ATTENTION ALL DOG MOMS AND DADS WHO LIKE TO SPOIL THEIR CHILDREN AKA: DOGS. This post is for you. Most of you know by now that I am a dog mom of TWO black and white beauties…the new one- Yuki- being a puppy who is in the trenches of training. Like for real you guys, it is basically a full time job training a puppy and I totally forgot how much work it is! The amount of pee I clean up on the daily alone is ridiculous. We have been doing mini training sessions throughout the day teaching her to use the bathroom NOT inside, sit, stay, leave it….you know, all the hits. All of this requires a lot of treats. OH and did I mention that while of this training is happening, Puffin thinks he is involved too and does all the commands and wants just as many treats as Yuki gets. He sees the training sessions and is like “WAIT I WANT IN ON THIS TOO AND I ALREADY KNOW ALL OF THESE MOVES….SCORE!” LOL.
So, needless to say, there is a lot of treating going on in our house at the moment and for the foreseeable future. I like to feed them both really good quality treats with no icky fillers or by-products…which kind of gets expensive. If you own a dog, you know all of the best treats come with a heftier price tag- it’s worth it for the quality…but still. All of these reasons led me to want to make my own homemade dog treats and they are a HUGE HIT. The dogs love them, they are cheap to make, I know exactly what is in them and it’s fun to do. Extra points if you use a cute dog bone cookie cutter shape like me,
The inspiration for this recipe came from an old Alton Brown recipe I found online- I tweaked it to make it my own. If you use the fish sauce in the recipe (the dogs LOVE it) it will definitely make it a little stinky (crack a window while baking). I’ve done it both ways (with and without the fish sauce) and they like them both….but the fishy ones are a little bit more of a prized treat.
Homemade Dog Treats
1 sweet potato- cooked (you can pierce it and microwave it to cook faster!)
2.5 cups old fashioned rolled outs
1 tin of oil packed sardines (about 3 oz)
2 tablespoons nut butter (I like to use peanut butter- unsalted)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pie mix!)
2 teaspoons of fish sauce for topping (optional)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pulverize the oats in a food processor or high speed blender until it is the consistency of a thick flour, some chunkier pieces is fine. Remove the flour and set aside. Next, remove the skin from the sweet potato and put the pulp in the food processor or high speed blender along with the sardines in oil, egg, nut butter and canned pumpkin. Pulse 10 times or so until it turns into a thick paste, some chunks are ok. Add in 2 cups of your oat flour and pulse again until it looks like dough. The remainder of the oat flour will be used for rolling the dough.
On a clean countertop, sprinkle some more of the oat flour to cover your work space. Place the dough on top, sprinkle with more of the oat flour and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about a 1/4 inch thickness- just like you would with sugar cookies. use a bottle top or cookie cutter and repeat until all the dough is cut.
If you want to make this part easier and don’t care about making them look cute, you can just roll pieces of the dough into small balls like I did in the photos and smush them down on the parchment paper. They end up kinda looking like a thumbprint cookie! To be honest, I usually make them like that, because I don’t have the patience to do the whole rolling situation on most days.
Place all the pieces on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Turn off the heat from the oven, take them out and brush the treats with the fish sauce (this is the stinky part!). Put them back in the oven, with the heat off and let them sit for another 20-30 minutes. This allows the fish sauce to sink in and dry into the cookies. Remove from the oven and store in glass jars or airtight containers. But don’t forget to let your dogs taste test before you do!
I like to freeze half of these so they don’t go bad. If you freeze half, the remainder will stay good on the countertop in an airtight container for a week or 2 weeks in a container in the fridge.
Your dogs will thank you!