Howl-o-ween Dog Treats

If, like me and thousands of other Americans, you will be dressing your dog up in an exceedingly silly costume this evening, then your poor pooch certainly deserves a special Halloween treat! You can make this recipe as simple or as fancy as you like. The carrot cut-out cookies look pretty even if they are left plain. I took the extra time to decorate the treats. I used melted yogurt chips to make an easy icing for the cookies, but you could use melted carob chips or dog treat coating chips or make your own sugar-free peanut butter or cream cheese icing (or use all of the above!) to decorate. I used unsweetened carob chips for the ghosts’ eyes. Other ingredients that make great, dog-safe “sprinkles” are:  sesame seeds, yogurt chips, natural peanut butter chips, crumbled bacon, shredded or diced carrot, blueberries, or unsweetened dried cranberries.

Remember your mom warning you not to pig out on too much Halloween candy while trick-or-treating? The same principle holds true with Halloween dog treats. You don’t want to load these cookies down with too many toppings or your dog could end up with a tummy-ache. Less is always more: this recipe should only be fed sparingly as a special holiday treat.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Halloween Treats

Carrot Halloween Treats

Makes about 8 large treats

 

1/4 cup finely shredded carrots

1 tablespoon honey

1 large egg

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

About 2 cups yogurt chips (or your desired icing)

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Combine the carrots, honey, egg, and water in a bowl.

3. Combine the cinnamon with the flour. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir to combine. Use your hands to gently knead the mixture until it forms a smooth dough.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut the dough into pieces. Arrange the treats on a prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake until lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 18 minutes. To ensure even browning, flip the treats over halfway through the baking time.

6. While the treats are cooling, place the yogurt chips in a metal bowl and place over a small pot of simmering water. Stir the yogurt chips with a rubber spatula until they are just melted. Be very careful not to overheat them!

7. Once the treats are completely cool, decorate them with the icing. You can spread the icing using an offset spatula or pipe the icing onto the cookies using a piping bag. Allow the icing to fully set and serve.

 

These treats must be stored in the refrigerator.

Dog Walk Energy Bites

Yet another perk of Autumn is that it brings perfect weather for dog walking (at least here in the Mid-Atlantic states). When you’re out on a nice long walk or hike it’s always good to have a few small treats in your pocket, especially if you’re still training your dog to walk properly on a leash. These little no-bake treats are great for throwing into a zip-lock bag and taking with you on your outdoor adventures. The recipe is very simple. Just remember to allow yourself enough time for the treats to firm up in the refrigerator before you head out the door.

When my dog Pacey is on a walk, he is on a mission: he doesn’t want to stop to smell the roses, he doesn’t want to be petted, and he will not take a treat. Therefore, I wasn’t able to actually get these treats genuinely taste-tested on a long walk. But my slightly overweight chihuahua really enjoyed them while hanging out on the couch at home.

Energy Bites

Dog Walk Energy Bites

Makes about 16 treats

 

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup natural peanut butter chips

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup wheat germ

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon molasses

 

1. Place the coconut, peanut butter chips, oats, and wheat germ in a bowl, and stir to combine.

2. Add the honey and molasses to the dry ingredients, stirring well until all the the dry ingredients are well-coated with the honey.

3. Use a tablespoon to take a scoop of the mixture. Use your hands to squeeze and roll the mixture into a ball. (The mixture will be very wet and sticky, so this part can be a bit messy.)

4. Arrange the treats on a tray or large plate and put them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up. The treats should then be stored in the refrigerator.

 

NOTE: A tablespoon is a good-sized scoop for most dogs. If you’ve got a little dog, you may want to make the balls slightly smaller. Try using a 1/2 tablespoon or (for really small pups) a teaspoon. This recipe makes about 48 teaspoon-sized treats.

