Halloween Ideas for You and Your Dog

Dog-O-Lantern photo
Halloween Dog-O-Lantern Fun!

Everyone loves seeing their dog all dressed up in a cute Halloween costume.  There are so many adorable costumes out there, who can resist taking photos and sharing them on Instagram and Facebook.

If you are looking for a few more ideas to celebrate Halloween with your dog, here are a few additional ideas to try:

 

Carve Breed Specific Jack-O-Lanterns using a doggie face stencil.  Better Homes and Gardens has some adorable stencils you can download for free.   There are lots of breeds to choose from or if you are skilled at drawing,  try your hand at making your own.

Keep it pet-safe and use a mini LED light inside instead of a candle inside.

Bake Pumpkin Dog Treats for your pooch and his friends. Here’s a recipe combining the goodness of pumpkin, oats and coconut that we love!

Ingredients:

1 ½ c    rolled oats

¼ c       unsweetened all-natural coconut chips (not the sweetened shredded kind with nothing added)

¼  c      creamy peanut butter (make sure it does not contain xylitol which is toxic to dogs and is found in sugar free items.  Some good brands to choose are Earth Balance, Simple Truth, MaraNatha)

½ c       pumpkin puree (fresh or canned, but make sure nothing is added)

½ tsp   cinnamon

½ tsp    baking powder

1             egg

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line cookie sheet with wax paper.

Combine oat and coconut in mini food processor. Pulse for 30-45 seconds then place in a bowl

Add cinnamon and baking powder to the oat and coconut mixture

Mix together the peanut butter, pumpkin puree and egg and add to the dry ingredients.

Roll out ½ inch thick.

Cut with cookie cutters.  Bones, pumpkins or leaf shapes are fun to use.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

 

Make matching DIY Witch Hats for you and your dog.  All you need are a few pieces of black felt, some festive embellishments and a glue gun.  DIY Network has a pattern to get you started.  Decorate it to your liking to make it your own.  A little corded black elastic works great to keep the hat in place.

Cookies for your dog that you can eat too!

 

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One batch for the two of you!

Making cookies for you and your dog need not be two separate events. With this recipe, you can make something for the two of you with just a few simple modifications. This is a small batch recipe, making just enough for a few fresh cookies for both of you as a special treat. The cookies stay fresh for about 3 days. You can also double the recipe if desired.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup amaranth flour

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup olive oil

3 Tbsp pure maple syrup (be sure to not use maple flavored syrup that is full of high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients)

1 Tbsp plain sparkling water like Perrier or club soda (do not use flavored waters with artificial flavoring ingredients. You can also use plain water, but carbonation makes the cookies more fluffy)

1 tsp herbs de provence

1 egg

1/2 tsp milk

raspberry fruit preserves  (to be used only in the cookies for YOU, not the ones for your dog)

Mix the flour, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil, maple syrup and water. Add the liquid mixture to the flour and form a dough. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Let dough rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For you:

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick. With a small circular cookie cutter (or the top of a small juice glass), cut into 8-10 rounds and place on a cookie sheet. With your thumb press the center to make a dent. Fill with dab of fruit preserve.

For your dog:

Take the remaining dough and roll a little thinner, to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into small flower shapes. Mix egg with milk. Brush the tops of the flowers with the egg mixture. Sprinkle with Herbs de Provence.

Bake on the same cookie tray for about 20-25 minutes. The thinner dog cookies will be crisp and your jam cookies will be more soft.

The small amount of pure maple syrup in these cookies is safe for your dog as an occasional special treat. That is also part of the reasoning for the small batch. Do be careful to not give your dog your fruit preserve cookies, especially if you are using preserves which may contain xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs. Use common sense and keep your cookies for you, but you can eat your dog’s cookies if he will let you share!

This is a fun and easy way for both of you to have a fresh-baked treat with minimal effort.

Homemade Chicken Jerky for your Dog

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These tasty treats are easy to make and nutritious

 

These simple homemade chicken jerky treats for your dog are a snap to make and take worry away from buying jerky from the store.

Ingredients
2 Tbsp local wild honey
2 Tbsp unsulphured blackstrap molasses
4 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 lb chicken (stir-fry cut)

Grind the rosemary by hand or in a food processor. Combine molasses, honey, rosemary and water in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to cover all pieces. Cover and marinade in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line a roast pan with foil and place a wire rack on top. Twist and lay the marinated chicken on the rack. Brush any remaining marinade on top.

Bake for about 5 hours and let cool before serving.

These will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

For longer shelf life, pre-cook the marinated chicken strips on the stove top before placing in the oven to dehydrate, still baking at 225 degrees for 2-4 hours.

 

Healthy Homemade Dog Biscuits

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Choosing the ingredients of what your dog eats is essential to good health.  Tashi loves fresh baked cookies in a variety of assortments!  These biscuits are very simple to make and are a bit hit at our house.

2 cups whole wheat flour (we use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/8 cup rolled barley oats
2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil (melted)
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine flour, wheat bran, barley oats, parsley and pumpkin seeds.  Add water and oil to dry ingredients.  Knead for 2-3 minutes.  Roll dough to 1/4″ thick and cut with a bone shaped cookie cutter.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 25-30 minutes.

 

 

 

Home-cooked meals for dogs: Eggs for Dogs

 

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Your dog will love egg based meals!

Does your dog like eggs? Whole eggs are a great source of protein for your dog and they provide many vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients. A large egg contains about  77 calories, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids. Rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5.  They also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.

I generally serve 1-2 eggs, once or twice weekly.  I fry them in a teaspoon of coconut oil so the whites are cooked all the way through, as to not cause a biotin deficiency, but with the yolks still runny.  I add some grated carrot, zucchini, daikon and a few blueberries and I always use a pinch of home-dried eggshell as a calcium source.   Sardines go great with eggs too!

It’s best to prepare eggshell for calcium on a day when you are going to use a lot of eggs for something, like maybe it’s a big omelette morning or you are making a soufflé.  Just wash out the eggshells, carefully removing the inner membrane.  There are two layers of membranes, just make sure to get the inner most membrane washed out as best you can.  If you are careful, you can peel it right out of each half.  Place the clean eggshells on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about 10 minutes.  After they have cooled down, place them in a coffee grinder that you specifically use only for eggshell grinding ( I have a white coffee grinder that I use specifically for eggshells).  Pulse until they are nice and powdery.  I place mine in a small glass storage container labeled with the date I baked them and store them  in the refrigerator and use a small pinch in every meal.  I bake about 6 eggshells at a time and toss out and replace my powdered eggshell every few months.

Next time you are cooking eggs for yourself, fry up an egg or two for your dog.  It’s one of Tashi’s favorite meals!

 

 

Home-cooked meals for dogs: Beef and blueberry casserole

Home baked casserole for you and your dog
Beef and Blueberry Casserole

Everyone likes a special home-baked meal and your dog is no exception. This recipe incorporates whole food goodness in an easy to make recipe that you and your dog can share.  It does contain grain, so if your dog is grain-free, you’ll want to skip this recipe.

1/2 lb beef stew meat

1 cup goat milk

2 large eggs

6 slices Ezikiel sprouted whole wheat bread, crumbled

1/4 cup grated carrot

1/8 cup chopped italian parsley

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 Tbsp blueberries

1/8 cup peas

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

1/4 tsp powdered eggshell

1 tsp olive oil

200 mg vitamin E, added from a one capsule

1 small garlic clove chopped fine

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients together and press firmly into a glass casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown. This recipe can also be served to your dog raw, or baked you can both enjoy its wholesomeness!