We spend a lot of money on dog treats. Gulp.
Of course, we love to buy the high quality ones like the real chicken strips that are dehydrated, but coming in at $10-$15 for a bag, that is so expensive! The cheaper dog treats have a whole host of nasty sounding stuff in their ingredient list. The other day I was inspired to make my first pumpkin pie from scratch (re: I butchered a pumpkin that I had sitting on our front steps), and while thinking about what to do with the leftover pureed pumpkin, I decided to research it’s health benefits for dogs.
You know what? It’s really good for them. More on the specific benefits later. Anyway, I looked around my kitchen and found an over-ripe banana. Awesome. Bananas are great for dogs as well. I set that banana next to my pumpkin and decided I needed one more ingredient: peanut butter. Our little dog likes peanut butter in moderation so we actually have a separate jar just for her… it’s clearly marked on the lid and label as “Dog peanut butter” so we don’t mix it up with ours. 🙂
Anyway, I now had four ingredients for her treats. My amounts are approximate since I didn’t exactly measure anything. Feel free to mix it up a bit.
- 1.5 or 2 cups pureed pumpkin, adjust this to whatever you have leftover; more or less won’t matter much. If you have canned pumpkin, you could use that as well. Just make sure to not use canned pumpkin pie mix… huge difference.
- 1 over-ripe banana, mashed
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal (not the instant kind)
Step 1: I mixed it all together until there were no big lumps
Step 2: I greased a cookie sheet and spread the whole mess on there. I didn’t have enough to fill the entire sheet so I kept mine in a circle in the middle.
Step 3: Bake at a low temperature like 250 degrees for about 45 minutes. Because I was making this recipe up, I didn’t time it well and I adjusted the temperature in the middle. But I did leave it in until the edges were a bit on the crispy side. Looking back, I could have cooked it longer and made more of a cracker type treat… but instead I made it a soft, chewy treat.
Step 4: Let it cool slightly, then use a pizza cutter to cut it into the desired shape/size of your treats. We have a 7 pound dog so our pieces are quite small. (Note: the pie plate shown below is a small plate… about half the size of a normal pie plate.)
The prep time on this recipe was about 5 minutes (because I already had the pureed pumpkin). My dad and his two dogs were visiting while I made this, so my three furry taste testers couldn’t get enough of this treat! Here is why it is good for dogs:
Pumpkin : Good for digestive health, urinary health, and weight loss, plus it’s full of fiber. (Our small dog does not have weight issues so we are careful to give her these treats in moderation!)
Banana : Filled with amino acids, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins B6 and C, potassium, fiber, and manganese. Great for all dogs. If your dog is recovering from injury, it can help regulate blood pressure, heart function, and digestive tract.
Peanut Butter : Loaded with protein, healthy fats, essential vitamins and minerals
Oatmeal : Great for bones and teeth, can help soothe nervous and gastrointestinal system. Full of minerals and antioxidants, low in starch.
Shasta is giving me the sad face because she really wants the little treat I left at her feet… but I wouldn’t let her have it until I got my photo. Poor puppy.