Sunday, December 30, 2012

Allergy Free Dog Treats

Allergy free dog treats are available for those dogs that have allergic reactions to common food ingredients such as wheat. These treats are also called "hypoallergenic dog treats." Food allergies are at the root of about 10% of allergic reactions in dogs, so they are not rampant. 

Typically the dog will have itchy skin and a dull coat. Wheat allergy is one type of food allergy in dogs. Many dog biscuits are made with wheat flour so it is an ubiquitous ingredient. Wheat flour is not only economical, but easy to work with. 

allergy free dog treats
Allergy free dog treats are available
for dogs with wheat allergies

There are other flours that are not implicated in causing allergies, but require some knowledge of how best to use them in baking.

Some dogs, just like people, develop a sensitivity to certain ingredients. Your veterinarian will be able to help determine if your dog truly has a wheat sensitivity or intolerance and will need wheat free dog treats.

If your dog has a specific allergy, and you would like fresh, handmade treats, where you know exactly what ingredients are being used, please visit the following webpage: Allergy Free Dog Treats and fill out the form. We will refer you to a knowledgeable dog bakery that can make your dog the special treats he needs.

Friday, December 28, 2012

DIY Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

Dogs love chicken jerky dog treats because they satisfy the chewing urge.  A thick, crisp piece will keep a dog entertained. It is easy to digest. These jerky treats are healthy all natural dog treats - simply pieces of dried chicken with no added ingredients.

Make your own chicken jerky for dogs using your own oven if you do not have a dehydrator. Takes little preparation and even less effort!

chicken jerky dog treats
Chicken jerky dog treats

What you need:
  • Frozen baked chicken cut into 1/4 inch strips. Some bakers recommend baking it first to make sure that the meat is not raw prior to drying, which could be a source for bacterial contamination. Sometimes frozen meat is easier to cut. Make sure to remove all the fat (which will keep it moist and prevent drying.)
  • Place chicken strips on a baking sheet. 
  • Leave strips in the oven. (Some bakers recommend leaving the door slightly ajar for ventilation.) Set your timer for at least 4 hours. Depending how dry you want the jerky, you may need to leave it in longer. 
As you can see in the image of the dog jerky above, I did not dry the chicken out completely. (That was because I ran out of time and did not feel comfortable leaving the oven on.) Those strips were in for approximately 4 hours, but I did not remove all the fat which is glistening in the photo. The end result was a chewy treat, but would have been chewier had I dried it out a little bit more. Needless to say, my dogs did not care...

A dehydrator runs at a lower heat setting - 160 degrees F - using less energy. You can leave it without worry. The professionals use dehydrators and dry the chicken for a very long time to ensure there is no bacterial contamination, and to prolong shelf-life. 

However, if you are making this for your own pets, you are not going to be concerned about packaging and shelf-life. Just make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way through.

If you would rather let someone else do the work, please buy jerky treats made in the USA. We can recommend a dog bakery close to you or one that will ship so you can get freshly made all natural chicken jerky treats. Be wary of those that say "made in China" on the package. The manufacturing plants in that country are not regulated and there are too many reports of dogs becoming seriously ill from undisclosed additives.

See Chicken Jerky Treats for Dogs with Struvites for a recipe modification for dogs with that particular health issue.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Easiest Dog Biscuit Recipe Ever

Here is a super simple easy dog biscuit recipe to get you started baking dog biscuits!

This recipe is as bare bones as it gets. More advanced bakers will have their own variations as to what they add to the dough. Those that sell their dog treats may even choose to add preservatives to the dough to thwart the growth of mold.

You will read or hear opinions about wheat based dog treats. The present treats du jour are "grain free." Making dog treats that are grain free requires knowledge of flours and other ingredients made from non-grains. You need to know how to work with these for the biscuits to turn out decently.

If you are just starting out, or you want to make a few dog treats to bring to a friend or to have your dog try, just to see if you even enjoy baking, this recipe will yield healthy dog treats.

