Our Best Natural Holiday Dog Treat Recipe
It’s that time of year. The time of “pumpkin everything”: Pies, lattes, scented candles and.....wait for it.....dog treats! These seasonal treats are a highly nutritious addition to your pooch’s day this season. Start with delicious seasonal ingredients for your pooch including cranberries, apples and carrots. Add in oatmeal and peanut butter to hold it all together. Then there’s the main ingredient: Pumpkin!
All The Reasons for Pumpkin This Season
Pumpkin is truly a super food. Rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene and other carotenes, regular inclusion of pumpkin in the diet supports vision, skin health, and mucus membrane and immune system health (just in time for cold and flu season). Despite it’s inherent sweetness, pumpkin is high in fiber, which not only is great for blood sugar regulation, but also keeps things moving properly through the digestive tract. This latter one is particularly helpful if you are one of those who “accidentally” feeds your furry friend scraps while doing your holiday cooking. Pumpkin is also a prebiotic that feeds the friendly microbes that reside in your mutt’s gut.
For the dog and her person that is enjoying the season out of doors, pumpkin is great for supporting muscle recovery due to the high potassium content. Add to that a bit of vitamin C to stay healthy while playing outside and you both are set for the season.
Big Taste with Little Effort
This is an easy-to-throw-together recipe that tolerates a lot of fun experimentation. I can vouch for the flavor. Milo, D and Finch all scarfed them up, and I even ate a couple!
Recipe - Makes 20-40 treats depending on the size of your cookie cutter.
3 1/4 cups raw Rolled Oats - Grind 2 cups & leave 1 1/4 cup unground
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 pinches Sea Salt
1 cup canned Pumpkin Puree (Not pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugar. If you’re feeling adventurous you can prepare your own.)
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 tbsp chopped Carrot
1 tbsp chopped unpeeled Apple
1 tbsp chopped dried Cranberries
Optional: Zukes Mini NaturalsI used Peanut Butter flavor, but any would work.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry (or vice versa, it doesn’t really matter). Roll out with rolling pin. The dough will be sticky. Powder some extra oats to keep it from sticking to the counter and the rolling pin. Cut with cookie cutter and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 25-30 minutes (at least, that’s what worked here at 6500 feet!). Before baking, press in a couple Mini Naturals per treat.
Anna-Marija Helt, PhD, is a research scientist-turned herbalist who practices and teaches at Osadha Herbal Wellness in Durango, Colorado. She is also Milo, Zeke, D, and Ratticus Finch's human.