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.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Thanksgiving Treats For Dogs

    Make Thankgiving treats for dogs to serve as part of your holiday fare. 

    After all, dogs are part of the family too! Chances are good that someone will bring their small pet to dinner. Especially if you are a pet parent yourself, anticipate this and have a dog-friendly Thanksgiving. 

    These beautiful Thanksgiving themed dog treats were made by the Pup-Cake Barkery:

    Holiday dog treats for Thanksgiving
    Thanksgiving treats for dogs from
    the Pup-Cake Barkery
    Use Thanksgiving themed cookie cutters and cut out dough for dog biscuits. After baking, use dog treat icing to color your biscuits using the fall color scheme as you see above. Orange, yellow, brown, white and green are suggestive of this season. 

    The icing is Fido's Frosting brand Royal Icing for Dogs. It will take all the above colors really well and is very easy to work with. 

    The baker who made these dog cookies is obviously a professional decorator. But don't worry if you think you are not artistic. Your homemade dog biscuits will come out just perfect. The fact that you included the four-legged babies in your dinner plans will be remembered by all. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be grateful. Pet parents are very thoughtful of their pets and grateful to have the chance to share them with others.

    If you would like to make your holiday dog treats more special, add in a little pumpkin flavoring into the dough or the dog icing. The holiday dog treats will smell like Thanksgiving! Find pumpkin flavoring for dog treats at

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Dog Treat Ingredients to Avoid

    Do you make your own pet treats? Did you know that there are certain foods that dogs should not eat? Some of these foods are very healthy for humans, but can prove fatal for dogs. So if you do make homemade dog treats, plan on leaving these items off your ingredient list. 

    The following is a partial list of foods dogs should not eat and the untoward effects they can cause.

    dangerous dog treats
    Dog treat ingredients to avoid include avocados

    • Avocados: can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Avocado leaves, seeds, bark and the fruit itself contain a substance called Persin, which can ultimately cause congestive heart failure. Healthy alternatives for dogs include sweet potatoes, bananas, or apples.
    • Grapes and Raisins: these fruits can cause kidney failure. The toxin is not known, but dogs should not be given these to eat. Another problem that can occur with these small foodstuffs is choking.
    • Onions: a large amount of this vegetable can cause gastrointestinal irritation and damage a dog's red blood cells. Garlic and chives in large amounts will do the same. An occasional piece will not cause a problem.
    • Nuts: can create susceptibility for choking. Some dogs eat very quickly and gobble up any food they find. A small nut can become lodged in the throat very easily. Macadamia nuts are delicious and decorative in cookies and candies for people. But if ingested by a dog, be on the lookout for weakness, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia. 
    • Raw meat, eggs and bones: Although it is a current trend to feed pets with raw meat, keep in mind that those products are processed very carefully. Just like for humans, raw food items can be dangerous because they may contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or E. Coli. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that interferes with the absorption of biotin, a B vitamin, that promotes skin and coat health. (Cooking the eggs destroys the enzyme.) If you think it's a good idea to feed your dog raw bones because it will help him return to his ancestral ways of living in the wild, stop and rethink it! Not only can raw meat contain bacteria, but the bones can splinter and puncture a dog's GI tract. Groceries often sell packages of marrow bones also called soup bones. You can place these on a paper plate in the microwave for 2 minutes, and the meat inside will cook. Just make sure the bone is cooled before you give it to the dog, who may try to grab the hot bone in his mouth and sustain a burn.

    There are other foodstuffs that dogs should not be given, like chocolate. We will cover those in  another post.

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Decorated Dog Treats With Colored Sesame Seeds

    Make decorated dog treats using colored sesame seeds for an all natural dog treat which cuts down on the amount of sugar in the finished product. 

    My blog post Decorated Dog Treats With Colored Sesame Seeds was dedicated to the concerns that abound regarding red food coloring. Read the post for an in depth discussion. In summary, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that it is harmful for dogs. 

    Red is the perfect color for the winter holidays. And red colored treats are attractive as these "pupcakes" from Lazybones Pet Treats show:

    decorated dog cupcakes colored sesame seeds
    Decorated dog treats with red sesame seeds and Fido's Frosting
    from Lazybones Pet Treats
    Sesame seeds were soaked in red food coloring, which they take very well, and then sprinkled on top of the dog treat frosting. These dog cupcakes were made from the All Natural Cupcake Kit for Dogs manufactured by K9Cakery which includes both cake mix and yogurt frosting mix. It yields 12 mini dog cupcakes.

    Your eye can't help but be drawn to these cupcakes. The sesame seed decorations will set into the sugar free frosting which dries hard and smooth and needs no refrigeration. What a lovely treat to bring when visiting friends with dogs over the holidays.

    Many bakers of dog cakes prefer to use sesame seeds as decoration because they are all natural. 

    Color your own or purchase sesame seeds already colored in various colors and other bakery supplies for dog treats through K9Cakery.

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    Is Red Dog Treat Icing Safe?

    Q: Is red dog treat icing safe for dogs?

    A: As we come up to the holiday season, where the color red is featured quite a bit when it comes to icings and frostings, this question surfaces. The reader wonders if there is a problem with this particular color being difficult for dogs to digest.

    Let's clear up the issues about RED coloring. 

    Backhund dog bakery in Austria made these decorated dog treats using Fido's Frosting brand Royal Icing. These "gingerbread men" are really liver and carrot!

    decorated dog treats
    Liver carrot dog cake from Backhund dog bakery decorated with Fido's Royal Icing
    Food coloring is regulated - in the USA, by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and in Europe by the European Union. In the USA, a coloring is given a FD&C number which indicates it is approved by the FDA for food, drugs and cosmetics. The synthetic red colors FD&C # 3 and FD&C # 40 are allowed to be used in foods. There are other colors made from natural sources, but the artificial color commonly called "red dye # 2" was the one that has received most attention was banned in 1976.

    Red dye # 2 was linked to cancer after laboratory rats (that were fed very large amounts of it) developed cancers. A panic regarding red food coloring was started due to this. Even red M&M's were discontinued at the time, even though it is reported that the candy never contained this coloring. 

    Later, red dye # 40, which was substituted, was blamed for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) but there has been no conclusive evidence that there is a link.

    The red coloring is used as a decoration, not as a full entree, so your dog is not going to be consuming large amounts. It just may be that the color red, which in nature does signal danger (e.g. poisonous snakes, insects and plants often have red coloring) has a psychological effect on some people in the same way.  

    If it truly was dangerous, it would be pulled off the shelves, due to so much public scrutiny. In conclusion, there is no need to worry, and you should enjoy making beautiful holiday dog treats using red dog treat icing and royal icing 
    for dogs if you wish!