Thursday, July 22, 2010

Homemade Dog Biscuits - Simple Living Thursday

***** Please note the updates on Dog Nutrition in this POST. Whole wheat may not be the best flour to be using when feeding our pups - many are allergic to it. Please avoid using Wheat, Corn, Soy, Sugar, Dyes, and Non-organic Eggs *****

We love our puppy and we want to feed her as wholesomely as we feed ourselves. I've been baking up this recipe for my dogs since i was in the 6th grade back in Merrill, OR. One of the teachers at my elementary school would fly up to Alaska (or Canada or wherever it takes place) to race in the Iditarod each year, and she gave us all this recipe during some pep assembly. I tweaked it up a bit to suit my puppy's needs, and if she could speak i think she'd recommend them to her friends. You can roll them out thin or thick - thinner makes them easier to break apart for training, thicker makes them harder to chew - so depending on if you're using them as training tidbits or pre lunch snacks, roll accordingly.
These treats are edible for humans too, depending what you add to them. I used to snack on them when i was a kid ;)

  • 3/4 Cup hot water or Meat Juice*
  • 1/3 Cup Spectrum natural vegetable shortening or other natural shortening or butter (i used less to make these lower cal, and subbed in a little peanut butter for flavor)
  • 1/2 C powdered milk, i used goat
  • 1/2 tsp salt *optional
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
    • I subbed in a little bit of diatomaceous earth with the flour to help combat worms. Brewer's yeast would also be good to add - repels fleas and is good for the skin.
* For the meat juice i purchased some inexpensive soup stock beef bones and boiled them for many hours along with some beef liver. After the beef liver was boiled i cut it into tiny bits and sundried them in my car. That was not a pleasant car to get into the next morning, but Pocket approves of the treats. I have about a quart of meat juice leftover to use for more batches of dog treats.
More options are to add vegetables to the broth to increase the nutrients in the snacks. Try leafy greens, apples, squash, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli. 

  1. Pour hot liquid over margarine and peanut butter
  2. Stir in milk, salt, egg
  3. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well. This will be a very stiff dough.
  4. Knead 3-4 minutes adding more flour if necessary.
  5. Roll to 1/2 inch thick (see notes above)
  6. Grease a baking sheet and place cookies with a bit of space between themselves. You can use cute cookie cutters, you can cut into pea sized squares or rectangles. I made rectangles that i break apart for training - i will try cutting them into tiny sizes before baking next time and see how that goes.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes at 325
  8. Allow to cool, remove from pan and store in a sealed jar. Makes 1 1/2 pound and seems to keep quite well.
Positive reinforcement training really works, as our little pup is proving daily. For heaven's sake don't use newspaper if your puppy has a potty accident (which was your fault, by the way!), give her treats every time she pees outside where you want her to, and use healthy treats as lures during difficult training excercises. Dog training is less about making your dog learn to be a human, and more about understanding and listening to your dog, talking to her, encouraging her when she is good (all times that she's not being bad) and ignoring when she IS naughty. It isn't difficult, but it does require consistency and patience.

 Practicing "Down" and "Leave it"

I feel good knowing where my pup's treats come from, and what's in them. I feed my chickens locally made organic non-gmo feed and organic veggie scraps from the garden. My turtle gets mystery pellets along with her bananas and grubs, but she's not overly picky. 

Two long dogs, laying down together. "Sleep" seems to be her most frequently practiced skill.

Do you eat organic food, slow food, local food? Do you feed your pets according to the same dietary goals and limitations as yourself?

I think that "stick" may be slightly too large to fetch, Pocket.

PS - Don't forget about my ONION GIVEAWAY! You still have until Monday to enter your comment for a chance to win a bunch of old fashioned multiplying onions! You get double the chance to win if you 'grab my badge' (in the right hand column) and post a link to your blog with said badge attached. Networking is fun!

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