A while back I needed something to do with a ridiculous over-abundance of pumpkin. (We belong to a CSA and went a little overboard at the end-of-season open pick.) One of the uses I found for it was dog treats. My boxer-bully-lab-mutt, Buddy, loved these crunchy treats. He's got some fairly horrendous dog breath, so after the pumpkin biscuit success, I thought I'd try my hand at some breath-freshening natural dog treats. I found the below recipe, which aims to replicate the famous Greenies® brand dental chews with a homemade, natural spin.
DIY Dog Treats Recipe
- 3 1/2 cups organic brown rice flour
- 1 tablespoon of Swanson Premium Activated Charcoal
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup packed fresh mint
- 1/2 cup packed fresh Italian parsley
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- Swanson GreenFoods Liquid Chlorophyll
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with parchment (I used a baking mat). Combine charcoal with flour and set aside. You'll find brown rice flour in a lot of pet treat and pet food recipes. Many dogs are sensitive to wheat/wheat gluten and brown rice flour is easier for them to digest. Activated charcoal is carbon that has been treated with oxygen and is able to absorb a wide range of impurities. I opened up a dozen or so capsules to get a tablespoon. Fifteen, maybe? I didn't count.
Not gonna lie, this part wasn't fun...
Put parsley, mint, oil and 1/4 cup of broth or water into food processor. My husband really enjoys making his own chicken stock, so that's what I used here. Process until very chopped, like pesto, then add chlorophyll. Chlorophyll helps freshen breath both by eliminating odors in the mouth and by promoting a healthy digestive tract—poor digestion being a primary reason for bad breath. The recipe I followed said 3-4 droppers-full, but since my bottle didn't have a dropper, I guessed and used a generous teaspoon. Pulse a few times to mix.
Add this to the flour/charcoal and mix well. Beat egg lightly and mix in. Knead, adding remainder of water or broth until you have a very sticky (yet grainy) dough ball. Dust the work surface with more rice flour—makes your life easier and gives the treats extra crunch. The recipe said to knead dough until an even green color. My dough was decidedly NOT green so I just kneaded until everything seemed evenly combined. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick, or whatever thickness you prefer, adding flour as needed. Cut out with your favorite shapes.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Which is an eternity when you're a dog.
Cool and store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Assuming a certain highly-food-motivated dog doesn't eat them all right away. Time will tell if they help his breath or not, but he loves them. Win!