Treat the special pooch in your life to a delicious and healthy homemade treat with our new Lamb & Herb Jerky Dehydrator Dog Treat recipe. It’s easy to make, you’ll know exactly what is in it and you can give your dog a homemade treat that you can feel confident in. … [read more]
So, you are considering switching your dog from store-bought dog food to a homemade diet?
If you are a novice at making dog food from scratch, it may seem like there is an overwhelming amount of information to learn. However, you can start off with some basic nutritional guidelines for dogs and continue to learn as you go.
The advantages of homemade dog food are well worth the effort. The following tips on feeding, variety, supplements, and foods to avoid will arm you with some basics.
Keep in mind that with a little research, your beloved, four-legged family member will be reaping the health benefits of healthy, home-cooked meals.
There are some flavours that just scream Christmas to me.
Molasses. Butterscotch. Toasted sugar. Egg nog. And Peppermint. Especially peppermint. Even though I eat mint year round, for some reason I find it so much more satisfying at Christmas. Maybe it’s because that’s when I call it Candy Cane? I don’t know, but to me, Christmas tastes like mint.
I don’t know if it’s because they love to eat what I’m eating or the flavour, but my dogs love peppermint too.
I have to be careful not to leave gum out or Kol will steal it. (I don’t even buy gum with Xylitol in it due to it’s toxicity to dogs.) He will absolutely lick a candy cane if you have one in your hand. He loves the stuff and I can’t blame him.
I don’t know why it never occurred to me to make peppermint dog treats.
Duh? What a no-brainer. They make the house smell crazy festive, Kol loves them and I have a new and delicious dog treat recipe to share with you guys. I decided to make these DIY dog treat extra special by combining two of Kolchak’s favourite flavours: Peppermint and carob. For the unfamiliar, carob is a rich flavoured bean with a flavour reminiscent of chocolate, but without any theobromine, which makes it 100% safe for dogs to eat. It drives Kol wild. So, it’s safe to say that he is a huge fan of our new homemade peppermint carob dog treats.
In the summer the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven to bake dog treats.
It’s just been way to hot at Casa de Kolchak to turn on the oven and let’s be honest? When it’s nice outside, I’d rather be off enjoying life with my dogs than cooped up in the kitchen making homemade dog treats. The good news is, there’s another way! Dehydrator dog treats are perfect to make in the hot weather.
Dehydrator dog treats are my summer go to recipe.
Because a dehydrator works by circulating warm, but not roasty hot air, the machine doesn’t generate a ton of heat, plus I have power on my deck, so I can plug that suck in outside and avoid running it indoors altogether.
Usually, when I make dog treats in the dehydrator I don’t worry to much about pre-cooking the meat. Yes, not cooking it through can leave behind traces of bacteria, like salmonella, but since my dogs are raw fed (and I believe the canine system is much better equipped to handle these bacteria than our human systems are), this slight risk doesn’t cause me a lot of concern. In the summer however, when the heat and especially the humidity are high, it takes me longer than usual to dry out our treats and I feel better knowing the meat was cooked through prior to drying it.
I still don’t want to turn on the oven though and thus, BBQ DIY Dog Chews were created.
Chances are the BBQ becomes the food prep MVP of your home during the summer. Most people I know use it several times a week and so, it was the easiest most logical choice for our latest dog treat recipe, which is super easy and drives my dogs absolutely WILD.
Since it’s already on, there’s no extra pan or tray to clean up. It won’t heat up the house and WHO DOESN’T LOVE BBQ?!
The Stuff (aka Ingredients)
- 3 lbs. Lean Pork Loin (You can substitute chicken, beef, fish or another lean protein, if you prefer)
- Optional Marinade:
- 3/4 c minced Sage or Parsley
- 1 cup real Maple Syrup (not the flavoured sugar/corn syrup alternatives)
- 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
How We Do It (Instructions)
If desired, stir together Maple Syrup, Apple Cider Vinegar, Soy Sauce and Sage or Parsley.
Slice Pork Loin into generous 1/4" - 3/8" medallions. Place pork slices in a Ziploc bag or covered dish and place in the fridge to marinate over night.
Heat the BBQ to medium heat. (Ideally, you can cook your own dinner, then toss these on while the BBQ cools down!) Place pork medallions on the grill and cook 2 - 4 minutes per side, until pork is cooked through.
Remove pork from BBQ and place in the dehydrator. Turn to 165F or the "meat" setting. Dry for 8 - 12 hours until chews are firm and non-pliable. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate or freeze, as the moisture will rehydrate chews and cause them to spoil faster.
