Today is our sweet Jem’s 3rd birthday! And for being such a good girl the last 3 years, she’s getting pumpkin cookies today! After all… it’s officially pumpkin season, so the dogs have been asking me where their pumpkin treats are! And in honor of Jem turning 3, these cookies are only 3 simple ingredients! Pumpkin is so healthy for dogs, and they go nuts for the flavor, so these treats are a win-win.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
I know you’re busy with the day-to-day, and complex dog treat recipes that have a long list of ingredients are just too much to handle sometimes. I like to keep things simple, easy, with as little hassle as possible. If I can make a dog treat in my own kitchen for cheaper and in less time than it takes to drive to the grocery store and back, then it’s a good day! With only 3 ingredients, these cookies are a piece of cake to make, and they’re so healthy for our pups compared to the store-bought mystery meat treats.
1/2 Cup peanut butter
1 Cup canned pumpkin puree
1 3/4 C brown rice flour (or the flour you prefer)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Combine Your Ingredients
Combine the peanut butter and pumpkin first:
Then add 1/4 C of flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky and you’ve added a total of 1 3/4 Cups:
My helpers were especially interested in what was going on in the kitchen…
This is one of my favorite stages of making the dogs’ treats. They start to hear the noises coming from the kitchen, they smell the ingredients getting mixed together, and before long there’s 2 powerful noses seeing what I’m up to.
Their lickers are a great help with the clean up too! Somehow I think they know when I’m making a treat for them, and they can hardly stand to wait!
Step 3: Roll & Shape The Dough
If you want these treats to be super quick, then roll pieces of dough into balls and smash them flat on the baking sheet. No need for fancy shapes since the dogs won’t stare at them long enough to notice before chomping away.
If you’re feeling creative like I am today because it’s Jem’s birthday, then feel free to roll the dough flat about 1/4″ thick and use cookie cutters to create shapes.
Place the treats on a baking sheet, use parchment paper if you wish, and place in the oven.
Step 4: Bake
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let the treats cool completely. You can store these in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and freeze for 3 months. You can also freeze the dough if your pup can’t eat all of these treats in 2 weeks and bake them whenever you have the chance.
Step 5: Chow Down!
The dogs’ favorite part! And I have to say mine too… seeing them enjoy a treat so much that I made for them myself is really rewarding! Happy birthday Jem!
Once again the dogs went crazy over these treats! Zoey couldn’t contain her excitement…
Zoey likes to enjoy her treats on the rug…
While Jem scarfs them down one after another without wasting any time…
Jem truly had a great birthday filled with cookies, licking the baking spoons, and tonight she’ll get a couple bites of steak! It’s a little tradition her daddy started on her 1st birthday.
How do you celebrate your dog’s birthday? And does your dog love homemade treats as much as Zoey and Jem?
A clean water bowl is more vital to your pet’s health than you could imagine. A study conducted in 2011 by NSF International tested for the dirtiest places in our homes and found that our pets’ water bowl is the 4th dirtiest place in our homes! When you compare that to places like the toilet, doorknobs, shower drains, and garbage disposals, that really puts it into perspective just how dirty our pets’ water bowls are! Who would have thought?
What Kinds of Germs Are In My Pet’s Water Bowl?
The most common bacteria found in dog and cat bowls is Serratia Marcescens which has a peach/pink color to it. It commonly causes infection and pneumonia. Even if you don’t see a pink-ish color in the bowl, there’s a good chance the bacteria is there.
You will also find yeast, mold, and coliform bacteria (salmonella and E. coli) in your pet’s water bowl. The fat in your pet’s food is the ideal fuel for germs like these, so food bowls are three times as filthy as the water bowls – so always disinfect with hot water and antibacterial soap between meals or in the dishwasher! Don’t forget to use that soap… according to a study published in a Canadian Veterinarian Journal, rinsing the bowls with hot water is so ineffective that it’s as if you’re doing nothing at all. You absolutely need antibacterial soap to kill the germs – and NO your pet won’t taste the soap just as you don’t taste the soap on the dishes you eat from.
The NSF states:
Pet dishes should be washed daily, either in a sanitizing dishwasher or scrubbed by hand with hot soapy water, then rinsed. If hand washing, place the dishes in a 1:50 bleach rinse (one cap of bleach in one gallon of water) and soak for about 10 minutes once per week. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.
Rule of thumb: don’t expect your dog to eat or drink from something that would give you the ‘heebie-jeebies’ if you had to use it yourself.
What Material Should My Pet’s Bowl Be Made Out Of?
Did you know that some materials are better than others at fighting the growth of bacteria and germs? You really want to stick to stainless steel orceramic for your pet’s water (and food) bowls. These are the cleanest and safest – no plastic! Plastic is extremely porous and scratches easily which makes it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, algae, and mold.
Solution To The Dirty Dog Bowl Dilemma:
Get a pet fountain! They constantly filter the water so even the messiest drinkers will find a clean bowl of water the next time they go in for a drink. I’ve seen dogs that come inside with a face full of sand, bugs, mud, or whatever else they find outside. Then there’s those messy eaters that can’t keep their food out of the water bowl. And I wondered why the dog bowl was the 4th dirtiest place in the home because…? A pet fountain eliminates all of these bacteria causing particles.
