The following are some of Shirley's favorite dog treat recipes.
Ingredient List for Dog Treats
Everything you'll need to make all the following recipes.
1 pound Raw Liver (either beef or chicken)
12 to 14 oz of Tuna, Salmon or Mackerel
Grated Cheddar Cheese, 2 cups min
Whole Wheat Flour
Garlic (powder or crushed)
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Margarine (or butter)
Oil (olive or other)
Milk, 1 cup min
Cheap thick sliced bologna or cheap hot dogs
Blocks of firm cheese, (Jack or Cheddar)
Hunter’s Cheese Crunchies
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour plus extra flour
1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/4 pound butter or ¼ cup oil
1 clove garlic – crushed (or ½ tsp minced garlic in a jar)
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup Milk -- or as needed
Grate the cheese into a bowl and let stand until it reaches room temperature. If you want to hurry things up by microwaving the cheese and butter together, be conservative about the amount of time or the power setting (or both). Better the cheese be a little on the cool side than on the gooey side.
Cream the cheese with the softened margarine, garlic, salt and flour. Add enough milk to form into a ball that resembles very soft bread dough. Depending on the relative humidity, this may be more or less than one quarter cup of milk.
Chill for at least 1/2 hour or up to 24 hours. Roll onto floured board. If the dough turns out to be too sticky, just knead it with a little more flour until the consistency makes it easy to roll out. It may be easier to split the batch into halves or quarters and roll them out separately.
These crunchies roughly double in height in the oven. I prefer them to be ¼ inch thick, so I roll them out 1/8th of an inch thick. If you want smaller crunchies, this dough can be rolled out very, very thinly, even paper thin.
Rolling out is easier if you have a thin, flat metal spatula and can use it to help you periodically pry the dough up off the rolling surface. Then spread a little more flour and roll some more. Roll from the center outwards and roll at a different angle with each roll.
If the dough has gotten warm while you rolled it out, put the dough on the baking tray and put the tray in the fridge for half an hour or so. The baking tray should be lightly oiled or lined with easy-release foil. Use a pizza cutter (the type with a rolling metal wheel) to cut the dough in one direction and then the other. So long as you are careful not to squish the dough back together after it has been cut, the pieces will shrink away from each other while baking, leaving you with a trayful of separate treats.
Since I want treats that are about 1/4 inch on a side, I cut the dough into pieces a little larger than that. A regular popsicle stick is a bare 3/8th of an inch wide, so that’s what I use for a guide.
Bake at 375 degrees until done. Time until doneness varies with how thickly you roll out the dough. It takes about 20 minutes for dough rolled to 1/8th inch thick to cook completely. Ovens vary, so keep an eye on them but don’t worry too much. Most dogs aren’t connoisseurs and even if they are downright burned on the bottom the vast majority of dogs will still think they’re terrific treats. If you want to avoid burning, I recommend using Air-Bake cookie trays.
When done, the crunchies should be lightly browned on top and feel ever so slightly springy to the tip of a spoon pressed against the top. As they cool, they will get crispier and crunchier.
Allow to cool completely before placing in a sealed container.
At room temperature, these last for about a week. They last about two weeks in the refrigerator and six months in the freezer. The dough can also be frozen, then thawed, rolled out and cooked as usual.
Chamois’s Liver Brownies
1 pound raw liver (beef or chicken)
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup oil (olive or other)
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Mix liver in a food processor or Vita-Mixer until it looks like pink goo; it may help to add the egg, oil and milk to the liver while processing. Transfer to a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. If you don’t like the smell of baking liver, adding the garlic helps conceal the odor.
Spread in lightly oiled 8x8 inch cake pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until done (no longer pink in the middle of the pan).
Cool enough to handle, then cut into bars. I like to cut the dough into three parts one way and eight or nine parts the other way.
Allow to cool thoroughly before placing in a sealed container. These will keep a week in the refrigerator and for six months in the freezer. They form a putty-like texture that is easy to break up but does not crumble.
Chamois’s Liver Crunchies
Ingredients and mixing the same as above. Spread into a lightly oiled 9x15 pan. This will make a dough that is about one quarter inch thick. If you want thinner crunchies, use a larger pan or divide batch into two pans.
Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cool enough to handle and cut the dough into the size treats you want. I like treats that are about ¼ inch on a side, so I cut the dough into ¼ inch strips each way.
Use a spatula to place the pieces on a tray, spread out so that none of the pieces are touching. One tray of dough makes about 1 ½ trays of crunchies (the smaller the pieces, the more they expand).
Place in the oven and bake for about an hour until done. They are done when they are hard and barely springy when pressed with the tip of a spoon. If they burn a bit on the bottom, don’t worry—dogs are not connoisseurs and the vast majority will love these scorched. If you want to avoid burning, I recommend using Air-Bake cookie trays.
