By Roslyn Ayers, PetSafe Web Content Specialist
Gourmet pet treats are popping up everywhere from bakeries and local pet stores to specialty pet sites. March is Nutrition Month, but we hope you focus on your pet’s health all year. For treat time, your pet can have the gourmet taste without the price by making pet treats yourself. You can find many treat recipes and even pet cookbooks. Here are a few of my favorite recipes for you to get started making your own treats at home for your dog or cat.
Homemade Dog Treats:
Cheesy Bacon Biscuits
These super-easy biscuits are like bacon cheeseburgers for dogs! I made these for my parents’ dogs last Christmas and both dogs loved them.
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick margarine, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups regular oats, uncooked
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 2/3 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 pound crumbled bacon or bacon bits
Mix together butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and baking soda. Slowly add flour and then stir in remaining ingredients. Using a teaspoon, form dough into small balls on ungreased or lightly greased baking sheets. For thinner biscuits, spread flour on the bottom of a pan and flatten cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes. Cool before serving.
Apple Cinnamon Drops
Try topping these with a dab of peanut butter to make these sweet treats even more appealing to your pup.
- 1 large apple, minced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 350 ° F (180 ° C). In a large bowl, combine the minced apple bits, honey, water, cinnamon, and oatmeal. Gradually blend in the wheat flour. Spoon the dough by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Adjust the size of the drops based on how big a treat you like to feed your dog. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 ° F, then return cookies to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let the drops cool before serving. Makes about 3 dozen crunchy cookies, depending on how big you make them.
Homemade Cat Treats:
If your cats come running to the sound of a can opening in hopes of getting some tuna, they’ll love these easy frozen tuna popsicles. Tuna juice is great for your cat’s health; to keep my cats hydrated and to help prevent urinary infections, my vet recommended making these tuna pops and getting a Drinkwell fountain.
- Canned tuna in water
- Ice cube tray(s)
Open your cans of tuna, as many as you like, and drain the tuna juice into a small bowl. Add some water to the juice, depending on how many cubes you want to make. Pour your tuna-water mixture into the ice cube trays and freeze them overnight. Now you’ve got a great pre-made treat to give your cats anytime!
What to do with all that leftover tuna from making Tuna Pops? Make some Tuna Cookies, of course! The catnip garnish is a nice touch for your kitty connoisseur. My cats weren’t sure what to do with these at first, but after I broke them into little bits, they started chowing down! Turn them into dog treats by substituting canned chicken for canned tuna.
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 can tuna
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup water
- Catnip for garnish
- Baking sheet
- Rolling pin (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Shape dough into very small, bite-size balls and flatten on lightly greased baking sheets. For extra baking fun, roll dough onto a floured surface with a rolling pin and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Bake for 20 minutes or until cookies are firm. Sprinkle catnip on top of each cookie. Be sure to let them cool completely before giving them to your cat. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge to keep them fresh.
At PetSafe’s Knoxville headquarters, Roslyn Ayers is the Web Content Specialist. Roslyn comes from a family of animal lovers and has a B.A. in Writing/Communications from Maryville College. She has volunteered with various animal rescues in Tennessee and South Carolina. Roslyn currently shares her home with four cats.