Six ingredients magically morph into treats your dog will absolutely love. And, believe it or not, they’re actually very easy to make, even for the cooking-challenged. Yes, that would be me. Not that I can’t cook, mind you. Just that, well…cooking isn’t what I do for fun. It’s a necessity. It has to be done, and I can do a decent job of it, but I’m in no jeopardy of quitting my day job to become a chef. I burn things, make things explode, set things on fire. My oven hates me so much that I routinely burn myself taking hot pans or baking sheets out of it. Routinely! In fact, I have a special celebratory dance reserved just for when I don’t burn myself on my stupid-oven-that-hates-me. So yeah, I’m a rather impatient cook, and I’m not exactly a careful measurer, but even I couldn’t mess these up. And my dogs love them. Yours will, too (unless you have a finicky eater, in which case, sorry, but you’re on your own!).
Pumpkin Dog Treats
½ cup canned pumpkin (Make sure you get canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling! You can substitute yams or sweet potatoes, but make sure there are no other ingredients, e.g., candied yams.)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry milk
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Blend eggs and pumpkin together.
- Add salt and dry milk.
- Add flour ½ cup at a time until a stiff dough forms.
- Add water as needed to make the dough workable. The dough should be dry and stiff.
Note: Mix the dough with your hands; it is too stiff for an electric mixer.
- *Roll dough out until it is ½ inch thick.
- **Cut into shapes.
- ***Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes on one side, then turn the treats over and bake an additional 20 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool thoroughly, then let the taste-testing begin!
*You can roll out the dough to whatever thickness you want, really. The thinner the dough, the crunchier the treats. I like to be able to break treats into pieces easily for training sessions, so I don’t want them to be rock-hard. Rolling the dough out to 1/4 – 1/2 inch resulted in chewy treats. If you want extra-crunchy treats, you can bake them a little longer or roll the dough out a little thinner.
**Yes, I have a bone-shaped cookie cutter. Why wouldn’t I?? And, if I were making these treats to give as a gift, I’d use it. But, knowing that a) my dogs don’t care what the treats look like, and b) I’m going to break them into pieces later anyway, I decided to slice them into small rectangles. The easiest way I’ve found to do this quickly (remember, you have to turn those little suckers over to bake them on both sides!) is to slice the rolled-out dough into 1-inch wide strips, bake the strips, then slice the strips into ½ inch x 1 inch rectangles. It seems to be easier to slice the baked strips when they’re fresh out of the oven than it is to wait until they’ve cooled.
***I ignore the “place 1 inch apart” part of this instruction. The dough doesn’t poof up (that’s a technical baking term, dontcha know!) very much, so you don’t have to space them far apart. I certainly don’t. But, I don’t do that for anything, which is why I have to cut my chocolate chip cookies apart after I bake them. Impatient cook, remember? I don’t want to spend all day waiting for the darn cookies to bake, so I cram as many onto the baking sheet as I can. So, there! No cookies will be harmed, I can assure you.