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Tasty Homemade Dog Treats for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be a tempting time for all of us -- many of us indulge in lots of goodies, and not surprisingly, it can be tempting to want our pets to enjoy these goodies with us. But the rich foods we consume during the holidays can cause illness or worse for our pets if they indulge alongside us. Instead, here are two delicious and safe pet treats that can easily be whipped up at home.

Note: if your pet is sick, has allergies, a restricted diet, or a sensitive stomach, check with your vet first to make sure the ingredients are safe for your pet. For reference, here is a list of common foods that are toxic to pets.

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Sweet Potato Jerky Strips

Many dogs adore the taste of sweet potatoes. They're a good source of fibre and vitamins, plus they're low in calories. Sweet potato treats can be purchased at pet stores but they are just as easy to make at home - and a whole lot cheaper, too.

Ingredients

  • Large, fresh raw sweet potatoes (as many as you like)

How to Make

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Thoroughly wash and scrub the sweet potatoes (no need to peel). Dry with a paper towel.
  • Thinly slice each sweet potato (1/4" thick or less) length-wise into strips. If the pieces are big, you can slice them again down the middle again to make smaller strips.

    The thinner your slices are, the faster they'll cook. But many dogs like a bit of a thicker slice - they make for a good chew.

  • Place the sweet potato strips in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for about 3 hours or longer, until they are the desired consistency (cooking time depends on the thickness of the slices). The slices will shrivel and shrink as they cook. A shorter baking time will result in chewier treats; bake longer if you want crispier treats.

Cool these treats thoroughly before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They generally keep for about 2 weeks.

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Pumpkin Biscuits

Pumpkin is another tasty food that appeals to dogs. It's high in fiber, low in fat, and is great for helping to keep pets' digestive tracts working well. These pumpkin treats are wonderfully easy and dogs love them! Cut or break them into small bite-sized pieces to use as training rewards, or make larger biscuits as a treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup canned pure, pureed pumpkin (not pie filling, only pure pumpkin!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups oat flour*
  • (Optional) 1 tbsp finely minced fresh parsley
  • Water (or low-sodium chicken broth, for extra flavour)

* Oat flour can be made simply by blitzing rolled oats in the food processor until they've been ground into a fine consistency.

How To Make:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Beat eggs, then beat in the pumpkin.
  • Stir in oat flour (and parsley, if using).
  • Add just enough water (or broth) to form a stiff dough. You'll probably need to work the dough with your hands as it won't be easy to stir.
  • Roll or pat the dough to 1/4" to 1/2" thickness.
  • Cut into 2" x 2" squares (or use a cookie cutter to make pretty shapes).
  • Place pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1" between pieces. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Bake longer if you want crunchier treats. The treats will harden somewhat as they cool.

Store cooled biscuits in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Looking for a pumpkin treat with a little more variety? Also check out these pumpkin dog cookies that include peanut butter.

We have so many reasons to be thankful for our pets ... and we can show them how much we appreciate them with these delicious homemade treats!

Place some treats in a pretty jar and you'll have a great gift to give to family & friends with pets of their own. Have a great Thanksgiving!

 

"The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it."
(Thich Nhat Hanh)

 

 

 

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