Monday, 11 February 2019

Making a Favourite Dog Treat Recipe into a Special Valentine

It's almost Valentine's Day, furfriends! We have lots of recipe ideas in our blog archives, but if you have a tried-and-true recipe or want to make your dog's favourite treat into a special Valentine, two VERY simple ideas are to just play with the shape and/or colour of your go-to treat recipe.  Here are some tips and inspiration:

Using heart shapes molds works great for setting your favourite no-bake treats into a heart shape. easy peasy! This works with pour-and-set recipes such as carob, coconut oil, gelatin gummies, etc. as well as frozen treat recipes such as frozen yogurt, fruit purees, etc.  If you have a small oven-safe heart-shaped baking pan(s), you can also convert your favourite pupcake recipe into a Valentine's heart cake, or you can DIY a heart shaped cake by combining a small circle and a small square of the same size. Bake, cool, and then cut the circle into two half circles. Position the square on its diagonal (like a diamond) and then cap the two top sides with a half circle to form a heart before frosting with a dog-friendly icing.

Using heart shaped cookie cutters works well for making valentines from your favourite roll-and-cut dog treats. Adding Valentine messages with food-safe stamps is another idea to play with, and you can use this to create designs or messages on love hearts or other shapes.

Adding a pink or red tint to your favourite light-coloured treat recipe can help to set the Valentine mood.  Dogs don't see pink or red the way we do, but if it makes your human heart happier, then go for it! My personal favourite tint for red or pink treats is beetroot powder, which is healthy and our boys like the scent/taste, so I can tint to my heart's content. :)  Check out this post for tips on creating pretty pinks and ravishing reds.  Adding a pink or red dog-friendly "sprinkle" to the top of a pupcake (coconut, panko, or fine oats all tint well) or dipping a treat in melted carob and adding a few colourful sprinkles is also a simple way to use a splash of Valentine inspired colour.

Bonus idea: If you are trying to keep treats to a minimum or have a special doggy diet, look at the foods that you are feeding and see whether there is a opportunity to do something special with your usual menu. For example, we almost always have gelatin gummies in the fridge as a guilt-free "treat" and those are easy to make into hearts or to tint.  In summer and allergy season, we often have coconut oil and I love using my mini-heart mold to set and store coconut oil in the fridge for easy use. If you pup is a fruit fan, strawberries slice into lovely little hearts...although my brazen berry lovers prefer stealing them straight off the bushes! Raw feeders might like to put some real heart on the Valentine's Day dinner menu if it's part of your balanced dog dietary plan. 

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