Leo and Charley's 'Top 10' Dog Chews and Treats
I love to spend time cooking and baking as it’s a relaxing pastime for me. I’ve probably had a go at everything, from casseroles to quiches, biscuits to celebration cakes.
So when we got our dogs it seemed quite natural to investigate what I could make at home for them to enjoy.
Leo’s breeder recommended I try a recipe for liver cake as her dogs absolutely adored it so once he was old enough to try it, we started to experiment in the kitchen. Now we regularly whip up a batch of homemade treats that both dogs love.
If you own a Labrador you invariably already know that they are the greediest dogs on the planet and can fool you in to thinking they are starving. Leo is no exception and can hear the fridge being opened from the bottom of the garden, he can also detect the top coming off the butter dish from anywhere in the house. Do it, and within seconds, he will be at your feet waiting, with big brown pleading eyes hoping for a tasty morsel of toast.
Charley follows his lead and will also hang about waiting for anything that might be dropped whilst we are cooking.
Leo has a sensitive stomach and it took us ages to find dog food that didn’t cause him any problems. Charley is less fussy and she was happy to eat whatever Leo was having when we adopted her. There isn’t much that she doesn’t like.
The dogs have twice daily meals consisting of a mix of Lukulus cold pressed kibble and Butternut Box fresh cooked dog food. The Lukulus was recommended to me by a friend who worked for a time in a wolf colony in Germany. She explained that it was a wholesome, complete dry food that they fed to the wolves as it is an all natural kibble enriched with healthy rice. It is gently cold-pressed to retain all the vital nutrients and has a great taste. The dogs are very happy with it and are both healthy with glossy coats.
It comes in a variety of flavours but Leo and Charley like the Chicken with Norwegian Salmon best of all. The food is exclusive to Zooplus and you can find it on this link.
The dogs are also quite partial to a bit of Butternut box dog food, which we add as a fresh meat and vegetable topper to the dry kibble, just to add a bit of variety. This food looks good enough for humans to eat and when I see it in the fridge I often worry my husband might eat it thinking it is the remains of a shepherd’s pie minus the mashed potatoes. It is additive and preservative free too. The food is delivered frozen at monthly intervals and you can select the flavours you want and add other treats to the delivery. It is a really brilliant and reliable service which has been a godsend during the coronavirus pandemic.
You can find out more about it here on this link below.
Treats and Chews
When it comes to occasional treats Leo and Charley certainly have their favourites!
So I’ve compiled a list of their ‘Top 10’ list of treats with where to find them or with the recipe so you can make them yourself.
- Homemade Liver cake.
You will need:
1kg liver. You can use cows, pigs or lambs liver.
4 large eggs
Splash of milk
400g flour. This can be plain flour or use rice flour instead.
This recipe is very easy so anyone can make this cake.
Turn your oven on to 150°C.
Put the liver, eggs and milk in a blender. Mix until smooth then add the flour. Blend again for about a minute. Oil a baking tray or line it with foil and pour in the mixture. Cook for 30 minutes.
Prepare to have a dog under your feet whilst they are cooking!
Take out of the foil once cooled and chop into pieces.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for 3-5 days if stored correctly and it can also be frozen.
Staglers are a 100% premium, top quality Deer Antler Dog Chew. They come from Red deer, who drop their antlers every year, then regrow them again. Each antler is collected and cleaned without chemicals. The antlers are personally selected and hand-cut into fantastic chews, designed to keep your dog satisfied.
It is proven that they can help clean teeth. They are virtually fat-free, full of minerals, and calcium and do not splinter like bone. They are also non-sticky, not smelly at all.
They also really last, giving long term value for money. Everyone is a winner with these superb chews. The company will also cut and send you pieces to your personal specification. It’s a really fab service.
Leo and Charley spend time every day chewing their antlers. It is a calming activity for them and they really enjoy this tasty chew.
