cm70_taste_dogtreats_3by Michael Vyskocil, photography by Tara Hope Cofiell

While every dog has its day, not every pup gets the luxury of snacking on homemade treats. Making homemade pet treats is actually simpler than you may think. If you can bake cookies, you can prepare a batch of some tasty creations that get tongues licking and tails wagging.

The following recipes for treats all use fine brown rice flour, which you can find in specialty baking stores and online. This flour not only gives these treats some crunch, but also makes these treats easier to digest. You can also find brewer’s yeast and wheat germ in many supermarkets and health food stores.

Baking a batch of treats is a great family activity. These treats, when packaged in a tin or wrapped in a cellophane bag, make a great gift for any pet lovers among your friends and family.


Homemade Dog Bone Treats

1 cup fine brown rice flour
1/4 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup brewer’s yeast
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth, plus more for brushing

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast and salt; set aside.
  2. Place vegetable oil in a large bowl. Add stock and flour mixture alternately in three batches, beginning and ending with stock. Stir well to evenly combine.
  3. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place a piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Turn out dough onto parchment and knead dough slightly for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Place a second piece of parchment over dough and roll dough to about 3/8-inch-thick. Use small and medium-sized dog-bone-shaped cookie cutters to cut out biscuits. If desired, spell your dog’s name or a message in the cutout shape using the point of a moistened toothpick. Transfer cutouts to prepared baking sheets. Reroll scraps and repeat.
  5. Bake dog treats for 8 minutes. Remove from oven; brush with stock, rotate baking sheets, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes more, until lightly browned. Transfer dog treats to cooling rack and let stand at room temperature to dry completely, at least 2 hours. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Makes about 3 dozen small or medium-sized treats.

cm70_taste_dogtreats_2Paw-Print Treats

2 cups fine brown rice flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup brewer’s yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast and salt. Place vegetable oil in a large bowl. Add flour mixture to oil, alternating with 1 1/4 cups stock; mix until combined.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Turn out dough onto parchment paper and knead dough for 2 to 3 minutes. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of dough and roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness.
  3. Using a 2-inch round drinking glass or straight-sided cookie cutter, cut rounds out of dough. Transfer rounds to prepared baking sheet. Press your thumb to make an indentation at the bottom of one of the cutout rounds. Using the tip of your pinky finger, press to make an indentation of 4 small circles in an arc above the thumbprint to create an appearance of a paw print. Reroll scraps and repeat with remaining dough. Transfer baking sheets to freezer; freeze cutouts for 15 minutes.
  4. Place baking sheets in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven and brush biscuits with remaining 1/2 cup stock. Return baking sheets to oven and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer biscuits to cooling rack and let stand at room temperature to dry completely, at least 2 hours. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen treats.

Deluxe Applesauce Cheddar Dog Biscuits

2 cups fine brown rice flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, cheese, applesauce and vegetable oil. Add 9 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to form a dough (don’t worry if the dough seems a bit crumbly).
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Turn out dough onto parchment and knead dough slightly for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a large dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter, cut out biscuits and transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing biscuits about 2 inches apart. Reroll scraps and repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Bake biscuits for 15 minutes; rotate baking sheets and bake for 13 to 15 minutes more. Remove biscuits to a cooling rack and allow to dry completely at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 1 dozen biscuits.

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