Homemade Treats for Pets by Katelyn Schutz, CPDT
Does your pet suffer from allergies? Have a sensitive stomach? Worried about all those pet food and treat recalls you hear about in the news? Making your own treats for your pets can be easier, more economical, and fun than the overwhelming search at the pet store. Here’s a recipe to create the perfect treat for your pet!
I recently created some homemade “pupcakes” for my food allergy-ridden, Inflammatory Bowel Disease suffering Springer Spaniel. The pups are just going bananas for them! I cater the ingredients to his specific needs, and you can do the same with your pet. As a professional pet sitter, I love to make a large batch of these “pupcakes” and bring them to all my dog walking clients!
I start with a bland, easy to digest protein like turkey or chicken. Baby food is typically the best consistency for baking needs. Just be sure to read the label, to ensure there are no additives, and it is nothing but real meat. You can cater the flavor to your pet’s specific needs.
Then I add natural pumpkin puree. Pumpkin aids digestion and is a good source of fiber. It’s natural A and E vitamins help your pet build immunity, and fight off diseases.
Oats can be used in replacement of flour when baking for your pets. Oats are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin B, and magnesium, and are low on the glycemic index and safe for diabetics. For those looking to go grain-free, try garbanzo bean flour instead.
Does your pet have an egg allergy? Try these easy, natural, grain-free substitutes. Soak 1 tablespoon of ground flaxmeal in 3 tablespoons of hot water for 5 minutes, and watch it fall into your mixing bowl just like an egg out of the shell. A wonderful “super food”, anti-oxidant rich flax seeds are chalk full of extra omega fatty acids and lignans. Their anti-inflammatory properties are even considered to help with cancer prevention! If your pet doesn’t tolerate the flaxmeal substitute, applesauce or a pureed banana can also act as an egg-like binding agent when baking too.
Ginger is added for digestive health, reducing nausea and acid build up in the stomach. A natural anti-inflammatory, ginger can not only settle the stomach, but possibly help reduce arthritic symptoms in pets too. Sometimes when you travel, your pets can show the stress of that change via their gastrointestinal tract. By adding natural ginger to your pet’s treats, your professional pet sitter can give a treat that not only will make your pet happy, but help settle their nervous tummy.
Pre-heat oven to 375
To yield 12 mini “pupcakes”, mix in large bowl:
1 2.5 oz jar turkey baby food (can vary flavor — chicken, beef, etc — to cater to each pup’s specific needs and preferences)
1/4 cup organic pumpkin
1/2 cup gluten-free oats (I use quick cooking oats by Bob’s Red Mill)
soak 1 TBS flaxseed meal in 3 TBS hot water for 5 minutes, then add
1 TBS garbanzo bean flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
sprinkle natural ginger powder to taste
Grease mini cupcake pan with natural oil, such as organic coconut oil. Fill each cupcake about 3/4. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely on oven rack. You can make larger batches and freeze. Otherwise, keep well-sealed (tupperware, ziplock bag, etc) and in refrigerator until consumed. I find they last 10-14 days this way.
Don’t forget to leave plenty of homemade goodies out for your professional pet sitter or dog walker, so we can feed your fur friend’s favorite snack while you’re away! Happy baking!