- Homemade Cheese Treats
You will need:
300g plain flour or rice flour
150g parmezan cheese grated finely
150 -200ml cream
Heat your oven to 190°C.
Put the flour in a bowl and add the grated parmezan with the butter. Stir together. Then add the cream and knead into a ball. If it seems a bit dry add a bit more cream. Roll out thinly on a floured board and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. We have a bone shaped one which is cute. Using a fork, prick them all over and put on a baking tray. Cook for 12 minutes checking part way through as they cook quickly.
Keep them away from adults as, despite being bone shaped, my husband thought that these were homemade cheese biscuits and ate some before the dogs could say ‘woof’!
These will last 5-10 days in an airtight tin.
- Dried Chicken feet.
These 100% naturally air died chicken feet are an excellent source of glucosamine, which can help with joint maintenance.
Chicken feet also offer the benefit of naturally brushing your dog’s teeth.
Leo and Charley snaffle these as often as they can! We get ours from a local company who specialise in natural, additive free, chews and treats for dogs and they will post them out to you. It is a small business providing a really good service. You can clcik on the link below to see more of their stock.
- Sardine Oatcakes
You will need:
2x 120g tins of sardines in oil
60g wholemeal flour
300g porridge oats
Splash of water
Heat your oven to 190°C.
Mash the sardines in the oil and then add the flour and oats. Add a splash of water and knead into a ball. Roll out on a floured board and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool before placing into a tin.
These will last for 3-5 days. The dogs go mad for these and they can smell them a mile away!
6. By Benji Biltong
These treats are produced in the UK and have been uniquely created to provide the most high value treat of gourmet quality. They are UK DEFRA approved and each Raw Treat, Super Stick and Biltong Sausage, is expertly crafted from pure silverside of beef. They are marinated in a blend of herbs, before being hung naturally to air cure to produce the intense flavour. They smell good enough for me to eat!
Each provides a high protein, low fat, low salt, sugar and carb free treat that is additive and artificial flavouring free.
Leo and Charley love them! I like to keep a few in my pocket when out on walks as they are such high value treats and help me to stop Leo and Charley from barking at the local village cats!
- Dried chicken hearts
These treats are 100% air-dried chicken heart. They can be used as fabulous high-value training treats.
They are suitable for puppies or dogs in training and are ideal to have in your pocket to help with perfect recall. They are non-sticky so don’t make a mess. They are high in taurine which can help to keep your dog’s heart healthy.
No chemicals, no preservatives, no nasties, nothing added! We get ours from Friends and Canines.
Check out their great natural treats here.
- Peanut and Banana Bombs
You will need:
200g Peanut Butter
(Ensure it has no Xylitol in as this is poisonous for dogs.)
200g wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon honey
Heat your oven to 140°C.
Mash the banana with the eggs, honey and peanut butter. Add the flour and mix with a fork until combined. Knead for a few minutes then roll into small balls and place on a greased baking tray. Bake for 45 minutes.
This recipe will make 24-30 balls depending on size and will last for up to 10 days if stored in an airtight tin.
9. Air dried cows ears.
These are another of Leo and Charley’s favourite chews. They last a lot longer than most and are ideal to use when the dogs need to spend time out being calm. Most of our natural, chemical free chews come from a local supplier but they do post out treat boxes all over the UK. They specialise in tasty, high quality, preservative free treats and you can order small and large quantities so you don’t need to commit to buying a big bag if you want to try something new.
- Gingerbread for dogs
You will need:
170g self raising flour or rice flour
85g peanut butter (Xylitol free)
4 tablespoons hot water
2 teaspoons ginger powder
.5 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat the oven to 200°C.
Mix the peanut butter with the hot water and add the flour and spices. Add a splash more water mixing to a firm dough.
Roll out to 1cm thick on a floured board and cut out into shapes.
Place on a greased baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and then store in a tin. These will keep for up to 2 weeks.
I hope you try out some of these recipes and other treat ideas for your dogs.