My Story: Homemade Dog Treats

contributed by Wendy

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Instead of buying commercial dog chews (rawhide being especially of questionable value), I feed my dog raw, organic carrots. They are very crunchy and inexpensive. Although I do buy some treats from time to time, including Nylabones, which are very safe, my dog gets peanut butter, cheese, vegetables and fruit as treats. I also bake my own dog biscuits (recipes on Internet or various dog books) that are ridiculously easy and cheap to make.

Here's a few of my favorite recipes:

Oatmeal Cookies

3 cups oatmeal, uncooked
1 cup cold-filtered water
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (or rye flour)
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. raw honey
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)

Mix all the ingredients and spoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Place on cooling rack and store in refrigerator for up to two months.

Good Dog Biscuits

1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. liver powder (available at health food stores)
2 Tbsp. brewer's yeast powder
1/4 c. bone meal powder
3 Tbsp. powdered milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp. wheat germ oil (vegetable oil or bacon drippings may be used instead)
1/2 c. water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine flour, oatmeal, cornmeal, liver powder, brewer's yeast, bone meal, and powdered milk in a food processor or blender, or mix in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, and water, mixing thoroughly. The dough will be stiff and dry. Remove dough to a lightly floured surface or pastry cloth. Roll or pat into a rectangle that is 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into bone shaped biscuits with a small knife or use a bone shaped cookie cutter. Roll the leftover scraps of dough and cut into shapes until all the dough is used. Place on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 40 to 60 minutes until brown and dried through. Cool on a rack.

Can't afford a pro? Give do-it-yourself dog grooming a try.

Dog Mini Cakes

2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. soybean flour
1 c. skim milk or water
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. canola or sunflower oil
1 tsp. sea salt

Mix whole wheat flour, soybean flour, and sea salt. Then add skim milk or water, canola or sunflower oil, and honey. Mix and let the dough rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. Add oil and allow to sit another half hour. Flatten walnut-size portions into small cakes. Bake in a 400 degree over for half an hour.

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