Treats Your Dog Will Love
I’ve never given much thought to our pet budget and making homemade dog bones until I came across a peanut butter dog treats recipe that made me question the cost of the treats we purchase for our dog and what’s in them.
Pets cost money
We currently put away $113 a month into our pet budget category to cover costs such as vet bills, food and treats, pet licence, snow boots, leash, poop bags etc. Before you decided to own a pet you should do your research into all the potential costs associated with pet ownership.
The Peanut butter dog treats is a recipe that I found while reading the Facebook page of Kitchen Dreaming. They really are as easy to make as my 5 ingredient peanut butter cookies for humans, except for the chocolate of course. I thought it was a brilliant idea but I wasn’t sure if our dog would be into the whole peanut butter biscuit idea. I was wrong, he loves them, he more than loves them.
After he had the first peanut butter treat he literally sat and watched them baking in the oven. He made sure to come and keep reminding me that his peanut butter treats were baking and not to forget about them. I almost felt as if he was trying to say, “I don’t like burnt biscuits” so I had to bring my net-book into the kitchen to do my work otherwise I’d get nothing done with all the pacing back and forth he was doing.
He was literally driving me around the bend while they were in the oven. It was like he was championing the new homemade dog biscuit and was head of the company that produces them. Yes, like he was my boss.
The first batch I made I forgot that I had a cookie cutter so like the nerdy dog owner that I am I cut out dog bone shapes with a knife. I made enough for the photo and then I gave up and used my biscuit cutter and then cut that in half to make half moons. Honestly you can just cut them up with a knife your dog won’t care what blinkin’ shape they are.
There’s nothing funky in these homemade dog biscuits, its everyday pantry items that the recipe calls for. You will find vegetable oil, cornmeal, water, whole-wheat flour, eggs and a bit of peanut butter in these treats. There’s only 1/4 cup of peanut butter, so not that much.
I went on to make a second batch of these peanut butter dog treats the following week. This time I used a fish cookie cutter and didn’t cook them as long as the first batch. The recipe suggests leaving them in the oven to get harder but our dog didn’t fancy the hard treat. Probably too much work since his motto is chew once then swallow.
If you’ve followed my blog you know our dog has been ill and we have had some large vet bills over the course of the past two months. Since he’s just had his teeth cleaned and three teeth pulled out soft and chewy is what he prefers. I pulled the cookies out of the oven a bit early and let them sit for a few minutes. They did not harden but are nice and soft and he just adores them.
Store-bought vs. homemade dog treats
I don’t think we will waste our money on store-bought dog treats anymore especially since these are such a budget friendly alternative. The only problem is he loves and I mean he really loves his sausage rolls or what’s more commonly referred to as MarroBone treats from Pedigree.
MarroBone treats are made with real bone marrow and has a delicious meaty centre, no I did not try them either, I just read the bag. However if you ask my mum she will tell you that I fancied dog treats when I was a kid. Don’t ask me why but I taste my fair share. I admit it, my wife asked me to try the peanut butter dog treat just to see what it tasted like. She only did it because I told her I used to eat dog biscuits when I was young and didn’t believe me. Now she does. It tastes like a peanut butter dog biscuit so let that be your human review and move on.
If you put a peanut butter biscuit and a Pedigree MarroBone on the ground the MarroBone always wins but they are pretty costly sometimes upwards of $3.99-$4.99 a bag. We have picked them up when they go on sale for $3.99 but that’s still a bit pricey for our pet budget for dog treats.
Each MarroBone has vitamins A and E plus vitamin D and Calcium to support healthy teeth and bones. The bag suggests that for a small dog up to 3 treats per day, medium dog up to 5 treats per day and a large dog up to 8 treats per day. Wow, I’ve never read the bag before and our dog has not had anywhere near 8 per day but that means we’d finish this bag off well before the month is up.
The bag doesn’t tell me how many are inside so I had to manually count them for a total of 68 treats at 8 per day that would last him just over eight days. Over the course of a year 365 days x 8 treats per day / 68 treats in a bag = 42.94 bags of MarroBone per year x $5.19 ($4.59 * 1.13 = cost per bag with tax) = $222.72 for dog treats for the year!
The peanut butter dog treats cost me approximately $2.50 to make approximately 70 treats plus my time and electricity (I baked on cheap rate) although I do know what every ingredient is in the recipe. What I don’t know is how many he should be having each day comparable to MarroBone. The recipe contains a mixture of eggs, whole wheat flour, oats, water, cornmeal and peanut butter. The peanut butter contains a healthy fat, protein and fibre. See recipe link above for the exact measurements and directions.
I think we may continue to purchase his favourite Pedigree MarroBone treats when they are on sale but on a limited basis. We will eliminate the generic brand of small dog bones we also typically purchase for around $3.99 a bag. That way he can still have his MarroBone fix just complimented with homemade peanut butter dog treats instead.
