Homemade Christmas Gift Idea For Dogs: Mason Jar Treats

RadioFence.com mason jar dog treats christmas present diy for dogsWhether you still need a gift idea for your dog, or you want to surprise your family and friends with a thoughtful present for their dog on Christmas, this homemade mason treat jar dog treat present is easy, and so much fun to make! Jem and Zoey say this gift is definitely “Dog Approved!”

Step 1: Buy Your Supplies

You’ll Need:

RadioFence.com homemade dog christmas present

  • 1 Pint Sized Mason Jar (I used wide-mouthed)
  • Twine or Ribbon
  • Decorative Fabric (optional)
  • Bone-Shaped Cookie Cutter
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Cornmeal
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley

Jem and Zoey were thrilled to see treat ingredients under the tree! 

IMG_7584

IMG_7605Do you think Jem is trying to say, “My mouth is open for business and ready for treats!”

The person you’re giving this gift to will add to the recipe:

IMG_7606

  • 1/2 Cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 Cup applesauce

They’ll need to add these fresh ingredients when they make the treats, because these ingredients won’t last in the mason jar!

Step 2: Combine Ingredients In Jar

Layer In The Mason Jar:

1 Cup Flour

I used a "shot glass measuring cup" to pack the flour tightly

I used a “shot glass measuring cup” to pack the flour tightly

1/2 Cup Oats

IMG_76201/4 Cup Cornmeal

IMG_76211/4 Cup Parsley

IMG_7624That has to be the quickest present I’ve ever made… or bought for that matter!

Step 3: Decorate Your Jar 

Cut a 5×5 inch piece of fabric if you’re using a wide mouth mason jar like I did, and place it between the layers of the mason jar lid. 

IMG_7627Save this recipe card to your computer, print it, and cut it out with scissors to be attached to the jar using ribbon or twine so the gift recipient will know how to make the treats:

RadioFence.com Mason Jar Christmas Dog Treats

You can print it on nice card stock paper, or even sticker paper to be used as a label on the jar rather than tied with the cookie cutter.

Punch a hole in the recipe card. Tie the bone-shaped cookie cutter and recipe card around the lid of the jar with twine or ribbon. 

IMG_7630

Step 4: Give The Gift Of Treats!

IMG_7635I’d like to think that Jem could smell the ingredients through the jar… because she didn’t want to leave it alone!

IMG_7637I can’t wait to give these to all of my doggy friends and family members for Christmas! 

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Such a simple yet beautiful present, and one that we will enjoy admiring under the tree until Christmas! I hope Jem and Zoey don’t go too crazy waiting until Christmas Day to bake these!

 

 

Handmade Dog Bone Christmas Wreath: DIY!

Handmade Dog Treat Christmas Wreath - RadioFence.comChristmas wouldn’t be the same without our fur babies celebrating with us! I love to see their excitement on Christmas morning when they “unwrap” their presents! They’re chewers, so they will destroy any toy we give them within minutes. Jem’s motivation when getting a new toy is to see how quickly she can get the squeaker out and destroy it. We usually just stick to bones since they love to chew, and those will last them weeks compared to minutes with a stuffed toy!

When I saw people making homemade dog treat wreaths on Pinterest, I couldn’t get over how cute they were! Wreaths are my favorite thing to make to decorate our home for the holidays because they’re quick and easy to make (even for those of you that are the worst crafters… that’s me too!). When I got the idea to make an edible dog treat wreath for Jem and Zoey to “open” on Christmas morning, I was so excited to get started!

I’ll admit right away… I made my wreath with the full intention of keeping it for years to put up in our home to honor our pups during the holidays. They deserve their own dog-inspired decoration in the house too, right?

So the wreath I made was created with rawhides because they scream “stereotypical dog treat” and will last forever on the wreath, which means I can use it for decoration every year. I’m sure many of you can guess that when I make wreaths for Jem and Zoey to devour on Christmas morning they’ll be made with one of my homemade dog treat recipes! Our dogs aren’t allowed to have rawhides after I’ve had to save dogs from choking on them in the past. Not a fan! 

Step 1: Gather Supplies From The Craft Store

homemade dog bone christmas wreathAll you need is:

  • Wreath
  • Ribbon
  • Dog Treats

It’s that easy! You can see that I also purchased battery operated Christmas lights to string through my wreath, which is completely optional.

Step 2: Plan The Placement Of The Bones

This is when your curious fur-balls will start to catch on to the mischief if they haven’t already… 

IMG_7475Jem was quick to steal a taste!

