Christmas is a time for spoiling our loved ones with gifts and homemade goodies. Even your four-legged family members love special treats. However, too much "people" food is not good for dogs. Make some tasty, yet healthy, homemade decorated dog treats for your own dog and your special doggy friends.
Make treats from canned dog food. Take both ends off the can of food. Push from one end to remove the food, keeping it together in one chunk. Slice the dog food into 1/4-inch slabs. Use large cookie cutters to cut Christmas shapes from the slices. Arrange the cookies on a paper plate. Cook in a microwave for three to five minutes, until crispy.
Bake some peanut butter dog cookies. Mix together 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup cooking oil, a large egg and 1/4 cup peanut butter. Combine 2 cups flour and 1 cup oatmeal and stir it into the wet ingredient mixture. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes and place the shapes onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until crisp.
Bake some meaty pretzel cookies. Combine 1 cup beef broth, 2 eggs, a small jar of baby food meat, 1 cup powdered milk and 5 cups flour. Mix well. Roll 1 tablespoon of mix into a 5-inch "rope." Form the dough rope into a pretzel shape and place it on a baking pan. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Bake the pretzels at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until crisp.
Make jerky treats. Slice frozen chicken breast or 2-inch-thick beef round steak into 1/4-inch strips. Keep the strips as uniform in length as possible. Dip each strip into low-sodium beef or chicken broth. Lay the strips onto dehydrator trays. Dehydrate the meat for up to 12 hours until they are stiff, but pliable.
Add some fruit to your dog's holiday diet. Core and slice apples to about 1/4 inch thick. Peel and slice bananas the same thickness as the apples. Soak the apples and bananas for 30 minutes in a solution of 1 quart water and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Lay the fruits on trays and dehydrate for six hours or until they feel like leather.
Dehydrate green beans and carrot slices for colorful treats. Cut washed beans into 1-inch pieces. Slice scraped carrots into 1/4-inch slices. Put the vegetables into a wire basket and dip into a pan of boiling water for five minutes to blanch. Spread cooled vegetables onto trays and dehydrate for 10 to 12 hours or until crisp.
Melt 1 cup of white carob chips in a microwave oven for 30 seconds, stir, and heat another 30 seconds until thoroughly melted. Tint the carob frosting with Christmas colors of food coloring. Drizzle frosting over pretzels or jerky and sprinkle on some shaved bits of white carob chips. Frost entire surface of cookies with carob frosting, or use a frosting piping tool to add designs or names with a different color of melted carob.
Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on dog treats. Sweeten the peanut butter with a small amount of honey, if desired. Add a small amount of Christmas sprinkles on the peanut butter frosting.
Sprinkle powdered beef or chicken bouillon, a small amount of powdered sugar, Christmas-colored sugars or sugar-free brown sugar on any of the dog treats.