I don’t give my dogs enough credit. Honestly, they drive me insane a good majority of the time, as I’m sure anyone can attest who follows me on Twitter or is my friend on Facebook. But if I didn’t have them around constantly, underfoot and underhand, I’m pretty sure I would go stir-crazy. I love my dogs – they’re my furry babies, my therapists, my source of love and aggravation when my husband’s not home. And you wouldn’t think it to look at them, but their needs are actually very specific – and Tucker the Princess of All Things, will not let a minute go by without informing me, constantly, of how things are supposed to be. For example, we add a little bit of vegetable oil to her food every morning, to help with digestion and cut down on shedding. She will not touch her food, much less eat it, unless there is oil on that food. I’m not kidding. She will stand there and stare at me until oil is mixed in, and then daintily chomp away. Mac, my once-upon-a-time hunting dog, will not go out in the wet yard to relieve himself. If it’s raining, you can forget it. The priss. And Gunny… well, Gunny is a whole thing unto himself. Any dog that is two feet tall and can jump four feet up into my open office window, flat-footed, is a special little dog indeed.
I’m sure anyone with animals, especially in the house, understands me. Those of you without may not comprehend why in the world anyone would put up with constant wads of loose hair floating about the house; random relapses of youth when the trash is overturned or something eaten when you get home; or why we would take the time to make homemade treats. They’re only dogs, for Chrissakes. Well, no, they’re not. They’re my constant companions and for now, essentially my children. They deserve a good treat, free from phalates and preservatives, as much as you or I. I found this recipe over on eatshowandtell – it’s originally from Sherry Yard’s Desserts by the Yard. See, even published authors believe in baking for our furry friends! Sadly, I don’t have a pretty bone-shaped cutter – though I should, I know – but I do have a nice boot cutter that I thought was appropriate. (Gunny, especially, loves leather.) I got 9 boots out of a half-batch, plus the scraps (no sense in wasting those – the dogs really don’t care what treats look like!).
You’ll notice a few additions and subtractions. I added parsley because of its breath-enhancing abilities. I really like the little green flecks in the dough from the herb, and it helps a little with canine dental health. I was just barely out of stock, so I used water instead. No harm done there. And I was just shy of a 1/2 cup of cornmeal, so I added the rest in flour. Again, no harm done. It’s a very forgiving recipe. Next time I might add some mild organic cheddar or some natural peanut butter – I’d rather pay the extra in dog treat ingredients than to pay out the you-know-what in vet bills because something messed up my pups’ systems. (Although I can hear it now – “Them dogs eat better than we do!” Thank you, honey. I know.)
No stand mixer required and very little hard work! Just mix, chill, roll and bake! Your pups will thank you. :)
adapted from “Real Doggy Treats” from Desserts from the Yard, Sherry Yard
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
3/4 cup chicken stock (I used 1/4 cup stock & 1/2 cup water)
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp dried parsley (optional)
extra flour for dusting
1 egg + 1 yolk for egg wash (I used whites)
Whisk together eggs, oil, honey and stock. Whisk in 1-1/2 cups of flour, then add remaining flour, cornmeal and parsley and mix with wooden spoon. Knead into a smooth dough, wrap in plastic and let chill at least 1 hour.
When ready to bake, place oven rack in lowest position and preheat to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat. Lightly flour rolling surface and roll dough out to 1/2” thickness; cut shapes and place on parchment. Lightly brush with egg wash and bake 12 minutes, rotate and bake 5-8 more minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on racks. If not using within 2 days, store in tightly covered container at room temperature or in the freezer (if making large batches).
P.S. If you like the look of this treat recipe, there are plenty of others out there that are lovely as well. Here are some that I particularly like:
And along this line, here are a couple of links on canine food safety – a lot of the information in the first link came as a shock to me, so it might be new to you too!
- Making Your Kitchen Safe for Your Dogs: 12 Common Foods that are Harmful to Dogs
- Dog Health Information by Condition or Disease ~ Pawprints and Purrs, Inc.