IMG_7469As difficult as she made it to place the bones on the wreath, I really wanted to know how many I needed and approximately how far apart I wanted them before I got started so I would get it right the first try. 

Step 3: String The Lights If You Choose To Use Them

Optional, but pretty! Just simply wrap the string of lights around the wreath in a way that distributes them as evenly as possible.

Notice Jem's pretty Christmas collar we  just got!

Notice Jem’s pretty Christmas collar we just got!

Once you have the lights where you want them, hot glue the battery pack to the wreath. 

IMG_7486My wreath was made from a wire frame, so there was plenty of sturdy surface to glue the battery pack to. Make sure you leave the side with the removable cover to replace the batteries face UP! Wouldn’t want to accidentally glue that side down. 

Step 4: String The Ribbon Through The Wreath

The ribbon is all you need to keep the bones securely attached to the wreath. No glue, tape, etc needed! 

IMG_7491 I just simply took the end of my ribbon and strung it from the back of the wreath, through the wire cage, and out through the front side of the wreath to begin crossing over the bones. 

IMG_7492I made sure I was tightly wrapping the bones so they wouldn’t move once the wreath was hung. 

IMG_7495I made sure all of the bones were tightly wrapped and pulled any slack that I found. Then I simply tied the two ends super tightly over the battery compartment (you will want to tie yours tightly around the cage of the wreath instead, since I forgot I need access to my battery compartment! Thankfully, it’s just a simple fix of just retying it. 

IMG_7496Ta-Da! My masterpiece that only took less than an hour and barely any artistic skill. Very proud dog mom moment! 

Step 5: Finishing Touches

The last step for me was tying a big bow at the top! You can add any finishing touches you like to personalize yours.

IMG_7511I have even thought about eventually attaching little Christmas ornament picture frames of Zoey and Jem’s cute faces from the bow to dangle in the middle! I even have some in stock…

Jem, Zoey and I had so much fun making this and we’ll always cherish it each Christmas when we hang it up on our front door! Do you have any favorite handmade gifts or ideas? 

Homemade Paw Print Holiday Ornament Keepsake: Makes A Great Gift!

homemade paw print clay ornamentWhen you receive a homemade gift, it’s something you’ll treasure for generations. And is there anything more special than a homemade present? It can be so hard to think of things to buy for the people you love during the holidays, and the pressure of Christmas shopping makes it that much tougher. Getting creative with homemade presents can be so much better because family and friends will cherish a handmade gift for decades. When they unpack the gift from storage, it brings back a memory that comes alive again every year like it was just yesterday.

Most households have a cat, dog, or pet of some kind. And we can all agree that our pets more than a just a pet, they’re family! Keepsakes of our pets are so special, and the paw print is an imprint of a moment in time that we should all be so lucky to document and cherish for years. I can’t wait to give my family members the priceless gift of holding their pet’s paw close to their heart forever with a paw print ornament!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Cornstarch
  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Cup Water

You can add food coloring to this mixture if you want your dough to be colorful! I chose to keep mine white and paint it later. 

Step 1: Mix Your Ingredients On The Stove

homemade paw print christmas ornamentThis recipe is truly so easy and quick: just plop the cornstarch, baking soda, and water into a pot on the stove! Stir the mixture over medium heat until the consistency begins to resemble mashed potatoes.

homemade paw print christmas ornamentIt will only take a couple of minutes before it begins to thicken. It should be fluffy and thoroughly mixed together with very little moisture left.

homemade paw print christmas ornamentOnce it resembles creamy mashed potatoes, remove from heat. 

homemade paw print christmas ornamentStep 2: Let The Dough Cool

homemade paw print christmas ornamentSpoon your ball of dough out of the pot and cover it with a damp cloth to cool. I used a wet paper towel and completely covered the dough with it. 

homemade paw print christmas ornament

Step 3: Kneed and Roll The Dough

Once the dough has cooled, kneed it with your hands onto a smooth surface – I used my counter top. The dough will be extremely easy to work with and have a consistency similar to fondant.

homemade paw print christmas ornamentIt has a wonderful smooth texture that rolls out like porcelain which makes it fun for young children to work with, too!

homemade paw print christmas ornamentRoll the dough with a rolling pin to get a smooth, even surface. 

homemade paw print christmas ornamentYou should roll it as thick as you need for the size of your dog’s paw. Bigger dogs will require a deeper paw print, so you will need a thicker dough – approximately 1/4-1/2″ thick. Smaller dogs won’t require such a deep paw print, so you may only need 1/4″ or less thickness. 

