Nothing says "I love you" to your dog more than a special treat you make yourself. Dogs have birthdays and holidays to celebrate just like people do, and baking a few cakes and cookies to decorate with dog-friendly icing is a creative way to bring your dog in on celebrations.
Since icing is only for special occasions, you don't need to be as concerned about fattening ingredients as you would with treats you normally use. Some of the ingredients used to make dog treat icings may be more sugary or have a higher fat content than you would like, but keep in mind that just as people shouldn't eat large amounts of icing (or suffer the inevitable consequences), dogs should only eat items with icing on special occasions. However, whenever possible, use low-fat ingredients.
There are several items from the dairy section you can use as a base for DIY dog treat icing. Yogurt and cream cheese combined makes a base for colorful and tasty frosting. Bring 8 ounces of cream cheese to room temperature and beat with 2 tablespoons of yogurt and 2 tablespoons of honey until very smooth. Slowly add in white flour, a teaspoon at a time, until the icing is the consistency of frosting. Add one drop of food coloring, if desired. If you are spreading the frosting, you will need less flour. If you are using it as piping or to write, you will need a little more flour.
If you are baking your own biscuits, try beating some egg yolks together and painting the biscuits with the yolks during the last five minutes of baking. This will give the biscuits a nice shiny glazed look.
Dogs can't have chocolate, but you can pretend to give it to your pup with carob, a substance that looks, acts and tastes a lot like chocolate, but without the toxicity. Carob chips are available at many health food stores and on the Internet. They are easy to melt in a double burner or in the microwave following the package directions. They come in a variety of colors so you don't have to add food coloring. Once melted, the product is ready to use. You can either dip biscuits in the melted chips or use a small paintbrush to apply the icing to cakes and cookies.
Dogs love peanut butter, so use it to make their treats special. Start with low-fat, low-salt peanut butter. Add an extra-ripe banana to about a cup of smooth or chunky peanut butter. Blend well until it's spreadable. Since you can't add food coloring to peanut butter with good results, embellish the icing with carob sprinkles or oatmeal.
- Anne Dale/Demand Media