Dog biscuit recipe
Dog biscuit recipe step by step

See the photos in full size:

What you need:
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or cannola)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 10 bone silicone baking pan (does not require pre-greasing)
  • Flat baking sheet for stability
  • Mix the ingredients together. 
  • Press the dough into a 10 bone silicone baking pan. 
  • Place the baking pan on a flat baking sheet for stability and place on the middle oven rack.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes.
  • Turn off oven and leave pan in for another 60 minutes.
  • Take pan out, turn over and biscuits will fall out.
If you do not have a silicone baking pan, it is definitely worth the small investment. Otherwise, roll out the dough and use cookie cutters. Or, press the dough into a greased cake pan and bake a giant biscuit!

The recipe above makes 12-15 thick bone shape biscuits using the 10 bone silicone baking pan, depending on how full you fill the wells. I filled them full in these photos.

The beauty of the silicone baking pans is that they do not require pre-greasing with this type of recipe. Oil is used in the recipe, which serves as its own greasing agent. You can use any vegetable oil. Again, there will be bakers who prefer one type over another. It does not matter for a beginner.

When all done, the silicone baking pans can be washed in the dishwasher to clean all the oil and dough residue. Pressing the dough into the wells saves time and effort because you do not have to roll the dough and cut it.

This 10 mold silicone bone shaped cake pan is now my favorite!

See the photos in full size:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Puppy Cakes for Christmas

Make your own puppy cakes for Christmas! So easy, so simple, and you will have a nice treat to share with the furkids.

Follow this example from @CathyMags. She baked some Christmas dog treats for her Maggie and used K9Cakery's silicone paw shaped baking pan to make the little paws which are the perfect size for a puppy cake!

puppy cakes for Christmas
Puppy cakes for Christmas made by Cathy Mags

The dog treats in the middle of the photo are mini dog cupcakes. All are decorated with dog treat icing - Fido's Frosting Royal Icing for Dogs.

These dog cakes are so quick and easy. Use a dog cake mix from K9Cakery or your own dog cake recipe. The cupcakes for dogs will bake within 15-18 minutes. Let them cool and then drizzle some Fido's Frosting on top. You do not have to be a professional cake decorator! Cathy bakes because she loves to and because her pooch loves that she does!

Here are some more Christmas dog treats made by @CathyMags for Maggie:

Christmas dog treats
Christmas dog treats

Let your imagination run wild for decorating. You can find great ideas on Pinterest! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Make Small Dog Treats From Leftover Cake For Dogs

Make small dog treats from leftover cake for dogs! 

Have leftover dog cupcakes? Dog cake too big and afraid it will go bad before you have a chance to use it? Do you have to throw it out or give it to the birds? Not at all.

You only give your dog a little bit of "dessert". You have an all natural dog cake that is preservative free and you know it will probably mold before your dog can finish it. Try this handy idea mentioned by the Kol's Notes blog, found at - this blog is full of practical advice!

make dog training treats from leftover dog cake
Make dog training treats from
leftover dog cake

Kol's Notes suggest taking leftover cupcakes or cake and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. 
Bake at 200 degrees F for approximately 3 hours. Make sure they are dry all the way through.

Use these delicious bit-size crunchy morsels to teach a new trick! Your dog will work hard to learn the behavior to get one of these tasty pieces. 

The treats are coming from leftover cake, so they may not necessarily be the lowest in calories. But they will be yummy! So use them to reward extra special behaviors!

Click here to read more about the characteristics of good dog training treats for ongoing training.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fund Raising Ideas for Dog Rescue Groups

Are you looking for new fund raising ideas for dog rescue groups? Have you thought about making homemade dog treats and selling them for donations?

Not only are dog treats easy to make, but the entire process is fun. Kids especially love to be involved with dog crafts like this. They enjoy decorating the treats and they know they are helping out with a worthy cause.

fund raising ideas for dog rescue groups
Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue -
Fund Raising Ideas

These beautiful dog treats are made for the Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue. All you need is a good recipe for a dough that has dog-safe ingredients, and some dog-themed cookie cutters. Or, use one of the new silicone baking molds for less effort. Just press the biscuit dough into the wells and bake! No need to cut out shapes because the molds will turn out biscuits with fine detail.