Step 4: Cut Your Dough Into The Shape You Desire 

I wanted a round ornament to press my dogs’ paw prints into, so I used the rim of drinking glasses and pressed them down into the dough to get a perfect round shape.

homemade paw print christmas ornamentYou may also have cookie cutters that will get the job done, too. I needed to use a larger drinking glass for Jem’s paw print and a smaller glass for Zoey’s little paw. 

Don’t forget to use a straw, chop stick, or some kind of round pin to poke a hole for hanging from the tree with a string.

homemade paw print christmas ornamentI used a chop stick and wriggled it until I got a round hole big enough for the string I plan to use. 

Step 5: Press The Paw! 

Now for the fun, and possibly more challenging part of the process.

I let the dogs sniff and investigate the dough so they weren't as scared of it.

I let the dogs sniff and investigate the dough so they weren’t as scared of it.

Jem stretched her paws out nice and big to make sure her paws were going to fit!

Jem stretched her paws out nice and big to make sure her paws were going to fit!

Zoey’s paw print couldn’t be easier. She’s so laid back that she let me press her paw into the dough with no objection and was patient while I made sure I got ever pad pressed into the clay.

Zoey proudly looking at her paw print!

Zoey proudly looking at her paw print!

Jem on the other hand… hates her paws touched at all, so she was a little more challenging. The first couple tries were a fail because she pulled her paw away from me just as I pressed it down, and all we got was mush! It was easy to roll the dough flat again, and I kept trying until I got the paw print I wanted (3rd time was a charm!) If your dog objects at first, just be calm and patient with her. Eventually with enough tries you’ll get the paw print you want, even if you have to do it while she’s napping! 

Step 6: Bake The Clay

Depending on the thickness of your clay, you may need to bake for more or less time than I did. I baked mine at 175 degrees for 1 hour, then flipped them onto their other side and baked for another hour. 

Step 7: Decorate Your Finished Ornament! 

I wanted to keep mine simple and elegant, so I kept the naturally white color of the clay (it even has a little shimmer to it!), and I just painted the paw print with a sparkly red gel paint pen.

IMG_7386I also added sparkly twine as my string to hang it from the tree. The traditional Christmas plaid bow was just what I wanted to give it that sophisticated, classic, timeless Christmas look to hang from our tree for decades to come!

Is There A Better Christmas Present?

These ornaments are so special to me not only because of the memory I have of making them with Zoey and Jem, but also because it’s something I’ll always have to cherish this memory and all of the others I have with my sweet girls. Once my family and friends saw the ornaments, they immediately asked me to make them for their dogs! That’s how I know for sure this is going to be a hit with everyone this Christmas and make the perfect gift. Zoey and Jem’s grandparents will also be receiving Jem and Zoey paw prints for their trees to honor their grand-dogters! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone!

(Storing Unused Dough)

If you can’t use all of your dough in one day, that’s okay! You can store it in the refrigerator for awhile until you have time to make more. Store it in a zip lock bag. It will warm up when you kneed it with your hands. If it’s too sticky, just add a little more corn starch until it’s back to its smooth consistency. 

Thanksgiving Dinner Recipe For Your Dog and Cat

healthy thanksgiving dinner for dogs and catsThanksgiving Ingredients That Are Healthy For Dogs and Cats: Keep It Plain and Simple

Have you ever seen people put traditional Thanksgiving dinner into the dog or cat’s bowl as a “treat?” Well, dogs and cats can’t handle cream, butter, salt and pepper, or other seasonings and ingredients that you and I love on Thanksgiving. But plain turkey, potatoes, and veggies are perfect for a dog-friendly meal. Here’s what you should feed your pet on Thanksgiving:

  • Plain, Skinless Turkey – it’s great for pets, and even considered the safest meat for dogs that are prone to allergies
  • Cranberries – a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants
  • Pumpkin – the plain, pure kind: so no pumpkin pie!
  • Yams –  full of fiber and super healthy
  • Veggies – plain, steamed green beans (not the casserole!), peas, carrots, etc
  • Sweet Potatoes – you all know I love feeding sweet potato treats to my pups every change I get!
  • Plain mashed potatoes – no butter or seasonings! 

Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner For Pets

I wanted to make sure whatever I fed my dogs on Thanksgiving was going to be a tasty treat for them without compromising their health. I’d hate to give them something that would give them upset bellies, diarrhea, or worse! This should be a fun experience, not one that leaves us in the emergency vet!

