I admit I may be cheating a bit today...
Full disclosure, I was having a hard time coming up with a food that starts with I that I could offer to the dogs for the A to Z challenge. Then my 8 month old puppy, Fenrir, inspired my decision - irresistible home made treats! They have to be absolutely irresistible to catch Fen's attention!
Fen is a picky eater. It's not a rare occurrence for him to turn his adorable little nose up at a food. But a puppy has to eat, and I think any 8 month old pup would benefit from daily training sessions. I've found training a puppy who isn't food motivated to be a bit of a challenge. Luckily we've learned to use toys/praise in place of treats, and we also discovered that if the treat we offer is high value enough, Fenrir will work for it!
This post isn't about any specific homemade treats, but homemade treats in general.
Of course the benefits of each homemade treat will depend on what ingredients you use! But there are some benefits that apply to homemade treats in general. My older dog, Kitsune, has food allergies. One of the foods he cannot consume is eggs, which, unfortunately, are a common dog treat ingredient. One of the amazing benefits of making your own dog treats is that you always know exactly what you are feeding your dog!
Not only that, but if you are feeling creative you can alter treat recipes especially for your dog! Back in 2012 I wrote a dog treat recipe book where I showcased 30 treat recipes. The recipes on their own make treats that my dogs both really enjoy, but one thing I always encourage owners to do is experiment!
Inventing treat recipes for my pets has been something I've enjoyed for years. Dogs aren't judgemental - if the treats look messy or don't come out as you expected, they aren't going to mind. Treat recipes don't have to be complex or hard to make for your dog to really enjoy them! Take a look at this recipe...
Oatmeal Pumpkin Pet Treats
- 2 cups plain oats, blended in blender or coffee grinder
- 2 cups 100% canned pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Flour for baking sheet
- Measure out 2 cups of plain oats. Place in blender or coffee grinder and blend until consistency is similar to that of flour.
- Mix the blended oats with 2 cups of 100% canned pumpkin (pumpkin should be the only ingredient, do not use pumpkin pie mix), and 2 teaspoons of honey. Mixture should be moist but not too sticky.
- Use flour to coat the bottom of a baking sheet. This will prevent your treats from sticking to your cookie sheet. Shape dough to desired size and place on floured baking sheet.
- Bake your cookies at 350*F for 20 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Treats should hold together well but still feel relatively soft.
- Make sure treats fully cool before offering them to your pet!
See how simple that recipe is? They are easy, and fun, to make, but my picky puppy likes them so much he tries to steal them off the table...
Plus they only contain 3 healthy ingredients. I posted about the health benefits of honey the other day. I may post about pumpkins and oats later on.
Do you ever make homemade treats for your pets? Do you have any special recipes that your dog finds especially irresistible?
This post is a part of the 2016 Blogging from A to Z challenge! You can learn more about our challenge theme here.