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Homemade treats that please

 | August 28, 2012
FEATURE

Commercially made dog and cat treats are something we indulge in every now and again because we know our pets go crazy for it.

However, besides costing a pretty bundle, some aspects of commercially produced food – human or otherwise, can be rather worrying.

For one, preservatives are used to lengthen shelf life. Also artificial colouring is incorporated to make the treats look appetising. Honestly, your cat or dog doesn’t care! The more ghastly it looks, the more they’ll probably like it because it smells closer to real food. Then there’s the issue of the ingredients – are we one hundred per cent sure of what goes into those treats? Some also contain artificial flavouring as well – now we just got to draw the line at that!

A safer and incredibly easy alternative would be to pop into your kitchen and bake a batch of treats yourself for your little darlings. Homemade cat and dog treats are easy to whip up, cost next to nothing and gives you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what ingredients went into it.

It’s a great opportunity to have some fun too – get some cookie cutters in dog shapes, bone shapes, hearts or simply roll out the dough then cut into strips, squares or diamonds. Your cat or dog won’t know any better.

Remember to stay away from ingredients like chocolate or cocoa powder, onions, mushrooms, grapes, raisins, salt and sugar. If your pet is lactose-intolerant, spare the butter, cheese or milk in your treats and use water or chicken broth instead.

I once attended a dog ‘birthday party’ where homemade treats like Sheppard’s Pie, oven-dried anchovies and animal lungs were handed out to a rowdy bunch of canines that devoured everything in seconds.

To get you started on this baking expedition, here’s an easy-peasy, tried and tested recipe from Bullwrinkle.com

Chicken liver cookies

Ingredients

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup wheat germ or cornmeal
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup chicken broth
2 teaspoon parsley or any other herb
1 cup cooked chicken liver, chopped

Method

Combine flour and wheat germ.
In separate bowl, beat egg with oil, then add broth and parsley.
Add the dry ingredients to bowl a little at a time, stirring well.
Fold in chicken liver and mix well.
Dough will be firm.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
Roll out to ½ inch thickness and cut into shapes.
Place on a greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart.
Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes or until firm.
Store in refrigerator.

This recipe from a website called Simply Pets.com will be especially tempting to kitty… though I don’t see your dog minding one bit if you sent some his way too.

Fish crackers

Ingredients

170g cooked fish
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/3 cup water

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into treat-sized pieces.
Place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Leave to cool on cooling rack.
Best stored in the fridge.

If you’re really not into baking but want your cat or dog to enjoy homemade goodies all the same, don’t fret. Here are two local websites that you can order your pet treats from. The ingredients used in their cookies, cakes and other treats are all natural with treats being freshly baked once an order is received.

Wow Wow Bakery at www.wowwowbakery.blogspot.com

PawZ Bakery at www.pawzbakery.com.my


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