Around this time last year, Karen Schaver and her volunteers were gearing up for the Texas Freedom Ride. Lake County based rescue Orphan Dog homes 250 dogs every year, mostly in Northern California. Once a year during Karen’s summer vacation from teaching, they go farther afield. Last year, they went to Texas and brought back a van full of dogs from high-kill shelters. Truffle and her brothers were three of the lucky pups, and their people are very, very grateful.
I made these cookies in honor of Orphan Dog. Rescue puppies deserve healthy and high-value treats! These have been very popular at our favorite dog park…
220g canned salmon, drained and picked through to remove larger bones
1 cup peas
125 g carrot
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 tbsp coconut oil
Grind the flax seeds in a food processor, and move to a mixing bowl. Shred about 3 medium carrots in the food processor, then add 1 cup of peas and chop again. Add the canned salmon to the food processor to make sure any remaining bones are blitzed. (Salmon bones from tins should be safe for dogs and humans, since they’ve been pressure canned. They’re also a good source of calcium.) Add this wet mixture to 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, and knead by hand or in a stand mixer. Add extra flour if necessary to bring dough into a ball.
Once the dough comes together, roll out to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes for cookies that break off easily (good for training), or 20-25 min. for dry biscuits. Either way, since these are made from fresh ingredients, make sure to store your cookies in the fridge or freezer.
Happy Independence Day, puppers!
A festive and healthy meatloaf cake for a special day!
1/2 cup oats
1 medium carrot
1 lb lean ground turkey
3/4 lb chicken liver
Handful of frozen peas
Preheat oven to 350F.
Get your food processor ready for a triple shot… First, toss in oats and chop coarsely. Empty into a mixing bowl. Then chop carrots until they’re finely diced. Add the carrots to the oats.
Rinse the chicken livers in water, then put them into the food processor and blend until you don’t see any big chunks. Add this to your mixing bowl, along with the ground turkey. Mix with a spoon until all ingredients are combined.
Grease a cake tin with olive oil, then pour in your disgusting looking mixture.
There’s really no way to stop this looking like vomit, but you love your dog, and it’s her 1st birthday so…
Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 in the center of the meatloaf, er, cake.
While the cake cools, peel and chop 2 potatoes. Boil for 15 min. or until you can put a fork through the chunks. Drain and mash your potatoes. They won’t be very creamy, but you’ll be ok. Frost the cooled cake with the warm mashed potatoes. Start with a scoop in the middle and work out to the edges, adding as you go. I was pretty happy that it started to look like fondant. Probably tastes better than fondant–let’s face it, that stuff is not for flavor.
Once you’re happy with your frosting, decorate with frozen peas. You should be able to press the hard peas into the potato so they stay in place.
Slice and enjoy! You can see photos of Truffle and her brothers enjoying their cake here.
My boss’s family adopted a beautiful border collie x lab mix over the holidays. They named her Qora, which means “black” in Uzbek. She had given birth shortly before being picked up by the SPCA, and this little girl was so skinny! In addition to a nutritious diet, I figured she could use some special treats made with healthy fats.
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
2 small granny smith apples with peels on, but cores removed
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened and unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
3 tbsp olive oil
Grind flax seeds in a food processor. Remove the cores from your apples (the seeds of apples are poisonous to dogs), and puree in the same food processor. You should end up with about 1 cup of blitzed apple. Place all ingredients into a mixer and combine thoroughly.
Roll your dough out into 1/2 inch sheet and cut into the desired shapes.
Bake at 350 for 25 min.
Store in fridge or freeze.
These cookies are really high-value (blurry photo evidence of Qora’s excitement above!), but remember that since they’re higher in fat content, you’ll want to limit the number of treats you give your pups.
This recipe is for Hoopa the happy black lab who we met at Point Isabel on Christmas Day. His owner Jenny requested a high-value treat to motivate Hoops to bring the ball back when playing fetch.
Tuna brownies are popular training tool because they’re smelly enough to get your dog’s attention, and many pups will do tricks for just a little nibble. There are quite a few variations in recipes I’ve found online, from including eggshells, to adding Parmesan cheese… This is my version, and one that Truffle really enjoys.
2 cans of tuna in water (along with the water)
2 large eggs
1.5 cup whole wheat flour
2 garlic cloves, Microplaned (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup chicken stock or water
Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 inch brownie pan with olive oil.
Using a blender or food processor, puree your tuna, along with the water in the cans. Finely grate your garlic (Microplanes are the best!), and chiffonade your parsley. Eh, just make it small 🙂
In a mixing bowl, bring this all together with the beaten eggs, flour, and chicken stock or water. When the mix resembles a brownie batter consistency, pour it into the pan and bake for 20-25 min. Test with a toothpick–if it comes out clean, your pupple brownies are ready!
Let the brownies rest for a bit, but make sure to cut them while still warm. We use a pizza roller to make long bars and freeze most of the batch. I take out a few bars from the freezer at a time and cut or break off bits for training.
Jenny, and any other readers out there, let us know how these tuna brownies work out for you!
I like giving out homemade treats when Truffle makes friends at dog parks. We met Luca at Point Isabel last month. His owner Roko took this nice photo of one of my Braunschweiger and Oat Shepherd Biscuits. We’ve run into each other a few times since then, and Roko said she broke off little pieces of the shepherd biscuit to keep for when Luca needed a high-value treat. She refers to us as the “high-value couple” — what a compliment! I’ll be posting that recipe later, so stay tuned!