Making homemade healthy treats for your dog takes only a few minutes. Powdered milk, which is simply low-fat dairy milk with the liquid removed, is a good source of protein and calcium, so you can use it as a nutritious ingredient in your homemade dog treats.
Dietary protein is an integral part of a dog's healthy diet. When making homemade dog treats, powdered milk adds a significant amount of protein to the recipe. In addition to protein, powdered milk also provides necessary carbohydrates that your dog will use for energy. Powdered milk also adds bulk to the treats. When choosing a variety from the supermarket, opt for the nonfat variety, as dogs do not need extra fat in their diets.
Nonfat powdered milk contains 24 grams of protein and 35 grams of carbohydrates in 1 cup, before reconstitution with water. It also contains 240 calories and is an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamins A and D and calcium, all of which are critical to canine health.
While powdered milk itself contains a favorable nutrient profile, you probably won't have much luck getting your dog to eat it unless you make it appetizing to him. Add flavorings like chicken, beef or turkey stock to the recipe to make the treats simply irresistible to your dog. The liquid from the stocks also bring together the dough.
In addition to the milk and stock, you will also need several other ingredients to successfully make homemade dog treats.
Whole wheat flour is a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. Raw rolled oats are another source of carbohydrates and fiber.
Egg whites are used to help the ingredients stick together. Egg whites also contain healthy proteins.
Peanut butter is a healthy form of fat and fiber that dogs love. Adding peanut butter to the treats also adds a bit more protein to the recipe. Choose a peanut butter that has no added sugar, if possible.
Olive oil also adds a small amount of healthy unsaturated fat to the recipe and helps the treats to stay moist.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup powdered milk with 1/2 cup each whole wheat flour and rolled oats. Stir in 1/4 cup chicken, beef or turkey stock, 2 egg whites, 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Work the dough together with a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed or with your hands. The dough should be thick.
Once the dough is completely mixed, put down a large piece of parchment paper and roll the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Use small cookie cutters, such as a 1- or 1 1/2-inch diameter circle or small doggie bone shape, to cut treats out of the dough. Place the uncooked treats on a very lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the treats turn golden brown at the edges. Let them cool and serve them to your dog sparingly when he exhibits good behavior.
Store unused treats in an air-tight container at room temperature, where they will stay fresh for about a week. If you prefer, you can freeze unused treats in a freezer bag and take them out as necessary, allowing them to thaw at room temperature for about an hour. The treats will last for several months in the freezer.
Leeann Teagno has been writing professionally since 2006. An English major, she continues to study information systems management at American Public University. Teagno is an organic gardener, cook and technology buff with past employment in mobile communications. She also volunteers at an animal shelter and operates a home bakery.