Doggy Desserts: 125 Homemade Treats for Happy, Healthy Dogs

We’re talking desserts today, doggy desserts that is! As I’ve said numerous times, little Miss Mollyanna (our Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix) is overweight. A lot. I’ve changed her to NUTRO Natural Choice Weight Management Small Bites dog food, but hubby constantly giving her table food and cracker treats is NOT helping at all.

So I look at it like this, since I can’t get him to quit giving her treats, how about making natural homemade treats to spoil this pampered pooch with?

In the new book Doggy Desserts: 125 Homemade Treats for Happy, Healthy Dogs by Cheryl Gianfrancesco, dog owners like us can rest easy knowing they are providing their pooch with a snack made with healthy ingredients. This beautiful book presents easy-to-do, fun recipes divided into six categories: cookies, bars, drop cookies, cakes, muffins, and frozen treats. 

Cheryl is an avid cook and dog lover, and cooking for her dogs is one of her favorite passions. I’m thrilled that she’s sharing these tasty, wholesome doggy snacks and desserts that her own dogs love! With over 125 easy-to-make recipes, you’ll find that they are healthy, tasty and easy to make with ingredients you already have at home. There are several low-calorie, low-fat options for overweight dogs too, just like Molly! 

The book has sections for cookies, bars, drop cookies, cakes, muffins, and frozen treats (something Molly adores) so there is literally something for every pooch!

The book is available August 8, 2017 and you can pre-order your copy here. We have a treat for our dog lovers out there though with a preview of some of the great recipes you will find in the book that you can make for your pets right now and try them out!

But first, read on for some important baking notes concerning allergies and the ingredients to be used in these recipes for the safety of your pet.

Baking Notes

Allergies. Some animals may be allergic to some of the ingredients in these recipes. If your dog has not been exposed to any of the ingredients listed, I suggest that you pick a recipe that has very few ingredients. Give your dog half the treat and wait an hour. If you notice increased scratching, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling, or any strange behavior, contact your veterinarian or emergency animal facility immediately. If you observe no reaction, increase the amount of the treat you originally gave your dog. Again, wait an hour. If you observe no reaction, give your dog a larger piece of the treat.

Treats, Not Meals. These recipes make wholesome treats for your dog because they contain no artificial coloring, preservatives, flavorings, fillers, or chemicals. However, they are treats only and are not intended as a complete diet.

Ingredients. When purchasing ingredients, choose the best quality you can find and afford. Organic and non-organic ingredients are both fine, so use whatever you prefer.

Any type of flour can be used in these recipes, especially if your dog has a wheat allergy. If you use white flour, I suggest buying unbleached white flour.

When deciding what cheese to use, the choice is yours. In my recipes, I suggest low-fat cheeses. And purchase all-natural, unsalted peanut butter with no sugar added; most grocery stores carry natural peanut butter.

Mixing. Cakes and muffins can be mixed with a fork. Cookies and frosting should be mixed with either a hand mixer or stand-alone mixer. When mixing, if your dough does not seem firm enough, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time. Mix or knead in the flour until the dough is firm. If your dough is too stiff and crumbly, add more water, one tablespoon at a time.

Yield. The yields for the recipes provided are just guidelines; your yield may be more or less, depending on the cookie cutter you use and the thickness of your dough. Be creative when baking, and use cookie cutters with a variety of shapes.

Oven Temperature. Variations in oven temperatures are common. Your oven temperature and the thickness of your dough may cause your desserts to bake quicker or take longer than expected. Check all items periodically during baking. All temperatures listed refer to degrees Fahrenheit. If your dog does not like hard, crunchy treats, eliminate the suggested oven drying time of one to two hours. The drying time removes the moisture from the cookie, making them hard. If you do not dry the cookies after baking, they will be chewy instead of crunchy.

Storage. These recipes do not have any preservatives to extend their life, so store them accordingly. I normally store treats in an airtight plastic container in a cool dry place, although I do refrigerate cakes, muffins, and treats that contain meat or cheese. The estimated average shelf life of most of the treats is approximately three weeks for cookies and one and one-half to two weeks for cakes and muffins. The longevity of the treats depends on the freshness of ingredients used and the climate in which the treats are stored. As a final note, be sure to cool all food items completely before serving them to your dog.

Important

Salt and Sugar. Salt and sugar are not good for your dog, so look for products with no salt or sugar added.

Carob, Not Chocolate. Because chocolate can be fatal to your dog, carob is used extensively in these recipes. Carob is a chocolate substitute that is very nutritious and is available at health-food stores and many grocery stores.

Raisins, Onions, and Garlic. Raisins can be highly toxic for some dogs; avoid all raisins and grapes. Onions are also harmful to dogs, as is garlic in large amounts. Avoid garlic cloves and opt for small amounts of garlic powder instead.

Eggs. Recipes that call for eggs mean egg whites and yolks, not the shells. I have seen many dog recipes that contain eggshells. Eggshells can have chemicals, bacteria, and a host of other items that can make your dog very sick.

Liver and Garlic Strips

Recipe from Doggy Desserts: 125 Homemade Treats for Happy, Healthy Dogs by Cheryl Gianfrancesco
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Additional Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 50 strips

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound liver
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • In a blender, mix the liver, eggs, and water. Add the remaining ingredients in and mix well. 
  • Pour into a 9 x 12 x 2 inch baking pan and spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • When finished, the mixture should be dry on top and firm to the touch.
  • Cool the mixture in the pan, and then cut into 1″ by 2″ strips.

Banana Oatmeal / Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe from Doggy Desserts: 125 Homemade Treats for Happy, Healthy Dogs by Cheryl Gianfrancesco
Prep Time8 mins
Additional Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 8 mins
Keyword: cookies, desserts, dogs
Servings: 55 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-natural applesauce no sugar added
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 bananas mashed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats uncooked
  • 1/4 cup unsalted walnuts chopped

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.
  • With a teaspoon, drop spoonfuls of dough on a baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • When finished, the cookies should be firm to the touch.
  • Turn the oven off, and leave the cookies in for 1 to 2 hours to harden.
 

Strawberry Frost Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 3⁄4 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, cover, and blend until smooth.
  • If you are not going to serve the strawberry frost immediately, pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container.
  • Freeze until firm. Remove the container from the freezer, and allow the frost to soften before serving.
  • Yield: Approximately 2 1/3 cups

Raspberry Dog Sherbet Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 12 oz. frozen raspberries
  • 1⁄4 cup water

Directions:

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, cover, and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container, and freeze until firm.
  • Remove the container from the freezer, and allow the sherbet to soften before serving.
  • Yield: Approximately 4 cups

Leave a comment below and let us know which of these recipes you have tried and what your pampered pooch thought of them! Don’t forget to head over to Amazon.com and pre-order your copy of the book today!

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