Monday, 20 November 2017

{RECIPE} Bacon Bone Dog Treats with Pumpkin and Herbs

It is a rare thing for my poor deprived dogs that there would be bacon cooking in the house (I'm a vegetarian), so when there was bacon for one of my husband's grilling recipes, how could I not take a little and make a few special dog treats? Oli was still very vision-impaired in his cataract surgery recovery, but he could definitely smell the doggone delicious scents of sizzling bacon, baking treats, and...sniff sniff sniff....taste testing!

{RECIPE} Bacon Bone Dog Treats with Pumpkin and Herbs

My pumpkin treats were made with pumpkin baby food instead of puree (see tips and tricks below for substitutions), but these treats can also be made using plain bought or homemade puree.  Since I was using baby food, I went with pumpkin and beef over plain pumpkin to make the treats extra doggone tempting.  They can also be made using other non-pumpkin based dog-safe baby food flavours.

1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin baby food or equivalent substitute (single serving jar, measured to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup low fat milk powder (optional)
2 tbsp ground flax (optional)
1 tbsp turmeric (optional)
sprinkle of ground black pepper (optional)
1 tbsp dried parsley (optional)
1 tbsp dried dog-safe mixed or single Italian herbs (optional) 
Approximately 1+1/4 cup of brown rice flour or equivalent substitute
2-3 strips of well-cooked bacon, finely chopped/crumbled

Preheat oven to 180C. Mix the egg, pumpkin/baby food, milk powder, and optional add-ins/seasonings. Incrementally add flour, mixing into a firm dough. The amount of flour required may vary depending on your individual pumpkin mixture and any optional ingredients, so working the flour in incrementally is important. Missed the mark? No worries! You can add a little bit of water or additional flour to adjust consistency if needed.  Knead the bacon through the dough. Roll on a floured surface and cut, then place on a prepared baking sheet.  Alternatively, the dough can simply be rolled into small balls and flattened gently if you want to skip the rolling/cutting. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cool before serving and storage.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Always check your ingredients to ensure the contents are dog-safe if using baby food. If it is sold in your area, canned pumpkin puree (plain pumpkin, NOT spiced or sweetened pie filling) can be used. It isn't common down here (although goodness knows why!) so I went with a pumpkin and beef baby food instead.  You can also make these with homemade pumpkin puree.  As liquid content will vary, you may need to play around with the flour quantity to get a nice workable consistency.
  • Turmeric is a healthy add-in for many dogs (we use it as a supplement for our senior), and has the added bonus of boosting the natural colour. Black pepper aids in absorption of the circuminoids in turmeric. Remember, turmeric stains so pick your cookware with care, clean-up any spills quickly, and keep stain-awareness in mind when giving treats. 
  • Curious about swapping in different dog-friendly herbs? Check out this little slideshow at Modern Dog for dog-friendly herb ideas.  
  • Roll-and-cut treats with chunky bits like bacon won't be the prettiest looking shapes when cut, but you dogs won't mind (especially if it's bacon!).  It is best to stick with simple shaped cutters.
  • Treats can be broken for smaller dogs, made bigger/smaller, or you can substitute simple balls for cut treats - just keep an eye on your cooking time - the smaller the cookie, the shorter the baking time.

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. 

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