With over 50 million dog owners in the USA, there has got to be something about these animals that make them "man's best friend." What makes them this? Well there are a few simple things such as loyalty, unconditional love and companionship. Now what simple things makes us "dog's best friend"? affection and reward we could guess. So lets keep this simple idea going and make some simple and healthier dog treats for our buddies.
Step 1: What You Will Need
You are only going to need a total of 5 ingredients which are easy to get (most of you will already have them) and are dog safe. (told you it would be simple)
Flour (white or whole wheat)- 2 cups (unsifted)
Peanut Butter, smooth - 1 1/4 cups
Garlic - 2 cloves
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Water - 5 tbsp.
THAT'S IT!. I'm using whole wheat flour because that's what I have on hand. The type of vegetable oil that you use isn't a huge concern either. Just use what you have (I used canola.) I prefer to use smooth peanut butter as dogs bodies don't break down nuts very well. So unless your dog is a good chewer (doubt there is a good chewing dog out there) , stick to smooth.
Some kitchen tools that you will need are:
Some of the optional tools are:
Step 2: Getting Started on the Goodies
Set your oven to 400 F and start it warming up.
Now add all your ingredients into your mixing bowl. You will have to mince the garlic or put it through a garlic press. Simple as that, throw it all in and get to mixing. I always find that using a spoon or knife to help load up the measuring cup with peanut butter makes it easier. Make sure you get all the ingredients thoroughly mixed in (about 10 minutes if mixing by hand). You will find that the mixture ends up being quite dry (pictured below), but you should still be able to form it into a mass that sticks together (if not, add another tbsp. of water)
Step 3: Getting Ready for Baking
In this step you can either roll out the mixture to about 1/4" thick and cut out shapes, or if your roommate stole your rolling pin to use as a fish bonker last time he went fishing, then you can do what I did. I split the mixture in half and then half again by forming it into two 1"x1" square logs. It's quite easy to do just by pinching the sides and pushing down on the top. If your mixture is to dry here, you will really notice as your log will not want to be formed into the shape and rather just break apart.
Step 4: Ready for the Oven
Cut your logs into approximate 1/4" slices. The mixture doesn't really stick to the knife so it is quite easy going. You should be able to get 1/2 of the mixture onto one cookie sheet. I didn't add any parchment paper or any non stick spray to the pan because these treats don't stick. Feel free though if you like.
Make sure your oven is upto temperature (400 F) and slide the sheet into the oven. Set your timer for about 10 minutes. While these cookies are baking you can form your other half of the mixture into square logs and get them ready to be cut for the next batch.
Step 5: Done Cooking
After your 10 minutes is up. Check under the biscuts and make sure they are browned (see picture below). Cooking times may vary depending on your oven. I will let them sit for a further 10 minutes to cool off and then just pour them off the pan onto a plate so they cool all the way. I then load up the second batch and get them cooking too.
Step 6: Human Tasting and Testing
So why let the dogs have all the fun.... I mean they can't taste that bad. They ended up tasting like a weak peanut butter cookie with a hint of garlic in the after taste. Not to shabby for a dog treat, and it's not all salty like those store bought ones (don't ask me why I know) . So of course I had to offer them to everybody in the house. No one seemed to get mad at me for telling them it was a dog biscuit after they were done and the one girl even had one after she found out they were dog biscuits. I took some to my parents house and even got Mom and Dad to try one out. Mom even finished it after I told her it was a dog biscuit that I made. So, it passed the human testing on 6 test subjects, now lets try the intended test subjects.
Step 7: Dog Tasting and Testing
Test subject #1
Name - Leo
Breed - Bullmastiff
Age - 2 years
He was sniffing at my hand and was interested in what I had. After doing a few commands and him listening, I gave up the goods. He proceeded to remove all the treats from my hand and left behind a nice coating of druel. He proceeded to lick my hand even though nothing was there and followed me back to the door. I had to give him a couple more (how could yo not with a face like that) and sent him on his way.
Test subject #2
Name - Parker
Breed - Bichon Frise
Age - 8 years
I let him smell my hand and he went straight to his standard begging mode when he gets really excited and wants something. So I let him have the treat. He quickly munched it up and came back for more. He only gets one treat though because he's 18lbs and not 180lbs like Leo
Now with the left over treats, besure to bag them up and store them in the fridge or freezer. They are not filled up with preservatives, so we have to make it our job.
So there you have it. Simple dog treats that they will love and are safe for human consumption. You can alter this recipe by substituting grated cheese for the peanut butter. There are hundreds of dog treat recipes out there that I'm sure dogs would love, but I like to keep it simple and with the least # of steps that I can. If you feel like experimenting and making your own special recipe be sure to investigate what you are putting into the biscuits are good for the dogs. There are quite a few common and not so common ingredients that do not fare so well for the health of your dog. Feel free to comment on the treats and/or my construction of this instructable. Thanks