Easter Bunny Biscuits for Dogs

Easter Bunny Dog Treats | Pretty Little Pastimes

 

Before everyone found the last egg in the hunt, I wanted to share with you a recipe that is sure to please that hopping, four-legged, bushy tailed animal that is enjoying Easter right along with you. And, no, I don’t mean the Easter Bunny!

Whenever I celebrate a holiday where I plan to indulge a little, I try to whip up something for my two pups to enjoy right along with me. They share my life each and every day, so why not include them in the joy of holiday festivities? With a quick and simple recipe like my Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Dog Treats (here, with a couple of changes) your dogs will be just as excited to see the Easter Bunny … and not just because they want to chase him around the yard.

Beef & Cheddar Dog Treats

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter *
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 plain yogurt (optional, for bunny tail decoration)

*Be sure to not use peanut butter containing xylitol. The ingredient is not harmful to humans, but is toxic for dogs.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, honey, olive oil and beef broth. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, oats, and cheddar. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture until combined. If your dough is too dry add more beef broth one tablespoon at a time.

Easter Bunny Dog Treats | Pretty Little Pastimes

Transfer the dough to a flour dusted surface and roll the dough to about 3/8″ thick. Use a cookie cutter (I used a bunny shape) and cut out your treats. Combine the scraps and keep rolling to get as many treats as you can out of the dough; I ended up with 26. Place the unbaked treats onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a small pipping bag, place a small dollop of plain yogurt as a “bunny tail” on each treat. Place the treats directly into the refrigerator until the yogurt is hardened, about 30-45 minutes. Serve chilled or at room temperature (yogurt will remain hardened).

Easter Bunny Dog Treats | Pretty Little Pastimes

My pups love it when the Easter Bunny leaves them some homemade treats in their baskets and I am sure yours will too! Happy Hoppy Easter, everyone!

Easter Bunny Dog Treats | Pretty Little Pastimes

 

 

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Summertime Pupsicles

Chicken and Carrot Pupsicles I Pretty Little Pastimes

Now that the weather is officially in sun-blazing summer-mode, I am spending more and more time outside. Beach days, hikes, and long walks with the pups are topping my list so far. Since I am on a new coast this year, it has been an exciting season of firsts. And while I am trying my hand at some new dishes in the kitchen for the two-legged members of the family, I never want to leave Maggie and Bogart out. This past weekend I decided to finally use the popsicle molds that have been sitting in a drawer to freeze a cold treat for those dog days of summer.

 Chicken & Carrot Pupsicles

  • 3 cups chicken broth (I used low-sodium, organic)
  • 2 small carrots, sliced
  • 4 thin rawhide chews (for the pupsicle sticks)

Start by pouring the chicken broth into each of the popsicle molds. Chop the carrots into thin slices. I made two small angular cuts at the top of the carrots to form the heart shape on my carrot coins. Place the carrots into the broth (they will sink to the bottom).

Chicken and Carrot Pupsicle I Pretty Little Pastimes

Next, place the rawhide chew in the middle of each mold to act as the popsicle stick. I knew they would not stay in place with out a little help, so I used 4 strips of clear tape to anchor them. Place the molds into the freezer until hardened. Once frozen, remove the tape from the molds and gently pop the pupsicles out. Tempting as it is, avoid prying them out by the stick, so it does not break. If they are being stubborn, run a little warm water over the mold until they loosen.

Chicken and Carrot Pupsicle I Pretty Little Pastimes

This was a tough one to snap photos of, since my dogs wanted to carry them off to the grass to eat. But I loved this shot of Maggie’s paws and one of the heart carrots that had fallen (it was gobbled up seconds later). They made them look so good, it might be time for me experiment a little with some fruity popsicles for myself! Stay cool everyone!

Chicken and Carrot Pupsicle I Pretty Little Pastimes

Maggie’s 3rd Birthday

Dog-friendly Birthday Cake Recipe I Pretty Little Pastimes

Less than a week into July and we have already celebrated two big occasions in our house, the Fourth of July and our pup Maggie May’s 3rd birthday! If you would have told me three years ago that I would be throwing puppy parties and baking dog-friendly cakes today, I would not have believed you. I never had pets growing up, except for the occasional short-lived goldfish, so I never really understood the close relationship you could develop with a four-legged friend. My two pups are a huge part of my family now and I could not imagine life without them! Nothing is better than coming home to those crazy wagging tails! I think it is safe to say that I have become a true dog lover, maybe even one of those “crazy dog ladies”. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I have posted my favorite recipe for Happy Birthday Pupcakes, but wanted to share with you the full cake version that I used for her 3rd birthday. Since I did not have a mini cake pan, I improvised and used a basic tin can (the kind you will find any vegetable in at the grocery store) to create the shape I wanted. Keep in mind, you can use this technique for mini people-friendly cakes as well. Here is the recipe:

Dog-friendly Birthday Cake

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (preferred) or white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 14.5 oz. can, emptied
  • additional peanut butter, sliced carrots, bone shaped dog food and Beggin’ Strip brand dog treats for decorating

Start by emptying the contents of a 14.5 oz. can. Wash, rinse and dry completely. Carefully remove the top lid as well as the lip directly under it (removing the lip helps the cake to easily pop out after baking). Coat the inside of the can liberally with non-stick spray and wrap the bottom with tin foil. Place the can on a baking sheet and set aside.

