Candy, cupcakes, caramel covered apples – oh yes! Halloween is here and with the costumes and tricks, the ghoulish holiday just wouldn’t be the same without the treats! And while our pets may beg for a piece of that Kit-Kat bar, we as responsible pet parents simply can’t share. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t cook up a few treats just for our furry friends! Here, five fun homemade treats specially made with your four-legged friend in mind.
Pumpkin & Banana Cookies
Pooches heart pumpkin, aside from the flavor it also has nutritional benefits we pet parents can love too. “Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, that I utilize often to manage diarrhea or any intestinal irregularity in cats and dogs,” says Dr. Stephanie Liff, DVM and partner at Brooklyn Cares Veterinary.
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ can pumpkin purée
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix banana, pumpkin, and honey.
Add flour and baking powder and work in into the mixture.
Roll it out in a little flour and cut out festive shapes with a cookie cutter.
Cover with parchment paper and bake for 10–12 minutes.
Be sure to let cool before sharing!
Vet note: The pumpkin form most preferred by pets is canned pumpkin puree and the unsweetened type is the healthiest to prevent from excess sugar intake.
No Bake Coconut, Peanut Butter Balls
Better than an almond joy, this pet-approved recipe is a sweet treat that’s super easy to make. The best part: No oven time required!
- 1/3 cup wheat germ oil
- 2-3 tablespoons peanut butter.
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats.
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
Add wheat germ oil, peanut butter and rolled oats to food processor or hand blender and mix until well combined.
Scoop out bite sized pieces with a spoon and roll into little balls.
Toss each ball gently in the finely shredded coconut.
Place on a flat tray lined with baking paper, refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve.
Vet note: You could use corn (58% linoleic acid), canola (20%), sunflower (65%) or wheat germ (54%) oil.
Frozen Apple Dog Treats
Let your pet bob, or lick, for the sweet apple taste most dogs go crazy over, “Apples are also a source of fiber and are generally enjoyed by dogs,” says Dr. Liff.
- 2 apples
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Slice 2 apples into small pieces.
Mix the apple slices, yogurt, and a splash of water in blender, and blend until you get a liquid consistency.
Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for a few hours or until hard.
Vet note: Use seedless apples or remove seeds. Apple seeds contain low levels of cyanide and in very small dogs this could pose a potential issue.
Strawberry Dog Biscuits
Gummies, like chocolate, is off-limits, so in order to satisfy a fruity craving give these biscuits a try. “Strawberries are extremely beneficial if pets will eat them,” shares Dr. Liff. “The fruit has high levels of vitamins, phytochemicals and polyphenols, which are helpful antioxidants.”
- ½ cup diced strawberries
- 1 banana
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup oatmeal
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
Mash bananas and strawberries.
Add in flour, oatmeal, and yogurt and stir together.
Pour some flour onto counter and then place dough on top
Flatten to 1/4” with your floured hands or rolling pin.
Cut shapes with cookie cutters
Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake in oven preheated to 350° F for 15-17 minutes until golden and still slightly soft.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Vet note: Frozen or fresh strawberries are better nutritionally than cooked ones, so if you have any left over, cut off leaves and share with your pet.
Dried Sweet Potato
Also a good source of fiber for pets, this treat is perfect for pet that has a more savory palate. It’s also very simple for those of us who aren’t skilled bakers!
- 1 large sweet potato
Preheat oven to 250° F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut off one side of the sweet potato lengthwise, as close to the edge as possible.
Cut the rest of the potato into 1/3” slices, no smaller than 1/4”.
Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 3 hours, turning half way through.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or you can freeze them for up to 4 months.