So, last post, I promised to give you the recipe I use to make our puppies' treats. I play around with the spices based on whether or not they are having upset stomachs at the time, but here is the basic recipe before adding the spices:
-2 to 2 1/2 cups flour (any kind of flour, wheat, white, oat, rice, etc.)
-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 cup pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix)
-1 tsp vanilla
- Oil (I avoid vegetable oil because that is usually soy)
- Molasses (around 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
Basically, I mix the dry ingredients together with a Danish dough whisk. Then I mix the wet ingredients together and mix them in with the dry ingredients.
Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in the desired size (they won't expand much at all). Bake for roughly 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Bake it longer or shorter for desired consistency.
I usually try to include spices that are functional in addition to tasting good. Ginger, for example is settling to the tummy. Cardamom is my latest favorite, but a word to the wise on spices like cardamom: check around before you buy. I looked at our local big box super store and found that a small jar of cardamom was over $10- and it wasn't even organic. I decided that if I was going to pay that much for a spice, it at least needed to be top quality. So when I went to Whole Foods, I reached for the same size jar but was surprised to find that it was only $5.99! Stores like Whole Foods have a reputation for being high priced, but they specialize in high quality, hard to find foods that the mainstream stores don't have or don't have much of. So sometimes their prices surprise you. Just food for thought. (Pun intended).
If anyone would be interested in buying puppy treats that I make (from non-GMO and organic when available ingredients), please leave a comment or contact me through the contact page.
Before we had puppies, I just thought a dog treat was a dog treat. They were just dogs anyway, they wouldn't know the difference. I mean, come on. They lick their own hinter regions. Milk Bone, rawhide, whatever. Right? I couldn't have been more wrong. A dog treat is not just a dog treat. As it turns out, some dog treats give your puppy diarrhea, mess up their teeth, or even worse if they have allergies. Once we brought Mr. C and Miss B home, we started looking at dog food a little differently. If GMO corn and soy cause tumors and cancers in people, why would we want to give that to our puppies? Wouldn't you save money in the long run on vet bills for various cancers and conditions if you spent a little bit more and got the better quality food? I like to think so. Plus, if you give your dog high quality food and treats, it seems to me that their stools would be more manageable.
So then, what kind of treats do you get? We looked at Petsmart to see if Blue Buffalo made treats too and searched online to see what kind of non-GMO options we could find in that department. As it turns out, there are organic and non-GMO treats out there, but at the rate our puppies were going through treats for training, it would have been better for us to buy stock in a treat company.
With the first two, we went through quite a bit of trial and error before realizing that we shouldn't go too fancy trying to augment their food- or else they would end up with diarrhea. We started making sure that they had the recommended daily amount of dry food and then gave them a little bit of canned food every once in a while as a special treat if they were doing really well. We also found these really cool 'Happy Tummy' treats online that were supposed to settle their stomachs. Once we started evening out their diet and giving them the tummy treats, the diarrhea went away.
We were happy that we had finally figured it out... then we tried to reorder the Happy Tummy treats and discovered that the company no longer sold them! Nooooo!!!
I didn't want to switch them to unhealthy treats or give them treats that would mess up their stools. So I again turned to Google to see if there were recipes for dog treats. There were, but I wanted to include most of the ingredients listed on the Happy Tummy treats because they had worked so well. I tried a few of the recipes just to get a feel for the dry ingredient to wet ingredient ratio and then came up with my own recipe. I bake them in really small pieces so that you can give your puppy several treats without filling them up.
I will put my recipe and some picture of them in my next post. I have to make a new batch soon anyway! The puppies all love them, I like them because I know what's in them. I can even pronounce all of the ingredients. Inconceivable! ( <-- Shameless excuse to quote the Princess Bride)
After the last set of puppy shots, the littles were not allowed to go out in public areas for a week. Today that week was up... so we took them to the beach. Rather than let them run around on the 20 foot leashes like we did with Miss B and Mr. C, we decided on a little more organized approach. We decided to keep them all on the regular leashes and go for a long walk instead. It's a little too cold to play in the water right now anyway.
The older two were acting a little antsy, and the littles went to sleep as soon as we started driving. We got to talking about it, and decided that the dogs probably all thought they were going to the vet. This was actually the first time we have taken them in the car to somewhere other than the vet since we got them.
When we got to the parking lot, they all started looking around. The older two had been there before and started wagging their tails. The littles just sat very still looking out the window. Once everyone was out of the car, they all got excited. Dad held the big ones and Mom held the little ones. Mom definitely got the better end of the deal on that arrangement. The little ones stayed right by Mom and Dad and didn't really pull on the leash too much. They were interested in the seaweed, and Mr. M would occasionally pick up a little piece of seaweed to carry for a little while before dropping it. We were surprised at how well they did- especially since it was their first time out in a harness, the first time on a leash and the first time on a long walk.
All four of them seem very comfortable taking potty breaks on the beach, and I think Mom spent about half of the walk holding poop bags looking for the nearest trash bin. While we were out, they made friends with a nice couple sitting on the beach. Miss B spotted the lady because of the hot pink jacket she had on and kept trying to go over to meet her. She told us that they had had dogs for twenty-one years but that they had lost their last one not too long ago and just didn't have the heart to get any more yet. She was glad when the littles wanted to give her puppy kisses all over her face.
I didn't get very many pictures of them from the front- I was too busy walking puppies. I guess that is a good excuse to go back to the beach.
First time pitbull owners who found two pitbull puppies abandoned on the side of the road and decided to adopt them...And then loved them so much, they decided to get two wonderful mastiffs.