My kids love to make every conceivable concoction in our kitchen. They also love dogs and cats (go figure). Putting the two ideas together makes a wonderful Saturday project that will benefit the local animal shelter or your own special Fido or Fluffy. (Pets love Christmas, too!)
For a basic treat recipe (for dogs), look at Bullwinkle.com. There are recipes there for basic biscuits, gourmet treats, and a whole variety of cleverly named snacks like Mutloaf, Puppy Pretzels and Liver Chip Cookies–We made the ‘Peanut Butter Puppy Poppers’ for the kids dog Cliffy–but all of them should whet the appetite of any canine! Holiday snacks are also on the menu there, making it an all around doggy-do-dah.
Once you have the idea of how you want to proceed, try subbing in ingredients to make your own unique brand. Combine recipes you like (to cook) or combine some of the following:
|Blueberries||Cooked, chopped liver||Applesauce||Cooked, chopped bacon|
Never, ever use onions, raisins or garlic for cats or dogs. Corn, grapes and raisins are also no-no’s for pets (corn is not digestible by dog and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center doesn’t recommend giving grapes or raisins to pets in any amount). Stress to your kids that human treats are for humans, only.
Once your child mixes your doggy-dough or cat cookies, help them spread them onto a flour- or wax-papered surface. Kids can easily cut the treats out with cookie cutters, although it’s also fun to free-hand with a butter knife. Dog Bone Cookie Cutters are available online, or there are a ton of cute cutters at craft stores. Venture out and don’t use only the bone cutters for dogs and fish cutters for cats. I love the dog house cutters, the various breeds represented…Too cute! We actually used a dog for Cliffy’s treats and Hello Kitty shapes for Snoopers. Bake until they’re golden brown. Some biscuits will be soft, some crunchy, depending on ingredients.
If you’re giving the treats as a gift, get a little snazzy! Purchase an inexpensive wreath (I get mine at garage sales) and a spool of dog or cat-themed ribbon. Cut the ribbon into strips and have the kids tie the treats around the wreath. (Use a bow-knot so they can be removed for pet-snacking.) Fill it up with biscuits, tie a hanging ribbon and wrap it up. Any dog owner will know to hang this wreath HIGH, but it never hurts to remind them on the gift tag or card. Include the recipe and cutter, if desired, so that they can bake for their beloved four-legger in the future.
If you decide to make a donation to the animal shelter this year as part of your holiday donations, make up a box of treats (non-refrigerator variety) and donate them along with a large bag of dog or cat food. Shelter workers always appreciate the thought, and treats help distract animals, dogs in particular, with fear-of-fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
Pets are an integral part of the Two Kids Family with our cat Snoopers, and the kid’s and their dad’s dog Cliffy. Even though we don’t let them help us cook the food in the kitchen, we love sharing what we make with them and hope other family pet owners out there do to!
Happy Family Cooking Everyone!
Alex, Sophia and Kelly (oh, and Snooper the Cat too ;))