We’re all very busy working on our gift lists just like Santa’s little elves. In all the hustle and bustle of the season we sometimes forget to give our furry little friends a little something.
We’ve been giving not only our family pets Christmas gifts for years, we give our pet lover friends gifts for their fur balls too. I’m not sure who started this tradition and when we started, but I do know that we all love it!
I know sometimes things get too crazy and you think do I have to think of pet gits too? Not to mention pet gifts at the pet stores can be ridiculously expensive, sometimes hard to fit into a Christmas budget specially if you have lots of pet friends. But you don’t have to break the bank on buying gifts for the furry critters or your friends that have some.
This year we’ll be giving out homemade doggie biscuits. They are very easy and inexpensive to make and you can package them in any type of container you like. We’re packing ours in pint size Mason jars, it’s sort of the double gift, the jar can be used throughout the year for more treats!
I baked these treats in about an hour using just a few ingredients, many of which I already had in my pantry. I used rolled oats, ground flax seeds, and olive oil along with the other ingredients for a tasty and healthy treat. Rolled oats are a good source of fiber and the flax seeds and olive oil are good for skin and coat. My Siberian Husky, Cannoli, loves them. She’s my taste tester!
Here’s my recipe! It will make 24 bone shaped dog treats about 3″ long and 1/2″ thick
2 cups flour – organic if you have it
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 small jar of chicken in chicken broth strained baby food
1 small jar of carrot strained baby food
3/4 + cup water
1/4 cup Olive oil
1. Mix all ingredients except water together in large bowl.
2. Knead dough, adding water about 1/4 cup at a time until the dry ingredients are all mixed in and you can form a ball.
3. Roll out dough to 1/2″ thickness.
4. Cut desired shapes with cookie cutters or use a glass to make round shapes.
5. Place biscuits on parchment paper covered baking sheet.
6. Re-roll dough until you have cut it all into biscuits.
7. Brush both sides of biscuits with olive oil.
8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Turning biscuits halfway for even browning.
9. Remove from oven and cool on racks. Cool completely before placing in containers.
Store at room temperature in sealed containers. It will keep for 2-3 weeks or place in freezer to store longer.
Pet ownership is on the rise in the US, with almost 68 percent of all households or about 85 million families reportedly welcoming a pet between 2017 to 2018. About 60.2 percent of these pet owners are taking care of at least one dog in their home. It will not be a surprise if the number will continue to increase over time, since more and more families are contemplating to get their own pup especially after learning that these furry pets can help improve a person’s health. If you are still unconvinced if you want to introduce a dog to your family, perhaps these benefits may help seal the deal.
Dogs Can Inspire You To Live A More Active Lifestyle
Most members of the family are starting to have a sedentary lifestyle because of technology. But if a dog will be added to the household, everyone will be encouraged to have some form of physical activity like walking. You can ask your kids to take turns walking the dog from time to time to establish their bond with their furry friend and encourage them to drop their gadgets and go out to exercise. Families can also enjoy different games with their pets such as ball fetching. You can also try getting a tool that can get dogs to play with you such as an automatic ball fetch machine to make the game more fun for the dog and all members of the family. Aside from engaging dogs in a strenuous physical activity, this machine can also help in stimulating their minds and prevent them from being bored.
Dogs Can Tell If Someone Is About To Get Sick
There have been several instances when dogs have been able to help save someone’s life. In 2011, a study revealed that a specially-trained black Labrador retriever was able to detect colorectal cancer accurately by sniffing a patient’s breath or stool. Another report mentioned that trained pups are able to smell even the faintest hint of peanut, which will be helpful if someone in your family has fatal peanut allergies. If you are planning to welcome a furry member in your home, you might want to have it trained for specific health purposes.
Dogs Can Make A Person Happy And More Sociable
It is common for people aged 60 and above to get lonely. But a study showed that having pets can help senior members of the family to have lesser chances of being diagnosed as clinically depressed. Dogs can also encourage their human owners to interact with other people, especially when they have to go out for a walk. Having a canine companion can make children more approachable and interact with other kids who also love playing with their pets.
Dogs Can Serve As Your Constant Companion
There are times when kids would feel so alone, especially if the parents are always out for work. But letting your children take care of a dog at home allows them to have someone a companion while waiting for you to return. Constant cuddles with their pet will also give them comfort and can help ease their loneliness.
Dogs Can Inspire Stronger Connections Between Humans
You may think that you need to train your dog for basic obedience, but your dog may be training you to be more empathetic to other humans as well. According to a research, those who have a strong attachment to their pets may also have strong connections with their families, their communities, as well as other relationships.
Owning a dog may be a big responsibility for everyone in the family. But if you will consider all these benefits, the challenges of welcoming a four-legged pal into your household could outweigh all the risk. So the next time your children ask you to get a pup or two, you might want to give in to their request.
Pupcakes are treats we love to make for our dogs, and of course the pooches just love them. They’re ideal for pet birthdays, which of course we celebrate for each pet!
We make pupcakes in a variety of flavors using fresh ingredients. I like to take advantage of seasonal ingredients and since it’s summer and berries are in season and are reasonably priced I make the Very Berry Pupcakes using fresh blueberries and strawberries. I know the dogs just love them and they’re good for the dogs too!
The only thing about berries is that they don’t have a very long shelf life. The best way to keep them is in Ziplock freezer bags in the freezer. I thaw them out as needed that way they don’t spoil or mold.
For birthdays and special occasions I frost them with softened cream cheese. Honestly they look good enough to eat!
Here’s my recipe for Very Berry Pupcakes! Hope your fur babies love them as much as ours do!
