I have a strong desire to open a dog bakery. It’s something I’m thinking of pursuing with earnest once my PhD is finished (I have a name and logo picked out already and will reveal that after I get my DBA # – I might even start a small online shop soon if there’s enough interest). After all, I have an idea what it’s like to bake 100’s of dog treats; prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest, my husband and I ran a home dog treat business called, “Gizzard Lizard”. We did quite well for a start-up and enjoyed using all natural, organic ingredients. It was a trial by fire as we learned what worked, what didn’t and what would go bad without refrigeration (OOPS! Not all treats can stay on the counter). It also helped that we had six taste testers to help up out.
I thought I’d start sharing some of our “nose approved” treats for you to bake at home. If you plan on baking dog treats frequently I recommend you get a high end food processor and some great non-stick cookie sheets (that will be used for dog only treats). You might want to invest in a rolling pin and other cookware that will be used for dog treats only; just for piece of mind!
While dogs don’t care what shape their treats come in; food is food, you’ll probably want to get fun cookie cutter shapes to work with. Salmon cookies cut into fish shapes, bacon cheddar in pig shapes, apple oatmeal in the shape of an apple…. your creativity is the only limit! You can purchase cookie cutters in just about every shape or size; even the geek with find pleasure in making Stars Wars shaped treats! I always found making a variety of sizes and shapes helped the product, not to mention my sense of accomplishment. I’d also just take tiny bits and make rolls for quick bites on the go or for training.
There are a number of treat combinations you can make and if you are looking for a recipe for something in particular let me know. Superfoods to help fight off cancer include things like kale, broccoli, berries (raspberries; both black and red, blueberries and strawberries) along with garlic (in small amounts) are good to give your dog. Treats made with these ingredients as well as items like herring, peppermint, cheese, cinnamon, pomegranates, cranberries, tuna, cheese and barely grass are also great to include in your dogs diet via treats. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various treat combinations. Oatmeal, apple cinnamon treats have always been a big hit. Keep in mind that your dog is going to be drawn to treats with a STRONG odor – salmon, bacon cheddar, beef basted or chicken. This doesn’t mean they won’t eat the others; you’d be surprised how much they love a good yogurt blueberry treat!
One other thing to note is that in most cases, when a treat recipe calls for eggs, it means shells and all! Shells are packed with nutrients that are good for you four legged companion.
Look for the first upcoming recipe: Salmon dog treats! And remember, if you want to see a recipe for something, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it posted.