Back To Basics:

IMG_2231I made a pet-friendly Thanksgiving dinner consisting of:

  • Mashed sweet potatoes with homemade pet-friendly gravy
  • Homemade Pet-Friendly Gravy: pureed pumpkin & turkey or chicken broth
  • Green beans, carrots, and peas (steamed)
  • Skinless, boneless turkey
  • Cranberries

The gravy was my personal favorite… rather than a gravy filled with fat and seasonings that pets certainly can’t have, I blended two things that are so healthy for pets: pumpkin and chicken broth!

IMG_2223This gravy can be used all year long to mix with dry kibble when your dog is bored with the same-old dry flavor and consistency. 

Making A Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Meal Is Easy!

Since we are a week away from the real Thanksgiving, I didn’t have the roasted turkey or any other ingredients that we’ll have to use on the big day. It’ll be easy on Thanksgiving day to make your dog’s dinner from the ingredients you’re using to make the Thanksgiving meal for your family. 

Instead, I simply bought:

  • Pre-packaged, cooked turkey lunch meat 
  • Canned pureed pumpkin
  • Sweet potato: baked or cooked in the microwave
  • Carrots, Green Beans, and Peas: Canned
  • Cranberries (packaged like raisins) 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

IMG_2225Since I was tight on time, I just cooked the sweet potato in the microwave for 5 minutes and mashed it with a potato masher. The dogs loved them!

 Verdict: Our Thanksgiving Dog Dinner Was A Hit! 

Jem could hardly wait to try it!

Jem could hardly wait to try it!

She went for the mashed sweet potatoes first...

She went for the mashed sweet potatoes first…

Then went in for the Turkey...

Then went in for the Turkey…

She loved that so much, she licked her plate clean!

She loved that so much, she licked her plate clean!

She played with the veggies more than she ate them! Not her favorite...

She played with the veggies more than she ate them! Not her favorite…

Zoey gave the sweet potatoes a lick...

Zoey gave the sweet potatoes a lick…

Then she took a taste of the turkey...

Then she took a taste of the turkey…

And she decided she wanted to eat her Turkey first, unlike Jem!

And she decided she wanted to eat her Turkey first, unlike Jem!

She liked her plate clean, too... success!

She liked her plate clean, too… success!

Surprise! Buddy is back for the winter season… he’s a snowbird

Buddy also went in for the turkey first thing!

Buddy also went in for the turkey first thing!

He loved it!

He loved it!

Like a good boy he ate his veggies!

Like a good boy he ate his veggies!

Now those are tasty!

Now those are tasty!

The dogs LOVED their healthy pet-friendly Thanksgiving meal, and I’m so glad they could join in on the tradition without risking a belly ache or severe health scare. Happy bellies all around! 

Be Careful: You Can’t Suddenly Switch Your Dog’s Diet

Have you ever decided to suddenly switch your dog’s food without transitioning? Doing so leaves your dog’s digestive system in shambles, and you probably had a ton of piles on the floor to clean. You can’t switch your dog from a bowl of dry kibble to a plate full of human food on Thanksgiving without wreaking havoc on your dog’s tummy. 

Just give your dog a little taste as a treat, but don’t make an entire meal out of it. A small portion of food that isn’t too saturated in fat and oils will be just right! 

Thanksgiving Dinner Beware!

The scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner we all know and love isn’t exactly dog friendly… there are ingredients and components of the traditional Thanksgiving meal that would leave your dog with a belly ache or worse – a table-scrap mishap that leads to an all-nighter at the emergency vet!

I was searching the internet for a dog-friendly thanksgiving meal, and I was actually appalled at how many reputable dog bloggers were saying to use “garlic powder” or fresh, chopped garlic for dogs! They were suggesting that readers use way too many toxic ingredients in their dog recipes, and I feel compelled to set the record straight on what ingredients your dog can and CAN’T have on Thanksgiving. 

Ingredients To Avoid Feeding Your Dog:

  • Onions – contain thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs: causes the red blood cells circulating through your pet’s body to burst
  • Garlic – minute amounts are believed to be non-toxic, but large ingestions are very toxic, so why take the risk at all?
  • Gravy – it’s fatty and known to cause pancreastitis in dogs. No sauces made with wine, either! 
  • Turkey Skin- the seasonings aren’t good for pups!
  • Bones! Dogs are born to chew on bones, but not the brittle and the tiny pieces from Turkeys that cause obstructions in their intestines
  • Stuffing – the bread, salt, and fat isn’t good for your pet! 
  • Casseroles – onions, spices , and butter are a big no, and dairy causes diarrhea! Stay away from casseroles and dishes with more than 2 ingredients for dogs
  • Dinner Rolls – your dog doesn’t process grains or gluten as easily as you do, so it’s not worth giving to your pet

Chief veterinarian with Los Angeles Animal Services says: “Veterinarians experience an increased number of office calls due to digestive problems after the holidays because humans invite their animals to celebrate with high fat meals.”