Dog-friendly Birthday Cake Recipe I Pretty Little Pastimes

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey. Blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift flour and baking soda together and fold into batter. Fill the prepared can a little over 3/4 of the way full with the cake batter. As the cake bakes in the oven, it will rise above the top of the can, which you can remove later before decorating. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Once cooled, turn the can upside-down and gently shake until the cake pops out. Trim the top of the cake, if desired, to get an even surface. Adhere carrot-coin polka dots by smearing a small amount of creamy peanut butter on back of each and pressing firmly onto the cake. Use additional peanut butter to frost the top of the cake. Add a Beggin’ Strip brand dog treat, bone shaped dog food pieces and candle on top to finish of the decorations.

Dog-friendly Birthday Cake Recipe I Pretty Little PastimesMaggie loved her birthday cake! Between her and Bogey, they had it gobbled up in no time! Happy Birthday Maggie May!

 

Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Dog Treats

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This weekend I wanted to do something special for my pups, so I decided to make some homemade peanut butter and oatmeal dog treats! This recipe is great because most, if not all, of the ingredients I usually already have in the pantry. They are quick and easy to make and my dogs just love gobbling them up as soon as they are cool!

Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Dog Treats

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, honey, olive oil and chicken broth. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, oats and cinnamon. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture until combined. If your dough is too dry add more chicken broth one tablespoon at a time.

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Transfer the dough to a flour dusted surface and roll the dough to about 3/8″ thick. Use a cookie cutter (I used a bone shaped one) and cut out your treats. Combine the scraps and keep rolling to get as many treats as you can out of the dough; I ended up with 26. Place the unbaked treats onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I took a plate of these outside to get some shots when they were all baked, but a certain puppy of mine, Miss Maggie May, had other ideas!

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By the look of this happy little face looking up at me, I’d say she liked them!

maggie may 3 sm

Winter Care Tips for Dogs

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If your pups are anything like mine, then they adore that curious white powder that falls from the sky during the Winter. This being the first snow-filled Winter for my two dogs, I have done a little research to make sure they are safe from the unpredictable weather conditions. I wanted to share with you some Winter Care tips for your pups.

Don’t leave them in the cold for long periods of time. Bogart and Maggie May play and chase each other until they are soaked, out of breath and ready for dinner! If I let them, I am sure they would stay outside until they were frozen solid. That is why it is important to make certain that when the temperature falls and the wind chill is high, that you don’t leave your dogs outside in the cold for long periods of time. Check on them often and make sure your little ones haven’t stepped a little too far into the deep snow.

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Make changes to their grooming for the season. Grooming can be especially important during the Winter months. Maggie & Bogey are very different in their needs for grooming when there is snow on the ground. Maggie has very short fur on her paws which does not collect snow. Bogey on the other hand, has long hair around his front and back paws and when he comes in from a good play session, he looks like he is wearing boots! Snowballs of all sizes stick to his little paws and belly. As soon as he comes in, I make sure to wipe him down with a towel (gently, so it does not tug at his fur) and check his paws for ice. I then turn the kitchen faucet on lukewarm and put him in the sink to melt the snow slowly. You don’t want to use hot water to do this, since their cold bodies will be extra sensitive.

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Keep them hydrated and nourished. Even if they like to eat a little snow when they are outside, snow does not replace the need for fresh water. They may be soaked when they walk in, but make sure to offer them some good ol’ H20. During the Winter, your dogs are also burning more calories keeping their bodies warm, so make sure to adjust their diet/serving sizes accordingly. This is one tip Bogey does not have problem with!

Carefully store ice-melting solutions. Anti-freeze, salts and other materials may not seem tasty to us, but for our curious four-legged friends, they might be worth a lick or two. Make sure to store these and any other hazardous materials out of your dog’s reach. Remember to check their paws regularly for salt and remove it immediately to avoid irritating/harming their pads.

Pack an Emergency Pet Pack. When preparing for Winter storms and possible power outages, don’t forget to pack a Pet Pack. Keep an extra bag of food, treats and warm bedding ready for your pups. Double check that you have copies of important pet paperwork and prescriptions handy as well, so you can grab it quickly if you need to leave the house in a rush.

Help them find their way home. Remember that rough Winter conditions can make it easier for dogs to lose their scent. Keep them on leashes when taking walks and make sure their identification tags are always secure and up-to-date.

And lastly, HAVE FUN with your dogs outside! We had a huge snow fall, this last weekend and I took some time out to play with them in the fresh powder and snapped some pictures. They loved digging tunnels and running after flying snowballs. I can’t wait to turn some of these pictures into a Pretty Little Pastime!

Happy Birthday Pupcakes

ImageOne of our two little pups, Bogart, celebrated his first birthday this past weekend. We adopted him as a puppy from a local animal rescue when he was only 12 weeks old. He was my first puppy (our second pup we adopted as an adult), so it has been such a fun experience watching him grow and learn over the last year. I decided to make him a special treat for his big day. These “Pupcakes” are a Pretty Little Pastime, your four-legged best friend will definitely approve of!

What you will need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (preferred) or white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

I reserved extra peanut butter and shredded carrots to top my pupcakes. I also used Milk Bone brand treats and Beggin’ Strips to finish decorating.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey. Blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift flour and baking soda together and fold into batter.

Fill 6 lined cupcake molds 3/4 of the way full with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes (35-40 minutes if making one full cake) or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and let the pupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Once cooled, spread peanut butter over the tops of the pupcakes and top with remaining carrot shred “sprinkles”. Break a Beggin’ Strip in half and push one side firmly into the cake to keep in place. Add a Milk Bone treat in front of the strip and your pupcakes are ready to be served!

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Bogey loved his birthday pupcake and just like most kiddos he took the time to lick off all the frosting first! I made sure to remove the wrapper before he started on the cake also. This recipe only makes 6 pupcakes, which is great for a little birthday treat, and can easily be doubled or tripled if you are having a bunch of party animals over. It is sure to get all of their tails wagging!

Check back for more on our Doggy Birthday celebration.