A pet fountain should be a necessity in every pet’s home… it’s just good hygiene! But there’s plenty of other reasons why your dog prefers a fountain over a typical water bowl.
Your Pet Wants A “Fresh Glass Of Water” Too!
Do you love to drink from a glass of stagnant water that’s been sitting out all day? Of course not! And neither does your dog or cat.
It wasn’t until the pet fountains were invented that I sat back and realized – ‘Wow, I’m expecting my dogs to drink from a bowl of water that’s been sitting out all day (or a couple days) …but I wouldn’t drink from that!”
If I have a glass of water that I didn’t finish after a few hours, I dump it in the sink and grab a fresh glass and refill. So it’s funny that we are so accustomed to our dogs drinking in this way. Now after having that “a-ha” moment, it just feels like common sense to provide my dogs with the same “luxury” I’m accustomed to. Would you drink from the same glass for your entire life without washing it every day?
Fountains Encourage Dogs and Cats To Drink More Water Which Improves Health
Research shows that one of the best ways to improve your dog or cat’s health is to get her to drink more water. Whenever I take the dogs to the vet for their check-ups, I share my concerns with him that I don’t see Zoey drinking enough water. Jem is obsessed with ice cubes and regularly takes big gulps from the water bowl, so I know she’s getting the hydration she needs. But Zoey seems so uninterested in drinking water, and she doesn’t like ice cubes, so I worry.
On those rare occasions when I see her drinking from the water bowl I’ll tense up, stop whatever I’m doing, and try not to make a sound for fear that I’ll spook her and scare her away from it! It’s that bad… So I was relieved to learn that fountains are clinically proven to encourage dogs to drink more water than they do with a conventional dog bowl. This is great news for a finicky drinker like Zoey!
Does your dog drink from a fountain? If not, do you think he or she would love one as much and Jem and Zoey do? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
As a thank you for being a loyal reader of the RadioFence.com blog and educating yourself on your pet’s health, we’re giving you 5% off any fountain of your choice. Your dog deserves clean, healthy water every day! Use coupon code “FOUNTAIN” at check out.
See Our Favorite Porcelain Fountains In Action:
Have you ever seen how dogs really drink water?
BarkPost uses our pet fountains to explain how dogs drink water:
Whether your dog is a senior with arthritis, or you want to start early preventative care for your young pup, these homemade treats are rich with ingredients that help with arthritis and inflammation, joints, digestion, skin/coat, tumors/cysts, cholesterol, cancer, and cataracts. They’re a great source of antioxidants, beta carotene, fiber, vitamin A, potassium, iron, Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and B vitamins. This recipe is super easy, tasty, and so healthy for our dogs! The human members of your family may even like them too.
Ingredients That Help Aging Dogs
Turmeric – a natural spice that has amazing health benefits for humans and animals. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties to help joints and is known to help with fatty tumors and cysts. Known to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and rich with antioxidants believed to prevent and fight cancer. It’s also packed with beta carotene which can prevent cataracts.
Pumpkin – great source of fiber for dogs with an upset stomach, regulates the digestive system, and a source of vitamin A, potassium, iron, and beta carotene.
Flax Seed Meal – incredible source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is great for dogs’ skin and coat. The antioxidants in flax seed are also an anti-inflammatory.
Oats – a great bowel regulator, source of protein and B vitamins, calms nerves, and prevents tumors.
Eggs – excellent source of protein
Meat – you can use ground turkey, venison, beef, pork, or chicken depending on what you prefer to use. I recommend a lean meat like turkey, venison, or chicken.
Amount of Turmeric Depends on Your Dog’s Weight
You will need to adjust the amount of turmeric you use in this recipe depending on your dog’s weight.
If your dog is:
1-25lb = 1 Tb of turmeric
26-50lb =2 Tb of turmeric
51-75lb = 3 Tb of turmeric
75lb+ = 3.5 Tb turmeric
Step 1: Mix All Ingredients In A Large Bowl
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 C ground flax seed meal
1 C of oats
Turmeric (amount depends on your dog’s weight)
1 can pumpkin
Your mixture will look like this once combined thoroughly. Next step is to add the 1 lb of ground meat:
Once you’ve added the ground meat, the mixture will be finished:
Form The Treats
The mixture will be slightly sticky, so rolling the treats into balls or using cookie cutters wouldn’t be an easy task. I simply grabbed globs of batter out of the bowl and plopped them down onto the baking sheet. I pushed down to flatten them, and they’ll taste just as good if they’re ugly as they would cut into pretty shapes!
Once the baking sheets are full of treats, place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Depending on the size of your treats, they may need to bake for more or less time than that. I didn’t bake mine for long, because these are specialized for elderly dogs. A softer treat is better than a crunchy one on their teeth.
Turmeric can cause dehydration, so make sure your dog has plenty of water available when you serve these treats.
Jem and Zoey loved the smell of the treats coming out of the oven!
Of course Jem did her typical move: jump up onto the counter to investigate!
And she loved what she smelled!
