The holidays are upon us and no one deserves a bigger share of the festive mood and love more than our loyal canine companions, who delight us year round with their unconditional affections.
Here are 5 delicious Christmas treat ideas that will send your dog reeling with holiday delight.
1. Gingerbread Dog Treat
Few things scream yuletide spirit like a well made, cinnamon scented gingerbread. Here’s a super easy recipe that you can use to make your dog gingerbread treats that he cant get enough of.
What you’ll need?
1 and 1/4 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Molasses
2 Tablespoons Honey
3 Cups Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 Tablespoon finely chopped Fresh Ginger
2 Large Bowls
Mixing and measuring utensils
Gingerbread Cookie Cutter
1. Get two large bowls. In one bowl combine the water, olive oil, molasses and honey. In the second bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves and finely chopped ginger.
2. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix until all are combined.
3. Divide the dough into two, wrap and refrigerate for minimum 3.5 hours.
4. Once chilled, remove dough from fridge and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness (less than a centimetre).
5. Pre-heat oven to 180 C (350 F).
6. Use your Gingerbread Cookie Cutter to cut out the biscuits. Place on baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes
Once the biscuits are cooled you can decorate with carob or yoghurt if need be. I rolled the off-cuts into little buttons for the Gingerbread men!
(Needless to say, chocolate or sugar or any sweet topping is out of the question)
2. Dog Friendly Candy-Canes
No matter how much you understand the rationale behind not sharing your sweet treats with your dog, it can feel weird to gorge on holiday sweets while leaving your canine friend to stare in longing. No worries. here’s a 100% dog-safe recipe for candy canes. Yes you heard it!
What you’ll need?
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup warm water
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 large eggs
2 tsp red food colouring (see tips)
1/2 tsp peppermint oil flavouring (optional)
1 large egg (for an egg wash)
- Whisk together the flour, powdered milk and baking powder.
- In a small bowl, pour the warm water over the chicken bouillon, stir until dissolved.
- Whisk the eggs into the chicken water.
- Form a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients.
- Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Knead the dough for about two minutes.
- Add more flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Separate the dough in half.
- Form a well in one of the balls of dough.
- Add the food colouring and peppermint flavouring.
- Wearing food safe gloves, knead the colouring and flavouring throughout the dough.
- Cool the dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F
- Divide each ball of dough into tablespoon sized balls.
- Gently roll each ball into a “worm” shape, letting the dough rest when needed. Each strip should be about 5 inches long.
- Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Twist one plain strip with a red strip, and curl the end to shape a candy cane.
- Place on the baking sheet.
- Whisk the extra egg in a small bowl.
- Using a pastry brush, thoroughly coat each candy cane with the egg wash.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
While they’re completely safe, it still doesn’t mean you should let your furkid go all out and eat these instead of his meals. Moderation is key.
3.Gluten-Free Pumpkin Dog Treat
We are willing to wager sizeable sums (or not! 😉 )that this pumpkin treat will have your dog sniffing and wagging around the oven in irresistible impatience.
Makes about 30 medium-sized cookies
What you’ll need
2½ cups rice flour
½ cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
½ teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ginger
½ cup carob chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Mash banana in a small bowl. Add mash to eggs and pumpkin in a large bowl until well combined
- Add in dry milk, ginger, and parsley. Stir until well combined.
- Gradually add in rice flour to wet mixture and stir until a stiff but moist mixture is formed.
- Roll out dough onto a floured surface to ¼ to ½-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with Halloween-themed cookie cutter.
- If you want to make eyes for your treat critter, use the end of a pencil (eraser) or pen (make sure to wash the end before using).
- Press the end into the unbaked treat twice to leave circular impressions.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on racks. Store in airtight container and keep in fridge or freezer.
Icing is always a tricky thing but we found that you can’t go wrong with carob heated with some oil (mind you, very little though)
4. Peanut Butter and Banana treat
This one will not only make your doggie yelp with delicious delight but also have you reast easy in the knowledge that your canine friend is eating something really healthy and nutritious. An added win is that this treat will leave his breath smelling fresh and toasty
What you’ll need?
1 banana, peeled
1 cup oat flour
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried parsley
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Put banana in a large bowl and use a spoon or potato masher to mash it thoroughly. Add oat flour, oats, parsley, peanut butter and egg and stir well to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Roll mixture into 24 balls, using about 1 tablespoon dough for each; transfer to a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet as done. Use the back of a spoon or the heel of your hand to press each ball into a (1 1/2- to 2-inch) coin. Bake until firm and deep golden brown on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.
- Storage note: It’s best to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, freeze them to give to your pal later; just be sure to thaw the treats before handing them out.
This treat packs a nutritional punch with each unit giving your furkid 45 calories (15 from fat), 1.5g total fat, 10mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 6g carbohydrates, (1 g dietary fibre, 1g sugar), 2g protein. Now that’s what we call a win-win situation.
5. Apple Crunch PupCakes
A fruity and crunchy delight that will have your dog incessantly hounding you for more.
What you’ll need?
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
4 tbsp molasses
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix water, applesauce, honey, egg, and vanilla together in a bowl
Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended
Pour into lightly greased muffin pans
Bake 1 ¼ hours
It’s always wise to make sure that your dog is not allergic to any of the ingredients you plan on using. Also, it’s prudent to make sizeable portions and store them safely rather than stop after the first batch or keep having to make them to satisfy your canine’s insatiable lust for treats 🙂
Recipes and photos courtesy of www.muddypaws.co.uk