Christmas is just around the corner. It’s time to put up the tree and decorate the house with fairy lights.
We can sweep the dust off our recipe books and start preparing our Christmas dinner, bake cakes and gingerbread. But how will we treat our four legged family members this year? Don’t they also deserve some healthy homemade christmassy dog treats?
Unhealthy Christmas treats for dogs at the store
Supermarkets often stock the most extraordinary chocolate sweets and sugary cookies during the festive season, and they don’t lack behind on treats for pets. Especially pet stores have numerous colourful items, from massive candy canes to advent calendars.
Looks can be deceiving though, and those colourful snacks are often unhealthy for our pets. Many of these treats contain wheat, maize, or other plant material. Although these ingredients are ‘safe’ to feed our dogs, they are by no means healthy.
We decided to scroll through trusty Pinterest for some recipes of homemade Christmas treats for dogs, but this too was disappointing.
Most recipes for dog treats we find contain ingredients that are usually meant for human consumption. These ingredients would be listed as ‘safe’ for dogs to eat as well, but they are not healthy by any means.
We personally prefer to feed food that is healthy and species appropriate.
Since dogs love the taste of protein and fat, why not cut down on the plant material and feed them something healthy that they can’t wait to dive into?
Healthy and species appropriate alternative
We decided to create a species appropriate recipe for homemade Christmas treats for dogs that you can easily make at home with just one single ingredient.
You can switch out the cookie cutters for any shape of your preference. You could make snowflakes, gingerbread men, or Christmas trees!
This recipe can be used year round for simple training treats (simply divide the meat on a sheet of parchment paper in very small dots), or in different shapes for other holidays like Easter!
Christmas Dog Cookies
- 400 grams organic minced meat (we used wild goose)
- Step 1 Place a cookie cutter on a small piece of parchment paper, and fill it with minced meat.
- Step 2 Pick up the cookie cutter and use your fingers to gently press the meat out of the cookie cutter onto a lined baking tray.
- Step 3 Try to make cookies of similar thicknesses, around 1 cm or ½ inch or thinner.
- Step 4 Place the baking tray in a preheated oven on 65 degrees Celsius for 8+ hours.
- Step 5 Take the treats out of the oven when they have reached a structure that you prefer. After 8 hours the treats should be slightly soft, after 12 hours they should have gone crispy.
- Step 6 Softer treats can be stored in the freezer for 2 months, crispy treats can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for an extended period of time.