Fully dried treats, if properly stored, will keep fir up to three months, though you'll probably run out of them long before that!
Not a pork fan? We gotchoo covered. Check out all of our great dehydrator dog treat recipes here or help your pooch cool down with a homemade frozen dog treat.
What is your go to homemade dog treat to make when the weather is warm?
We’re still loving our Yonanas machine.
A few weeks ago, we shared how excited we were that the company had sent us one of their banana ice cream makers to try and how we use the Yonanas machine to make frozen dog treats. The dogs love it. I love it. And since we’ve been experiencing a bit of a heat wave here at Casa de Kolchak, we’ve been using it a lot.
We’ve been experimenting with new flavours and recipes for frozen treats that the dogs and I will all love. Dude, sharing is caring and I pretty much never make human treats. The fact that Yonanas is a treat the dogs and I can share is awesome.
Koly and Fe are loving our latest creation: PB&J Yonanas Frozen Dog Treats
It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s like a PB & J – without the bread!
Let me tell you, these dogs LOVE it. Look at those faces.
What is your dogs favourite flavour?
You guys know how much I love a good kitchen gadget.
Small appliances are my jam, yo. In my dreams, I have a whole room that is just floor to ceiling shelves of small appliances. I’d have one of everything. In real life? I live in an apartment with a small galley kitchen, no pantry and a total lack of storage space, so small appliances really have to be something special to earn a spot in our postage stamp sized appliance cupboard.
Once small appliance that is a must own, can’t let go, gotta have it is our Yonanas.
A few months ago, we got sent a Yonanas machine to try. Y’all have seen these right? They call it the “banana ice cream” maker and it basically takes frozen bananas and turns them into a thick, creamy frozen treat. A frozen treat that is absolutely perfect for sharing with dogs.
Let’s be real for a minute, making frozen dog treats can be a bit of a pain in the tail. Mix up the ingredients, sometimes blend them, pour them into the moulds, freeze them and then serve them. And even then? Most frozen treats aren’t really an ice cream for dogs, as much as they are flavoured ice cubes. My dogs love ice cream, but it’s not very good for them. Did you know that the reason ice cream is scoopable is because it’s full of milk fat and sugar? Whomp whomp. I love the Yonanas because it lets me make soft, creamy frozen treats that are actually good for my dogs.
It’s so easy to make soft serve frozen dog treats with Yonanas.
Step one: Freeze a slightly over-ripe banana (We call ’em “Cheetah Bananas” because they have those ugly brown spots that mean they’re extra sweet.)
Step Two: Feed it into the machine
Um…I feel silly for numbering the steps. That’s all there is. It really is that easy.
This powerhouse of a small appliance can make so much more than just creamy banana ice cream though. If you can freeze it, you just might be able to Yonanas it. We’ve been playing around, having fun and seeing just how many different frozen dog treats we can make. The answer is A LOT. Here are 28 of Koly and Fe’s favourite things to turn into healthy delicious soft serve frozen dog treats:
If you want to make this even easier?
Head to the local grocery store and hit the freezer aisle. You can get so many dog friendly frozen fruits and veggies. Just pop the bag in the freezer and make tasty, dog friendly Yonanas whenever you like.
Get creative! Some of the dog’s favourite Yonanas flavours are mixes! Pick 2 or 3 ingredients, alternate adding them to the machine and create one of a kind flavour combinations just for your pet. You can even add toppings to pump up the flavour. You can even try sprinkling a little crushed dog cookie or chopped up jerky treat on top to make a doggie sundae.
Kol’s favourite is Banana with a little bit of peanut butter and blueberries. Felix’s changes all the time, but he’s currently on a real cantaloupe kick. Me? I’m partial to banana berry with just a little squeeze of fresh lemon stirred in. (I find a bit of citrus cuts through the creaminess of the banana in a really refreshing way).
I can’t believe how often we use our Yonanas machine.
Small appliance have a tendency to get forgotten on a shelf, but this summer, we’ve used the Yonanas 2 or 3 times almost every week. It’s a quick, easy, healthy way to share a frozen treat. The machine even comes apart and washes up in less than 5 minutes. What’s not to love about that? In my opinion, this is one small appliance that is worth every penny of the price tag – and more.
For more human – friendly recipes and frozen treat ideas, visit yonanas.com
What would be your dog’s “go to” favourite flavour of Yonanas? Any suggestions on what we should try next?
A lot of people think that it has to be a ton of work to make dog treats at home.
