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Bake Homemade Dog Treats for the Holidays

We love to make treats for our dogs, Irie and Tiki. It’s a great way to show our love, to take advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables, and to celebrate the season. From now through the end of the year, we’ll be celebrating the holidays with our families. Those celebrations include food, so why not prepare some healthy treats for our pets as well?

Dog treats are a great way to get creative in the kitchen because, unlike most of us, dogs like savory as well as sweet treats. In writing The Healthy Hound Cookbook, my husband, John, and I came up with over 130 recipes for dogs; we’ve heard from many of our readers that the liver treats have been among the most popular. With dogs, you definitely get the chance to incorporate foods that you don’t include in human holiday goodies!

tuesday-morning-liver-treats

First, you need to know just which foods NOT to feed your dogs – and that includes onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, chocolate, and artificial sweeteners like xylitol. And know that treats should never comprise more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily diet.

With that done, it’s time to get down to some fun and shop for bakeware! We love going to Tuesday Morning stores because they have a huge variety of pet items as well as kitchen products, from bakeware to soft goods like holiday linens to ingredients, such as quality nuts — all perfect for special occasion as well as everyday treats.

On my recent Tuesday Morning run, I came home with these goodies for my treat baking:

  • A Rachael Ray muffin pan
  • A miniature muffin tin with removable silicone liners
  • Cuisinart and Rachael Ray utensils
  • Heavy-duty, commercial-grade cookie sheets
  • Cake Boss decorating tools

Of course, even if you’re not baking dog treats, it’s important to have a measuring cup and always use it to measure out your dog’s food. So often, people overfeed their dogs, not realizing just how much kibble they’re serving. I bought two types of measuring cups, a standard glass cup and colorful silicone cups!

10272014-dogtipper-baking

I put those new purchases to good use by making Irie and Tiki a batch of one of their favorites: Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Treats. They’re easy and fast to prepare!

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Treats
  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (organic if you have it)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup water as needed
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except the water, then add it sparingly (the amount of water needed will depend on the oil content in the peanut butter).
  3. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into fun shapes.
  4. Bake on cookie sheets for about 20 minutes, then remove and cool. Be sure to cool the treats completely before serving or refrigerating.

I made both dog treats and people cupcakes after my run to my local Tuesday Morning store – which also had some great Cake Boss accessories for decorating cupcakes! I wanted to make some “pretty” treats and these tools fit the bill!

tuesday-morning-cupcake

Of course, once the treats are cooled, it’s a matter of how to store your treats. I found some excellent options, from square bins for the refrigerator to great treat jars that are also perfect gifts for your favorite dog lover.

Interactive Treat Toys Make Great Gifts

I also love interactive treat-dispensing toys, and I found several at our local store. An interactive toy is one in which you hide treats, either homemade or store-bought, for your dog or cat. Interactive toys are great for prolonging the fun of the treats – buying you time to cook holiday meals, clean the house, or just keep a bored dog busy on the drive to Grandma’s house.

10272014-dogtipper-baking-toy

More Great Finds for Pets & Humans!

Speaking of holiday travel, I was SO excited by a purchase I made at Tuesday Morning this past week. Many of you have been following our dog Irie’s progress after her surgery in late August for a torn ACL; in fact, several of you have shared that your dogs are also recuperating from the same surgery. Irie’s not allowed to jump up on anything, including beds and couches, until December. Soon we’re headed on our (rescheduled) beach vacation with the dogs. We’ve been worrying how we’d handle the hotel bed (at home, we’ve moved our mattress to the floor). Well, Tuesday Morning had portable Solvit PupSTEP+Plus pet stairs for just $29.99 (compare at $49.99), perfect for our trip!!

Another surprise at Tuesday Morning was the number of consumables. I’ve often purchased USA-made dog treats at Tuesday Morning, but I wasn’t aware how many goodies for humans the store offers. I purchased a large canister of cashew halves for future treats (if I can keep John out of them!).

How Much Did We Save at Tuesday Morning?

Here’s a look at our purchases, including comparable prices … and Tuesday Morning prices!

  • Core Kitchen measuring bowl set
    • Compare at $9.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $4.99
  • SmartyKat Seek a Boo interactive cat toy
    • Compare at $9.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $4.99
  • CloudStar Buddy Biscuits
    • Compare at $5.95  > Tuesday Morning price: $3.99
  • At Your Service cookbook holder
    • Compare at $24.99 > Tuesday morning price: $14.99
  • Cake Boss 6-piece decorating tip set
    • Compare at $9.99   > Tuesday Morning price: $5.99
  • Cake Box Cotton Icing Bag
    • Compare at $5.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $3.49
  • Cuisinart Solid Turner
    • Compare at $5.99  >  Tuesday Morning price: $3.49
  • Rachael Ray Lazy Slotted Spoon
    • Compare at $11.99 > Tuesday Morning price: $6.99
  • Booda Hunt-a-Treat Treat Puzzle for Cats
    • Compare at $14.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $6.99
  • IQ Treat Ball
    • Compare at $15.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $5.99
  • Click Clack Essentials Canister
    • Compare at $8.99 > Tuesday Morning price: $4.99
  • Anchor Hocking measuring cup
    • Compare at $3.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $2.29
  • Cucina Vita Mini Cupcake Pan
    • Compare at $24.99 > Tuesday Morning price: $8.99
  • Rachael Ray Oven Lovin’ Cups
    • Compare at $17.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $9.99
  • David Burke Kitchen Commercial Weight baking sheet
    • Compare at $16.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $5.99
  • Home Creations set of three holiday cup towels
    • Compare at $14.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $6.99
  • Superior Nut Company Cashew Halves and Pieces
    • Compare at $12.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $7.99
  • Dogs are People Too treat canister
    • Compare at $19.99 > Tuesday Morning price: $9.99
  • Cat Nip hinged treat jar
    • Compare at $17.99  > Tuesday Morning price: $7.99

For more photos of our purchases, check out the Baking for Your Pets board on Pinterest … and happy baking!

Paris