fro-yo and on that night they are collecting donations for HSEC!), I would gladly share my treats with the HSEC dogs. Well, mostly gladly. After all, I used to be an HSEC dog myself.

Clockwise from top peanut butter biscuit, mint kiss, frozen yogurt
I selected three treats that I thought would generate some good bowl licking opportunities the dogs at the HSEC would like: frozen yogurt, peanut butter biscuits, and mint kiss cookies. These treats are also easy to make and require only common ingredients that most people will have at home already. You can find the recipes at the bottom of this post.

If you want to create your own recipes for dog treats, I recommend that you bring them by my house so I can personally taste test them for you. Just remember to keep your treats low-salt, low-sugar, low-fat, and low-calorie. The treats themselves should be in small amounts. We're much littler than you! Limit dairy products, as most adult dogs are lactose intolerant (small amounts are ok, and yogurt can actually help with digestive problems). Also check out a list like the ASPCA's to make sure that your ingredients are not harmful or toxic.

I guess our treats were a big hit, because Anna didn't bring any home with her.

As you can see, Crush did not care for the treats at all. He would have preferred for Nova to eat them.

Ozzie was chewing so fast that his mouth could not be captured by ordinary human technology (or maybe Anna is not a great photographer). He liked the mint kiss the best but still wanted to give his treats to Nova.

Sadie, Crush's mom, also liked the mint kiss and thinks Nova deserves extra treats for having the world's most awesome idea. And now Sadie has been adopted, and she's enjoying treats in her new home!

 Rocky was content to have these few small crumbs so that Nova can eat the rest. Rocky is part of the fee-waived adoption crowd!

Daisy... well, Daisy's had a tough week, since she landed funny on her leg while playing and now has to wear the Cone of Shame. Her bowl is somewhere beneath the cone. She can have my treats. (Her favorite was the frozen yogurt.)

Do your dogs have favorite homemade treats? Ones that require bowl licking? Post your recipes in the comments or on our Facebook page! Or, let us know how your pets liked the treats posted here. Tell them Nova says hi!

Dog's Eye Photography also recommends the frozen yogurt treats! You can read her post, with lots of great how-to pictures, here.

Easy Frozen Yogurt for Dogs 
(found here)

You will need:
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 ripe banana
- 16 oz plain yogurt

Mash honey, peanut butter, and banana together together in a large bowl. Add the yogurt and blend well. You can use a fork, blender, or mixer (we used a submersion blender). Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray. (There will be slightly more mixture than available tray space. This generates a perfect bowl licking opportunity.) Freeze overnight. Treats can be popped out one at a time and the remainder stored in the freezer.

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit 
(found here)

A very easy recipe with common ingredients.
You will need:
- 2 cups flour (we used white flour, you can also use whole wheat or other types of flour)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/4 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients. Mix in peanut butter and hot water. Knead dough well.  You can roll out the dough to 1/4 inch and use cookie cutters to make cute shapes, or roll the dough into 1-2 inch balls and flatten with a fork, like human peanut butter cookies. (We found this dough to be quite sticky. If you want to roll out the dough, add flour until the dough is manageable.) 

If you'd like, add an egg wash to the cookies to give them a nice sheen. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 40 minutes, then let cool in the oven overnight or transfer to a cooling sheet. Cool completely before serving.

These cookies can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for one week, in the fridge for three weeks, and in the freezer for up to six months.

(Anna didn't use cookie cutters or the egg wash. Lazy human. She pointed out that one of the benefits of cooking for your pet was that no one was concerned about presentation. I had my mouth too full of left over dough to answer.)

Mint Kiss Dog Cookies
(found here)

Bad breath? Try a mint cookie! Although if your dog has continually foul breath, you should talk to your vet, as this can be a sign of health problems. (Anna made me write that part. I'm never in favor of the vet.)

You will need:
- 1 cup stone ground cornmeal
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup chicken broth (preferably low sodium)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh mint

No bowl licking with this recipe! Contains raw egg!

Preheat oven to 350. In a saucepan, bring vegetable oil and broth to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the cornmeal. Scoop the cornmeal mixture into a small bowl and let cool. Once cool to the touch, add the chopped mint, cheese, and egg. Stir well. Form 1-2 inch balls, then place on a lightly greased cooking sheet. Flatten the balls into cookie shapes. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and leave the cookies in for another hour. Cool completely before serving.

These can be stored for one week in an airtight container, in the fridge for three weeks, and in the freezer for three months.

1 comment:

  1. Those look really tasty, Nova! Way to work out a deal, so that you got to lick the bowl and get some frozen yogurt. :)