All natural Fido's Frosting brand yogurt Royal Icing for Dogs was used to finish these. It takes color well as you can see. Edible glitter and dog bone sprinkles complemented these treats as well.

Sell an assorted plate of various shapes or pack up dog treat bags and tie them with a colorful dog themed ribbon for a beautiful display. You can make up labels with your dog rescue group's name and contact information and stick these onto the treat bags. 

Dog lovers will not hesitate to buy the treats to help with the rescue efforts, especially when they look as enticing as these. They know that they are contributing to an important undertaking. Advertise the treats as being "handmade with love". Use all natural ingredients and you can even correctly state that they are healthier than Girl Scout cookies! How could pet lovers refuse?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dog Christmas Cookies Decorated With Royal Icing

Don't forget the pooches at Christmas! 

Take a look at these beautiful dog Christmas cookies decorated with royal icing made by Lazy Bones Pet Treats, a dog bakery based in Kansas City, Missouri. Fido's Frosting Royal Icing for Dogs takes color well and creates vibrant Christmas dog treats! 

dog Christmas cookies
Christmas dog treats made by
Lazy Bones Pet Treats

Colored sesame seeds complete the all natural decoration. Buy the colored sesame seeds or with a little bit of effort, color them yourself. Use then just as you would sprinkles or jimmies on other treats for dogs to keep the sugar content at a minimum. 

Christmas dog treats
More Christmas treats for dogs from
Lazy Bone Pet Treats

Fido's Frosting royal icing is perfect for flooding an area with color as seen in the stars and the bell above. Or just drizzle green and red dog treat icing for an interesting "painted" effect, as seen in the image below.

Christmas treats for dogs
Dog Christmas cookies with drizzled dog treat
icing from Lazy Bones Pet Treats

Come join us in Homemade Dog Treats on Facebook and get more ideas for making and decorating your own dog treats.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dog Christmas Cookies

Make dog Christmas cookies decorated with bright, holiday colors so that everyone in the family gets to have tasty Christmas treats!

These fun, creative, colorful dog treats are made by Noah's Noms, a dog bakery located in Sanbornville, New Hampshire. 

dog Christmas cookies
Christmas dog cookies made by
Noahs' Noms dog bakery

Professional dog bakeries offer interesting combinations of ingredients in their dog biscuits. They know which ingredients go best together. If this is more information than you know, or have time to research, no need to worry. You can always order a batch of the more exotic treats.

Make your own homemade dog biscuits using a simple dog biscuit recipe. Roll out the dough and then use bone shaped cookie cutters or other Christmas themed cookie cutters. If you prefer a quicker and easier method, use the silicone molds from to make perfect bone or paw shaped biscuits without having to roll and cut. 

The Christmas dog treats in the photo above were decorated with yogurt dog treat icing: Fido's Frosting brand Royal Icing for Dogs. Look how cute the little bones with the scarves and faces came out. Of course the dog recipients will love them, but decorate your treats with personality and you'll have the humans also begging for more. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unique Christmas Gifts For Dogs

Have you been looking for unique Christmas gifts for dogs? Perhaps something different than a leash, a collar, a dog bowl, or squeaky toy? 

One of the most original dog gifts we came across is a gorgeous handmade dog-safe edible Christmas tree made from stacked dog cookies, by the dog bakery, Treats By The Pawful, based in Minooka, Illinois.

Christmas gifts for dogs
Christmas Cookie Tree For Dogs
handmade by Treats By The Pawful

This dog cookie tree is truly a one-of-a-kind gift. Each star-shaped dog cookie is individually crafted to get just the right size to create the shape of a Christmas tree standing tall. Fido's Frosting brand Royal Icing for Dogs is used to cover the arms of the stars to create the effect of snow on the tree branches. Colored sesame seeds are sprinkled onto the icing to look like tree decorations. Each star is then stacked and "glued" with the icing. The final product is all natural and edible!