To be honest, they can be right. If you want to make the fancy stuff, like liver filled whoopie pies or intricately marbled banana carob cookies, then sure, it’s going to be a bit of work. What people don’t realize is that there is a really easy way to make dog treats at home without ever turning on your oven. Some of the easiest treats I make and the ones my dogs love the most are made in our countertop dehydrator.
Making homemade dehydrator dog treats can be easy as easy as slicing. Anyone can slice something right?
Dogs love to eat meaty treats, but jerky and cookies can carry a whopping calorie count and they aren’t great for pups who are watching their waistline.
These easy to make dehydrator dog treats combine the low calorie health benefits of veggies with a taste of meat, to create a green bean chicken dog treat that your pup will love. My puggle, Kolchak is a food hound. (Actually, I usually call him a food something else, with some 18A rated language.) He will cut you and step over your limp body if he thinks it will get him closer to a snack. When something smells super delicious, there is *no way* to keep him from loosing his head. What can say? He’s part beagle. These dogs are slaves to the snouts. Snacks: All the cool dogs are doing it. Actually, all the cool dogs are over-doing it. It’s estimated that almost HALF the pet population is overweight. Time to lay off the Snausages (they are smelly and gross and full of junk anyways.) Still, I totally get it. Dogs love treats and we, as their people, love giving them treats. The secret is learning to give treats that they will love and you can feel good about.
Lean, Mean & Green
I know we have professed our bean-love before, but let me just say it again. Beans are delish. We love fresh steamed green beans as a treat or green bean pupsicles as a cool treat on a hot day. Beans are full of awesome. Full. Beans are a great source of carotenoids and antioxidants, two things that are essential for kibble fed pups due to the highly oxidized nature of kibbles. Beans are also a rich source of dietary fibre, zea-xanthin, folates, vitamin B-6,thiamin, and vitamin C, as well as a great mineral source for iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. They are also AWESOME for your waistline.
At only 34 calories per cup (*fresh) you can easily eat a bunch without packing on the pounds.
The only catch? They are just beans. My dogs really love meaty treats and getting them to eat dehydrated green beans without a kick of flavour can be a real challenge. That’s why I decided to combine the power of chicken and green beans to make these easy dehydrator dog treats.
Meaty, Green Bean Dehydrator Dog Treats
2 cups frozen green beans, defrosted
1 cup freeze dried chicken treats, like Purebites (<affiliate link)
*Kol’s Note: You could actually use any kind of dried meat treat you like. Felix loves these made with duck or white fish due to his allergies.
These crunchy green beans treats can be made in the oven or in a countertop dehydrator. We like to make ours in our dehydrator because it is so easy to just pop them in there and forget about them. I always worries about leaving the oven on for this long.
OVEN: Preheat to 150F or get out your counter top dehydrator
Voila! That’s it. Delicious, nutritious and oh so easy to make.
This is a blog hop! Every week, we invite you to link up your Tastiest Post and Hop On to discover all sorts of new treats recipes, great giveaways and more!
To join in, follow your hosts, Kol’s Notes & Sugar the Golden Retriever, grab the badge and add your link to this week’s hop!
**SO, apparently Linky Tools is having a bad day, so I can’t log in to create this week’s link up code. Leave your links in the comments below and I’ll try again on my lunch break!**
Living close to the US Border has a few benefits.
In not much time at all, I can hop across the line and grab a Cherry Limeade, hit up the Target and make a stop at PetSmart to grab all the great pet stuff we can’t get in Canada just yet. I always feel a little like I’ve won the lottery when I see something I love show up in Canadian stores, like we’ve finally hit the big leagues and we can have cool stuff too.
I was super excited to see DOG for DOG at our local PetSmart right here in Canada.
Oh Canada, this is exciting news! I discovered DOG for DOG at Superzoo a few years ago and I was pretty excited about their products: dog treats for training, dog-centric energy bars and dog-safe peanut butter. I love their mission: for every item purchased, they donate an equal amount of kibble to a dog in need. That means that a whole lot of food ends up in the hands of shelters who can really use it. You guys, let’s be honest, I have really, really spoiled dogs. I love the idea that by spoiling the special pooches in my life, I can also help dogs who don’t have a
servant slave human like me.
Plus, DOG for DOG natural treats are something you can feel good about giving.
I’m always looking to dog training treats that will make Felix work for it. It’s easy to get Kol involved, you can hold your fingers like you might have something in them and he’ll do a trick. Felix is a tad harder and fussy. He gives the Peanut Butter flavoured training treats two paws up.
