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Make Homemade Dog Treats

We LOVE our dogs and have a great deal of fun spoiling them. Treats are part of that equation but buying them in the store is costly and sometimes dangerous. First of all: when were those commercially produced treats manufactured? What is even in them (most recently, rat poison!)? Why don’t they ever seem to expire? They appear to have the shelf-life of Styrofoam! Regardless of the vitamins and yummy stuff companies may claim to put into those treats, I can promise you that none of them are as good for your dog as food you have in your kitchen right now. I’m including (at Aunt Julie’s and Uncle Raul’s suggestion) one of the recipes I use for our dog treats. Just a quick note about using garlic in treats: I like to put a little bit of garlic in the treats to discourage fleas. It’s probably a good idea to consult a vet before giving garlic treats to puppies. You can always leave the garlic out. WARNING: these treats will eventually grow fuzz so just throw them in the compost bin and make fresh!

1 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup organic wheat germ (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Cereal or steel-cut oats

1/2 cup organic, no sugar added applesauce (I use homemade)

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup warm water

1.) Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and add the applesauce.

2.) Grind the cooked chicken breast and add to the mixture. Oh, you knew I was going to pull out that old grinder!

3.) Crush, mince, and use your knife to make a paste of the fresh garlic cloves. Add to mix.

4.) Add water and mix until you have a nice pliable dough. Knead on a floured surface them roll to 1/4 thickness. Cut into shapes and place on floured or lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and do not remove until morning (or until cooled and hardened).

Be sure you take some breaks or get the kids involved with all those little cookie cutters. Gosh, I can’t wait to have kids to take over this step.

Quick story: My neighbor and a guy that my husband works with came over a few months ago and saw these babies out cooling on the island and being schooled in the ways of our home… they both grabbed up some cookies and began hoovering them. My neighbor made a funny face and said (still chewing), “These cookies taste funny.” When Josh and I told them what they were eating, we expected them to spit them out — instead they both finished their cookies and grinned. Classic.

  • Marlene - Dear Lacy,

    What was it I said about (a force to be recond with)? Glad to see you are feeling better.

    When I get my dogs I will be making them this recipe. Thanx.ReplyCancel

  • YDavis - Well those dogs are certainly spoiled! 🙂
    LOL at the quick story!ReplyCancel

  • CrossView - They *sound* like they would taste good. LOL!
    But I am glad it wasn’t me that tried them… =PReplyCancel

  • Leah - I will have to make these for Jenna soon! She’s so picky about her treats anyway; I’m thinking if she sees me making something she will just assume it’s for us (especially when she sees the chicken! lol) so she’ll want them more because she’ll be thinking she’s getting “people food”! I had made some peanut butter treats for her (I think, not sure now) a couple years ago and she didn’t care for them.

    She’s so fickle though; sometimes she likes her treats but other times she doesn’t – it’s so hard to buy anything for her. We always try to be careful of her store0bought treats though and ALWAYS read the labels and try to get the most natural treats we possibly can for her. I still feel better giving her homemade food and treats though.ReplyCancel

  • Fishing Guy - Lacy: Those are spoiled dogs. I loved the hoovering of the treats, some guys know what’s good. LOLReplyCancel

  • Ann - Crap, my dogs just SAW this post. THANKS LACY. They’ll never touch store bought again!ReplyCancel

  • Tia Julie - Grace LOVES these treats. Recently Raul started making her some and the minute she smelled the garlic she knew he was making her treats. She sat at his feet the entire time he was preparing them, sitting at full attention, with a drool at the corner of her mouth. I am glad you mentioned the garlic warning. I did not realize their could be a possible problem and we recently gave cookies to all of Grace’s class mates at graduation. We included the recipe in the bag so all of the owners knew the ingredients. I am hopeful they all are aware of potential problems.

    What a super thing to do for everyone! I put the garlic warning on there just in case. I’m sure everyone was fine. Issues with garlic are very rare in dogs. Since I have the blog open to the general public (something that I have to remind myself of regularly since I feel so close to my readers), I have to put things like that in there. I just love that you two gave treats to all Grace’s classmates and that you continue to use this recipe — we’ll you guys are just super. I can’t think of better people to raise Grace!ReplyCancel

  • shelli - I think my dog would love these. He’s pretty lukewarm about treats until I get him to taste one, then he can’t get enough.

    I’ll have to try these. The only things I don’t have are the wheat germ (I ran out, this is the best stuff for the top of smoothies) and the unbleached flour.ReplyCancel

  • Applie - My kids would think those were cookies and eat them. LOL I have never made dog treats, but if we ever get anothe dog, I’ll make some.ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - As I was reading the recipe, I was thinking the carnivore people in our family may not keep they hands off. I read an article in Mother Earth News recently that cinnamon is good for keeping away insects and dogs like it and the person was making dog treats with cinnamon (okay, it may have been an info ad). That may be a nice addition as well and goes well with chicken and applesauce and garlic.

    I want to make horse treats. We have paid a lot for some we got and they are mostly grains with molasses and I could use applesauce as well. Perhaps they like cinnamon too. I would just sprinkle a couple with cinnamon as testers to start with so as not to ruin the whole batch.

    Thanks for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - I make dog treats at Christmas time and send them off as part of the baskets we make for our families.ReplyCancel

  • nancypants - You have a lovely website here. :^) We have a golden boy much like your pooch there. Ours is named Bruce.ReplyCancel

  • Erika - Your pup is adorable! Thanks for the recipe, my Mrs. Wigglesnort will love it, I’m sure!
    To go along with your humans-eating-dog-treats story: my husband and I purchased some locally produced, organic treats one day (that happened to be vegan, our dog is not vegan, but the treats just happened to have no animal products in them). On our way home, we stopped by my in-law’s and offered them samples of the “granola bars” we were testing. My MIL was the only one who didn’t test out Mrs. Wigglesnort’s new treats! They were pretty good – we tried the apple cinnamon ones!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Maursky - Is’nt garlic harmful to dogs? I thought I had heard this along with onions, grapes, raisons and chocolate. I may be wrong. Please let me know. Thank you for your wonderful site! RebeccaReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Maursky - Is’nt garlic harmful to dogs? I thought I had heard this along with onions, grapes, raisons and chocolate. I may be wrong. Please let me know. Thank you for your wonderful site! RebeccaReplyCancel

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