Dog lovers enjoy receiving gifts for their pets. Their pets are very special to them. A handmade gift like this to remember the dog at Christmas time is a very special and thoughtful one as well as being absolutely original.

Wouldn't this cookie tree make a beautiful table centerpiece? It would certainly be a topic of conversation because many people do not realize that there are actual bakeries that make cookies and cakes just for dogs using dog-safe ingredients. 

The yogurt dog treat icing is sugar free so even though it looks enticing, the human palate would not enjoy it. So, no need to worry that anyone would eat the dog's present.

Just be sure to video the dog enjoying his gift for a wonderful Christmas memory.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gingerbread Dog Treats

Remember the dog with gingerbread dog treats! 

Gingerbread men are a Christmas holiday favorite. The spicy aroma suggests winter holiday time! So why not include the dog too? Their heightened sense of smell will not let you get away with baking gingerbread men and not giving them a taste. 

Tammie's Homemade Pet Treats makes these gingerbread Christmas dog treats and finishes them with Fido's Frosting brand Royal Icing for Dogs.  

gingerbread dog treats decorated with Fido's Royal Icing
Gingerbread dog treats decorated with Fido's Frosting  
Royal Icing for dogs by Tammie's Homemade Pet Treats

Gingerbread treats are typically made with ginger and molasses or honey instead of sugar. Make them as a biscuit or a loaf cake. Ginger is used to alleviate nausea associated with motion sickness in humans and reportedly has similar effects in dogs. Honey and molasses are used frequently in recipes for dog treats as well. If you have any concerns about feeding your dog these foods, please talk to your vet before doing so.

Ginger root, molasses, and honey are natural ingredients.

Gingerbread biscuit recipes for dogs can be found around the internet. Beware of recipes that list nutmeg and garlic as ingredients for dog biscuits. These are two ingredients that can be toxic to dogs in large amounts. 

Very simply, to make your own gingerbread homemade dog treats, add the following to your regular biscuit dough:
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger 
  • 1/2 cup molasses 
Remember, dog treats are not a substitute for a meal. Even though your dog will beg for more, do not give in!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Homemade Christmas Ornaments For Dogs

Make homemade Christmas ornaments for dogs and give them as dog gifts for Christmas to your dog owner friends. 

We have been having a lot of fun making these in the Facebook group
Homemade Dog Treats. Everyone has their own style and their own creative designs. If you love baking and painting, these dog crafts are for you because you do both for the same craft project!

Homemade Christmas Ornaments For Dogs
by Zelda's K-9 Treats & Things, LLC

The simple directions for these Christmas craft projects can be found in this post:
DIY Christmas Dog Gifts. You create a dough, roll it out, and using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out the shapes of the ornaments. Poke a hole in the top and bake. 

When the dough ornaments are finished baking, they are painted with acrylic paint and sealed. Thread ribbon or string through the hole to make it possible to hang on a Christmas tree or on the wall.

See DIY Christmas Ornaments for some examples of bone shaped ornaments for dogs. You can even personalize these with the dog's name. They are easy to make, do not take a lot of time, and the materials are relatively inexpensive.

These ornaments for dogs are bound to be a big hit with your friends. Everyone loves it when the dog gets a gift! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Organic Dog Treats

Organic dog treats are the specialty of the Green Lakes Barkery based in Green Lakes, New York. The owner, Nathan Lutz, even grows his own organic produce to use in his bakery dog treats. 

If you bake with organic dog treat recipes, then try this simple trick that Nathan offers to make banana dog treats sweeter and more flavorful. Who may end up eating your inventory.

organic dog treat recipes
Enhance organic dog treat recipes
with sweetened bananas!

