With all the food scares we get these days, with Big Bad People running our food production, putting fillers and strange non-food ingredients in it, there’s a worrying possibility that dog and cat food could be the same.
We love our pets so much that it seems very wrong to give them treats that could potentially cause them health problems, so if you’re handy in the kitchen, you might fancy committing yourself to an afternoon of cat and dog treat baking.
I’ve tried all of these below, which is why there is the odd variation from the original recipe, and they all worked for me.
3 Great Recipes for Homemade Pet Treats
Cookie Bones – basic recipe
This one comes courtesy of TheKitchn.com.
12 oz wholemeal flour
4 oz wheat germ (if you haven’t got this, just use 4 oz more of wholemeal flour)
4 oz melted bacon fat or beef dripping
120 ml water
Combine the lot into a non-sticky dough. If it’s a little sticky, add a bit more flour. If it’s dry, add a bit more water. Roll it out to around a half inch thickness and cut into suitable sizes.
Bake on 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes – they should brown on the top.
Turn off the oven, flip the cookies, and leave them in the oven until it goes cold. This makes them crisp – the word ‘biscuits’ means ‘baked twice’.
You can crumble some yummy bacon into the mix, or for your cats, 4 oz of minced catnip makes them crazy for it!
This fishy recipe from PawNation is perfect for both dogs and cats and although the recipe here states mackerel, I’ve made a sardine version before which is cheaper and just as yummy for the pets.
1 large (15 oz) tin mackerel or sardines. (If you can’t get the big tins, you can use as much or as little as you like – see below in recipe)
4 to 8 oz wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder (this helps them rise a little)
Prepare for your kitchen to stink!
Mash the fish, bones, skin and all, sprinkle the baking powder across it, and start adding the flour, a little at a time, until you get a nice thick dough.
Oil a cookie tin or baking sheet – oil it well unless you want to be chipping welded on fish mix off your best baking tray for the next six months.
Spread the mix onto the sheet to a thickness of around 5-8 ml / ¼ inch, and score it into small squares (small for cats, bigger for dogs) with a knife or a pizza cutter.
Bake at 180 degrees C for around 30 minutes, although you should keep an eye on it as it may not need so long.
Break into squares and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container (this is more for your fridge’s benefit than the cookies) for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Another great PawNation tip: if you saute some liver, slice it thinly (no more than 3 mm) and dry it in the oven at around 100 degrees C, your dogs will love you forever.
Your pets will adore these treats. They probably won’t notice that they’re different from the ones you buy them, and they certainly won’t realise that they’re significantly cheaper.
This article was written by Michael Palmer on behalf of MORE TH>N dog and cat insurance. For great deals on insuring your pet visit the MORE TH>N website.
Image credit – homemade dog treats by BevKnits on Flickr