Healthy dog treats

January 22, 2016

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

Healthy dog treatsDogs are fantastic animals. They bring hours of fun and joy to their owners. They keep you on your toes, make sure that you stay active and are a great companion if you end up spending long stretches of time on your own. They never judge you, are always pleased to see you and – in my humble opinion – make a house a home.

Although we shouldn’t constantly be giving our woofers treats, the odd one as a reward for obedience is a fun thing for both owner and pet. However some brands of commercial dog treats include preservatives to extend their shelf life and are often made from fillers and byproducts as opposed to natural and high quality ingredients. So check out these (healthier) homemade treat ideas:

Chicken Wings
My vet recommends the odd raw chicken wing so I buy a pack from the supermarket (very inexpensive) and my dogs absolutely go crazy for them. The bones are so soft, they are quite safe for very small dogs, but if you have a larger breed, supervise them while they are eating so that they don’t swallow them whole. I bag the wings up in pairs and pop them in the freezer until I want to defrost them.

Healthy dog treatsPeanut Butter Bones 
250g (9 oz) wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
275g (10 oz) unsalted natural peanut butter
225ml (8 fl oz) skimmed milk

Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5. Grease baking trays. Stir together the flour and baking powder; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and milk. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to 1cm thickness and cut into shapes using biscuit cutters. Place 2cm apart onto the prepared baking trays. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown. Remove from baking trays to cool on wire racks.

Doggie cookies
2 cups of wheatgerm
Three 2.5oz jars of baby food, any flavour, but meat flavours work best
1 tablespoon of water

Mix these ingredients to form a firm dough. Then form 1″ diameter balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten them out with a fork then cook in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

Healthy dog treatsSardine Oatcakes
2 tins sardines in olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
85g wholemeal flour
250g oats
Water, as needed

Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, including the oil from the sardine tins. Add a splash of water if needed to help bind the mixture into a firm dough. Flour a flat work surface and roll the dough out to a 1cm thickness then cut into biscuits using a biscuit cutter. Arrange on the prepared baking tray and cook for 20 mins or so until golden brown. Allow to cool before giving any to your pet.

GBBO’s Brendan Lynch’s chicken liver and bacon dog treats
250 grams/8ozs of lean bacon rashers – cut into thick strips
450g/16ozs chicken livers – cut up roughly
450g/16oz plain or wholemeal flour
150g/6ozs of fine cornmeal
250g chicken stock
Glaze: Whisk together 60g of tomato ketchup and 1 large egg white and set aside.

Line two baking sheets with non-stick parchment.
Preheat oven to 125C/260F/Gas3. Cook bacon in large pan over medium-high heat until fairly crisp. Remove from pan and pat with paper towels. Keep half of the bacon fat in the pan and add cut-up chicken livers. Fry for 5 minutes or so during which some liver paste will form. Set pan aside to cool slightly.
Put cooked bacon into a food processor and spin to form a coarse meal. Now add the cooked chicken livers and grind again to form a paste. Next add the fine cornmeal to form a coarse pâté mixture.
Add the flour to form a coarse paste. Finally add the chicken stock that will now give you soft dough. Take the dough from the processor and knead it to form a smooth ball.
Put dough between two sheets of non-stick parchment and roll it out to about 1cm/3/8”. Then use a small cutter to cut about 46 treats.
Bake for one and a half hours at the above temperature, and then lower to 100C/200F and bake for another two hours. Take biscuits out of the oven and brush with tomato ketchup glaze before baking for another 20 minutes.
Allow to cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.


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