What you need:
  • Organic yellow bananas
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place the unpeeled bananas in a row on a tray that has sides. Do not use a flat baking sheet because the cooking process will cause the bananas to "weep" a milky colored liquid that will congeal into a sweet syrup when it cools, and you want to be able to "catch" it
  • Roast the bananas in the oven for approximately 15 minutes
  • Turn the bananas over and roast another 15 minutes
  • Let the bananas cool down enough to touch.
  • Peel and use in your dog treat recipe. Add in the natural banana syrup for more flavor.

Bananas treated like this will taste sweeter. Another benefit is that you can use yellow bananas that are not largely ripened and save time on having to wait for this process to occur. You can freeze them...just peel first.

If you want a banana flavoring, collect the syrup and use for other dog treat recipes as well. If you decorate with dog treat icing, you can create your own organic banana flavoring.

Organic yogurt drops for dogs with fruit flavors are manufactured by and make great dog training treats due to their small size. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bad Breath Biscuits For Dogs Who Eat Poop

Bad breath biscuits for dogs can help your four-legged friend give more enjoyable kisses.

Dogs are not the most discriminating eaters. Unlike humans, who may choose not to order a hamburger with the onions or forego the garlic sauce when in close proximity to others, dogs do not care who they might offend with their breath.

charcoal dog biscuits
Bad breath biscuits for dogs from The Black Pearl Bakery
You may have seen your dog or another one eat a pile of waste. Why do dogs eat poop? There could be various reasons why. One reason is just that he wants to. Nothing more complicated than that. Some dogs eat the poop from a more dominant dog.  Then, there are other behavioral reasons that could explain it. 

An unpleasant result of eating such an awful snack could be an upset stomach, or flatulence. 

Whatever the reason, the end result is BAD BREATH! Unfortunately, if you give your dog mouthwash, he is more likely to drink it than gargle. A better solution is to give him charcoal dog biscuits to calm his stomach. 

Activated charcoal helps to absorb bacteria from a dog's stomach and control the flatulence and upset. It is sold as a dog food product referred to as charcoal biscuits. The charcoal comes from coconut shells, wood, bamboo and olive pits. 

Make your own homemade dog treats using powdered activated charcoal. 

activated charcoal powder form
Powdered activated charcoal

Just add several tablespoons of culinary grade activated charcoal to a dog biscuit recipe. Roll out the dough and wash it with water before placing into the oven to bake the charcoal biscuits.

Note: Activated charcoal, or activated carbon, is processed in a special way and is NOT the same as the charcoal found in charcoal briquettes used for barbecues.

Join us in Homemade Dog Treats on Facebook to learn to make dog treats.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

DIY Christmas Ornaments

Make DIY Christmas ornaments for your dog, or to give as dog gifts for Christmas. This is one of the simpler Christmas craft projects you can make at home that pet lovers will truly enjoy.

diy Christmas ornaments for Christmas gifts for dogs
DIY Christmas ornaments for dogs by Zero and Nadia's Doggie Bites

The instructions are posted here: DIY Christmas Dog Gifts. 

The ornaments are made from dough and then decorated. This has become a popular Christmas craft project that has many participating and trying out in the Facebook group Homemade Dog Treats.

The dog's name can be painted on the ornament. They are easily customized with various decorations.

Another interpretation is provided in this image of the diy Christmas ornaments for dogs:

diy Christmas ornaments for Christmas craft projects
DIY Christmas ornaments for dogs by the Pup-Cake Barkery

The following photo shows the dough ornaments prior to being painted, after being baked and dried out. 

DIY Christmas ornaments being readied for decorating
by Zelda's K-9 Treats & Things, LLC

You can make any shapes you like. You can even add cinnamon for a pleasing aroma. Dog lovers are always appreciative when the dog is remembered. Personalize this gift by painting the dog's name on the ornament and this original dog gift idea will definitely be remembered for many Christmases to come.

See more Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Directions to make diy Christmas ornaments

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Food Seasoning Ideas For Dogs Part 2

A reader asked about food seasoning ideas for dogs because he had a picky eater. So I posed the question to the Facebook group Homemade Dog Treats and they came up with a terrific list of ideas which are posted here: 
Food Seasoning Ideas For Picky Pet Eaters.

