It feels great to make homemade treats again! What better way to kick off my treat hiatus than by making these homemade pumpkin and flaxseed dog treats!
I haven’t made homemade dog treats in a while, but when a co-worker of mine reached out to make a batch for her own dogs, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I immediately began to go through my list of recipes to use, when I realized something.
Typically, when I make homemade dog treats, I tend to make them for my own dog Saphira. I have never actually made treats for other dogs or other people. I never have to worry about using preservatives or worry about the shelf-life of the treats I make. Saphira is a large breed dog and as such, she tends to go through treats faster than other dogs. Yet, even then, after 3 or 4 days, I find myself tossing out a few extra treats as they start to go bad.
Hence, the problem I quickly realized I had.
The one issue I tend to have with any recipe I make is keeping the resulting treats fresh. Using all-natural ingredients, while beneficial, comes with the disadvantage of only staying fresh for a period of 3 to 4 days after I make them. Because I was making these treats for a colleague, I wanted to craft a recipe that would last longer than most of the recipes I default to, while still staying true to the natural ingredients I like to use.
Thus, this pumpkin and flaxseed treat recipe. Unlike other recipes I have crafted in the past, I focused on adding additional ingredients that would act as natural preservatives so my colleague wouldn’t have to worry about tossing out treats as I had been used to.
So, what exactly are in these treats?
Let’s jump right into this post to find out!
Pumpkin and Flaxseed Dog Treats: What’s In It?
Pumpkin is a staple in most of the dog treats I make for PetFoodio.com. The reason behind my logic is simple: Pumpkin is extremely beneficial for dogs. I love using it for dogs who have sensitive stomachs or who need something more nutritious out of a dog treat. Some of the nutritional benefits of pumpkin include:
- Rich in essential nutrients-pumpkin is loaded with nutrients dogs can benefit from such as Vitamin A, Alpha Carotene, and Potassium
- Acts as a natural anti-diarrheal
- Hydration-pumpkin is made up of around 90% water
Eggs are a great ingredient to include in any dog treat recipe. Eggs are packed full of nutritious protein, contain essential amino acids, contain essential fatty acids, and are loaded with vitamins such as iron, Vitamin A, riboflavin, and folate.
Flaxseed is known to have inflammatory properties that can be beneficial to dogs. It is an ingredient that is typically used by pet parents as a means to alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis, high blood pressure, and kidney function issues. It is also used as a means to help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.
Contrary to the sweetness it contains, honey can be extremely beneficial for dogs, as low as you feed it in moderate quantities. Some of the nutritional benefits of honey include helping to alleviate gastrointestinal issues, help alleviate allergy symptoms, and can help boost a dog’s energy.
In this recipe, I used honey as a natural preservative, to help keep these treats as fresh as possible for as long as possible.
Ground cinnamon is an ingredient that is known to help regulate a dog’s blood sugar while lowering their insulin resistance at the same time. For this recipe, I used it as another natural preservative to help keep these treats fresh.
For most of the recipes listed here on PetFoodio.com, I tend to stick with chickpea flour. However, ever since the FDA’s findings on the relation of chickpeas and heart disease in dogs, I decided to find a better, yet still healthy alternative. Hence, the whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat flour is still a great source of energy as well as protein. However, the downside to using this type of flour is that some dogs may be allergic to it. Before making this recipe, I highly recommend consulting your veterinarian if your dog suffers from wheat allergies.
Homemade Pumpkin and Flaxseed Dog Treats: The Process
The first thing you will want to do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Make sure you do not set the oven higher than 350 as you will risk burning the treats in the process.
Then in a bowl, add in the pureed pumpkin, eggs, organic honey, ground cinnamon, and water. Stir well until the mixture is smooth inconsistency. Add in 2/12 cups of whole wheat flour and stir well until evenly incorporated. If you notice the dough is too sticky, add in the remaining cups of flour. On the other hand, if you notice the dough is too dry, add in a tablespoon of water at a time to moisten it.
Roll the dough into a ball and transfer it onto a lightly floured or lightly greased flat surface. For this recipe, I ended up transferring to a surface greased with some corn oil. From there knead the dough for about 2 to 3 minutes to get rid of any excess air. use a rolling pin and roll the dough until ¼ inch in thickness.
Use a cookie cutter and cut out shapes from the dough as needed. For this recipe, I used two different bone-shaped cutters: a medium-sized cutter and a large-sized cutter. Once you have your treats cut from the dough, transfer them onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Once you are ready, transfer your treats into the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the treats are golden brown in color. Once baked, transfer onto a cookie sheet and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, feel free to top off with your favorite pet-friendly icing or serve as is.
To keep these treats as fresh as possible, once they are cool, transfer them into an airtight container for storage.
Have you tried making these treats? If so, tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #petfoodiotreats.
Who knows? You may end up on a future post here on PetFoodio.com