Allow to cool thoroughly before placing in a sealed container.
These crunchies will keep for a week at room temperature, a month in the refrigerator and six months in the freezer.
Orion’s Fish Fudgies
12 to 14 oz of canned tuna, salmon or mackerel - do not drain
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Process fish, garlic and eggs in food processor or blender or mix in a bowl, mashing thoroughly with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix to a brownie-like consistency. Spread into a 9x9-inch greased pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. When the fudgies are done, they will have a putty-like texture and the edges will pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool until easy to handle, then cut into bars. These bars are easy to break up but don’t crumble easily. I usually cut them into three strips one way and eight or nine strips the other way.
Allow to cool thoroughly before putting into a sealed container.
Will keep for one week in the refrigerator or six months in the freezer.
Orion’s Fish Crunchies
Same ingredients as above. After mixing, spread in a 9x15-inch greased pan. The dough will be about ¼ inch thick; if you want thinner crunchies, use a bigger pan or divide into two pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When the dough is done, it will pull away from the sides of the container. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until easy to handle. Reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees.
Using a pizza cutter (the type with a rolling metal wheel), cut the dough into strips one way and then the other way. This dough does not rise appreciably nor does it shrink. I like to cut it into quarter inch cubes.
Use a spatula to pick up the pieces and spread out in a single layer making sure the pieces aren’t touching. One tray of dough will make about 1 ½ trays of crunchies. Place in the oven and bake for about one hour. The crunchies are done when they feel hard and barely springy to the tip of a spoon pressed on top. If they burn a little on the bottom, don’t worry—most dogs are not connoisseurs and will love them burned. If you want to prevent burning, I recommend using Air-Bake cookie trays.
Allow to cool thoroughly before placing in a sealed container. These will keep for one week at room temperature, one month in the refrigerator and six months in the freezer.
Nuked Junk Food for Dogs
I use cheap thick sliced bologna or cheap hot dogs.
If preparing bologna, I use a pizza cutter (the type with a rolling metal wheel) to slice the bologna into strips about a quarter inch wide. Separate the strips and place in a single layer on a paper towel. Make sure the strips are not touching, so they don’t weld themselves to each other while cooking. Cover with another paper towel. I usually make six or seven layers this way.
Place in the microwave and microwave at full power for three minutes. Check for doneness by looking at each layer—usually the lower layers get done faster than the top layers. The strips are done when they are hard and crispy all the way across. In some microwaves, this may take several more minutes.
If some of the strips get scorched, don’t worry—the vast majority of dogs are not connoisseurs and will love them burned.
Allow to cool thoroughly before placing into a sealed container. The strips turn into something with the texture of Styrofoam—very easy to break into small pieces for rapid treat delivery.
If preparing hot dogs, I cut each hot dog into four spears lengthwise, then into pieces about as thick as a nickel. Spread out in a single layer on a paper towel without touching, then cover with another paper towel. I usually make six or seven layers this way.
Place in the microwave and microwave at full power for three minutes. Check for doneness by looking at each layer—the lower layers are usually done before the top layers. The pieces of hot dog are done when they are crispy around the sides and slightly rubbery in the center. If they get a little scorched, not to worry—your dog probably won’t mind.
Allow to cool thoroughly before placing in a sealed container.
If you add nuked junk food to dry cereal like Cheerios or Rice Chex, the cereal will absorb some of the fat and odor from the junk food and will be more appealing to the dog.
The great advantage to microwaving bologna or hot dogs is that they are no longer slimy, so much easier to handle.
My dogs love cheese for treats but I don’t enjoy handling it—it gets greasy, pasty and slippery and is difficult to handle. My solution is to dry the cheese, which also lets it keep at room temperature for quite a while.
I cut a firm cheese like cheddar or Monterey jack into cubes. I prefer treats that are about a quarter inch on a side because I have medium sized dogs (45-60 pounds).
Small amounts of cheese can be dried out in the dairy drawer of the refrigerator.
I spread larger amounts of cheese in a single layer on paper towels on trays and then place in a room temperature, dry, protected location (in my household, I use a large bathroom so I can keep the door shut). I run a fan on the cheese for 24-72 hours. The exact amount of time depends on the cheese, the size of the pieces and the ambient humidity. It can help to stir the pieces once a day to turn the pieces so all sides dry evenly.
The cheese is done when it turns a darker colour and has a hard texture. The oil in the cheese will come to the surface. I rub the cubes off with paper towels. The cubes can also be placed in dry cereal like Cheerios or Rice Chex, which absorb the oil and makes the cereal more appealing to the dog.
This will keep for up to a month at room temperature (depending on ambient humidity), six months in the refrigerator or a year in the freezer.