But!! They came up with quite a few more after I wrote the post, so I include those for you now.

  • A dog will get bored eating the same food over and over. Switch flavors within the brand.
  • Use canned food as a topping.
  • Grandma Lucy's and The Honest Kitchen make dehydrated foods that have meat and vegetables in them and can be used as toppings.
  • Look for ideas in small pet stores because the big chains will have limited choices.
  • Holistic Pet Source has a seasoning that is just dehydrated meat.
  • Dehydrated green tripe.
  • Some dogs just don't eat a lot for awhile.
  • Crush freeze dried liver treats and use as a topping.
  • Brewer's yeast sprinkled on top will spice up the food. This is NOT the same as baking yeast, which is NOT recommended for dogs to eat.

Always check with your vet first! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Food Seasoning Ideas For Picky Pet Eaters

Q: Help! My dog won't eat his food.  Should we try seasoning on it to 
stimulate his appetite?

A: I broached this question in the Facebook group Homemade Dog Treats. The
following are some suggestions that the members came up with:

  • Try switching kibble. Some dogs like to change their main food.
  • Try a food seasoning like the real meat seasonings for pets

  • Spice up the food with low sodium chicken broth.
  • Mix in some canned food from the same brand as the kibble.
  • Add hot water to the canned food to create an aroma of gravy. Then mix into the dry food.
  • Try adding a few drops of fish oil, like salmon oil.

  • Mix in a little turkey or chicken, or vegetables like green beans or carrots.
  • Dandelion root is considered safe for dogs and works as an appetite stimulant.
  • Mix dehydrated raw food into the kibble. There are dog food brands like Sojo's that you can make up ahead of time and use like canned food.

  • Boil some chicken, crumble it up and store in the freezer. Then, mix it in with the food when it is meal time. 
  • A few drops of bacon grease in a little water dripped over the food creates a wonderful aroma to the dog. 
Please remember that these are only suggestions that the members provided
from their experiences. Always check with your vet if you have any concerns 
about your dog's appetite because there may be an organic reason for a poor 

Read Part 2 of this post: Food Seasoning Ideas For Dogs Part 2

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dog Snack Recipe For "Pup"tato Chips

We bring you this easy dog snack recipe courtesy of GZ Pet Treats.

Popular dog snacks currently popping up on dog treat menus is what dog treat businesses lovingly call "pup"tato chips, which is a play on potato chips for dogs. This dog treat is easy to make and your dog will love it. It makes a chewy dog snack, and is much healthier and safer than rawhide.

dog potato chips
Potato chips for dogs

Make them by the bagful and share with your dog lover friends.

What you need:
  • White sweet potatoes - you can use white potatoes, orange sweet potatoes, or yams in the same recipe. This post is written at Thanksgiving time and white sweet potatoes are in abundance in the grocery stores.
  • Cut the potatoes into round slices
  • Coat in bacon grease - this helps to preserve them
  • Dehydrate for 4 hours
If you do not have a dehydrator, all you have to do is set your oven to 200 degrees F - and simply bake at this low heat setting for 4 hours or more, depending on how dry you want them. A dehydrator will take out all of the moisture and  make them crispy. If you leave a little moisture in, they will be crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. 

See Sweet Potato Chews For Dogs for another easy dog treat recipe using potatoes. Dogs love the chewiness!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dogs and Chocolate? Not A Good Idea

Dogs and chocolate are not a winning combination. 

Chocolate contains a substance called methylxanthine which can cause severe illness and sometimes death in dogs. Dark chocolate is even more dangerous. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it can be to pets. White chocolate is sometimes touted as being OK, but it does contain methylxanthines as well, just in lower amounts. 
Carob for dog treats

To be on the safe side, use carob for the chocolate look. Carob is a natural substance. The pods from the carob tree contain a sweet, edible substance that is often ground into carob powder and tastes similar to chocolate. Your dog will love it just the same.