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Tsp Baking Soda
I 1/2 Cup Coconut Water
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Strawberries diced
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Beat egg and coconut water together
Slowly mix in dry flour mixture and stir until well combined
Stir in Berries to distribute evenly in the batter
Line cupcake tins with paper liners
Fill each cup about 3/4 full – they don’t rise much so you can pretty much fill them to the top if you want, but these pupcakes are dense and heavy if you fill the cups too much it might be too big a portion for one serving
Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool
Place cooled pupcakes in freezer bags and freeze until ready to use.
Thaw out as needed and remember to remove liner before giving them to your pet.
I’m always trying new treats for my Siberian Husky, Cannoli. This summer to keep her cool I’ve been making her frozen dog treats which I call Pup Pops. I use fruits, veggies, juices, and other ingredients I have on hand.
A friend recently dropped off a big sack of fresh mangoes. I found my kitchen filled with quickly ripening mango. I decided to use some of them to make these frozen pup pops.
Mango is said to be the “king of fruit”. It’s loved not only for its sweet taste, but also for its healthy benefits. Mangoes are filled with vitamins and minerals that promote good health for both humans
and their pets!*
I chopped up this sweet juicy fruit, mixed it with plain Greek yogurt, and came up with a really yummy treat. They were so good I couldn’t resist snacking on them too. This is truly a treat that you can share with your favorite fur ball. My Cannoli loves them!
I use styrofoam cups to freeze the pops in. It makes storing and unmolding them easy and neat. Just tear off the foam before you give it to your pup. I fill the cups about halfway but you can make whatever size you want. You can also use ice cube trays or any other plastic container to freeze them in.
1 ripe mango
1 pint plain Greek yogurt
Dice ripe mango into bite sized pieces.
Stir mango into yogurt.
Spoon mixture into molds.
Freeze for at least 6 hours before removing from mold and giving it to your pet.
*Mangoes are safe for dogs to eat, but their seed is not. Mango seeds like other fruit seeds and pits contain cyanide which is poisonous. When making treats using mango for your pets be sure to use only the “meat” of the fruit and don’t cut it too close to the seed to avoid accidentally cutting into pieces from the seed.
Freeze for at least 6 hours before removing from mold and giving it to your pet.
*Mangoes are safe for dogs to eat, but their seed is not. Mango seeds like other fruit seeds and pits contain cyanide which is poisonous. When making treats using mango for your pets be sure to use only the "meat" of the fruit and don't cut it too close to the seed to avoid accidentally cutting into pieces from the seed.
My Siberian Husky Cannoli loves peanut butter, I think most dogs do. I know my daughter’s 2 Frenchies love them too. That’s why we started making peanut butter dog treats and recently started making these Peanut Butter Pupcakes.
Actually we started making Peanut Butter Pupcakes to celebrate doggie birthdays. In the past we’ve purchased doggie birthday cakes from a pet bakery in town, but they’ve shut their doors and we couldn’t find any one else to make them.
After making pupcakes the first time we discovered just how easy they are to make, it’s just like making people cupcakes! We sort of, we don’t usually use any type of sweetener, trust me the dogs don’t mind. Not only are pupcakes so easy to make homemade ones a super inexpensive, sure beats the high price tag the bakery charged! And of course we know exactly what’s in them and know that they’re pet friendly.
Before I share my recipe a couple of tips to make sure that the Peanut Butter Pupcakes you make, or any other homemade dog treats for that matter, are safe for your pup.
Don’t be tempted to add sweetener to the recipe just because you think pupcakes should be sweet. Cupcakes for people should be sweet, pupcakes for your pet don’t need to be. If you must add sweetener then add natural sweeteners like honey, brown sugar, coconut sugar, etc.
NEVER use artificial sweeteners for your pets, artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol are very poisonous to pets!
Never use onions or garlic in anything you make for your pets. Onions and garlic are very toxic to pets.
Always check and double check the ingredient lists of anything you use for your pets to make sure it doesn’t contain anything that will harm your pet.
Having said all that here’s my recipe!
Peanut Butter Pupcakes
1 Cup Rolled Oats
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Sm. Jar of Applesauce Baby Food
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cup Coconut Water
Combine oats, flour, and baking soda in a bowl, set aside
Beat egg then stir in peanut butter and applesauce
Slowly mix in dry ingredients
Add in coconut water until dough becomes soft
Place cupcake liners in cupcake tin
Spoon batter into liners about 3/4 full – pupcakes don’t rise much so you can fill up liners
Bake in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until pupcakes are done
Be sure to remove paper liners before giving them to your pet
Store in air tight containers or freeze in ziplock bags.
To make treats for special occasions like birthdays you can ice the pupcakes with peanut butter or softened cream cheese then stick a candle or decorate with a dog biscuit or carrot or what ever you pet likes.
My Siberian Husky Cannoli loves, loves, loves, Peanut Butter and Bananas; she also love dog biscuits! Well to be fair she’s never met a treat she didn’t love. But Peanut Butter and Banana treats disappear faster than any other treat I make. That’s why she loves these Peanut Butter Banana Doggie Biscuits!
These Peanut Butter Banana Doggie Biscuits are super easy to make, they require just 3 ingredients, 4 if you count water! You can leave them plain or for extra special treats you can ice and decorate them just like human cookies! Except you don’t use a sugar based icing, your pup doesn’t need the sugar and really won’t mind if the biscuits aren’t sweet.
The grandkids and I love decorating cookies but we can’t eat, or really shouldn’t eat, all the cookies we want to decorate, so decorating doggie biscuits is a fun alternative!
You can make Peanut Butter Banana Doggie Biscuits any shape you want, just use the cookie cutter of your choice. Or don’t use a cutter and just make them into squares, believe me whatever shape they are your pooch will still love them!