Baking for your pooch?
Yeah, okay it may not be top of your priorities, but there’s a good reason I’m suggesting it. And after reading this article, I’m betting you make the switch from store-bought to homemade pretty quickly.
I’m going to chat about the reasons why I think you should make treats for you dog rather than buy them. But first, let me say how easy these particular biscuits are to bake. So before you think it’ll be too much hassle, time or money, hear me out. Please.
Why bake instead of buy?
Well I’m glad you asked!
1. You know the entire ingredient list
Many store-bought dog treats will contain a list of ingredients as long as your arm. Including additives, preservatives, by-products, and low-quality fillers.
All of these to add ‘flavour’, ‘sustenance’, sustain a longer shelf-life, and save the manufacturers money.
And the truth is, this low quality product that you’re giving as a ‘treat’, really isn’t doing your beloved pooch much good at all. There’s often very little nutritional value, and can leave him feeling lethargic with lacklustre eyes and coat.
Of course, it is possible to buy healthier treats, but you’ll be paying the big bucks for them. So it’s a choice. Spend more money on quality treats, whilst still not being entirely sure of all that’s in them. Or bake your own for less and know exactly what’s in them.
I know where my preference lies…
2) You can manage any dietary needs
Like us humans, some dogs have specific dietary needs. They may be allergic to gluten, dairy, or something else.
First, it goes without saying, please check with your vet or canine nutritionist before making changes to your pup’s diet. Including deciding to home-bake treats.
But the great thing about making your own, is that you can adjust the ingredient list to account for any potential diet restrictions. Substituting ingredients when needed.
You can also ensure high quality ingredients are used, and you can adjust the size to suit your dog. Remember, a maximum 20% of your dog’s daily food intake should come from treats. So even if they’re super healthy, don’t be dishing them out every time he lands those puppy dog eyes on you!
3) Save money
The least important reason for your pooch, but perhaps one of the most for you – cost.
Buying good nutritional treats will pull on the purse strings quite a bit. And there’s a reason for that. The cheaper supermarket bought treats will contain all those nasty ingredients mentioned earlier to keep the manufacturer costs low.
So you’ll need to fork out the dough if you want to keep giving those treats. But the costs will rack up. And I don’t know about you, but as much as I love my dog, I don’t really want to be spending more on her than I do on myself (sorry poppet!)
Bake your own, and those high costs disappear. You can whip up a batch for a few pounds that’ll last a month or more when stored correctly – take out a week’s supply and freeze the rest. Then at the start of next week, grab another supply. Easy!
If you’ve read this far and are keen to give homemade treats a try, here’s a fantastic recipe…
PEANUT BUTTER DOG BISCUITS*
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (could substitute with mashed sweet potato or butternut squash if preferred)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups whole wheat flour (or preferred flour based on diet. NB: do not use white flour)
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Line a baking sheet.
- In a bowl beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs together until well combined.
- Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour and continue to beat well. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it comes together.
- Next, roll the dough preferred thickness and using your cookie cutter, cut out biscuits placing them on your baking sheet.
- Pop in the oven and bake until golden brown, around 20-25 mins. NB: take out a little earlier for a softer texture, leave in for a crunchier texture, depending on what your dog prefers.
- Let them cool before serving, then watch your dog gobble them up in delight!
Remember, your dog depends on you to keep them feeling good so anything you feed him should be of nutritional value.
Good food, including treats, will keep their eyes bright, their coat shiny, boost their immune system to keep illness at bay, and keep their energy levels high to enjoy life to the max.
*Recipe taken from Darn Delicious