A Tradition Your Dogs Will Love
Homemade gifts are a tradition in many families, and it is a tradition that your four-legged family members will love just as much as your two-legged ones. By choosing a DIY holiday gift for your dog, you can ensure it is made with care, uses only ingredients that are suitable for your pet and that meets all of your quality standards.
One of the easiest and most appreciated holiday gifts you can give your dog is the gift of some delicious, nutritious holiday treats. These can be made up a week or more in advance and stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.
Most of the free recipes on the internet will have a range of different ingredients. Substitute different ingredients, such as oatmeal for flour or different types of meats or other ingredients to suit your dog and your flavor favorites.
Here is a simple homemade dog cookie recipe that can have an unlimited number of substitutions to create the perfect treat:
Meat Cookie Treats
1 cup of shredded boneless, skinless chicken (or other lean meat)
¾ cup of brown rice, cooked and cooled
3 tablespoons flour (whole wheat, white, rice or other flour)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 whole egg
Mix this together completely until it is moist and sticks together. Pat out to about a ½ flat and cut into squares. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until firm.
Another recipe that is more like commercially available dog treats is also easy to make is found below. This recipe can be rolled out like cookie dough and cut into festive shapes for the holidays.
Basic Doggy Treat Dough
2 ½ cups of flour (your choice of flour as above)
½ cup of hot beef or chicken stock
Add small amounts of shredded carrots, shredded cheese, small amounts of chopped bacon or even some canned, unsweetened pumpkin or a couple of tablespoons of natural peanut butter.
Heat oven to 350 and mix the dough until it forms into a ball. Roll out, cut out shapes and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until hard and dry.
Sock and Ball
Using an old sports sock as the exterior, place one to three tennis balls inside depending on the size of the dog and the size of the sock. For smaller dogs, use rubber balls that are appropriately sized and sold at the pet store.
Then, simply tie the end of the sock, leaving enough to give you a “handle.” This is a perfect toy for games of tug of war where you can hold the handle and the dog can hold the other end. For dogs that love to play fetch, this is also an ideal way to throw the ball a lot further.