Sweet Potato dog treats
Since the wife has been on a low gi diet she’s been roasting up sweet potatoes or yams. Now I don’t mind them but they aren’t my favourite potato, let’s just say I prefer a traditional spud. Well our dog, loves roasted sweet potatoes. Who would have thought Mr.Picky would have a thing for an orange spud. What I’m thinking of doing is manipulating this peanut butter dog biscuit recipe and make homemade sweet potato dog treats.
I’ll simply replace the peanut butter with the sweet potato that I roast up or you can boil it and mash it. Follow the same recipe for and there you have it, sweet potato treats for dogs homemade in your own kitchen. Now, I haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure it would work out just fine. If in doubt give it a taste. It’s like hiding sweet potatoes in fudgy brownies just so those who hate vegetables get a serving, lots of people do that.
Homemade dog food
My friend who blogs at Nickel by Nickel took it one step further this week and shared a recipe about how to make homemade dog food. I think it’s brilliant that people are trying homemade dog food recipes for their pets as long as the pets are getting all their nutrients. That was one of the concerns from our veterinarian when we told her last week that our dog fancies Wheatabix and whole wheat toast for breakfast. Yes you read that right. Oh come on, how many of you pet owners don’t give your pet something special for a treat?
No he doesn’t get it slathered with butter and marmalade, although if he had it his way I’m betting on Nutella and peanut butter since he does love them both. When he was younger he managed to nick half of a Nutella sandwich from a plate when no one was looking and gobbled it all up. Lucky for him, he didn’t get ill since chocolate is not good at all for pets.
So no fancy in-ground dog pool and spa pet wash that visits the home for the posh spa treatment each week. (It’s true, our neighbour has a mobile dog wash come once a week to pamper their poodle. The funniest convenience service you will ever see. It’s like watching a cartoon live on your own street because the mobile makes such loud noises your mind starts to wonder just really what is going on inside there. No, it’s not the “Mutt Cutts” van as seen in the movie Dumb and Dumber either.
Our boy just gets a standard dog wash, dry and brush with the occasional body massage from our mini hand massager we have just for him. That’s as spoiled as he gets. Our dog is getting older and he wants different foods now. He doesn’t have much time to live so for the last couple of years we will make his stay on this earth a good one. It makes us happy when he’s happy so it’s worth it for us as pet owners.
It doesn’t stop there though because now he won’t eat his dog food unless it’s soft and has some human food mixed in. We’ve been adding water to his food along with a bit of gravy and sometimes grated cheese, minced beef, boiled chicken, rice or pasta sauce. He gobbles it all up in a flash.
Some may think he’s spoiled but it’s his teeth that are giving him the problems as well he gets bored with eating the same thing day in and day out. I have to ask myself if I could handle eating the same food all day every day. Likely not so making sure we give him the best we can including all the valuable nutrients he needs is important.
Our friend has a dog that is allergic to almost everything and she also has to make his dog food. Best of it is she makes his dog food from lamb. I don’t even buy lamb, my grocery budget would be shot. Have you seen the prices in Ontario for lamb? Oh yes, she spares nothing when it comes to her pet but he’s just that allergic to life he can only eat certain foods let alone hang out in the grass which gives him a rash. Clearly she’s a good pet owner who takes care of her pet.
Our pet is like family and sometimes we have to go above and beyond to accommodate them even if that means a fancy lamb dinner. Sure we could buy some expensive soft dog food but our dogs back-end doesn’t seem to approve, we’ve tried it, trust me. We’ve even tried the lower end brands of soft canned food and it just doesn’t agree.
Dog pet stores
We’ve been to the pet stores and bought organic dog food and gone through the range from the most expensive to the least expensive at the grocery store. We’ve even bought a fancy bag at the veterinarian which he liked for a short while then turned his nose up at once he got sick of it.
We mix it up now but have to add the extra bits like a topping so he’ll tuck in. We’re currently feeding him a British dog food called Harrington’s Lamb and Rice which we found on offer at Wal-Mart for a reasonable price otherwise it was pretty pricey.
So if you are looking to make homemade dog bones it’s a bit of work to bake up but it’s worth the 30 minute effort for your dog and your pet budget. Making homemade dog treats is fine and adding in nutrient rich meals we make in our kitchen to mix in his dry food bowl is what works for us and our dog.
We talked it over with our veterinarian who didn’t seem to have any problems with adding cheese, gravy or proteins as long as he got all the nutrients he needed. He does, and then some. That and a good dose of exercise to keep him in top-notch shape. If you are looking for some peanut butter dog treat recipes free on the internet I’d suggest trying the recipe at Kitchen Dreaming.
Now I just have to find a hiding spot for these homemade peanut butter dog treats because if he can smell them or see them you can bet he will guard them with his life. I don’t blame him, I feel the same way about my beer. A male protects his snacks.
Do you make homemade pet treats or pet food?
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