Dog Biscuits

I have been reticent to buy dog treats due to the horrific stories of unsound and in some cases fatal ingredients.  While my dogs love the liver bits, I wanted to surf the internet to find out what might be available to make.  There's lots of 'tasty' recipes out there.  Most are not grain free, but it is only Angel that has grain issues.  I primarily am looking for training treats for Dexter.

I went to the Food Lion to get some baby food.  Though I bought a couple of jars, this ingredient did not see cost effective.  Beef dinner is $1.19.  I needed two jars, and there was no real 'volume' in those two jars. I bought the jars, but the worm was turning in the brain.  On to the meat aisle.  There!  Ground turkey, 1lb marked down to $1.95.  I can work with that. 

I plan to get this down to a science, but the gist of what I did was what I do with every recipe that I cook for my human friends:  I search about, find something foundational, look for other variations and then cook.  99% of the time the results are good.  But with that m.o. you are going to have some spectacular failures.  That is part of the fun of experimentation so long as it does not involve experimentations with rocket fuel or other things that might kill you.  For making dog biscuits, I felt that my experimentations were safe.

Here's what I did.  I'm winging it here, but you could use this as a structure for any concoction. I'll firm this up later when I do a more measured way of reporting what I did:
  1. Preheat oven to 325.  I used the convection setting.
  2. Prepare cookie sheets.  I used Silipat mats on aluminum 1/2 sheets.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine ground meat with enough water to cover by at least an inch.   
  4. Add some bouillon or beef/chicken base if you have it...I used about 1 tbl.
  5. Bring to boil and continue cooking until meat is fully cooked.
  6. Add enough grits to thicken and allow to cook in accordance with the type of grits you used.  (I used 5 minute grits.)
  7. Transfer cooked mixture to food processor.  (You could be patient and let it cool first; I did not) 
  8. Process until very smooth.  (No overprocessing worries here).
  9. Here's the winging it part.....  Add enough whole wheat flour to thicken the mixture slightly. 
  10. Add two eggs---with shell and process fully.  (This was by accident. The first egg slipped, whole,  out of my hand and into the hot mixture.  Rather than fish it out, I felt that the egg shell would be beneficial.  See an article about that here.) Cook's note, if your mixture is too hot, it will cook the egg.  Our you could temper the eggs with part of the mixture...but I did not do that.
  11. Here's the second winging it part--add enough whole wheat flour to thicken the mixture to the point where you can feed it through a cookie press.  
  12. Use a cookie press to press out the 'dough'.  If your press has a star tip, that works well.  This area is one to perfect.  (You could use a small scoop and make balls to freeze and put in kongs.)
  13. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn off oven and leave in to dry out further.
Taste test.  Daisey, is my Mikey who does not like anything.  She was VERY ENTHUSIASTIC, and my other dogs same.

This was cost effective, but my process needs refinement. 


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