It’s high time for a dog treat recipe to appear on this baking blog and in honor of my puppy’s second birthday, I have THREE recipes to share! Junior is maybe a little bit spoiled so I obviously had to make him three different things, including a birthday cake.
Of course, living in Seattle, it was pouring down rain pretty much the entire day. We still went running and went to the dog park and Junior thoroughly enjoyed making my apartment into a muddy mess after all was said and done.
After bath number one of the day, we went to a pet store and got him some new birthday treats and a squeaky ball shaped like an owl that he immediately dropped in a mud puddle. He splashed around in the mud retrieving it, meriting bath number two of the day.
Normally Junior hates baths, so I wouldn’t have given him two on his birthday, but he needed to be clean for his first ever pooch photo shoot! He needed to be clean and soft and dry so he would look extra cute in his photos. I’ve already had the chance to see his photos and they are SO CUTE! I had no idea how they would turn out; Junior was all over the place with excitement during the photo shoot but his photographer captured all of his best moments. I’m going to pick up his photos this coming week and will share them with you as soon as I have them!
After the birthday photo shoot, I started baking all of his treats. I made him a puppy cake, essentially a sugarless carrot cake, frosted with a thin layer of peanut butter. And I definitely tried the cake, as weird as that may seem, but it wasn’t bad! It was similar in taste and texture to a bran muffin. Not that it made any difference to Junior–he loved it. I baked it in a loaf pan and cut out a dog bone shape to make it extra festive but I’m pretty sure he would have eaten it right out of the pan.
Other than the cake, I made two types of treats: Flaxseed Twists and Oat and Cheese Biscuits. I found the recipes in Natural Dog Magazine (something I’m not a regular subscriber to–I found a copy at Whole Foods the other day and somehow convinced Dan to buy it for me!) and Junior loved those treats, too. The twists were a little more time-consuming to make because they actually involve a lot of twisting, as the name suggests, and the biscuit recipe makes about a zillion treats, so be prepared to cut out a lot of dog bone shapes. But, both were super easy recipes and definitely worth it in Junior’s mind as he gobbled them up.
Needless to say, he was spoiled beyond belief on his birthday and I have completely solidified my reputation as a crazy dog lady. If you’re a crazy dog person too, go spoil your pup rotten with some homemade treats, and if you’re not a crazy dog person, homemade dog treats make great gifts for anyone you know with dogs!
Puppy Birthday Cake
Makes 1 regular loaf pan
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (something without sugar and additives)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded carrots
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a regular size loaf pan. Stir together the flour and baking soda. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After the cake cools, either leave as is or dress it up! I cut mine into a large dog-bone shape and frosted it with a thin layer of peanut butter to make it really special for Junior.
Makes about 20 twists
2 cups flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup beef or chicken broth (preferably low-sodium for your puppy’s health)
cornmeal and flaxseed meal, for rolling out treats
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Mix together the flour, flaxseed meal, broth, and egg until well combined. Knead the dough until it forms a soft ball, adding a bit more flour if it’s too sticky. Put equal parts cornmeal and flaxseed meal on the counter or a breadboard and drop the ball of dough in it, rolling it around to coat it with the cornmeal/flaxseed. Roll the dough out to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness in roughly a square shape and cut the dough into strips about 1 inch wide. Twist each strip to the desired length and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. After they cool completely, store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Oat and Cheese Biscuits
Makes 50-60 biscuits, depending on the size of your cookie cutter
1 cup oats
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (preferably low-fat)
4 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1/4 cup wheat germ
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, kneading until firm. Roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. I used dog bone cookie cutters of various sizes and broke out my alphabet cookie cutters to spell out Junior’s name. This makes a lot of cookies, but when you put them on the cookie sheet, you can put them right next to each other because they don’t spread. Bake them for 55-60 minutes, until they are firm to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave them in the oven for 1-2 hours to harden. After they cool, store them in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.