Monday, 16 July 2018

{RECIPE} Super Simple DIY Dog Treats Using Coconut Oil


If you're into supplementing your dogs with coconut oil, here are two of the doggone easiest ways to turn that supplement into treats.  Like my love of gelatin gummies, coconut oil based treats are low-guilt treat in our house, turning dietary supplements into occasional small treats. Win win! I find making simple refrigerated coconut oil treats particularly handy in summer time when coconut oil has a tendency to be liquid at cupboard temperature in many homes (our place included).

Coconut oil is almost exclusively fat and so it requires careful consideration of suitability and moderation for pet (or human) diets; however, it can potentially be beneficial for energy, metabolism, digestion, mobility, skin/coat, and other health factors, which is why we give our dogs in small quantities. Perhaps more often, I also use it topically on the dogs to sooth dry or sore spots (and on myself too).  Looking for more info? Dogs Naturally has good summary information posted here and here.  

Coconut oil is used in some of our treat recipes, such as helping to create truffle treats that hold firm when refrigerated or allowing us to create fancy special occasion dog "chocolates" with less reliance on the (often sweetened) ready-made carob or yogurt melts, like our peanut butter and carob Easter eggs or Valentine heart cinnamon dogolates.  It's also great for pairing with turmeric, as we shared in Oli's golden oldie birthday recipe adaptations.  For a super simple option; however, our dogs enjoy coconut oil straight up!  Sure, you can spoon a little on their food; however, why waste an opportunity to isolate a treat? If you want to consolidate feeding, you can still give it back-to-back. Mouth cleansing dessert? Yes, please!  Our dogs really seem to like the scent and will lick it straight from a spoon, but setting it in molded treats is super simple to do and makes sharing easy and fun.


To make your own plain coconut oil treats: melt coconut oil to room temperature, pour into molds (ensure the size is suitable for your pet), and refrigerate until completely set before removing from molds. Store refrigerated as coconut oil will soften or melt at ambient temperatures.


To make your own peanut butter and coconut oil treats: For a little extra scent and flavour, a fat soluable add-in is the simplest option. A small quantity (just a touch - the coconut oil is rich enough as-is) of peanut butter melted into the mix is an easy option. 

Tips and Tricks:
  • Flexible silicone molds or ice-cube trays work great for making fun little shaped treats.  If you want a precise measure of a specific mold's capacity, you can do a test pour from a measuring cup of water to measure the volume required to fill your tray. Volumes are very easily scaled, and you can customise the type and amount of flavour add-ins to suit your pet. 
  • Be mindful of treat size/consumption relative to your pet's size and any other individual factors. I give my dogs small quantities of coconut oil (often with turmeric as they boost the benefits) on a regular basis, but always in moderated portions.  
  • Go natural or take care when when shopping to avoid artificial sweeteners in ingredients peanut butter when used for your dogs - xylitol (E967) is particularly dangerous for dogs.
  • Not into peanut butter? There are many alternative add-ins, but beware that most water-based add-ins will not blend in the oil. Powdery add-ins are a little less simple than peanut butter, but still very workable. See my comments on Oli's golden Oldie turmeric coconut oil treats for more.
  • These treats should be kept refrigerated or frozen as coconut oil will soften and may melt at warmer room temperatures. They can be eaten from frozen too, if you dogs like icy treats. 

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.

2 comments:

  1. Hey! Lovely blog and awesome contents:) I was wondering if you have used agar agar powder instead of gelatin powder. And what are your thoughts on it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I've never used agar agar as a gelatin substitute for dog treats, since I started making the gummies as a way to give the dogs gelatin for its heath benefits. It's been so good for our boys!

      Agar agar is purportedly pet safe and is used in some canned foods, but I wouldn't be actively looking to add it through treats. I'd suggest going with healthy gelatin or try a different type of treat. :) If you're making human gummies, vegan/vegetarian recipe sites should have some fun ideas.
      The process for getting agar agar to gel is different (needs to be brought to a boil, quantities for setting differ, etc) so gelatin gummy recipes can't be directly substituted.

      Hope that helps!

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