All dog owners love to spoil their pups with some treats now and then, but dog treats can become costly over time and sometimes include ingredients that are less healthy for your pup. Treats can be a great way to add fun and nutritional value to your pet’s day. So why not consider making your own?!
Making homemade dog treats is not that difficult, and although it won’t save any time, it can save you some dollars. If you have larger dogs like Labrador retrievers or Australian Labradoodles in your home, you know how big their appetite can be and buying treats for them can be heavy on your pocket sometimes.
What Are the Benefits of Homemade Dog Treats?
It might take you a while to shift your mind from making and storing homemade treats for your dog instead of purchasing the commercially prepared store-bought ones. However, the biggest upside of making dog treats at home is being able to control what goes into them. There are many healthy ingredients you can sneak into them which your dog might not like otherwise.
Making your dog’s treats at home means there will be no preservatives or artificial flavoring in the treats, which is great news for your pet’s health, but does that mean they will stay fresh lying in your pantry or your kitchen counter for days or weeks? The answer is no.
So here are some great tips and tricks to help you make dog treats at home and keep them fresh for weeks. It might come as a shock, but you can store some of them for as long as a month or more. Let’s start with tips about the first step of making homemade treats, and that is measuring the ingredients.
Tips About Measuring Ingredients of Dog Treats
Measuring ingredients for making a dog treat seem no biggie, right? But it is important to measure things precisely by using the appropriate utensils.
Dry ingredients: Use spoons or dry measuring cups to measure dry ingredients like oats, flour, or cornstarch.
Liquid ingredients: Liquid ingredients like milk, broth, or water should be measured with a liquid measuring cup.
Extra tip: Try not to scoop out things; instead, it is better to pour both dry or liquid ingredients into the cup, and instead of pushing ingredients down, try to let the cup get filled naturally as it would give you more accurate measurements.
Semi liquid ingredients: What about the ingredients that are neither liquid nor solid, like nuts, yogurt, sauces, or semi-solid ingredients like coconut oil, peanut butter, honey, or molasses? We suggest you spray your cups with some olive oil before filling them with ingredients as it will stick less that way and make it easier to work with; otherwise, you will lose a lot of your measured ingredient. It’s important to note that although coconut oil is solid below 76 degrees F, it is easiest to work with as a liquid when baking. Don’t worry, one cup of solid coconut oil will yield the same volume of liquid oil.
Leafy ingredients: Always measure chopped-up spinach, herbs, parsley, or any other fresh greens using a dry cup and gently pack them into it.
Meat or carbo chips: For meat or carbo chips, use dry cups and pack them into the cups but make sure not to push them hard.
Tips And Techniques for Recipes
Now that you know how to measure the ingredients, what about actually making those delicious recipes? Let’s list here some of the utensils and tools that you would need.
- Silicone baking mats: These are the must-haves when you start baking your dog treats as they won’t allow things to get burned, and they are super easy to clean. You can also use them to roll sticky doughs that are hard to roll otherwise.
- Freezer and oven-safe silicone molds: These work wonderfully for several dog treats. The trick is to lightly spritz them with oil before pouring anything into them, and they’re easy to wash with soap and water.
- Oblong measuring spoons: They fit in easily inside bottles or spice jars, preventing oil spillage. All in all, it is easier to work with squared-off or oblong spoons than rounded ones.
- Cookie cutters: It is good to have cookie cutters in several shapes and sizes in your pantry so that you can make each type of treat in a useful size or shape (and they are fun to work with!). Extra tip: you can cut different shapes, store them in the refrigerator, and use different frostings and toppings later when you are about to cook them.
Apart from the utensils you’ll need, here are a few more cooking tricks that may help you while making dog treats.
- Use egg wash on the treats to make them look shiny and appealing. It works equally well for both sweet and savory treats.
- Frosted and iced treats are hard to store, so decorate them at the time of use, or they will go bad faster.
- It’s a good idea to score treats with a knife before baking as it makes it easier to break them, especially for senior dogs and small puppies.
Tips About Storing Dog Treats
If you follow these four tips, your dog treats will stay fresher for longer!
- Completely cool down all the treats before storing them.
- Be mindful of the ingredients as treats made with vegetables and gluten-free flour can be stored in a towel by wrapping them loosely, but after that, store them in the fridge, and they will stay fresh for eight to ten days.
- Treats with fish, meat, bouillon, or butter should be refrigerated to keep them fresh for five to seven days.
- Always store other types of treats in air tight jars.
- Extra tip: Using vitamin C and vitamin E in the recipes is a good idea, too, as they act as natural preservatives.
A Fool-Proof Dog Treat Recipe
This recipe is sure to become your dog’s favorite. The best thing about this recipe is that you can sneak in some additional nutritious items in it, as it is a very versatile and accommodating recipe. Moreover, it just takes a few minutes. Here are the ingredients
- Whole wheat flour
- Peanut butter
- Pumpkin puree
Mix all the ingredients and keep the dough a little sticky. Roll it out using a rolling pin, and using a cookie cutter, cut out the shapes you like. Place them on a silicon mat and bake them for anywhere between 20 to 35 minutes depending on your oven. The longer you bake them, the crunchier they will be. Cool them down and store them in a refrigerator or freeze them for up to six months.
On the other hand, if your dog is a fan of more savory treats, then this cheddar and bacon treat recipe is perfect.
We hope this article helped you and motivated you to make your dog treats at home!
Guest Author: Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions.