HOMEMADE DOG TREATS

***GIVEAWAY UPDATE***  Thanks to all who entered; we love hearing about everyone’s doggies, and were tempted to just send you all treats!  However, the random number generator did not suffer from such emotional entanglements & chose commenters 10 & 11, Cheryl & Christy, as our lucky recipients.  They’ll be receiving their treats later this week.  We promise to do this again soon, and in the meantime, urge you to give the recipe a try yourselves.  xx, BJG

Allow me to introduce you to the Blue Jean Puppy.

LD anticipating a biscuit

Pup-pay!  I know, she’s freaking cute, right?  Calling her a puppy, though, is a total misnomer as our L.D. (which stands for Lucky Dawg—we didn’t name her, okay??) is fourteen-plus years old, which for a yellow lab means she’s approximately 107.

I did not grow up with dogs.  In fact, I didn’t have pets of any kind until I met Jill.  At the risk of vast cultural generalization, I’m like most Indian kids I know this way.  Our parents came from a context where it’s tough enough to feed your kids, let alone an extra, alien mouth.  In India, as in many parts of the world, wild dogs run in packs on the street, largely ignored or dodged by citizens.  Having a pet in India is, for most, a status symbol of opulent, extreme wealth.

My parents also fended off any potential begging-for-pets by making it very clear that my mother was allergic to dog & cat hair, so it wasn’t going to happen.  Given this, I made do with vicarious enjoyment of my neighbors’ and friends’ animals; it was never a serious “upset” for me that I didn’t have pets.  As it turns out, the “your mother is allergic” bit was all a ruse!  Oh the lies we tell our children.

Of course, now that I live with this sweet thang (& two very sweet cats in addition), I can’t imagine my life without animals in it.

in the backyard with the dog

We’re probably not going to have our LD for too much longer.  I don’t like thinking about it, not one bit.  Since she’s my first pet, she will also be my first pet death, and I’m not looking forward to that.

I try to stay focused on the fact that our old dog is happy, healthy, and aside from having to wear a diaper these days, enjoys an excellent quality of side-angle dog biscuitslife in her twilight years.  Including these homemade dog treats.

These treats are incredibly easy to make, and they’ve never met a dog they didn’t like (LD, Tillie, Kathleen, Digby, Doodle, Penny, Dillon, Gunny, Murphy, & Buster can all attest!)  And, you don’t have to feel guilty giving these out, because they’re full of only good stuff.

To share the love with some canine friends of Blue Jean Gourmet, we’re having our first giveaway! I’ll be baking up a fresh batch of dog treats this weekend and mailing them out to a few lucky dawgs (c/o their BJG reader-owners).

If you’d like to enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling us about the dog(s) in your life by the end of the day Monday (June 29).  We’ll draw a couple of winners on Tuesday (June 30) morning & notify them via email.

In the meantime, I’m going to go ahead and post the recipe for these treats here, because should you win, your dog may well become addicted.  I’m just sayin’.

PEANUT BUTTER DOG TREATS
adapted from a recipe generously shared by Denise Duncan (who makes them for Molly, Max, & Sophie!)

2 eggs

dog biscuit makings sideways

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup water

¼ cup peanut butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

optional: We keep wheat germ in the freezer to add to smoothies & breads, so I always throw a dash in for puppy health benefits.

preheat oven: 400 degrees F

Combine flour & oats in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly, using a large spoon or your hands.

At this point, you may need to add extra water or extra flour depending upon the texture of the mix.  If you plan to roll out the treats, you’ll want the dough to be pretty stiff and so add more flour.  If you plan to make drop treats, a wetter mixture will do.

(option 1) Roll out the dough in two batches, using more whole wheat flour for the counter.  Somewhere between ¼ – ½ inch thickness is best to insure that the treats stay crunchy but don’t burn.

Use cookie cutters or just a knife to make desired shapes.  Place on a well-greased sheet pan and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Check for browning on the bottom of the treats; cool on wire racks until they’re a safe temperature for your puppy to sample.

(option 2) If you’re thinking, heck, my dog couldn’t care less what shape these things come in, he/she just wants to eat. them. all. now!  then you can either roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls or just scoop out about a tablespoon’s worth at a time onto well-greased cookie sheets, placing them about an inch apart.

Flatten the treats out with a floured palm and bake for 20-25 minutes (because they’re a little thicker than the rolled-out version, they’ll take a bit longer).  Cool on wire racks; let the dog or dogs in the house taste-test for you to assure quality control.

LD crunching on a biscuit

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21 responses to “HOMEMADE DOG TREATS

  1. Hey!!! Who doesn’t love a giveaway?? (I think I should get something just for being the first to post a comment.) You know I love to talk about my babies. Our first English bulldog, Daisy (who you met back when she was just a pup), is now 8-1/2 & still doing well. Bailey is our 3-1/2yo bulldog & is literally the sweetest dog I’ve ever had (& I’ve had quite a few in my life). We recently found out he has epilepsy, so he’s now on meds. Our babies are our children, so I totally relate to the way you feel about LD. 🙂

  2. Well, for the promise of puppy/kitty treats (our cats like crunchy things) … you’re getting the whole story!

    Cleopatra & Isis are Jack Russell Terrier (Terrorists) sisters and are going to be 4 years old this year. They were the last two puppies of their litter – and we just couldn’t see taking one of them home and leaving the other alone – so we bought them both. The day we got them was the day we had to put down Sweetie’s first Puppy Love – Isadora Piglet Duncan (aka Piggie) – who was also 14 years old. The girls are the sweetest, most loving and, in the same breath, are the most frustrating and insane little dogs you can imagine. I generally want to scream and smooch them in alternating waves.

    The cat formerly known as Morisette (seriously – someone named her that) is now known as Butterscotch Puddin’ (Puddy) and celebrated her Decade birthday on Christmas Eve. She’s an orange cream female (which apparently is rare as most orange cats are boys) and she’s a purr monster and has made it her mission in life to shred my office chair (the only thing in the house she scratches – I’ve let her have it). She purrs louder than any cat I’ve ever heard, will steal anything from you that is salty and crunchy, and likes to sleep ON me.

    Finally, our Hurricane Wilma rescue is a 4 year old tuxedo rescue named Plug. Plug and her sister, Stretch, showed up, with Mama, after Hurricane Wilma. They were ferals living under our house and Sweetie made the mistake of pointing them out to me through the kitchen window. Over several weeks and some harrowing incidents, we rescued Plug (Stretch passed away) and she has, over the past few years, become a very love addicted, snuggle demanding, toe munching member of the family.

    I’d post pictures, but I can’t figure out how. 🙂

  3. Chrysti Hogan

    We have 2 dogs and 3 cats — all acquired as “used”. Hannah, a lab mix about 9 years old, was found at a rest area along I-40 in Arkansas. Jackson, a miniature poodle about 5 years old, was found in the parking lot of a furniture store near I-55 in Mississippi. They both LOVE treats (especially Hannah). They turn their big brown eyes up at us as if to say “Please, mama, please give me a treat… I haven’t had one in…. 20 minutes!

    The cats mostly keep to themselves. Missy (long hair tuxedo) is the oldest, Mocha Lisa (tortoise shell) is next, and Louisville Slugger (orange and white) is the youngest and the newest addition. He and Jackson mix it up occasionally, but generally everyone gets along. You can see pictures on my facebook profile.

  4. I have three-a 14 year old German shorthaired pointer, an 8 year old wire fox terrier and a new 12 week old wire fox puppy. I think homemade dog treats are the perfect way to be sure your dogs are getting healthy treats.

  5. LD’s looks like a real sweetie! Our two dogs are getting a bit older now too, but are pretty active and healthy, despite a few occasional bouts with arthritis. I have a big sweet black lab mix named Miss Button that we adopted from the local humane society, and a smaller growly bad boy named Scampers that we rescued starving and hurt from the side of the road several years ago. Miss Button is all love, and likely to lick anyone in her path to death, then roll on her back for tummy rubs! Though Scampers was abused before we found him, he now basks in the love we give him and watches over his house, Miss Button and us! We’re all one big happy pack!

  6. Sonya Cuellar

    I’m writing in for Digby! He’s out of town. He’s cute, he’s fluffy, and he loves your treats. xoxo

  7. This is beautiful!! I’m very happy that you’ve found someone so wonderful in LD.
    My parents also pulled the “your dad’s allergic” card for 22 years. Then, all of a sudden the summer that I graduated from college, we got…. Chloe. A Bernese Mountain Dog. The runt of a litter from runty parents, which means that since they’re usually 120lbs, she ended up about 60 pounds.
    Chloe nursed me through a terrible breakup (he lived in Canada and did it via internet), and through all the decision making involved in moving to New York with my life in shambles.
    When I came home for Christmas the first year that we had her, a solid 7 months after we got her, I walked in the door, said “Merry Christmas!” and was immediately knocked back by my dog. She had LEAPT OVER A COUCH, took one more bound in the middle of the living room floor, and leapt INTO MY ARMS. Best Christmas gift ever – walking into your house for the first time in months, and getting an armful of dog.
    She’s 3 now. She’s helped my father through a year of being laid off. She helps my mother through job tensions and stress. She still jumps into my arms every time I come home.

    Meet Chloe. She’s the best, and she LOVES peanutbutter. Although, if she doesn’t win, I could always make these and mail them to her myself. But she deserves to win. Because she’s amazing. And ADORABLE!!!!

  8. Hi Nishta! What a great idea. L.D. is so sweet-looking.
    Well, I sadly do not live with my puppy anymore, since I moved away from home. But Sydney still lives in PA with my parents, and he’s a sweet, loving, excitable Australian shepherd with gorgeous blue eyes. He’s basically just like Doug the Dog from Up!

    Sydney misses my mom, who’s in Iraq for a year, and since my brother and sister are at college, he keeps my dad company. I know he would love some of those delicious treats!

  9. Aw, what a fabulous idea. Well, even though I am 3,000 miles away from my beloved Australian shepherd puppy (okay, he’s 9, so not really a puppy anymore), Sydney, I know he’d love some of those treats. He’s basically just like Doug the Dog from Up!

    Sydney still lives in P.A. with my parents, but really misses my Mom, who’s stationed in Iraq for a year. And since my brother and sister are in college, he has the big job of keeping my dad company. i would love to send him some fabulous blue jean gourmet goodies.

  10. A diaper? I’m afraid that we’re headed in that direction. Why is it that just as I potty train The Monster the dog decides she can shit all over the house without warning? I think it’s just reno, busy life stress. She’s always been a little high strung.

    Maple, or Damn Brown Dog, is the dog in question. She is our first mutt and a little over 10 years old. A spazzy thing, nearly blind, and seriously smart. She is a shepherd/collie/greyhound cross.

    Buster, or the Damn Black Dog, is about 7 now. He came to us after a trip to the SPCA to look for my mother-in-law’s missing cat. It was great timing because Maple was definitely depressed. I never thought it possible, but she was a lonely dog after having spent most of her life with other pets. Buster is a black lab/border collie cross.

    And yes, we have been known to feed the dogs peanut butter and laugh.

  11. I could really use new treats for my dogs…I have two beagles and a 4 month old English Mastiff and I can’t keep up with them. I’d love to try yours! Thank you for the giveaway.

  12. As an associate of BJG, I feel I may be ineligible for the contest, and besides, I want to share the love with other people whose puppies have not yet experienced the glory of your peanut butter dog treats.

    Our sweet-yet-spastic, red-headed mutt Beulah LOVES them. They are the closest thing I’ve encountered to crack for her. Every time I opened their container, she came running, a distinction not held by her bought-at-petsmart treats.

    Thanks for the recipe, and love to L.D.!

  13. Hello!

    My name is “Brazos Valley Hunter”, but you may call me “Hunter”. I am in training to be a world class hunting dog, which is an awful lot of hard work and some treats would really help my training. If I were lucky and got thirty, or forty, pounds of treats I would be happy to share with my cat friends.

    At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I am a handsome dog and will post a couple of pictures, so you may appreciate my good looks.

    In addition to my training, I am helping my person recover from the loss of my predecessor “Lord Sandford of Brazos” (Sandy to his friends). When the time comes, I hope you remember that “puppy breath” is the great mender of a broken heart.

    Here are a couple of pictures of my hero. I am working very hard to be as great as he was.

    Give my love to LD. I like her a lot, even if she does snap at my nose on occasion. It’s a shame about the age difference, as we might have made the sparks fly.

    Ya’ll take care…

    Hunter

  14. Rachel and Ransom deserve ALL the peanut butter in the entire world.
    So give it to them. Please.
    DO IT NOW!
    Plus I used to be an LD caregiver – that counts for something, eh?

  15. now that i’m married (!), i’m officially mom to a blended family of two pups – sterling, my crazynuts lab/greyhound/shepherd/husky/etc mix and marley, the hubby’s portly lab/chow/grizzlybear. both are rescues – sterl girl was found on the side of the highway in mississippi, taped up in a cardboard box that said “puppy inside;” marley bear was hunkered under the steps of a church with two leather collars grown into his neck. they are the most fabulous dogs a gal could ever want, and i love them both with all my heart. the only thing they love better than snuggling their mom and dad is some T.R.E.A.T action (we have to spell it out, you know) and these sound fabulous!

  16. Well, I know that today is the last day to enter this contest so here we go:

    Diam, our 3 year old beagle, deserves these treats. He came to us to feel a void in our lives. We found him online, drove 3 hours to pick him up, and never looked back. Crissi was having really bad anxiety and panic attacks, so we got him to take her mind off of her “stuff.” He changed our world and now he is the best dog ever. You know beagles love to eat and just like his mom’s, he loves to try new things. So, come on, pick us. 🙂 If not, we’ll be sure to try making the treats at home and let you know what the four legged friend Diam thinks of them.

  17. Well, poo! My pictures didn’t post. You will have to take my word that I am a very handsome fellow.

    Did you send my treats?

    Love,
    Hunter

  18. idgie loves her dog treats! i’m going to have to make more before we run out– she is much more obedient when she knows a peanut butter treat is coming. thank you!

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