DIY Pet Treats

Healthy options that taste great!
Story by Kass Fincher
As we ring in the New Year, many of us make resolutions that (fingers crossed) we hope to keep. Although our pets don’t participate in this annual rite, we should also keep their needs in mind as we set our goals for the year. Is Fido overweight? Does Fluffy have allergies? Despite your vet’s advice, your best friend doesn’t always have to forego treats to address his issues. There are commercially-made treats that you can find either online or in your local store, but it is possible to make simple homemade treats yourself that will keep your pet’s special needs in mind.

Here are several options for treats you can make in your own kitchen.
For overweight dogs, try these Beef Glazed Green Bean Dog Treats from DogKitchen.com. You can use a 1 ½ inch dog cookie cutter and you’ll yield 4 dozen treats! They will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 3 weeks; they’ll be good in the freezer for 6 months.
Ingredients:
• ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, low or fat free
• 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup green beans, mashed
• 1 cup beef broth, reduced sodium, plus 1/4 cup for glaze
• 1/4 cup milk, low or fat free
• 1 tbsp olive oil
Additional Flour for Rolling
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F
2. Gently toss the cheddar cheese and the flour in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mash the green beans.
4. Stir in the broth, milk, and olive oil to the green bean mixture.
5. Make a well in the center of the cheese flour.
6. Pour in the green bean mixture and mix thoroughly.
7. Knead the dough in the bowl until combined.
8. Fold out onto a floured surface and continue to knead using extra flour.
9. Knead until you have a firm dough.
10. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out preferred shapes.
11. Place the cut outs on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
12. Pour 1/4 cup of beef broth into a small bowl.
13. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the broth onto the cut out cookies.
14. Bake for 30 minutes.

For your allergy-prone mutt, try these 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Dog Cookies from WildernessFamilyNaturals.com. They are gluten-free and easy to make. The expeller-pressed coconut oil imparts a nutty, toasted flavor. Yield is about 30 cookies.
Ingredients:
• 3 cups gluten-free flour
• ½ cup peanut butter – no salt or sugar added
• 2 tablespons expeller-pressed coconut oil, softened
• 1 cup water
Instructions:
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.Mix the softened oil, peanut butter, and water in a mixing bowl.
3.Add the flour – blend 1 cup at a time and mix well.
4.Then knead into a firm dough.
5.Roll the dough to 1/4” thick on a lightly floured surface.
6.Use a cookie cutter to cut out cookies. A bone-shaped cutter is adorable.
7.Place on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
8.Bake 15 to 20 minutes.
9.Cool completely before serving.

And for the third of our population who are cat people, you can’t go wrong with these Catnip Bites, from Petful.com. Catnip leaves contain an oil that can put many cats on a “high,” like psychoactive drugs for humans. Just hope Fluffy doesn’t roll around and act weirder than usual while enjoying these treats.
Ingredients:
• 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons organic catnip
• 1/3 cup dry milk
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 tablespoons melted butter
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 large egg

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowls.
3. Add wet ingredients and mix to form dough.
4. Roll out, adding more flour if needed, and cut into squares or small shapes.
5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
6. Cool completely.
7. Store in airtight container or freeze and thaw as needed.

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