Thursday, January 22, 2009

Baking for Dogs

This is a blog about my two biggest passions - baking and dogs, hence the name. Occasionally I get to combine the two - NO I DON'T MEAN BAKING DOGS!!! I get to bake FOR dogs. Dog treats, wheat free, decorated dog treats. YAY!

People enjoy my baking, some may even say they love it, but no one ever shamelessly drools as they're looking at the cakes and tarts.

No human ever starts sighing loudly...adding a soft nose whistle...building into off key singing... then outright barking...when they look at my baking...unless they're a be exact.

I guess if humans did that, I'd probably be kind of scared and more than a little uncomfortable, but when dogs do it it makes my spirit soar. They like me, they really like me - or at least my dog treats....

I have the good fortune to supply All Creatures Great and Small stores in Peterborough and Cobourg, with their "dog bakery" items and it's awesome. I get to make products that people are buying for their best friends, to show them how much they love them. What could be better?

I started last fall just before xmas and had NO IDEA how many they would order for xmas. People, I got tendonitis from all the rolling and the cutting and the decorating. I was at them for a week solid - I had to cancel other engagements - because I was doing Doooooog Treatsssssss! I was making them in my sleep and maybe not feeling so much of the love...but now I know the time involved and: Note to self - this year prepare more ahead of time - for the love of gawd!

Any way - they were a hit and I recently got to do some Valentine treats. I was really pleased with the results and would like to share them with you.

I make them wheat free because wheat can be awfully hard on your dog's digestive system and can exacerbate inflammation, just like in humans. ie. if you or your dog has arthritis, wheat may make it worse - so it's probably good to reduce your and your pet's consumption of it. So in the spirit of health, I make these wheat free and sometimes grain free treats and ruin all that goodness by coating them in a sweetened yogurt or peanut butter coating. Ah well they are treats, and like us, treats are only an occasional thing...right????

This is 6 year old Shak - isn't he handsome? He belongs to my friend Crystal and her family in Alberta. Crystal took home some dog treats at xmas for her boy, who is an extremely picky eater. Apparently he loved the treats and Crystal's mom wanted the recipe - "only if you send me a picture of Shak" - and she did and so here he is and the recipes too. Enjoy your treats handsome!Gingerbread Dog Treats

1 C
1/4 C honey
1 C water
1/2 C canola oil

6 C brown rice flour or oat flour or barley flour (the latter two are easier to work with)
2t baking soda
1t cinnamon
1t cloves
1t ginger

Combine the wet ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet to the dry and mix to form a dough. It will be a softer dough. Divide into 4. Wrap in plastic wrap and set sit for 3-5 hours.
Roll out on a floured surface to desired thickness, cut out shapes place on parchment lines cookie sheets and bake at 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. If they are soft to the touch, turn the heat down to 325 and let go for another 10 minutes. You don't need to bake them until they are hard - they will firm up once they cool - but you do want them to be dried out somewhat.

Apple Cinnamon Dough

unsweetened applesauce
1C water
1/2C canola oil
2 large eggs

5C oat flour
1\2C powdered milk
1t cinnamon
1t ginger

Combine wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and add the wet to the dry. Mix to form a dough. Roll out on a floured surface, cut and place on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Directions from above apply here too about length of time in oven.

You don't want to roll these cookies too thickly, or it will take forever for them to be dry enough to decorate, but if they're too thin, they'll break when you are trying to dip them. 1/4 inch or slightly thicker will work well.
The fun thing about baking for dogs and these recipes is that you can really mix things up. For the second recipe - you could switch the applesauce, for canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling) and the cinnamon and ginger for garlic and parsley to make a savoury treat. Then you wouldn't have to decorate them, unless you threw a little cheese on them for the last 5 minutes - that would be cool...Your dog isn't going to complain - s/he will just love you more for making the effort and taking the time to bake for him/her. Experimenting is fun and you can customize something just for your pooch!

I use a yogurt coating coloured with natural dyes from India Tree to decorate these, but I think Merkins (sold at bulk stores) are probably easier to find. Of course they'd be healthier without the icing, but once in a while treats are OK as long as they're once in a while.

Have fun, be creative and get baking!!!!


  1. These snacks look so good I would be tempted to eat them myself. Dogs are just the best -- drooling over food would make me feel good too -- funny none of the people who ate my apple pie at christmas did that though.
    You are good to give your recipes away. Maybe I'll give them a shot this weekend.

  2. YAY Susan you did it! I knew you could! and have fun baking - send me pictures of your girls if you'd like - with a story or two about them and I'll post it. I'm thinking along the lines of "I love Daisy because..." I'm thinking of adding a section where everyone can submit their special dog stories. All I have to do is figure out how to do it.

  3. You read my mind! I got tired of buying dog treats with so many additives and nasty stuff in them and was searching for recipes....kaboum! Will try these on Bailey and Tippy!
    So sorry to read about your cat. I can't even look at Tippy who is 11 without crying at the thought of not having him around anymore.

  4. Oh my gosh - I can't believe you were here Mme Tartelette! I absolutely adore your blog and check it every day...Thank you for your condolences for Moses. I know what you mean about the rest of the pets - we've got another 18 yr old cat and both dogs have cancer - so I can't even think about it without getting upset, so we just go on a day by day basis.

  5. Me again :)
    Made the dog treats this afternoon and put them in the treat box and little Bailey slept right underneath it for a good hour until he started tugging on the bottom of my pants. I thought that meant he had to go out but I let him direct me and guess where we ended....the treat box! They both love them! Thank you!

  6. You're welcome - I am so pleased they're a success! Congratulations on your double win!!!!