Valentine’s Day is just about upon us so it’s time to treat the ones who really, and always, love us…our dogs!
Here are some simple but HIGH value treat recipes to really treat your special Valentine!
In today’s cookbook we have:
- Pyramid Treats
- Charred Liver Treats
- Liver Kibble Crush
- Liver Pate/Ice Cream
For the treats demonstrated here, I have used chicken livers as the base. I buy them in bulk and divide them out into treat-recipe-portions and then freeze them. They are super tasty, nutritious in small amounts, and are quick to cook.
But, you can use any flavour base that works best for you and your dog. Meats, offals and fish work best, but you might use cheeses or yoghurts, nut butters or even your dog’s regular food.
I will warn you that I am pretty experimental about this ~ my dog is not one bit fussy and would eat pretty much any amount of any food offered ~ but your dog might have more specific requirements so try different combinations and amounts out to see which works best.
Keep a note as you trial and error so you know when you have hit success – I’m sure you will always have willing taste-testers…!
Silicone pyramid mats are used to help cook healthier, by draining the fat, but did you know that they make an awesome mold for soft, squishy, non-greasy, non-crumbly baked dog treats?!
You can use any oven-proof mold with small spaces really (and there are lots of different types available apparently); the pyramid mat makes hundreds at a time at a nice size.
The basic recipe:
- 100g of the protein – the star of the show that brings the yumminess, e.g. liver, fish, minced meat, cheese, yoghurt, peanut butter
- 100g of grain like flour of different types, oats or kibble ground up
- 20g/1 tablespoon of fat such as oil of your choice, butter, yoghurt, but butter
- 2 eggs
Add water to thin to the right consistency, as needed. You want this to be a loose pancake batter type consistency. Blend in a food processor or similar to combine in a smooth mix.
In the pictures I have mixed:
- 150g chicken livers
- 150g flour
- 2 eggs
- 1tblsp olive oil
- handful of spinach
- handful of grated cheddar
- water to thin and a splash of kefir
That makes about two pyramid pans worth of treats.
Pour on to the mat or mold and spread so each space is filled without bubbles. (Although I’m not sure how much that matters….)
Cook at 175C for about 12 minutes. I find the smaller ones on the edge get a little crispy so watch closely and cook for a couple of minutes less.
The great thing about these treats is that they turn out of the pan really easily and cleanly, making this a very efficient way of preparing food rewards.
Opening the oven door can be a little smelly, depending on the ingredients so be prepared for that!
These treats freeze well.
They are small and squishy to handle, and not greasy or crumbly.
You can design these to your dog’s tastes and requirements, for example, looking at egg or flour replacements, adding the proteins that work best for you and so on.
You might need to experiment a little to get it right for your mix and preferences, but that’s all part of the fun too, right?!
Charred Liver Treats
This is a long standing favourite of mine, particularly preparing for the show ring and obedience competitions back in the day…I have charred a lot of liver and sausage for dogs treats!
Again, you can use any flavour bases you like but offal and meats work best as they don’t just turn to mush. I am using chicken livers here.
Simple as 1…2…3!
Liver Kibble Crush
This can be a great way to enhance the value of kibble. You can just add small amounts to meals to boost palatability and enthusiasm for regular food.
It’s also a great way of preparing kibble for stuffable toys, which can be frozen too for extra challenge.
Use the water you lightly boiled your liver (or chose option) for your charred treats.
Liver really works best for this one but if using other meats or flavour bases, such as fish, you might need to use a blender or similar to get a smooth texture.
Not sure your dog will mind too much texture though, so that might not be a concern!
This is really versatile. I like to break off chips of frozen mix to add to stuffable toys or as a topper. You can defrost it and spread it in toys and refreeze too!
Enjoy your treats and share your ideas that work for your dogs.