I don’t know about you but I like to include the feathered and furry friends in my Christmas planning. They may not know it is Christmas but they certainly appreciate the thought you put into the extras you get for them. It is also a great way to teach kids compassion and love for all living beings. In addition to donating to your local animal shelter or charity program that helps keep pets fed and in their homes, don’t forget to add a little something extra to your pets food bowl or give them a few treats during the season.
If you don’t have a lot of time, there are plenty of treats you can get online or in your local stores. Amazon has affordable toys, treats, bones and more Pet Toys and Treats . But if you want to do something a bit more personal and frugal read on. This Christmas fill your dog’s stocking with healthy wholesome treats he will love.
What to Give Your Dog
2 cups of whole wheat Flour
1 cup of oatmeal any kind
1 tbs of dried parsley
1/2 cup of dry powdered milk
1 cup peanut butter any kind (natural style is best)
1/2 cup water
Line two sheets with parchment paper and heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stir to mix. Add eggs and peanut butter and stir until completely combine. The mixture will be crumbly and dry, this is fine.
Add just enough water to bring the dough together, you want it to be moist enough to roll and not fall apart but not wet or sticky.
Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/4 in. cut with a dog bone cutter or any other cookie cutter you might have.
Bake cookies for 30 to 40 minutes or until cookies are a dark golden brown. They should be dry and crispy all the way through. Let cookies cool thoroughly.
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
1/4 cup skim milk powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chicken or beef stock(low sodium)
2 tablespoons olive or flax oil
Flax seeds whole for sprinkling
Combine all the dry ingredients except the whole flax seeds in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the oil and the stock and mix until the dough starts to come together. Mix in a stand mixer for a few minutes or knead by hand until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough with a towel and it rest for 15 minutes.
Roll out balls of dough about the size of a golf ball and then roll them into ropes 6 – 8 inches long. Shape ropes into pretzels and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make the ropes longer and thicker or shorter and thinner as needed to accommodate the size of your dog. Keep in mind that the size of the pretzel will affect cooking time, so adjust accordingly.
Brush the pretzels with a bit of water and sprinkle with flax seeds. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until firm. Turn off oven and let pretzels sit in oven as they cool, to ensure crunchiness. Keep sealed in an air tight container.
Homemade tug toys
If you have every purchased a tug toy for your dog you know how much fun they can be. Most of the tug toys purchased in the pet stores are made from string, but you can also make them from old fabric, such as t-shirts, jeans, or remnants from the fabric store.
To make a tug toy simply cut your fabric 2 inches wide by 24 to 36 inches long depending on the size of a tug toy you want to make. Put three pieces of fabric together and knot them at one end. Braid all three scraps knotting when you get to the end.
For a thicker toy twist or braid two or more pieces of fabric together for each of the three portions of the braid before braiding. You can use a sewing machine to tack each set of braids together to make them easier to braid.
Here is a couple of links with more detailed instructions on how to make these tug toys.
Treats and Toys for the Feline in Your Life
Cats are just as easy to make treats for as dogs are. These treats are sure to please with favorite ingredients such as meat and cheese.
Tasty Chicken Treats
1 1/2 cups of cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon softened margarine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl mix together the chicken, broth, and margarine until well combined. Add the cornmeal and whole wheat flour and mix until the dough starts to come together. Knead the dough briefly and then pat out the ball onto a flour dusted counter. Roll out to 1/4 in. thick and cut into squares approximately 1×1 in. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Cheesey Cat Treats
3/4 cup shredded cheese
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cornmeal
5 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix until a dough is formed adding a bit of water as needed to form a ball. Knead the ball briefly and roll the dough out to 1/4 in thick.
Cut into 1×1 pieces and bake for 25 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Catnip Mice From Repurposed old Mens Ties, suits, and shirts
This project comes from the Martha Stewart site and comes complete with a printable pattern. It is a great way to reuse old menswear and your cat will love the results. When we made these we added a teaspoon of catnip to each mouse and the cats loved them!
Other Great Gift Ideas for Pets of All types
There is no limit to the different toys and treats you can make for your favorite pets. The great thing about most of these items is you can usually make them from items you already have at home.
I have compiled a list of different links on my new Pinterest board ( made just for OFF) you will find dozens of links there for a tons of different types of toys and treats for dogs, cats, birds and more.
You can also find great toys for all your pets here at Amazon, it is not too late to order for Christmas and they have some great affordable options for all of your pets.