You don’t want to spend Thanksgiving night at the emergency veterinarian due to a table-scrap mishap! Educate your family and guests on what foods are safe and which ones are not when slipping your dog or cat a treat. And always keep the ASPCA’s poison control center contact info nearby: 888-426-4435.

 

Thanksgiving Inspired Dog Treats For Your Grateful Dog

Thanksgiving Dog Treats For A Grateful Pup I love to tell people that my dogs are so well behaved, and they would never beg for food… But let’s be honest, even the most well-behaved, gentle, sweet, and obedient dogs so desperately want whatever mouth-watering food is on your plate. Just the smell alone is enough to make them wonder why they have to eat boring dry kibble while we devour our 4 course meal. Especially at Thanksgiving! And because I’m so thankful for my dogs and the joy they bring to my life every minute of the day throughout the whole year, I think they deserve a “thank you” treat on my favorite holiday. It’s a holiday when I count my blessings, and I want my dogs to know how thankful I am for them. 

IMG_1911 copyThese Thanksgiving-inspired doggy treats have just the right amount of Turkey Day flair mixed with Fall flavors that make me really get into the Holiday Spirit! With the sweet potatoes, chicken (or turkey!) broth, cornmeal, and Granny Smith apples, I feel like I’m hitting all the Fall holiday bases.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients 

IMG_1724 copyJem always takes this step a little to literally… she gathers her ingredients, indeed! Particularly the sweet potato…

IMG_1732 copyWithout fail, each and every time we make treats Jem will grab one of the ingredients to snack on. Zoey just looks at her in disbelief. She just doesn’t understand the obsession!IMG_1757 copyIngredients:

  • Mashed sweet potatoes, cooked plain: 3/4 cup 
  •  Chicken, turkey, or beef broth: 6 tablespoons 
  • Whole wheat pastry flour: 2 cups 
  • Fine yellow cornmeal: 1/2 cup 
  • Finely chopped mint: 1/4 cup 
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and grated

 IMG_1763 copyPreheat the oven to 325°F for the cookies.

To bake the sweet potato: bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes.

A little trick: you can cook the sweet potato in the microwave for 5:00 if you’re in a hurry vs approx 30-45 minutes in the oven. Should we be worried that the microwave is capable of that…? 

Step 2: Prep Your Ingredients

If you’re worried about the cookies sticking, line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Chop the mint by hand…

IMG_1776 copyOr use a Ninja/food processor to chop it finely…

IMG_1779 copyCore and cut the apple…

IMG_1791 copyAnd cut off the skin…

IMG_1794 copyYou can chop the apple by hand, but I chose to use my Ninja again…

IMG_1866 copyOnce your sweet potato is cooked, use a potato masher to puree it. The recipe calls for 3/4 C, and one normal sized sweet potato measured to be exactly 3/4 C for me. 

IMG_1878 copyStep 3: Mix ‘Em All Up!

In a large bowl, whisk together 3/4 C of sweet potato and 6 tablespoons of broth.

IMG_1889 copyAdd 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of cornmeal, 1/4 cup of mint, and the apple. Stir until combined.

IMG_1891 copyYour dough will look similar to this:

IMG_1895 copyIt is a dry dough, so if you prefer it to stick together better you can add more broth. 

Step 4: Bake

I chose to make mine “paw print” cookies. Smash the dough in the palm of your hand into a ball… IMG_1903 copyPlace on the baking sheet, and smash with your thumb. 

IMG_1906 copyPlace in the oven and bake at 325°F until they reach your desired texture. I like a semi-softer treat for my pups, so I baked mine for 15 minutes. You can bake them for longer if you want a crunchy treat. IMG_1907 copyThese can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, and the dough can be frozen for up to 4 months. 

Step 5: Dig In!

IMG_1925 copyHere comes the reward! For you and the dogs. Cooking treats for your dogs in your own kitchen is so rewarding!

IMG_2076 copySo much commotion to get to the treats!

IMG_1988 copySweet victory! Another successful home-cooked dog treat recipe, the dogs definitely approve!

 

Do your dogs love Thanksgiving? What special treats or traditions do you provide for your pups?