We are about a week away from Christmas, and you may think you are done with your Christmas prep and shopping but have you picked up a present for Fido? I have a lot of dogs in my life and if there is one thing I know, it is that man’s best friend deserves his own presents under the Christmas tree in return for the undying love we get every day. While it is easy to pick up a Elf costume for your dog or a stocking of new toys, why not take a moment and paper your dog they same way you pamper yourself, with homemade tasty, healthy treats?
Before making anything, I needed to do some research about what foods are bad and what foods are good for dogs. As I went through the various lists I was surprised to learn about the many health benefits of pumpkin for dogs. Pumpkin provides relief for both occasional bouts of constipation and diarrhea, the beta carotene is good for their eye sight, and, if your dogs is packing on a few extra pounds this holiday season thanks to turkey scraps, it also has weight loss benefits because of its high fiber and water content. As a self-identified pumpkin lover, this made perfect sense to me, and I immediately went searching for pumpkin based dog treat recipes. I quickly found the Pumpkinista’s Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats. I made a few adjustments to the recipe, for example, I added cinnamon to the recipe because it is good for maintaining steady sugar blood sugar and the arthritic joints of older dogs. I also substituted some left over rye flour for the wheat flour because I needed to use it up before it went bad and organic turbinado sugar for the brown sugar. The thing to keep in mind when making substitutions or creating any version of these dog treats is that you need to stay away from anything “white” or processed – no white flour or white sugar – because these can be particularly difficult for dogs to digest.
The final product was a big hit my friend’s dog Abbey, who for the record isn’t really into dog treats at all. I can’t wait to see what my mom’s dog, C.J. thinks of them on Christmas morning 🙂 Even more important, this recipe has given me the confidence to experiment with other recipes in the near future- after all dogs will eat just about anything 🙂
Apple Pumpkin Doggie Cookies
1 large apple, grated
1 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups rye flour (or other whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup cold water
1) Preheat oven to 375°F.
2) In a bowl, mix together grated apples, cinnamon, and sugar.
3) Stir in egg and pumpkin puree.
4) Stir in flour and cornmeal, resulting in a dough that resembles course crumbs. Add water, and kneed into a thick, somewhat dry dough.
5) On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to between half an inch and a quarter inch. Cut your cookies and place on baking sheet about half an inch apart.
6) Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cookies in the oven for another 35-45 minutes to let them crisp.
6) Store finished treats in an air tight container or plastic bag.