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If you’ve made it this far through the coronavirus pandemic with your mental health more or less intact, there’s a good chance it’s partly because of your dog. They’re participating in Zoom calls. They’re giving us new ways to be creative with our talents. They’re still our confidantes, our best listeners and our preferred snuggle partners.
So how about you step it up a bit and bake something for the canine in your life? The following recipes are easy to make and guaranteed to satisfy a pooch who might be extra peckish after all those extra walks you’ve been taking.
Please remember that, just like their human companions, dogs can have a wide range of food sensitivities and allergies. Be sure to talk to your vet about how any of these treats might fit into your pet’s diet.
Sweet Potato Chews
Jen Costello, the blogger behind My Brown Newfies, is the owner of a Newfoundland named Odin and a Corgi named Finn. After buying bags of sweet potato chews for them, she had a revelation: “It’s just sweet potatoes, so it’s a single ingredient treat,” she told HuffPost. “Why was I buying these and not making them?”
Here’s her recipe for a chew that’s similar to the packaged version, at a fraction of the cost.
Two-Ingredient, 30-Minute Dog Treats
Kiki Kane’s actual title is “dog chef,” and she blogs frequently at Rover.com about creating everything from hearty canine bone broths to doggie birthday cakes. One of her favorite recipes is this two-ingredient wonder, which can be mixed-and-matched with ingredients you have on hand. “I love this recipe because of its extreme flexibility,” she told HuffPost.
“With so many of us at home and unable to shop regularly, it’s fantastic to have this simple recipe up your sleeve,” she said. “You can use any dog-friendly fruit or veggie you have on hand, including baby food, frozen fruit or applesauce. You and your family can get creative rolling out fun shapes and finding tasty mix-ins like shredded cheese or diced leftover meat. You’ll have a tasty treat for your dog in under 30 minutes.”
Vet’s Favorite Peanut Butter Dog Recipe
Jennifer Coates is a Colorado-based veterinarian and author of Dictionary of Veterinary Terms: Vet-speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian. She’s also on the advisory board for Pet Life Today, for which she created a simple peanut butter dog biscuit recipe.
Kol’s Easy Cheesy Dog Treats
Kolchak is a puggle (or pug beagle mix) owned by Jodi Chick of the Kol’s Notes blog. “I would be a wreck without him here to share my days with right now,” she told HuffPost. “He’s pretty much convinced that my sole purpose at home is to be making him snacks.”
Chick described the recipe as “super forgiving,” and added, “I’ve tested it with several kinds of oil, countless types of cheese and both regular and gluten-free flour. Every time they come out great. No matter how often I make these, Kolchak always sits at the oven and waits — and then harasses me while they cool. It’s both obnoxious and endearing.”
Turkey Power Bars
Carmen Velasquez, a blogger from The Honest Kitchen, is more appreciative than ever of her senior dog, Abba. “She spent the last 10 years going in to work each day, but she adapted to working from home sooner than I did,” Velasquez told HuffPost. “I’m so grateful to her for being equally calming and hilarious.”
This doggie version of power bars accommodates creativity and substitutions. “If you don’t have quinoa flour, any flour will do,” she told HuffPost. “You can cut the bars into smaller pieces to use as training treats or as a food topper.”
Get Carmen Velasquez’s recipe for Turkey Power Bars
Homemade Dog Treats
Atlanta-based Winona Rogers, who blogs at Life Family & Fun, is the owner of a Shichon puppy named Teddy and a Shitzu named Buddy. “I plead guilty to the fact that we love to spoil our dogs,” she told HuffPost. These five-ingredient treats are made with ingredients you probably already have on hand. Refrigerate them in an airtight container or freeze.