During the holiday season your pets deserve something special too. A cute elf or Santa outfit may look adorable, but what your dog or cat really wants for Christmas are some delicious, nutritious treats. Forget store-bought treats this holiday and instead opt for DIY homemade Christmas treats for your dog or cat. These easy recipes are made with ingredients found in your pantry and readily available at any grocery store.
Christmas Treats for Dogs
For holiday dog treats, most recipes require basic ingredients like all-purpose flour, oatmeal, eggs, water, broth, and an all-natural flavor from produce like carrots, apples, and sweet potato. Other flavors often found in holiday dog treats recipes include but are not limited to cheese, pureed pumpkin, cranberry, and peanut butter. Proteins like chicken and turkey may also be added.
Safety Tip: When adding peanut butter to homemade dog treats be sure that it doesn't contain any xylitol or other artificial sweeteners. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can be fatal.
Turkey and Cranberry Dog Bones
Brie's Turkey and Cranberry Dog Bones found at AllRecipes is a five-star recipe from TheBritishBaker. This festive recipe makes about 45 treats and has the following ingredients:
3.5 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded cooked turkey
1 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon olive oil
To make these holiday dog treats begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lining baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder. Stir in the turkey and cranberries. Create a well in the center of this mixture and then drop the egg into that well. Add the olive oil and about 1/2 cup of the broth over the egg. Mix until a soft dough forms. If the mixture seems dry, add in, by tablespoons, more of the broth.
Knead the dough on a clean, floured surface for about two minutes. Roll dough so it's 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut the treats out with Christmas cookie cutters and place cut outs on the lined baking sheet. Bake the dog treats for 25 minutes until browned. Turn off the oven and allow treats to rest in the oven for 30 more minutes. Remove and cool. Refrigerate treats.
The American Kennel Club has shared this holiday dog treat recipe from Martha Stewart. These apple-cheddar biscuits have healthy ingredients and are a snap to make. All you need is:
2 cups barley flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
To make the treats, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl mix all the ingredients plus about three tablespoons of water. Form a dough and then roll it out like sugar cookie dough—about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut the biscuits out with favorite Christmas cookie cutters and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Other great sources for more dog treats include the Scrumptious Pumpkin and Gourmet Dog Treat Recipes who have one for amazing Mutt Mints.
Christmas Treats for Cats
Let's not forget about our feline friends. Homemade Christmas cat treats are just as easy as dog treats and often contain many of the same basic ingredients. Hill's offers one of the easiest ideas for making nutritious and delicious cat treats this holiday. Choose your cat's favorite brand and flavor of loaf-style canned food. Shake the loaf of cat food out of the can onto a cutting board. Cut into 1/4 inch thick slices and then cut again to create bite-sized pieces. Place these on a microwave-safe plate. Heat in the microwave for 2.5 to 3 minutes on high. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container. These also can be baked in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Catnip Cat Treats
Mess for Less has the best tuna-flavored baked cat treat that will have your felines meowing for more. Ingredients include:
1 can tuna in oil, drained
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
dash of parsley (optional)
To make the Christmas cat treats, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until a dough forms. If the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour. If too dry, add a tablespoon of water. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with small cookie cutters. Place on baking sheet, bake in oven for 20 minutes until browned. Cool and then store in an airtight container.
Anyone can make delicious homemade holiday treats for their dogs and cats. Your four-legged friends will appreciate it- they are a part of your family after all. Plus these make great gifts for friends and family with pets, as well.