Making your own dog treats from scratch means you get to control what goes into them, unlike store-bought varieties. One delicious natural sweetener that dogs love is pure maple syrup, which is derived from the sap of the maple tree. You can make healthy, maple-flavored treats for your dog at home using syrup.
When selecting a maple syrup to use in a dog treat recipe, be sure to choose 100 percent pure maple syrup and not maple-flavored breakfast or pancake syrup. Maple-flavored breakfast syrup usually contains very little actual maple and is mostly artificial flavorings and preservatives combined with high-fructose corn syrup, which can be unhealthy for dogs.
Pure maple syrup is usually more expensive than pancake syrup, but a little bit goes much further than its artificial counterpart. While dogs shouldn't consume even pure maple syrup in excess due to its high sugar content, maple syrup is a safe addition to use in moderation in dog treats.
Preparation and Storage
To make your maple dog treats, start off by pouring a half cup of plain rolled oats and a half cup of whole wheat flour into a medium-sized bowl. Mix the two together gently with a fork.
Next, add 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup into the mixture, along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of chicken, beef or vegetable stock and 2 egg whites. Canned stock is fine, as are pre-mixed egg whites purchased from the grocer's dairy section. Mix all of the ingredients together with a fork until a thick batter is formed.
Drop the batter by the teaspoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten them with the back of a greased spoon. The recipe should make approximately 24 bite-sized treats. Bake the treats at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until they're just brown around the edges.
Storing the finished maple dog treats is easy. If you will be feeding them to your pet daily, they can be kept in a plastic zipper bag or airtight lidded container at room temperature on the counter or in the cupboard for about one week.
Alternately, you can freeze all or a portion of the dog treats. Place them into an airtight freezer bag or lidded container and they will keep in the freezer for several months. To use them, simply remove a few treats and let them thaw for an hour.
Uses and Considerations
Give your dog treats to teach him and reward his good behavior. Tasty treats like these maple ones are an invaluable resource when house-training a dog or when teaching your dog tricks or manners. A good time to give your dog treats in the long term is when he's coming in from outside after he's gone to the bathroom. This reinforces his good behavior.
If you are training your dog and anticipate giving him many treats, try breaking the treats into small pieces rather than giving him a whole treat each time. This not only prevents him from eating too much, it saves you money as well because the treats will last longer.
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.