Homemade Treats for Animals

 

Save money and enjoy making these tasty treats.

BY KRIS BEASLEY
PICTURE BY BO MASHBURN AND KRIS BEASLEY

This may be politically incorrect, but our dog, Ozzy, loves duck treats. It was the only treat he would eat and, for some reason, they are hard to come by now. In an effort to find something to solve my treat dilemma, I decided to try making some homemade doggie treats.

There are many benefits to making your own dog treats at home: You control what goes into the recipe without adding unhealthy additives that are in many brands of commercial dog treats.

I went through several recipes until I found one he likes. Now, I make a big batch and keep a spare batch in the freezer. I hope your furry friends will like these too!

HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER BLUEBERRY DOG TREATS 

INGREDIENTS
1 large egg
1⁄3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup brown rice flour
1⁄2 cup oat flour
about 2 or more tablespoons water 1⁄3 cup frozen blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, peanut butter, maple syrup and olive oil until smooth. Add in both flours and mix until com- bined. The dough will be slightly dry, so add water a small amount at a time (mixing after each addition) to get it to a consistency that you can roll out easily. I added just over 2 tablespoons. Gently fold in the blueberries.

On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to about 1⁄4 inch in thickness. Cut the dough with your desired cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. The dough will not spread while baking so you can place them fairly close together. Bake for 25 to 30 min- utes, until the treats are crunchy and golden brown.

Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container.

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During my grade school and Sunday school years, I made many of these home- made bird feeders and proudly handed them over to my Mom to hang in our backyard. Our living room had two big glass doors and my Dad hung a big bird feeder right outside the doors. I have fond memories of watching the birds and seeing my folk’s excitement when a special bird would visit. Growing up in Northern Virginia, we had those beautiful yellow finches. When it would snow, seeing brilliant red cardinals against the white snowy background was also a real treat. My Mother-in-law, who lives locally, also has an affinity for our feathered friends. I have seen the most beautiful bluebirds, two and three at a time in her backyard. Needless to say, I too love birds! I enjoyed feeling like a little girl again making these homemade bird feeders and I hope you will too!

They are easy and birds LOVE them! I encourage you to go for it! Have a bird feeder making party, do it with your grandkids or make one for someone who is sick or shut in.

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