April 7, 2010

All Natural Dog Biscuits That My Dogs Love, Love, Love

First, let me admit that my dogs have no choice: they have to live the Simplicity Lifestyle right along with me.  Which means none of those artificially-flavored bacon things, commercial dry food made with filler, well - you get the drift. 

This doesn't mean that they don't get treats.  Treats are big around here.  Even the word "treat" is very popular....

When I have time, I like to make the treats.  That way, I know exactly what goes into the batch, and I can cater the batch to their likes and dislikes.  Shocking though it may be, one of my pups isn't fond of peanut butter.  The other pup, finicky about fish.  You get the idea.

1.  My Source for Homemade Dog Treat Recipes

For the past few months, when I've looked for dog biscuit recipes, or other forms of treats, I've gone to Bullwrinkle.Com and combed through their big list of free recipes.  I do alter things a bit.  For example:

Fido's Favorite Treats (With My Alterations and Comments)

1 cup rolled oats
(I use Bob's Red Mill Organic Scottish Oatmeal, which I understand may be different from the rolled oats.  Why?  Because this is the oatmeal I keep in the pantry.)

1/3 cup margarine or butter
(Never, ever, ever do I use margarine.  Never buy this bad stuff.  I use unsalted butter. It's what's in the fridge.)

1 cup boiling water

3/4 cup cornmeal
(I use yellow or white, whatever I have on hand.)

1 tablespoon sugar
(I tried Stevia.  Didn't work well.  I tried honey.  Did okay.)

2 teaspoons chicken or beef instant bullion
(Yuck.  I never buy bullion because it's so salty.  Here, I use stock. Whatever's around.  Chicken, beef, pork, fish, whatever.)

1/2 cup milk
(I don't keep milk in the house b/c I avoid dairy.  I do keep little cans of evaporated milk for times such as this, and that's what goes in here.)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
(I use sharp cheddar, and I add more.  Another 1/2 cup.)

1 egg, beaten
(I use large, brown, farm-raised, organic)

2 cups white or wheat flour
(I use organic, multi-grain flour from Sun Harvest).

And I add bacon to this recipe.  Little bits of crispy bacon, already cooked up and drained off on a towel.  Because of this, I keep the biscuits in the fridge, and freeze whatever I'm not going to use right away.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease cookie sheets.
In large bowl combone rolled oats, margarine butter, and water; let stand for 10 minutes. Sitr in cornmeal, sugar (or honey), boullion , stock, milk, cheese, bacon, and egg. Mix well. Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition to form stiff dough.

On floured surface, knead in remaining flour until dough is smooth and no longer sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. Roll or pat out dough to 1/2 inch thickness; cut with cookie cutter.  (I use a little circle that I got from somewhere, they come out a little bigger than a silver dollar. Cute. Not as cute as the little dog bones shown on the website version, but hey.  The dogs don't seem to mind.)

Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Store loosely covered. (I store these in a glass jar, in the fridge.  I freeze what won't fit in the jar, and replinish as needed.)  Makes 3 1/2 dozen large biscuits. ( I get more, because my little circles aren't that big.  How much?  I'll count next time and come back and add that info.)

2.  Store Bought Dog Treats

When I don't want to take the time or effort to bake up a big batch of treats, I have a great local option here: Pet Barn.  Pet Barn is fabulous, because they have these human-grade-food homemade dog biscuits in a wide variety of flavors.  And colors.  Green (because of the parsley in it), Black (charcoal), etc.  About 12 different varieties. 

These biscuits aren't sold online - at least, I couldn't find them on their site.  Looks like you gotta go to the store and build your bag. 

I'm not sure where the kitchen is.  I do know that they come in, freshly made, and the PetsBarn guy drops the different kinds into big tin buckets -- they smell great when this happens, I've only been there once or twice when the delivery was made and it had the same kind of smell as a regular bakery. 

You take your bag, several sizes are available, and then you mix up whichever flavors you want from the different buckets in the display.  I avoid the peanut butter, and I go extra heavy on the charcoal one. 

Maybe you could get them to ship you some if you don't live near a Pet's Barn.  My dogs will do almost anything for one of these biscuits, and I'm thinking it might be worth a try with your pup. 

Image:  Scene of the Public Domain short film "Crowing Pains" showing The Barnyard Dawg or George P. Dog, by Warner Brothers.  Wikimedia Commons.

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