Last year we lost our German shepherd dog, Nala. Nala was an amazing dog, but she had a lot of health problems. Nala suffered from allergies, anxiety, a heart arrhythmia, and chronic ear infections. Because of Nala’s health problems and allergies, we ended up making her food most of the time.
The last year of Nala’s life she was on five medications, and continually had an upset stomach. To help ease her stomach we made 90% of her food, both treats and meals. For this reason, we had a fair amount of dog-friendly recipes in our recipe box. It seems like a big undertaking to make a dog’s food and treats, but it doesn’t have to be! There are a lot of dog recipes that you can make in crock-pots, and some you can whip up in no time.
When our kids wanted to host a dog-friendly lemonade stand that served dog treats, it was time to pull the recipe box out. I needed a treat that would feed a crowd of dogs, and wouldn’t cost too much money. One recipe we had never tried was an applesauce/peanut butter cookie. This was a perfect choice as one batch made around fifty cookies, and there were only four ingredients needed.
Ingredients: Make sure you buy natural ingredients without any additives. A good rule of thumb is the fewer ingredients the better. We used natural creamy peanut butter, natural unsweetened applesauce, whole-wheat flour (you can use regular flour just be sure to get unbleached), and water. I’ve seen this recipe with the use of stock instead of water. I found the stock to be too salty, and water to be just right. If your dog needs a little more flavors, you could cut the stock with water in equal parts.
Directions: Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Next, combine all ingredients and stir to combine. The dough will be thick, so you’ll need to knead your dough to finish combining. After kneading the dough, form a ball on a prepared, floured surface. Roll the dough until it’s ¼ inch thick. We used a two-inch dog bone cookie cutter, and made fifty treats.
1 Cup – Whole Wheat Flour
½ Cup – Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
¼ Cup – Natural Unsweetened Applesauce
¼ Cup – Water
Bone Shaped Cookie Cutter
-Preheat Over to 350 degrees
-Combine ingredients in large mixing bowl and stir until well combined
-Knead dough and form into a ball (dough will be thick)
-Roll dough until ¼ inch thick
-Use bone shaped cookie cutter
-Place bones onto an ungreased cookie sheet
-Bake for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown
-Let treats cool and then store in an airtight container
This recipe is very versatile. If your dog doesn’t like the applesauce, change it out for a mashed banana or some pumpkin puree. You can also change the water to all stock or half stock/half water. Adapt the recipe to your dog’s preference.
The best part is, the treats are so cheap! The ingredients cost very little: $2.50 for a large jar of peanut butter, $2 for a jar of applesauce, and $4.25 for whole wheat flour. In most cases I have these ingredients in the pantry, so they don’t cost anything. I can get fifty cookies out of a batch, and the ingredients usually stretch to three batches, making the cost 5¢ per treat!
Tip: Usually I make three batches at a time and freeze the cookies for up to a month. You can serve these treats frozen or fresh to your puppies. Either way, they are sure to be puppy approved!