We've been wanting to try our hand at making homemade natural dog treats ever since we brought Basil home. We've even found a few treats we love including Whoofles and Sam's Yams — both very simple treat concepts we love giving Basil.
Our recent trip to the apple orchard lent the perfect excuse to finally take on a recipe of our own as a way to help use up a small portion of the abundance of apples we brought home.
We were thrilled to find a simple recipe for natural dog treats incorporating fresh apples on this pet health and care resource website. One of the best parts about this recipe, as with the homemade ice cream we made, is how the base ingredients could quite literally substitute any additional ingredients to come up with different variations on these natural treats. For example, instead of fresh apple, we could have swapped in fresh sweet potatoes, bananas, carrots or a mixture of them all.
Here's how it all went down in our kitchen (We tripled the following recipe in order to use more apples and stock up on treats in one shot):
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 finely chopped or grated apple
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cold water
Blend flour and cornmeal in large mixing bowl, then incorporate apple, egg, oil, brown sugar, and water until well blended. Flour your workspace and roll out dough to desired thickness. Mine was just under 1 inch thick and uneven in some spots (we'll call that homemade flair)...
Side note: the recipe called for finely chopped or grated apples. I chopped mine into large pieces, then slowly pulsed them in our food processor. This not only saved me time, but created semi-regular sized apple chunks to blend right into the rest of the base ingredients. I left the processed pieces fairly chunky instead of pureeing them, because I like the idea of being able to see the actual apple pieces throughout each treat.
Cut cookies to desired shape and size — I used a 4 inch dog bone shape from a cookie cutter I bought off Etsy. Find more variations and sizes here.
Place dog cookies on baking sheet and bake 35 minutes. After baking, turn oven off and leave cookies inside for another 30-45 minutes until crisp.
Once crisp, remove dog cookies from oven and let cool. Transfer to zipper bags or airtight containers and freeze to preserve freshness for your little one!
I made these late enough on Saturday, we had already dropped off Basil at his babysitter's house for the week while we are in NYC. So while we didn't get a chance to let him try them out yet, I did bring a small batch up with me to the Etsy offices where dogs are welcome. They were all happy pups so at least we know these treats weren't a failure. Gotta say I'm looking forward to testing them out on our little guy though.
We're definitely looking forward to making new batches of these — both with apples and other new natural ingredients. I'm thinking what a great holiday gift they'd make to those we know who have dogs and those that take care of dogs (all the fine folks who watch over Basil while we can't be around).
We'd love to know if you've tried making your own pet treats before and if so, what your favorite recipes are!
P.S. For those of you interested in recipes, check out this Halloween themed partner post we worked on at Etsy with the fine folks of Everyday with Rachael Ray. Plus, find a special $10 yearly subscription rate offer exclusive to Etsy readers right here.