Jem and Zoey loved these treats sooo much that I couldn’t even get a clear picture of the crazy girls! They went nuts! Safe to say this is a recipe for the record books.
Storing These Treats
You must keep these natural treats in the refrigerator since they lack preservatives. They will last up to a week in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. You can also freeze the uncooked dough if you would rather not bake them all at once.
Do you have any other tried and true methods for helping elderly dogs feel more comfortable or prevention for younger pups?
We’ve all been there… you think you’ll finish those leftovers in the fridge only to end up feeling guilty when they spoil and go to waste once again. Or when you’re going out of town and know the food will be spoiled when you get home, but you aren’t sure who to give it to. Friends? Homeless shelter? What about the homeless pets at the animal shelter! The shelters actually need your leftovers, and you may never guess just how many items you can donate to them.
- Peanut Butter -
Shelters can’t get enough of this stuff! Whether it’s filling Kongs to keep pups occupied for the night in their crates or administering pill medication, shelters need as much peanut butter as you can give them!
However: when purchasing or donating peanut butter for dogs, make sure it doesn’t have poisonous xylitol in it.
- Cheese -
Have you ever met a dog that doesn’t like cheese? Me either! Shelters love having it on hand as a quick treat for the dogs, and they love it of course! If you have a few uneaten packages in the fridge, or your family didn’t care for the new brand you tried, do yourself and the dogs a favor and donate to a hungry pup!
- Baby Food -
Jem thought the baby food pack made a great chew toy!
Baby food is always in demand at shelters. Have you met a dog recently that loves to eat dry dog food without a little wet food added in for flavor? Because my dogs certainly won’t! They’ve trained me to realize that they would rather starve before they eat dry food without wet food added. Baby food is a relatively easy thing to donate, and a perfect way for you to rid your pantry of old jars you’ll never use. Dogs love it!
- Canned Tuna -
Zoey and Jem aren’t wild about the idea of eating tuna…
When I hear “tuna” cats are the first thing I think of! They can’t get enough of it, and I can bet that most of us have a few cans in the pantry that we had high-hopes for at some point but never ended up using.
- Hot Dogs -
Shelters love to cut them up and use them as treats for the dogs. And what tastes better to a dog than a hot dog?! They’re practically named after pups.
- Veggies -
With the dogs eating so much dry and canned food, this may surprise you. Munchable veggies like carrots are awesome for dogs! Veggies like onions are toxic to dogs. Our family gets a big box of fresh organic veggies from a local farm every week, and we have never been able to eat it all because there’s so much! The animal shelter is an awesome place to bring the leftovers rather than letting the veggies sit in the fridge and go to waste.
Dogs Can’t Eat Everything We Can
I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of times before, but dogs can’t digest all of the human foods that we can. For your dog’s sake and all of the dogs at the shelters that you’ll be donating food to, read our blog post on common foods that are toxic to dogs before you show up at the shelter with a box of avacados!
Can you think of any other human foods the animals at the shelter would love? Or have you ever donated your food to the shelter?
Some people think that making your own dog treats is labor intensive and time-consuming. But what if I told you that it’s as easy as chop and bake? Anyone can dice up some chicken and place it in the oven, right? It’s so easy! And with only 1 ingredient, no preservatives, no added-anything, and no mystery meats… your dog will thrive on these tasty treats! And dehydrated treats are the least labor-intensive creation imaginable. You barely have to lift a finger! And with claims that even jerky treats made in the USA aren’t safe, it’s so important that we can rest-assured that we are feeding our dogs non-toxic treats.
Step 1: Prepare Your Checklist of Ingredients
Boneless, skinless chicken
That’s it! Just 1 ingredient. You can buy whatever is on sale, but I used the chicken breasts that our family eats. These will be ready in no time, so preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Step 2: Slice The Chicken
A lot of people slice the chicken into thin, 1/8-3/8″ jerky slices. The thinner they are, the less time they will need to cook in the oven. However, I found it was much easier to just cube the chicken into thin, square-shaped pieces. I began by cutting the chicken into long jerky strips, but it was kind of difficult, and the cubes ended up cooking better in the oven.
Step 3: Place & Bake
Place the chicken pieces on baking sheets. You can use non-stick spray if you wish.
Place in the oven and bake for about 2 hours at 250 degrees. The amount of time will vary depending on the thickness and size of the treats you cut.
Jem’s trusty nose tells her there’s something in the oven…
Step 4: Eat Up!
Make sure your jerky treats are a golden color with some crisp to them. If they’re still soft and very white, you should cook them for longer. Your treats may take more or less time than mine did depending on the size you cut them.
Zoey smells something coming out of the oven…
And Jem is quick to investigate…“Are all of these for me?!”
Jem can’t believe her eyes!
OH my gosh they really ARE for me…
And soon enough Jem couldn’t get enough…
But Zoey’s height doesn’t keep her from taking a whiff…
And she loves what she tastes!
These jerky treats were so easy to make and healthy for the dogs. Based on their reactions, these seemed to be their favorite dog treats that I’ve ever made! I had to put them away in the refrigerator and spray Febreeze to get Jem to stop sniffing around the kitchen for more!