Friday, December 07, 2012

Can I Make Cookies For The Dogs?

A few years ago, a coworker of my husband’s, who knew we had 4 dogs, gave us some recipes for dog biscuits that his wife had tried making and their dog loved. At the time, basketball and rugby and other children related activities took more of my time and I put the recipes in a drawer. The other day I found them; now that the kids are out of the house, I have time to pamper my dogs! So today I am going to make the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Biscuits:
(The recipe I used came from this website: http://www.nittanygreys.org/?page=depot&id=196)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Biscuits
• 1½ cup hot water
• 1 cup quick cooking oats
• 2 cups whole wheat flour
• 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
• ½ cup peanut butter
• ¼ cup wheat germ

1. Pour hot water over oatmeal and let cool to lukewarm.
2. Stir in oil and peanut butter.
3. Add wheat germ and enough flour to make stiff dough.
4. Roll on floured cutting board to 3/8" inch thick.
5. Bake for 3 to 3½ hours at 250 degrees, flipping every hour until thoroughly dry.


The recipe is not hard to follow.  One thing to remember is that if they don’t get hard and dry enough (i.e. they are still a little soft after baking), they should be refrigerated or they could eventually spoil.

There is something about preparing our own food, and in this case, our pets’ food, that is appealing. It feels more “natural” and wholesome. If we have the time and resources, it seems like a reasonable thing to do. But wait, do we really know the nutritional needs of our pets as well as our own? The answer is no. Dogs and cats are not little people; foods that may satisfy our needs are not necessarily the ones that will satisfy theirs. In addition, there are many foods that are not well tolerated by our domesticated canines, and the variety of breeds makes one canine not like another. A Chihuahua or a Miniature Poodle is not going to have the same tolerance as a Black Lab or a Great Dane. Some things are the same.  However, if you are a veterinary nutritionist, you will know what those things are.

UC Davis has a Nutrition Support Service that can formulate a homemade balanced diet for your pet on an individual basis. The cost for a recipe is about $250 but if you follow it, you can be assured that your pet will be fed a well-balanced and supportive diet. However, if you change or substitute ingredients, you will change that balance and they suggest revising the formulation. Dog food companies that have research facilities associated with them will also invest in developing these recipes. They perform trial feeding studies that will actually test the efficacy of their diets over time. Not all companies will do this testing and this is something to keep in mind. Much of what you buy commercially is based on extrapolation from data acquired through previous research. Still, a pet food company whose business depends on providing a healthy diet for our pet, vs. me, the individual, who guesses at what my dog should eat, is going to produce a different result.

So I am going to feed my dogs these cookies as a Treat. That means they will only get a few.  I will wait to be sure they tolerate them and don’t develop soft stools, gas, or throw up on the rug. Then maybe tomorrow they will get another one. I won’t give them too many just as I wouldn’t give my children too many cookies, and I will still feed them their regular diet.
Like most things in life, moderation is a good rule to follow. If you are so inclined, enjoy baking for your dogs this holiday season but don’t indulge them too much. Ho ho ho!

1 comment:

maayan danino said...

thank you very much! I was looking for a long time for a special desets for my dog. Because dogs deserve to enjoy sometimes as well as humans.
Veterinarian Montgomery