Certainly your dog has already marked this very important day on the calendar, but just in case you’ve forgotten, February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day, also known as International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. The history of canine treats shows that earlier versions were quite a bit different than today’s variety. Dog treats used to include stale, moldy bread, rotting leftovers and rock-hard biscuits made out of grain. But American James Spratt changed that on a trip to England in the mid-1800s when he saw hungry, stray dogs scavenging for leftover food. It wasn’t long before he developed a cake-like biscuit comprised of meat, grains and vegetables called “Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes”. Then in 1908, the F. H. Bennett Biscuit Co. of New York developed hard-baked, bone-shaped biscuits comprised of various minerals, cow’s milk and meat products, the Milk-Bone.
Dog treats have come a long way over the years. Treats not only taste good, they can help clean dogs’ teeth and be used as a reward for good behavior. Use treats (or recipes) formulated for specifically for dogs. These should taste good to your dog and won’t upset their stomach. Also consider using fresh vegetables as treats. Look for high-fiber, low-calorie options such as carrots, green beans or broccoli. Remember to check the calorie count of the treats you are using, and factor them in on your dog’s daily dietary needs so you don’t unintentionally cause your dog to add a few pounds.
Feel up to making some treats for your favorite pup? Here are some recipes we found while surfing the net. Just Google “dog treat recipes” and you’re sure to find the perfect treats for your dog. Let us know how they turn out. Post a photo of your dog on our Facebook Page enjoying your delicious creations.
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons bacon fat (melted)
5 cups whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
- Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in milk, water, salt, and bacon fat until well blended. Gradually stir in flour to make a stiff dough. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into 2 inch balls. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on racks. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
- 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (cold, cut into tablespoon pieces)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (chopped)
- 1 large egg
- Pulse flours, cornmeal, oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size butter lumps. Add 1 cup water and pulse until a coarse, dense dough forms.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in parsley and mint until well distributed. Gather, then halve dough with scraper. Form into 2 balls and flatten each into a 6-inch disk.
- Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 large baking sheets.
- Roll out 1 disk of dough into a round (1/3 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, wrap in plastic and chill until firm.) Cut out as many biscuits as possible and arrange about 1/4 inch apart on 1 baking sheet.
- Gather scraps and reroll, then cut out more biscuits. Repeat with remaining dough, using other baking sheet.
- Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush biscuits with egg wash and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until tops are golden brown, about 35 minutes total. Turn off oven and dry biscuits in oven overnight.
- *Available at sweetc.com.
Biscuits keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 month.
Makes ~6 dozen 1″ diameter treats
3 slices of bacon, diced
1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter (or Sunbutter)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (bacon + maple seemed like a good idea)
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
-Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
-Fry the diced bacon until crispy. With a slotted spoon, remove the crispy bacon but save the fat. Allow the fat to cool slightly (2-5 minutes)
-Add the egg, peanut butter, maple syrup and water to the bacon fat and mix thoroughly.
-Add in the flours and wheat germ and mix until combined. Stir in the crispy bacon pieces.
-Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4″ thick. Cut into desired shapes. I used three different 1″ cookie cutters.
-Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes (for 1″ diameter shapes) until lightly browned.
-Cool and let them enjoy!
- 1 banana
- 1 cup oat flour
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup dried parsley
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Put banana in a large bowl and use a spoon or potato masher to mash it thoroughly. Add oat flour, oats, parsley, peanut butter and egg and stir well to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Roll mixture into 24 balls, using about 1 tablespoon dough for each; transfer to a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet as done. Use the back of a spoon or the heel of your hand to press each ball into a (1 1/2- to 2-inch) coin. Bake until firm and deep golden brown on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.
Storage note: It’s best to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, freeze them to give to your pal later; just be sure to thaw the treats before handing them out.
Homemade Doggie Treats
Makes 2 dozen treats
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup melted bacon fat
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup cold water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix by hand until dough forms. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Add more bacon fat or water if the dough is too stiff.
- Roll out onto a floured surface, to a thickness of just under 1/2-inch. Cut into 1×4-inch bars and transfer to a cookie sheet. Poke divots into the bars (I use the end of a chopstick) and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn the oven off, flip the bars, and place back in the oven until cool (this will further crisp them).
- Treats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.