Photo by Ben Hanson on Unsplash Planning on spoiling your dog? With a bit of prep-time, you’ll be able to create natural, healthy treats right within your own kitchen. No need to rely on the commercial stuff, especially when it comes to accuracy about their ingredients. Read on, and we’ll show you 5 organic dog treat recipes that will leave your dog begging for more.
1. Cool Off with Frozen Coconut Oil Treats
Summer can be a harsh time for any furry animal—making their treats a cooling sensation certainly won’t go amiss. One of the easiest ways to go about it is to use coconut oil. Combine it with ingredients like blueberries or peanut butter for the best results. The outline is simple: take liquid coconut oil and stick it in a mold of your choosing. Then you can freeze the goodies right in there if they’re in a solid form. Blueberries and coconut oil make a simple, two-ingredient snack, for instance. If you’re going to use a paste, like peanut butter, you can just blend it. For the best results, a 1:1 ratio is a good place to start for cream-based treats. In any case, you don’t have to mess around with cooking them. Just stick them in the freezer, and they’ll freeze in the shape of your mold, leaving healthy and easy-to-handle snacks for your canine companion.
2. Easy Snacks with Zucchini Chews
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash Zucchini chews are very easy to make, and they’re a great snack for your dog. As long as you use organic ingredients, you’ll be sure that it’s a healthy snack. These veggies contain a surprising amount of vital nutrients for your dog. First, you’ll want to cut the zucchini lengthwise to create pieces roughly ⅛” thick. Heat the oven up to 200°F, then coat the sliced zucchini with a light layer of olive oil. You can add flavorings as well, such as ground-up mustard seeds or dried bouillon—but make sure they’re dog-friendly. Ingredients like onion or garlic powders can be toxic for dogs, so take a look before you add anything in. Then put the treated zucchini slices on a baking tray and slip it in the oven. Cook them until they’re very thin and crispy, which usually takes around 4-6 hours. Even better, you can use a food dehydrator as well if you’re not comfortable leaving the oven on for that long. In the end, it’s a solid snack for your doggo that’s packed with vitamins and minerals. They don’t have to know that most of the process on your end is just waiting for them to be done!
3. Stay Hydrated with a Watermelon Slurpee for Dogs
Watermelon is quite healthy for dogs, and most will jump at a chance to get a piece of it. It’s primarily made of water, after all, but we wouldn’t have it listed here if we didn’t have a recipe to take it further! You’ll want to puree 2 cups or so of watermelon cubes, then mix them with half the volume of coconut milk. A dash of honey can be used to finish them off, for those dogs that don’t mind the extra sugar. After you’ve mixed everything together, pour the mixture into ice cube trays and set them in the freezer overnight. In the morning you’ll have a bunch of cubes of watermelon goodness your dog will love!
4. Make Pumpkin-Carrot Cake Bites for Your Dog’s Birthday
Pumpkin is a food that most knowledgeable dog keepers have around. It’s a staple vegetable in most home-made dog foods and it’s one of the best ways to ensure that your dog has a smooth time with its digestive tract. You can take things a bit further and make a healthy cake for your dog using pumpkin as the base. You’ll also need flour and applesauce for this simple recipe. You’ll need ¾ of a cup of pumpkin, a cup of whole wheat flour, and ¼ cup of shredded carrots. Combine them with a single egg and stir the whole thing together until it’s reached a uniform color and texture. Place the ensuing bites on a baking pan, then throw them in the oven at 350°F. Depending on the size of the balls you created, it should take 25-35 minutes for them to be finished. The outside should be browned, solid, and a bit crispy for the best results. They’re easy to make and easy to scale if you want to make a bulk batch. They should be good for roughly a week in the refrigerator. You can replace the whole wheat flour with buckwheat flour if your dog has an allergy as well!
5. Chicken Jerky
Photo by Chewy on Unsplash You don’t need a food dehydrator to make chicken jerky for your dog. It’s a cheap and easy way to make treats for all your meat-eating pets. If you have cats, they’ll also go nuts for this delicious, protein-packed treat. All it takes is an oven and a few butcher’s skills. The best chicken to start with is lean chicken breasts. Trim any fat left on them; it’s essential for the meat to dry out properly. You should slice the chicken thinly (roughly ¼ inch is good, you don’t need to go sashimi-thin. Heat your oven to 200°F, then place the chicken on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil. If you didn’t manage to remove all the fat, the foil will make cleanup a thirty-second affair instead of requiring you to scrub the pan. Leave the chicken strips to dry until they’ve reached a hard, now pliable state on the outside. This usually takes a couple of hours, but the thicker your slice, the longer it will take. You now have dried chicken strips that are great for your dog to get a protein boost! They’re an excellent companion on outdoor trips as well, so stick some in your pack the next time you go hiking with your dog.
There are a lot of simple organic dog treat recipes out there. The above should be enough to get you started and teach you the principles you need to successfully make dog snacks in your own kitchen. So, which one is your furry friend going to be introduced to first?