My four legged child, Moose the Mastiff, turned 2 this past weekend. I refer to him as my four legged child because most of the time I find myself shouting the same things at him as I do my actual children. “What’s in your mouth?! Where did this mud come from!? Are you listening to me!? No!” He is subjected to playing dress up and having tea, being a sick patient, a military spy and a partner in outdoor adventures. So, it was only fitting that on his birthday he be treated to presents and of course, cake!
An expense that people often don’t think about is pet food and pet treats. Have you looked at the prices of some dog foods and treats lately!? Wow! Sometimes I have to check the ingredients to see if they are actually healthier than the food I’m buying. When it comes to dog treats, I’ve discovered that making my own saves me money and I know the ingredients going into them are safe and healthy for my pet. So for Moose’s birthday, I decided it would be fun for the kids to make him his very own “pupcakes” and dog biscuits. Here are the recipes we used, in case you want to try them out for your four legged family members.
Peanut Butter Delight Pupcakes
(Yields six pupcakes)
1 cup white or whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded carrots (you can use other ingredients as well, ex. apples, banana, sweet potato, etc.)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350°
Prepare muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
In one bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda. then, in another larger bowl, add the remaining we ingredients and mix well. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well to combine.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. fill each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool on rack.
Once completely cool, decorate the pupcakes with dog-safe peanut butter icing (recipe follows below) and top each with a dog-safe treat.
Peanut Butter Icing
4oz low-fat cream cheese
2oz all natural creamy peanut butter
1Tbsp canola oil
Combine all ingredients with a hand-held mixer until well blended
Cheddar Bacon Dog Biscuits
4 strips bacon (cooked crispy or substitute all natural bacon bits)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cup milled oatmeal
2 large eggs
Additional milled oatmeal
Preheat oven to 350°
Combine bacon, cheese, and oatmeal in mixing bowl. Allow mixer to break bacon and cheese up into little bits.
Add eggs to the dry mixture to form a thick sticky dough.
Dust surface of counter with additional milled oatmeal to prevent sticking.
Roll dough out to approximately 1/4 of an inch. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes
Bake treats on parchment paper lined baking tray for approximately 20 minutes (slightly longer if treats are larger). Treats will be pale-ish brown when they're ready. Allow to cool completely before feeding to your pet.
Not everyone can afford the high priced specialty pet foods and treats that are out there claiming they are the best. I myself am a researcher and a label reader. Much like anything else, when a product comes out boasting to be the newest and best, it’s not long before the competitors have to jump on board and come out with something similar and at a competitive price. Do your research and read labels so you can make informed decisions that are right for you. Also, try researching healthy, homemade alternatives to pet food and treats. It can be a fun family activity that appreciated by your family, your bank account and of course, your pets! I’m Claire, the Afena blog mom. Thanks for reading.