The DOGSBARS are so darn convenient for life on the go. I love that I can toss one in my bag for a quick dog snack when we’re out running errands, walking in the woods or visiting friends.
My favourite DOG for DOG treat, though, is the DOGSBUTTER.
We’ve all heard (or I hope we all have) that some brands of peanut butter are no longer dog safe. DOGSBUTTER is a peanut butter for dogs, so you know it’s all dog friendly and it’s always going to be. Plus, it’s pretty easy to read the label. It’s all food; all ingredients you’ll recognize. It’s all natural made with only 3 ingredients and is gluten free with no added salt, sugar, or hydrogenated oils. It’s a great treat to smear inside a Kong or to
trick entice dogs to take pills,
I knew it was the perfect starting point for a tasty dog treat recipe.
Holy woof you guys, these DOGSBUTTER Peanut Butter Gingerbread Dog Treats are SO GOOD.
For dogs, I mean. Not humans, obviously. I did not eat a half dozen while I worked on this post. That would be
delicious weird, right? A fun take on a holiday classic, these homemade dog treats can be soft baked for dense, spicy classic gingerbread or rolled thin and baked crisp for a crunchy treat. They taste way fancier than they are and they’re actually pretty darn easy.
The Stuff (aka Ingredients)
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour or Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix + extra for dusting
- 1 tsp. baking soda (if making crunchy treats, leave this out)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 2 generous tbsp. fresh finely grated ginger or ginger paste (if substituting dried, use 1 heaping tsp.)
- 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. DOGBUTTER Peanut Butter for Dogs
- 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. Blackstrap Molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3/4 c. water
How We Do It (Instructions)
Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, peanut butter, molasses, water and vanilla. If you are using gresh ginger stir it into the wet mix. (If you're using dry, add it to the mix below.)
In a second bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Don't be tempted to use a pre-made gingerbread spice mix. These mixes contain nutmeg which can be toxic to dogs, even in small doses. Stir the dry mix into the wet mix, adding a little at a time until combined and dough comes together.
Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Turn out your dough and roll it out to a generous 1/4" thick. (For crunchy treats, roll it to a thin 3/16"). Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares.
Lay out dough on your parchment lined baking sheets. Pierce the center of the cookies to allow air to escape and prevent surface bubbling. (I used the hols to make it look like buttons.) Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. (Don't worry if the inside still looks soft. The cookies will continue to firm up as they cool.) Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
For crunchy treats, turn the oven off and allow the cookies to cool inside the oven for several hours.
The dogs are wild over our newest dog treat recipe. Koly keeps trying to herd me into the kitchen and Felix went so far as to bark at me. ::GASP:: That boy is lucky he is cute.
It’s that time of year when you want to show friends and neighbours you care and nothing says Christmas like a plate of homemade cookies. Pop over to your local PetSmart store or check out PetSmart online, grab a bag of DOG for DOG Training Treats, a DOGSBAR or two and some DOGSBUTTER, then give the dog lover in your life the gift of tasty treats this holiday.
Follow DOG for DOG online:
Does your dog like peanut butter?
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With American turkey day right around the corner, we went back to find some of our favourite turkey dog treat recipes. It’s been so long since we made these turkey and kale dog cookies that I almost forgot about them, but looking back, they were so pretty and a lot of fun to make. These cookies make a fabulous hostess gift for any dog lover. Just pop them in a cellophane bag, tie it with some festive raffia and away you go! – Jodi
Have you ever had kale?
It was on sale at the market garden this weekend. Kale is a favourite at Casa de Kolchak. Mama loves to make kale chips (a tasty treat for pups AND their people), she often hides kale in sauces so the Daddy doesn’t even know it’s there and this weekend, she decided it was high time that she made a dog treat that featured nutritious, delicious kale.
Kale is legit good for you – and for your humans too.
A member of the brassica family (which features other tasty snacks like broccoli and brussels sprouts), this dark leafy vegetable is rich in vitamin c, vitamin k, and beta carotene, plus a whole bunch of cancer fighting phytonutrients. It’s low calorie, has a ton of fiber and it can help regulate liver enzymes that assist in the clearing of toxins.
Plus it’s totally tasty.
We’re not a fan of raw kale, but we love it cooked and the Mama knew we’d be all over tasty treats made with kale alongside some yummy meat. Mama chose turkey because A: it was also on sale and B: she thought it would look really pretty in a fun checkerboard pattern. The grain free homemade dog treats might look really fancy, but they’re actually easy as woof (Plus, we have an easy shortcut for anyone who isn’t a lousy show off like the Mama)