Saturday, December 22, 2012

Healthy Holistic Home Made Christmas Dog Cookies

Ok, I have a confession to make. I´ve been very naughty. Because I´ve had these recipes ready in October and I´ve been meaning to post them a long, long time ago.

But because the healthy, holistic home made dog cookies making and shooting of all the pictures below were meant for my other projects, I kind of wanted to wait until right before Christmas to post them here :)
Anyway. I am happy to announce that they were published in the Christmas Special issue of Receptar Magazine that I write for.

And their making was also a part of another project that I am working on since the end of Summer, but let´s just leave that one for later :)

Making home made dog treats and cookies on Christmas isn´t just about making a gift our dogs will appreciate, but it is also a prevention of your pets being given the wrong kind of snacks. Even the strict dog owner can get a soft spot on Christmas, and pass a sweet cookie from the table to their dog. Or those many family members and guests that will be around, will want to give him or her something nice.  It´s Christmas, it won´t hurt. Right? Well, to prevent your pets from getting totally unhealthy food made of white, refined sugar and flour, chocolate (which can cause a heart failure and is more deadly to dogs than many of you would believe), milk, etc. and to prevent them from getting fat, which is a huge problem of many pets all around the world today, let´s opt for baking healthy delicious treats your pets will love.

I played around with these treats as I wanted to make them easy for you to create and I came up with using the base dough for all three recipes, just adding extra ingredients the specific recipes call for.
It won´t take you any longer than cooking a meal for the family. I promise :)

Whole Grain Veggie & Flax Seed Snacks
1 cup whole grain graham flour
1 cup whole grain brown rice flour (you can easily grind the rice by yourself. Coarse grinding will give extra texcture to the treat, thus helping cleaning teeth and massaging gums)
1 cup oat flour (also easy to make from oat flakes)
1/2 cup dried wheat germs
l/2 tsp salt
1 tbs raw honey
3-4 tbs flex seed
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 medium sized carrot, coarsely grated
2 heap tbs dried parsley
a bit of water to make thick, a bit sticky dough

  • Mix all of the flours, wheat germs, salt, flex seed and parsley in a large bowl.
  • Add oil, eggs, honey and carrot. 
  • Add water and/or flour as needed to get consistency like this:

  • Put baking paper on a baking sheet and flat out the dough on it in a rectangle shape, about 1,5cm (about 1/2 inch or a bit thicker)
  • Draw lines across the dough with a knife, creating rectangular "net", for easy splitting of the treats when they are baked. You can decide the size of the treats this way.
  • Bake on 200°C (400F) in the bottom third of the oven for 35-40 minutes.

The ready snacks should be quite hard and coarse, dogs like to chew and the coarse grains will help clean their teath and massage their gums.

And of course, you can play around a bit and wrap them, put a name tag on and voila, you have an awesome Christmas gift for your beloved four legged friend.

Oat Rolls

1 cup brown or white rice flour
1 cup whole grain graham flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs raw honey
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup meat broth (unsalted)
3 eggs
1/2 cup oat flakes (whole)
Water if needed

OR you can use the same dough as for the Veggie & Flex Seed Snacks, without the carrots and flex seed, to have a bit of a variation.
  • Mix flours and salt properly
  • Add in this order: oil, honey, eggs and broth
  • Work out firm dough
  • Let rest for 15 minutes
  • Spread whole oat flakes over the rolling board or counter
  • Make a longer, thinner rectangle and turn it on the other side, so that both sides are rolled in the flakes.
  • Roll the dough, as shown on picture above. 
  • Slice 2,5cm (1inch) pieces and place them on a baking sheet with baking paper
  • Toss over some more oat flakes before baking
  • Bake on 200°C (400F) for about 25 minutes, or until they get golden color.

Classical Bone Cookie Cutter Treats (w.Liver)

1/2kg (1lb) ground liver (beef or poultry)
1 cup corn flour
1,5 cups regular flour
(for sensitive dogs or dogs with alergies, substitute regular flour with spelt, buckwheat or graham flour)
3 tbs dried garlic powder
  • Mix flour and garlic
  • Add liver and mix thoroughly 
  • Roll the dough on a board covered by flour into about 2,5cm (1inch) thick mass
  • With a bone shaped cookie cutter create desired forms and place on a well oiled baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes on 200°C (400F)

Tip: If you don´t have liver at home or want to just opt for a quick version, using one type of dough, you can use the same ingredients as in the Veggie & Flax Seed Recipe, without the parsley and carrots.

Liver version above and the base dough version that includes flax seed, below

A Few Very Important Facts:
  • It is important to use a very little amount of salt, because it is unhealthy for dogs.
  • Sugar should never be a part of any animal nutrition. Honey is a much more suitable alternative.  Raw organic, or at least locally produced honey is the healthiest version.
  • Use water or unsalted meat or vegetable broth instead of milk.
  • Beware of and avoid cocoa and chocolate! -- they can even cause a heart failure in dogs

Following these principles you can create many more variations of natural, healthy home made treats and rewards for your loved canine friends. Have fun!

Feel free to share and use these recipes or repost them on your blogs or Facebook pages, but please link to my original post and give credit if using the photos in respect to my work. Thank you!


Unknown said...

holistic home made dog cookies making and shooting of all the pictures below were meant for my other projects, I kind of wanted to wait until right before Christmas to post them here :) Portland Veterinary Clinic

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful snacks for dogs. Not only in Christmas, we can give these treats twice in a week. I hope dogs will love to eat these snacks. These are looking well nutrient treats for dogs. Also we can add some mashed veggies, like carrot, cucumber, broccoli to these treats. So we can add more nutrients for dogs.