Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dogs Love Treats Too!

Happy Tuesday! I hope your week has started off fabulously....

I am so happy to finally be getting around to a post that I've been meaning to do for ages. This blog is devoted to finding health and happiness and just pure enjoyment of life. Two of the biggest enjoyments in my life are these 2 guys. I'm constantly talking about my healthy eats and treats and sharing tips and recipes and today I want to devote a post to my "kids" because their health and quality of life is pretty freakin' important to me as well!

We don't feed much people food to our dogs and their daily diet consists of a high quality dry dog food. As far as treats go, I often create my own conctions, which are healthy and I assume delicious by the drooling dogs that I have to trip over to get to the treat jar! It's also alot easier on my wallet (because we go through alot of treats in a day!) and then I can have total control over what ingredients are going into my doggies' goodies. This is especially important because when Hank was about 6 months old, he experienced a pretty severe allergic reaction that caused the skin on his back to break into open sores. Before going through the expensive task of allergy testing, our vet suggested that we try cutting out some common allergens to see if we could figure out what the problem was. After some experimentation, we came to the conclusion that he was having problems with wheat and we have attempted to avoid most grains since then.

It's amazing how many pet food products contain wheat and it's been a challenge to find high-quality treats that are wheat free and TASTE GOOD. Our furkids can be pretty particular and think nothing of spitting out a treat if it isn't up to their 'standards'. Do you see why we have a sign at our house that says "Spoiled Rott'n Dogs Live Here"?? I swear they think they're high society or something ;-)

One of Hank & Dora's fave treats is a super easy mixture that I've been dying to share with all of my dog-loving followers. It's super easy to whip together, you probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen and YOUR DOGS WILL LOVE THEM.

*Now I just want to note that these treats do contain meat. I have experimented with vegetarian food & treat options in the past, but they just don't work for my guys - I guess they take more after their dad ;-)*

Healthy Wheat-Free Dog Treats
Makes 1 large mason jar full of yummy treats

1 lb ground meat (we use venison usually but any type of ground meat will do)
1/2 apple, grated
1/2 c carrots, shredded (I used matchsticks which worked well too)
1 egg
1/2 c oats
1/2 lg sweet potato, steamed, peeled & mashed

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together. Press flat onto your cookie sheet. It will stretch out to cover most of your cookie sheet and should be approximately a 1/2" thick.

Bake at 350 for 1 hr. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and score the treats with a knife. I cut mine into small 1" x 1" squares. Reduce the heat in your oven to 200 and bake for another 40 minutes until the treats are quite dry. Keep an eye because they will get dark, but you don't want them to burn!

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When the treats are cool enough to handle, break them apart and store them in an airtight jar or container. I use a large mason jar and the treats fit perfectly.

This is an old dog treat recipe that I've had forever. It's a real winner at our house!

Use whole, all natural ingredients to make a very healthy and tasty treat!

The treats are done when it's quite dry around the edges. They're chewy and more like a jerky rather than a moist meaty type of treat.

Mason jars make the best storage for these types of things.
Seal 'er up and store the treats in the refrigerator.

*Note: you might want to let the man or kids in your life know that these are dog treats because inevitably someone will feel compelled to try these. Of course, they won't hurt them, so if you're cruel like me, you can always let them know after their first bite ;-)

I made a batch of these treats last weekend while the dogs were playing outside. When I let them in, they ran straight to the kitchen and this is where I found them....

Notice how Hank always looks like he's smiling?? 
Dora is very serious about her treats. She wants them all and she wants them now haha!

These treats will get you lots of sits, downs, shake a paws and smooches on command. I think mine would even do back flips if they could figure out how to do that!

Do you or someone you know treat their pets more like people than animals? We totally do!

Have a great day and I'll see you tomorrow with my weekly WIAW post!



  1. Ooooh I love this! I'll have to try them out on Sadie. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I hope she loves them! They are great for training puppies :)

  2. My babies (3 Aussies - also horribly spoiled!) will love these! I make most of their treats and a fair amount of their food. So far, no allergies or other food issues. I just like knowing what they're eating. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great idea! I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks for the recipe! I bet Rambo (our chihuahua) will enjoy these =)

    1. I hope he does! You'll get a ton of treats out of this because you can cut them into much small bites for your little guy! Mine barely taste a 1x1" square!!

  4. What a great recipe, thanks for sharing it!

  5. How long to the treats last in a jar and if you freeze them?

  6. How long will they keep? Should they be refrigerated?

  7. I just put a batch in the oven, and my dogs are in the kitchen hovering! I didn't have a sweet potato, but I had some canned pumpkin, so I threw a little of that in! :)