Saturday, September 1, 2012

Homemade Dog Biscuits! What A Treat!

I have been following the pet industry market for years, and I continue to be amazed by its consistent, explosive growth. According to the American Pet Products Association, in 2012 it is estimated that $52.87 billion (yes, BILLION) will be spent on our pets in the United States. So if you just love your pet, or if you are looking for a great market to start selling handmade goods, today's project on how to make dog biscuits will be a good resource for you. 

This is our dog, and he is my inspiration for this blog post. He is such a good dog, he deserves tasty homemade treats. We adopted him from Garden State German Shepherd Rescue when he was just a puppy. If he didn't shed, he'd be downright perfect. This one's for you boy : )
Here's what you'll need to make homemade dog biscuits:
  • A mixer. You could do it by hand though, if you don't have a mixer.
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (NOT baking soda)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Dog-bone shaped cookie cutter, or other fun shapes your pup might like.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of flour with remaining ingredients until well blended. Then add in the last 1/2 cup of flour and mix together.
*Tip, when measuring the peanut butter, oil and honey, measure the oil first. Then after you pour the oil out, measure the peanut butter in the same measuring cup as the oil. Repeat with the honey. By measuring the oil first, the measuring cup is slippery and makes it easier to get the peanut butter and the honey out of the measuring cup.
Now that all the ingredients are blended together, with floured hands and a floured surface, knead the dough until the dough holds together well.

Roll out dough till it is about 1/4 inch thick. I use a rolling pin by Wilton, but in a pinch I've used a wine bottle to roll out dough!
Take your bone-shaped cookie cutter and cut out as many bones as possible. Reroll your scraps and cut out more bones till you're out of dough.

Carefully pick up the bone-shaped cutouts and place them on a large ungreased cookie sheet. You don't have to leave much space between them, they don't really spread out during baking. Bake for 20 minutes, turn off the oven and leave the cookie sheet in the oven for an hour or so - this will make them crunchier.
Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and remove the dog biscuits. Place on a wire rack till completely cool. Sometimes I just leave them on the cookie sheet for a few hours  - makes less dishes to clean up. When cool you can store your awesome dog biscuits in an airtight container, or freeze any you're not using right away.
This recipe was adapted from Good Housekeeping magazine and has been used by our family for over 15 years. It makes about 2 1/2 dozen dog biscuits. I usually double or even triple the recipe.
The oatmeal and the peanut butter give these dog biscuits a wonderful texture, and they smell so good while they're baking that your family will be asking to try them - and they can because they contain healthy, all natural ingredients suitable for people or pets!
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Many Blessings,

Jana : )