When I lived at home, I can remember baking our dogs homemade dog treats for Christmas. Not just our dogs – all of the dogs in the family. When I moved out, that tradition stopped and was replaced by a long list of holiday cookies for the human members of the family. Now that we have a puppy of our own, and it's his first Christmas, I am bringing back the tradition of baking homemade treats for the family dogs.
When we first got Hunter, we noticed that he had a bad habit of scratching. He scratched a lot. Skin allergies are common in Cairn Terriers. So we mentioned Hunter's scratching during his first vet visit and they suggested putting him on a grain-free diet. There went all the food and treats we stocked up on for him! Thankfully, we were able to donate the food and returned his unopened treats for grain-free ones. Now he's on a totally grain-free diet, and although he still scratches here and there, he's gotten much better about it.
Hunter's been spoiled rotten since we brought him home and Christmas will be no different. His stocking is ready to be hung and filled with lots of new toys and treats. We got him an ornament of his own and I recently made a paw print ornament with Hunter to hang on the tree. He was so into that ornament that I thought it might be fun to make an ornament that he could eat! So I looked up some grain-free dog treat recipes and this is what I came up with.
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 11/2 cups coconut flour
- Dogs cookie cutters
- Straws or bamboo skewers
- Baker's twine
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin puree and oil together.
- Gradually add coconut flour until dough begins to form. Add water, as needed, to hold dough together.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Roll dog out to your desired thickness and cut out treats with cookie cutters. Add a hole with a straw or bamboo skewer at the top of the treat for hanging.
- Bake treats for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and let treats sit inside for another 15 minutes to fully dry out.
- Take out your treats and let them cool completely.
- Add baker's twine to each treat for hanging. If giving these treats as a gift, seal them in a cellophane bag or cookie tin to keep them fresh until Christmas.
Once the treats cooled down, I snuck Hunter a piece from one of the dog bones. Let's just say that Hunter gives these treats four paws up! He was sniffing for more! While the dough is probably a different consistency than what you're used to, adding a little bit of water at a time helps to hold it together. They'll still dry out and harden in the oven like your dog's favorite treats.
These treats are perfect for all of the dogs in our family. Hunter, Dusty, and Beau are grain-free dogs. Meadow's big brother (my nephew) has a peanut allergy so she can't have any treats with peanuts or other nuts in them. As for the rest of the dogs getting these, they'll benefit from the healthy pumpkin and coat benefiting oil in these treats.