Friday, February 17, 2012

Calling All Dog Parents: Homemade Treats to Please Your Pup

Two years ago, I found the second love of my life. He is blonde, likes long walks, and has ears so big that they sweep the floor. His name is Mogley and he is the English Cocker Spaniel that my fiancé and I rescued from the pound. My, or rather "our," dog has taken over our lives in the best way possible.

At first, we were going to be strict dog parents. No sitting on the couch and don't even think about getting on the bed. Little by little, these rules disappeared. Moges, as we call him, now sleeps on the bed and has become a constant companion in nearly every aspect of our days.

With this overwhelming love in mind, imagine how worried and guilty we felt when we learned that he was allergic to the food that we were giving him. Itching all the time, Moges' handsome blonde coat wasn't what it should be and he certainly wasn't living as comfortably as he deserved. Instantly, we started scrutinizing the ingredients in what we were feeding him and transitioned him to an all-natural dog food with extra skin and hair vitamins to help him recover from his bout of allergies.

For convenience, we buy our dog's food at the store and try to seek out the most natural brands of dog food and treats. If you really want to know what's going into your dog's food, Carla Emery has a dog biscuit recipe to try. Of course biscuits can't substitute the regular kibble that you feed your pet, but these make a nice treat to give to the canine in your family.

Dog Biscuits You can use the excess broth from any old hen recipe to make this, or you could cook the chicken specially to get broth, use the meat in another recipe, and use the broth for dog biscuits. (Actually you can make this recipe with other types of meat broth, too.) This recipe will yield 60 medium-sized dog biscuits which your pet will consider a great treat. Mix together 31⁄2 c. unbleached flour, 2 c. whole wheat flour, 1 c. rye flour, 2 c. cracked wheat, 1 c. cornmeal, and 1⁄2 c. skim milk powder. On the side, dissolve 1 T. (or 1 pkg.) yeast in 31⁄2 c. lukewarm chicken broth. The richer this broth is, the more your dog will like the biscuits. Let yeast-broth mixture sit 10 minutes, then stir in the flour mixture. Roll resulting dough out 1⁄2 inch thick. Cut dog biscuit shapes from dough. Brush biscuits with egg wash. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 300˚F for 45 minutes. Then turn oven off and leave biscuits in there overnight to finish hardening.

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