Because Szuka is such a large pup (weighing in at 95 pounds these days), people always ask us about our food bills. Everyone assumes we’re going broke buying dog food and treats for such a sizable pup. The thing is, she’s pretty low energy so she doesn’t eat as much as we expected. Her cute, mod bowl always has kibble in it and she’ll graze throughout the day, but she never eats more than four or five cups a day – often only three. She’s a really picky eater and isn’t very food motivated. Even when I finally find a snack or treat she favors, she will still turn it down if she’s not in the mood/distracted/angry with me/guarding the house/too tired/lazy.
Cheese is her only weakness. She also really likes freeze dried liver (we buy Pure Bites), but only if we dole it out sparingly. Too much, too often, and it looses its appeal.
That girl has willpower to spare! I, on the other hand, recently swerved the truck and hit a gravel shoulder so hard I created a dust cloud that engulfed us, and five cars behind us, in pursuit of roadside pie.
Because she is so picky, I often bake Szuka dog treats and these homemade treats gets ranked pretty high up there – just below cheese. I call them “kitchen sink cookies” because I don’t use a recipe. They end up being somewhat budget-friendly too, because I usually use leftovers from our own cooking/baking.
Excellent DIY Dog Biscuit Ingredients:
- Shredded carrots
- Unsweetened pumpkin puree
- Bits of bacon
- Bacon grease (secret ingredient she salivates for)
- Chicken broth
- Bouillon cubes
- Unsweetened peanut butter (she finds peanut butter very agreeable)
- Shredded cheese (her weakness!)
- Dried Blueberries
- Mushed banana
- Apple pieces
For ideas, I look at the ingredients on the wholesome doggy biscuits I’ve bought her (ones she didn’t turn her nose up at). Of course, I don’t add any ingredients that are harmful or poisonous. I’ll pick a few ingredients from the list above, then add an egg or two, some flour (whole wheat, preferably), a little chicken broth or bacon grease, and mix
until the dough is firm enough to roll out onto a floured cutting board. I use a cute, dog-approved set of cookie cutters and bake at 350 degrees until
lightly browned (usually about 10-15 minutes). Easy!
I like experimenting with different ingredients. The batch pictured has pumpkin puree, oats, peanut butter, flour, eggs, and a bit of water.
She must recognize her cookie cutters because when I’m baking for her she seems to know it, and she’ll watch the oven the whole time. Because she’s so blasé about her food, it makes me happy to bake her something she actually likes! We don’t feed her table scraps, so maybe it’s the thrill of getting to eat something made in the human‘s kitchen that makes these cookies such a win for her.
If you’ve got a picky pup, I encourage you to try your own “kitchen sink cookies”. It won’t take long before you land on a magic ingredient that appeals to your own pup. But if you’re not a fan of winging it, I found a some great-looking recipes to help get you started:
- A good, basic dog biscuit recipe that you could easily build on.
- Peanut butter and milk biscuits that look easy to make!
- A grain-free recipe for pups with a wheat allergy or intolerance (black beans are the secret ingredient!).
- Bacon biscuits – I’ve made a similar version with little bacon bits (leftover from our own BLTs) and they were a HUGE hit.
- If you don’t have a bone cookie cutter, these paw print cookies are an adorable option.
- Can’t go wrong with cheddar + bacon biscuits!
- These carrot and banana cookies would be a good way to use up bananas that are getting a bit too soft and are banana-bread bound.
- Squash, Parmesan, and yoghurt cookies sound delicious!
- A low fat option for pups who have packed on the pounds…
If you’ve got a recipe of your own (or a secret ingredient), I’d love to hear it!