Introduction: Healthy Treats for Your Dog or Cat and You May Have the Leftovers
I recently saw a video about an elephant that cried real tears, it was a sad story but, with a happy ending. I wished I had saved the link because it showed the elephant's emotion beautifully. I mention this because animals have the ability to communicate their feelings and emotions with other animals and people. Many of us have owned pets that have no trouble communicating their needs to us. When my son was away at college he adopted a puppy from the local animal shelter AKA Doggie jail, who had an amazing way of communicating what his wants and needs were. My son named Scooby after the cartoon Scooby Doo because it was his favorite cartoon as a child.
Because this instructable was inspired by the pet contest, I will be giving examples of how animals can express their feelings and emotions through pictures and thought bubbles of what I imagine they might be saying or thinking, of the animals that we have owned. Scooby will be the star of the show, sharing his recipe for Scooby snacks.
Scooby here . . . .I will be sharing how I make my famous Scooby snacks and brew for my "pet owner" aka Scooby's pet " Fred". ( These snacks are known among dogs and cats in my neighborhood).
My idea of a healthy treat has a high content of magnesium, calcium, collagen, amino acids, gelatin, and phosphorus, all nutritious ingredients that promote good health for dogs and cats. Lets make real healthy treats for dogs and cats using my recipe.
Step 1: Ingredients and Utensils
Organic chicken with bones ( and chickens feet if you can find them.) You can use bones from chicken that has been cooked. The flavor of the broth will be a little weaker. You save all the chicken bones and freeze them until you have enough to make a full pot of chicken broth.
Organic apple cider vinegar un-filtered or regular vinegar.
Coveted Instructables apron and chef hat optional
Sauce pan or multipurpose cooker or crock pot
Strainer or you could use a coffee filter and a bowl
Pet owner's feeding bowl
Knife and cutting board
Jars or freezer bags or containers
Blender,food mill or a way to mash or pulverize the bones
Large and small ice cube trays like the ones shown ( a dog bone or fish mold would be great) optional.
Parchment paper and baking sheet will be used to make dry treats if desired.
Step 2: Preparations
Remove the chicken talons if you will be using chicken feet. I used kitchen scissors.
Place 1-2 pounds of raw chicken or pre-cooked chicken bones into a bowl, crock pot, or non- reactive stock pot and cover with 1-2 inches of cold water.
Add 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar to the pot. The vinegar helps remove the nutrients from the bones. For smaller batches use 1-2 T of vinegar.
Set the mixture on the counter "covered for 1 hour".
Step 3: Cook
Place the chicken and chickens feet with the vinegar water into the crock pot and cook on low heat for 12 hours. I usually remove the broth about 10 hours and fill a glass jar with the broth and freeze it. Then I return the bones to the crock-pot cover cover with water and add 2 -4 T vinegar and cook them until the bone mashes between the fingers. I use the first broth for soups and sauces and the second broth for colds and flue. Because I do not buy ready mix food products very often, I will sometimes add pink salt to the broth mixture for human consumption (not animals, please read comment below.)You can cook the chicken or bones on top of the stove, but in my opinion it is easier to use a crock pot or slow cooker because it could take from 12-24 hours for the bones to soften enough to mash. One comment from a reader mentioned I should add . . . if making this for your pet, do not add salt. Wet and dry dog foods contain enough salt to sustain their diet that additional salt may cause health issues.
When the bones have softened enough to mash, turn off the heat. Please make sure every bone is soft enough to mash between your fingers and no tiny bones that are hard. Re-cook if necessary.
Excuse me for a few minutes . . . .
Step 4: Strain
Set the strainer over a bowl and strain the mixture to remove the broth.
Pour the broth into a sterilized canning jar leaving a one inch head space (to allow for expansion). A funnel makes it a little easier to pour. Place a lid on top and tighten. Clean the outside of the jar if needed.
Freeze jar in the freezer or use freezer bags if you prefer; by filling a bag and laying it flat in the freezer. I usually bag what I will use in a recipe; so I don't have to measure or thaw more than what is needed.
Step 5: Blend Bones
Place the cooked bones into a blender or food processor or mash by hand. Please pay close attention to this process. The chicken bones can have sharp points that can injure your pet if they are not cooked thoroughly. Unlike regular chicken bones, I have noticed that the chicken feet bones take a very long time to cook down to a soft bone meal. I triple chick the bones to make sure they have cooked long enough to mash with your fingers into a paste before placing them into the blender.
This mixture may be added to your dog food for nutritional benefits. I like to take it a step further;
because the mixture will only last a few days in the refrigerator. Please read note about the mixture at the bottom of this page.
Freezing the mixture into ice cube trays will work or . . . I prefer the method I did in the next step.
I could not find a recipe for this but I did an experiment and it worked great. I cut the corner of a zip lock bag and placed the bone meal into the bag and piped a log onto parchment paper. I baked it in the oven and the picture shows what they looked like after baking.
I wanted to make them a little fancier so go to the next step and see what I did.
The bone meal is not intended to use for dog food. It is a nutritional supplement that should be fed in moderation.
Step 6: Make Molds
Fill the ice cube trays as shown with the bone paste.
Remove excess with a paper towel.
Place the cubes in the freezer until they are firm enough to remove.
I apologize, I did not check the time on them. I kept a close watch on them because I did not want the insides frozen solid because the bone mixture is baked to prevent spoilage and the insides need to be cooked thoroughly.
Remove the frozen mixture from the cubes.
Step 7: Bake
Pre-heat oven 350%F:
Place Parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Place treats on the cookie sheet.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until very dry.
Remove the treats from the oven and cool.
Place the treats in a lidded jar or freezer bags.
I am not sure how long these will keep in the refrigerator so I am freezing the batch I made, so they will keep longer. It won't take very long for them to thaw out anyway.The baked treat is a new method we tried. They are dry but can be crushed between your paws. I don't know if they will dry harder over time. I hope you make these for your loved ones, they will be healthier and stronger and live long and prosper.
Step 8: Scooby's Final Thoughts
I hope you make this recipe for your loved ones because it has many healthy nutrients that is beneficial for your pets. We had a Scooby party and all the neighbor dogs were invited.
I saw a video on yahoo news about a certified dietitian recommending bone broth for humans as well. Did you ever wonder why great grandmas and grandmas recommend chicken soup when you have a cold?
It works ~ sunshiine drinks the broth when she has a cold and it makes her feel a whole lot better and she gets over her cold a lot quicker~
Scooby and Frankie thanks the community and instructables for letting us share our recipe so your pets will be healthy and happy and so will you ~