by Elizabeth Dengler
Not exactly. About 20 years ago I was working for a nonprofit in Spokane and my boss had the sweetest dog that would come to work with her from time to time. As the holiday season was approaching, I wanted to do something special for my boss. I wasn’t sure what to get her that was in my budget so I started to explore what I could make for her sweet dog. I came across a recipe for homemade dog treats using canned pumpkin. It was perfect! I whipped up a batch and luckily happened to have a bone shaped cookie cutter. I packaged them up in a brown paper lunch sack with a festive ribbon around the top. When I brought them into work I handed the bag of treats to my boss and asked if she would give them to her pup. She later informed me that when she got home that afternoon her dog started to go bonkers as if he knew that gift bag had something just for him. The treats were a hit! I’ve made them several times since then for other dogs and they’ve been well received. I even had a couple people tell me they gave the treat a little nibble because they smelled so good.
This is a fun project to make with kids. You can also get really creative with the cookie cutters, not that the dog cares about the shape but his human will be amused. I’ve done pumpkin shapes, cat shapes, bones and gingerbread men. I like these recipes because sometimes I end up with leftover canned pumpkin when making baked goods and this is a great way to use up the leftovers.
Keep in mind the ingredients you are using. Make sure you are using canned pumpkin puree and not canned pumpkin pie filling. Also, make sure none of your ingredients contain Xylitol, the more natural the ingredients the better. I found both these recipes from the AKC. I figure if anyone knows dogs, it’d be that group. Do you have a special treat you make for your pets around the holidays? Send them to Elizabeth@huckleberrypress.com to be featured in an upcoming issue.
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Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats
2 cups flour
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup peanut butter (make sure it is Xylitol-free)
Preheat your oven to 375°F
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin and peanut butter
Stir in the flour and combine the mixture into a dough
Roll out the dough onto a floured surface
Cut the dough into shapes with your favorite cookie cutter
Place the treats half an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, I always line mine with parchment paper, but it’s not necessary.
Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool. Store in a sealable bag or storage container, and store up to a week on the counter, any extras can be frozen.
Banana Pumpkin Dog Treats
3 cups whole wheat flour + extra for dusting counter
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 banana, mashed
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix eggs, banana, and pumpkin together. Add flour and mix until all the flour is incorporated.
Lightly dust the counter and a rolling pin with flour, then roll out dough to approximately 1/8″ and cut out treats.
Lay on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Cool completely before giving to your pup! Store in a sealable bag or storage container, and store up to 5 days on the counter, freeze any extras.