Disclaimer: This recipe is the perfect excuse for me to go overboard with self-serving adorable pictures of my dog. Be warned- he's got the puppy dog eyes down!
I love my dog. He's a boxer mastiff mix that we got from North Country Animal League when he was 3 months old. My son's birthday is a week before my and my husband's (yes we have the same birthday) so he was a group birthday present.
|He used to be little.|
Griffin lives a life of luxury. He naps, he goes for rides in the truck, he sleeps in the bed, he runs giant circles through freshly fallen snow in our yard, basically his life is a cakewalk. Except for one factor- our toddler. She loves Griffin, and sometimes she shows that love in a rough in your face kind of way. He takes it all in stride and just deals with it.
|They're best buds. They even share facial expressions.|
So he deserves treats. For some reason he doesn't like store bought bones. We go to the dump and they give him a Milkbone. He takes it into his mouth and sits with it, but never eats it. Strange dog. Homemade treats though? A whole new story. He begs for these.
Homemade Dog Treats
(makes roughly 6 dozen) The whole batch only costs $1.50 to make, that's only .25/dozen!
2 medium overripe bananas (3 small- I had 3 small ones on hand this time, .60/lb roughly 1/2 lb) .30
1 1/2 cup oatmeal (will be put in at two different times- I buy in bulk & it costs me .20/cup) .30
3 cups of flour (if I have whole wheat on hand I use half white half wheat- I buy white flour in bulk & the final cost-out is .13/cup) .39
1 cup broth (I use chicken broth, you can use vegetable broth for vegan treats. Make sure your broth doesn't have onion powder in it as it can be dangerous for dogs. I buy powdered broth in bulk) .15
1/2 cup peanut butter (64 oz is 5.65, .09/oz) .36
1. Preheat oven to 350. Locate some squashy bananas, the type you'd make banana bread out of. I have also successfully used homemade applesauce or extra baked sweet potatoes instead of banana. Puree them in the food processor.
2. Add 1 cup of oatmeal into the blender with the banana puree. Pulse so that the oatmeal is pulverized.
Add in the peanut butter. It should be roughly half a cup, I just stick in two big spoonfuls because it's easier than measuring it out and scraping it out of the cup. Blend.
Add in the 1 cup of broth and 1 cup of the flour.
Pulse to mix, then add in 1 more cup of flour. Blend until it looks like hummus.
|Looks like hummus to me.|
3. The mix will be really sticky at this point. Add in the rest of the oatmeal (1/2 cup) and 1 more 1/2 cup of flour (you'll have 1/2 cup left).
4. Flour an area on your counter. I use a spatula to take a large dollop out of the processor. Flip it a couple of times to get flour on both sides, shaking off excess. Now pat it out into a large round. I've tried using a rolling pin before but it is typically just easier to use your hands.
Cut out your shapes. I used a Martha Stewart bone cookie cutter that I picked up at Petsmart and some dinosaur cookie cutters from my husband's childhood.
Put them on a tinfoil lined cookie sheet that is lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake them at 350 for 14 minutes. If you are using small shapes you'll want to cut the time a little bit because they'll brown faster on the edges. This is a large recipe. To minimize time in the kitchen I use two cookie sheets. While one is in the oven baking I am cutting out shapes and loading up the other one so it is ready to go in. After the first batch is baked my dog starts salivating and comes into the kitchen to hang out.
|My daughter is putting a "blanket" on him.|
Put them on racks to cool.
|Cooling T-Rexes, bones & according to my son's dino book Avaceratops.|
These will keep for roughly 2 weeks in an airtight container. I packaged mine up and brought them to a food swap that I co-hosted. They're always a hit- what can I say, humans like to spoil their dogs :) .