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Make Homemade Dog Treats

I love my dogs and try to give them the healthiest and best foods whenever possible. Dog treats are no exception, so when I have time I make my own in my toaster oven. This way I know exactly what's in them and I don't have to worry about dangerous additives and preservatives. They are cheaper than store-bought yet easy to make. Below you'll find a simple, basic recipe plus my two dogs favorites: bacon balls and peanut butter bars. WARNING: the bacon balls smell so good, you'll want to eat a few yourself!

I find the toaster oven provides an ideal baking environment for making dog treats. The close proximity of the baking elements help them to dry out perfectly without burning. However, you could make these in a regular oven if needed. Just raise the temperature by 25 degrees F and keep a close eye on them.

Basic Dog Treats

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups of whole grain wheat flour

1/2 cup of low-sodium chicken or beef stock

1 large egg

Directions

Heat your toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the egg and stock until well combined. Slowly mix in the whole wheat flour. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Cut into desired shape with a pizza cutter (but don't separate.)

Bake until lightly golden, this should take about 25 to 35 minutes. After cooling, break apart and store in an airtight container.

Bacon Balls

Ingredients

3 strips of bacon, preferably nitrate free (after all, you wan these to be good for your dog)

3/4 cup of whole milk

1 large egg

2 1/2 cups of whole grain wheat flour

Directions

Heat your toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Dice the raw bacon and cook in a skillet on your stove top over medium heat until fully cooked. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, beat the egg and milk in a large mixing bowl. Add the bacon (including the drippings.) Mix very well. Slowly mix in the whole wheat flour. Use your hands to roll into a dozen round balls, each about 2 inches. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Any bacon balls leftover will need to be stored in the refrigerator. They tend to get soggy after a while, so try to use them within a few days. Your dog will thank you!

Peanut Butter Bars

Ingredients

1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup of whole milk

1 1/4 cup whole grain wheat flour

1 teaspoon of aluminum-free baking powder

Directions

Heat you toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Put the peanut butter and milk into a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the whole grain wheat flour and aluminum-free baking powder. Mix well. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Place the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut into a rectangular bar shape. Bake until golden brown, this should take about 25 to 35 minutes.

Tips and Suggestions

All of these dog treat doughs are on the thick and dry side; if you have trouble rolling them out add a little bit of water or low-sodium stock.

The water or oil drained from a tuna can may be substituted for the stock in the basic dog treat recipe. And you'll have the added bonus of utilizing something that normally gets thrown out.

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Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.