Homemade treats for sale at the Seattle Barkery. (Sy Bean/Seattle Times/TNS)
Homemade treats for sale at the Seattle Barkery. (Sy Bean/Seattle Times/TNS)

Fido-Friendly Treats are Easy to Whip Up

Holidays wouldn’t feel right without homemade cookies in candy cane shapes, but don’t forget about your furry friends when baking this year. Store-bought dog treats often contain additives that are bad for their health, and nutritious treats tend to be quite expensive. To avoid either of these problems, and to have some fun in the process, consider making your own dog treats. This week, I traveled to the Dollar Tree on a mission for cookie cutters and peanut butter. I then raided my cabinet to find some oatmeal and created this holiday recipe with three ingredients. The final product was taste test approved by Hokie DeMarco, a Labrador Retriever. One of the best parts about baking for a dog is that the measurements don’t have to be exact, as they’re pretty easy judges. Work with what you have (as long as it’s digestible for pups), and get creative! Your dogs will be grateful for some homemade holiday cookies of their own with simple recipes. Brainstorming your own recipes can be fun, but here’s my simple one to get you started.

Ingredients (makes approximately 25 treats):

2 peeled bananas (can substitute with apple sauce or other soft fruits)

2 cups of gluten-free oatmeal

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1 eight ounce jar of peanut butter

Holiday cookie cutters

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place uncooked oatmeal in Ziplock bag and seal. Stop on the bag until oatmeal is finely ground (you can also use a food processor, but this way is more fun). Remove from bag and place in a bowl. Flatten banana into a paste with your hands and combine with oatmeal. Add in peanut butter and mix well, then roll mixture into a ball. Optional: let dough harden in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to easier cut out shapes in the next step. Flatten mixture and use cookie cutters to make your holiday shapes. Dough is safe for your dog to eat on it’s own, but bake for 10 minutes to achieve “cookie” texture. Allow to cool and let your dog dig in!

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