Coffee also contains methylxanthines and should not be given to dogs.

Other substances to keep away from your four-legged friends include:

  • Alcohol - can ultimately be fatal. Dogs do not have the same physiology as humans and cannot tolerate the same types of things that humans are  capable of consuming.
  • Yeast Dough - can rise and create an accumulation of gas in the intestine leading to rupture. One of the reasons you will not find yeast in the list of dog cake ingredients. Once it is cooked and the yeast has already risen, it does not carry the same potential to be harmful.
  • Milk - pets are essentially lactose intolerant so excessive amounts of milk products are not recommended. 
  • Salt - can cause increased thirst and urination if too much is consumed. Some prescription dog foods contain salt purposely to get the dogs to drink more water, which is helpful for their health condition.
  • Artificial sweetener: xylitol, used in gum, toothpaste, candy and some baked goods, can cause liver failure in dogs. This is why dogs have their own brands of toothpaste and why gum and candy should be kept out of reach. 
For more detailed information about the effects of these substances, please read "Dogs and Chocolate".

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dog Treat Business Ideas For Finding Customers

Looking for new dog treat business ideas of where to sell your treats for dogs? Best place for small dog bakeries to start is in your own neighborhood.

More and more small businesses that cater to dog owners are coming onto the scene. There are two main factors for this: the pet business has proven itself to be recession proof, and over half of U.S. families own dogs. 

cupcakes for dogs with dog treat icing
Dog cupcakes decorated with
Fido's Frosting
As a small dog treat baker, you have a product that these businesses don't have time to make: homemade dog treats! Fresh treats always smell delicious. 

Some examples of local dog businesses to partner with include:

  • Dog groomers
  • Dog trainers
  • Pet hotels and spas
  • Dog daycare facilities
  • Boarding facilities
  • Veterinarians
  • Pet stores
  • Dog rescue organizations 
  • Petsitters
What to do:
  • Make up a batch of your most amazing dog treats and arrange them as a gorgeous display on a tray, plate, box, etc. You are going to show these off!
  • Place more treats in a box or bag tied up with a nice ribbon - make sure you have a label with your contact information on it. You are going to leave these as a gift.
  • Make a list of all the dog businesses close by that you can visit. You want to concentrate on those that you can easily access. Walk down down the busiest street in town and you will probably come across quite a few.
  • Find out when the owner or someone in charge will be available. You can happen to be walking by with your treats (when customers are present so they can see your treats too!)
  • You want to build a relationship with the business. Think of how their business would be a more amazing place if they featured your treats. How can they show off their services better than their competitors? For example, a retail store, a daycare or boarding facility, a vet - could feature you and your fresh treats. Ask if you can set up a table. Offer to advertise your presence while advertising their business to help bring in traffic.  
  • Find pet sitters and groomers who want to offer treats as a thank you gift. Offer to make up treats in nice packages. You would then put your business name along with theirs on the package. 
  • Offer to bake a dog birthday cake for loyal customers. (The business would pay you for the cake of course.)
For this type of marketing, you want to find small businesses that make their own decisions. As a small business, you can be creative with your efforts and try new ideas. Corporations do not have this flexibility. 

The idea is to help these small businesses stand out in the minds of their customers. Help them to offer a service that the big stores cannot. This is your mission, should you decide to accept it!

For more ideas for small business marketing for your pet business, join us in the Facebook group Homemade Dog Treats.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

DIY Christmas Dog Gifts

Unique Christmas dog gifts are always a delight for pet parents looking for that perfect gift! Create it for them! Wow your family and friends this holiday season by making original gifts for their pets. 

This unique Christmas craft idea is courtesy of Treats By The Pawful, a dog bakery based in Minooka, Illinois.

dog gifts
Do it yourself Christmas dog gifts
by Treats By The Pawful

What you need:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup regular salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring - colors of your choice 
  • Cinnamon optional - makes them smell great
  • Cookie cutters - designs of your choice. For this project, bone shaped cutters and fish cutters made the main designs
  • Paint
  • Polyurethane sealant
  • Ribbon
Depending on the dough, you may need to add more water if it's too dry or more flour if it's too sticky.

