Toss your dog a treat... a baked one.
Baking for your dog is actually a lot of fun. You have the freedom to play with shape, texture and taste. But if you do decide to bake it yourself, it's important to know what ingredients are good for dogs. The peanut butter treats below are very similar to peanut butter cookies, with a few changes. But those changes are crucial to your dog’s health.
(Ingredients to definitely avoid when it comes to cooking for pets include chocolate, coffee, caffeine, alcohol, grapes, raisins, uncooked yeast, xylitol, and onion, to name some. For more information, consult your veterinarian and visit aspca.org.)
I met with Newport Beach's JustFoodForDogs Chef Josh Brogdon to get some tips on how to bake some dog treats, expecting the process to be complicated and timely. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t.
While at JustFoodForDogs, I chose two treats to bake: peanut butter treats and beef treats. Here are the recipes for these two treats for you to try out at home. (The recipes were modified to suit a home kitchen.)
Peanut Butter Treat
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ tablespoon baking powder
1 cup peanut butter (Use a natural peanut butter like Laura Scudder’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter.)
1 cup milk
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Measure the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Whisk until completely mixed. Combine the peanut butter and milk in a mixing bowl. Stir with a fork until smooth and creamy. Make a well in the flour and pour in the peanut butter mixture. Mix on medium speed using a paddle attachment until combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until dough is smooth and still soft. Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness and cut biscuits into desired shape with cookie cutters. Place biscuits on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes or until dry to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave biscuits in another 20-30 minutes. For crunchy biscuits, allow them to dry for two hours or longer. (Tip: Spray the borders of a cookie sheet with cookie spray and lay the parchment over it. By spraying the corners, the parchment will stay flat on the cookie sheet.) Remove biscuits from the oven and let cool on a baking rack.
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup brewer’s yeast
1 tablespoon safflower oil
½ cup beef broth
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Measure the flour, oats and brewer’s yeast into a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Add the safflower oil and beef broth into a mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the beef mixture. Mix on medium with a paddle attachment until combined. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a ¼-inch thickness. Cut biscuits into desired shape with a cookie cutter. Place biscuits on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes or until dry to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave biscuits in another 20-30 minutes. For crunchy biscuits, allow them to dry for two hours or longer. (Tip: Spray the borders of cookie sheet with cookie spray and lay the parchment over it.) Remove biscuits from the oven and let cool on a baking rack.