My sweet dog, Dusty, turned 13 years old this week and to celebrate, I made one of his favorite things—homemade treats. Don’t get me wrong, he won’t discriminate against the store-bought kind but there is just something about these oven-baked “cookies” that gets him super excited. I’ve been making the same recipe for years but have tweaked it a bit here and there.
The absolute best part about making these treats (besides how happy they make your best friend) is that you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now. I have used applesauce in the past but because I didn’t have any on hand, I substituted with canned pumpkin, found deep in the cupboard. You can also feel good about the fact that this recipe is much healthier than most dog treats available for sale at pet stores. But beware…the treats smell so good while baking, you may be tempted to eat them yourself! Try this easy recipe if you’re tired of spending a fortune on dog treats but still want to spoil your pup.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup canned pumpkin (or applesauce if desired)
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly until dough forms.
FOR THICK CAKE-LIKE TREATS:
Spread dough in a round cake pan and bake for 1 hour. Cool before serving. Keep in covered container for up to a week.
FOR THIN CRUNCHY TREATS:
Roll out dough on floured surface with rolling pin and punch out bone shape with cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet covered with wax paper or foil. Bake 30 minutes, then flip cookie over and bake for another 30 minutes until crunchy and hard. Cool before serving. Keep in covered container for up to a week.