  • Combine the flour, salt, water, cinnamon to form a dough
  • Roll out the dough and cut out shapes with the cookie cutters
  • Add food coloring if you desire to various parts of the dough
  • Poke holes in the top of the cookie with a toothpick
  • Bake at 200 degrees for about 2-3 hours until completely dry.
  • Let cool.
The little dog head and the holly were additional cut outs using cookie cutters to create the shapes. 

Some crafters add a touch of cinnamon to give them a wonderful aroma.

After the cookies are cool:
  • Spray or paint polyurethane to seal them and give them a shine
  • Add ribbon to turn into a hanging ornament
You can personalize them by painting on a dog's or cat's name. Although the ornaments will smell wonderful, they are not for consumption. 

This is a wonderful kids' Christmas craft.
 Let them have their own "pet" project.

Join us in the Facebook group "Homemade Dog Treats" for more exciting craft projects for pets!

If you have a craft idea you would like to see in action, leave a comment and we will work on it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sweet Potato Chews For Dogs

Here's a simple dog treat recipe: Sweet Potato Chews.
It is so simple there is only one ingredient!

sweet potato chews
Sweet potato chews

This homemade dog treats recipe is courtesy of Joy Clemens of Hiwatari 
Kennel and yields healthy and natural dog treats. 

What you need:
  • Sweet potato, any size
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut a flat side off the sweet potato. 
  • Then, make 3-4 lengthwise cuts form this. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  • Turn the pieces over.
  • Bake another 10-15 minutes.
  • Let cool. The longer they cool, the harder and chewier they become.
No need to worry about over-baking. The chews will darken, but will hold their color unless they burn. But even then, dogs will still enjoy them with burnt edges.

Sweet potato dog treats provide vitamins A and C for your dog, which are necessary for healthy eyes, skin and gums. 

Click the link for a dog cake recipe for sweet potato cake, using cinnamon and a very minimal amount of  marshmallows, just for a different taste. All of the ingredients are human grade, so if you find your own mouth watering, and it probably will because the aroma is wonderful, you can feel free to share with your pooch, if he lets you.

Join us in the Facebook group Homemade Dog Treats for more dog treat recipes!

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Banana Dog Treats

    Banana dog treats? Can dogs have bananas?

    If your dog enjoys eating this fruit, let him! But in moderation, please. There are some dogs who insist on sharing their owners' breakfast banana, and others who wouldn't dare touch it.

    Originally dogs were meat eaters. Over time and with evolution, they have become consumers of fruits and vegetables. However, their digestive tract does not function the same as a human being's and too many bananas can cause GI upset. 

    If he loves bananas, turn them into dog treats, like these "Banana Flops" made by Tammie's Homemade Pet Treats:

    Homemade dog treats
    Banana dog treats 
    If you would like to try your hand at a similar treat, the following dog treat recipe is offered by Henry and Baron's Dog Treats. These make great dog training treats for dogs who enjoy bananas.

    What you need:

    • 1.5 cups oat flour (if you can’t find oat flour, blend rolled oats to texture of flour)
    • 1.5 cups brown rice flour
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • 1/2 cup oat bran
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup mashed banana 
    • 1/2 cup water 


    • Pre-heat oven to 250˚
    • Add all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well to form a dough. If the mix is too dry, add in a little more water. 
    • Roll mixture into small balls and place on a non-stick baking tray.
    • Score each with a knife so they can be broken into smaller pieces when done. 
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Turn the oven off but leave the dog biscuits in to dry out - this increases the crunchiness.
    • Let cool.
    • Store at room temperature in an airtight container to hold freshness.
    Dog training treats are small in size because you will be giving a lot of them! You do not want your dog to fill up. The treats need to be small enough so that he wants more, and small enough not to load him with extra calories.