Crunchy Beef Biscuits

The dog treats that I typically share on this blog have a soft texture, because I think that more closely mimics the look of “people cookies” (plus, my dog Pacey likes soft treats best). But I realize that sometimes it’s good to switch things up, so this recipe yields super crunchy biscuits that have a texture similar to Milk Bones.

It contains only two ingredients, so this recipe literally couldn’t be any simpler! The most important step is to use high quality ingredients. It’s best if you can make your own beef broth, but a store-bought broth will also work well. If you choose to use store-bought broth, just be sure to choose one that is natural, low fat, and low sodium.

If the dough isn’t coming together easily, you can add more beef broth by the teaspoonful. Take care to add no more than just enough broth to bind the flour together, because adding too much moisture to the dough will affect the texture of the finished treats.

Crunchy Beef Biscuits

Crunchy Beef Biscuits

Makes about 7 dozen (1 1/2-inch) treats

 

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2/3 cup beef broth

 

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

2. Stir the flour and beef broth together in a bowl. Knead by hand until the mixture forms a smooth dough.

3. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Use your desired cutter to cut the dough out into pieces.

4. Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet. The pieces can be placed close together, because the dough will not spread during baking.

5. Bake for 28 minutes. Flip the treats over, return to the oven, and continue baking for an additional 28 minutes.

6. Turn the oven off, crack the oven door, and leave the treats inside the oven to dry out for about 2 hours.

 

These treats should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Ham and Cheese Dog Treats

Ham and cheese is a classic culinary combination for very good reason. The gooey cheese and thin sliced ham create a satisfying textural contrast, and the two flavors work deliciously together. Most dogs find each of these ingredients mouthwatering on its own, so the double-whammy makes this recipe is virtually irresistible!

It’s best to use a reduced sodium, low fat deli ham, rather than a ham steak or other thickly sliced ham. Never use Virginia ham or other super salty ham. The cheese should be low in fat, but you can use whatever specific variety you like. I used Swiss cheese, but cheddar, mozzarella, or another mild cheese would also work well.

Ham & Cheese

Ham and Cheese Treats

Makes about 20 large treats

 

1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

1/4 cup chopped ham

1/4 cup finely chopped or grated reduced fat cheese

1/2 cup water

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Place the flour, ham, and cheese in a bowl.

3. Add the water to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Knead until the mixture forms a smooth dough.

4. Roll the dough out into a sheet 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Use your desired cutter to cut the dough into pieces.

5. Bake until the treats are firm to the touch but not yet browned, about 12 minutes. If desired, flip the treats over halfway through the baking time.

 

These treats must be stored in the refrigerator.

Pizza Bites

About 36% of all of the pizza consumed in the United States each year is topped with pepperoni. In fact, we Americans annually consume about 252 million pounds of pepperoni on our pizzas. Those are some staggering statistics! So I thought to myself, why not make a pepperoni dog treat? Dogs can’t have all of the grease, tomato sauce, and copious amounts of gooey cheese that make our human-food pizzas so delicious, but these tasty little treats do have a touch of Parmesan cheese and lots of turkey pepperoni bits.

Turkey pepperoni, which is a dried sausage made from turkey, contains less calories, fat, and sodium than regular pepperoni, which is made with pork. As with any special treat, you don’t want to give your dog too much turkey pepperoni, but in moderation it is perfectly fine. Be sure to buy mild pepperoni for this recipe. Do NOT ever give your dog any pepperoni labeled “spicy”.

 

Pizza Bites

Pizza Bites

Makes about 75 treats

 

2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 oz finely grated parmesan cheese

10 slices turkey pepperoni, chopped

1 cup water

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, cheese, and chopped pepperoni.

3. Add the water and oil to the dry ingredients and knead until the mixture forms a smooth dough.

4. Let the dough rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes.

5. Take a piece of dough (about a teaspoonful), roll it into a ball, and place it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remainder of the dough. The dough balls can be placed close together on the baking sheet but should not be touching.

6. Bake until firm to the touch and baked all the way through, about 12 minutes.

 

These treats must be stored in the refrigerator.