Let the Christmas treat recipes begin! :) Every dog lover knows the joy of doggy kisses as well as the perils of dog breath! Oh no! Get ready for many thank you smootches if you bake up a batch of "mistletoe" ready meatballs packed with breath freshening parsley for your pooch charming. To say that my dogs loved these would be an understatement - as a vegetarian, there is rarely every meat in our house except when it is bought for the pets or occasionally a guest. Sniffing was set to max and they almost desiccated with drooling anticipation of taste testing duties. This is a great homemade dog treat to make now, before things get to holiday hectic, and then freeze (except for a few samples of course!) for special treats at Christmas time. We have some ready and waiting in our freezer!
"Mistletoe" Mini Meatballs with Breath Freshening Parsley
- Approximately 150g lean minced meat (we used lamb)
- 1 egg
- Approximately 1/2 cup of loose fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- A sprinkle of grated cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 180C. Combine minced meat and egg in a mixing bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients to combine. Roll into small bite sized mini meatballs and place in a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until cooked through. Cool before serving or storage (refrigerate or freeze). Pampered pooches might enjoy their treats warmed slightly for extra smell and flavour.
Tips and Tricks:
- You can substitute another lean ground meat or use an alternative type of binding ingredient instead of wheat germ to go gluten-free. Tweak the volumes if/as needed.
- These treats can be frozen if you would like to freeze extras (it is a big batch).
- Treats can be made smaller for little dogs or broken up for serving. Cooking times will vary depending on your meatball size.
- Parsley isn't only a dog-friendly breath freshener, but also has some great nutritional content. As with all treats and dietary add-ins, small quantities are best. Check out this little slideshow at Modern Dog for other dog-friendly herb ideas. Omit or use less if you prefer. If substituting dried for fresh, use WAY less. A sprinkle will do just fine.
- Smooching with your dog under the mistletoe is a-ok by us, but don't forget that some festive decorations can be dangerous for pets. Keep hazards like mistletoe, poinsettias, holly, etc well out of the reach.
Hungry for more tasty treats? See all of our recipes here. Remember, treats are for spoiling your pup in moderation. Some dogs have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt, have a chat with your vet.