Monday, February 15, 2010

Dog Treats

I use dog treats for training my little, 6-pound Yorkie. They are primarily his reward for going to the bathroom OUTSIDE, instead of on my carpet. It's amazing how many times a day a 6-pound dog has to go to the bathroom! You can buy dog treats everywhere, but be careful – look at the ingredients sometime and you may be shocked at what you find. Higher end pet food shops have healthier treats available, but your wallet will be a bit lighter once you've paid for them, especially if you use them often.

Several months ago, I was making chicken broth and was noticing how easily the left-over bones broke in my hands after my broth had cooked for 24 hours. I hated throwing all these ingredients away, but also didn't know what to do with them. I didn't want to feed it directly to my dog and risk him choking on one of the small bones. That's when it occurred to me to try blending the left-over mixture in my food processor. It worked great and I was left with a thick paste that could be easily fed to my dog directly or I could add some flour to make dog biscuits.

What You'll Need

  • Left over bones, meat and vegetables from making chicken broth
  • 3-4 cups flour of your choice, just not white flour, we're trying to make a healthy
    treats, I used organic whole wheat in this batch
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt or "pet salt"
  • Food processor
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Parchment paper cut to the size of your cookie sheet
  • cookie sheet
  • sharp knife or cookie cutters
  • rolling pin

Getting Started

Turn you oven on to 250 degrees. Then, in batches, puree a mixture of the vegetables, the small soft bones and meat in your food processor. Don't use bones that can't easily be broken in your hands. The vinegar added to your chicken broth should have broken down your bones enough that most of the small ones will be very easy to break, some will probably crumble in your hands.

Puree mixture until very smooth. This may take a little bit of time. The last batch I made I pureed for close to 10 minutes. Your goal is to get two cups of pureed mixture for each batch of biscuits. If you have more then that, save it in the freezer or double/triple the biscuit recipe. You can also save the pureed mixture and give a spoon full or two to your dog as a treat this way. It should keep in your fridge for a couple of days or freeze small portions in ice cube trays.

Scoop pureed mixture into a large mixing bowl and add 2 cups flour and salt. Using your hands or a spoon, mix ingredients together. Add an additional 1/2 cup flour at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions, until you have a soft dough. Try to add as little flour as possible, just for the sake of your pet. You are trying to get a dough that you'll be able to roll out on parchment paper.

Place the dough onto parchment paper and if necessary knead a little to make sure all the flour is incorporated. Using your rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/8 "- 1/4" thick. If dough is sticky, sprinkle a little flour on top of it as you roll it out.

Next, cut shapes out of your dough and place them on a lined baking sheet. Since I'm making treats for a very small dog, I cut small squares, preferably no bigger then 1/4", into my dough using a sharp knife. It's very easy to do it this way and when you are done you move the parchment paper with the cut dough still on it, directly to your cookie sheet. There is no need to separate the cut squares, once they are done baking they are easy to break apart.

Place cookie sheet into preheated oven and bake for 2-3 hours or until biscuits have mostly dried out. If you have a pet that has a difficult time eating hard biscuits, consider only baking them for 1 - 2 hours. Store a small amount in the fridge and keep the rest in the freezer.

Now isn't that easy? And your dog will have a little more love for you!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.