Tasty, Simple, Healthy DIY Dog Treats

This week, our Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn, shows us how to make easy, delicious treats for your dog.  They’re so easy, says Jill, and they’re made with regular "people food" ingredients, so you know exactly what your dog is getting.  In fact, you could even eat them yourself.  They’re much like a cracker, says Jill.
Here is the recipe that Jill worked from and the variations she made.
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (Jill just used regular all-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt (Jill used more like 3/4 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (Jill used 2/3 cup)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 eggs
Jill stirred together the dry ingredients and then added the pumpkin, peanut butter and eggs. Initially, she mixed it together with a spatula.  Then, as the dough started to clump together, she switched to mixing and kneading it with her hands.

I've got all my ingredients dumped in the bowl and I'm ready to mix them.

Once she had all the flour incorporated, she kneaded it for about another 30 seconds to make sure all the ingredients were mixed evenly. When that was done, Jill rolled the dough out on a floured counter, with a rolling pin.  

I rolled the dough into a large rectangle.

At this point, if you wanted to, you could use cookie cutters to make them into cute shapes.  This would be especially great, says Jill, if you were going to give them as a gift. Jill just rolled hers out into a large rectangle, about 1/4" thick.  Then she used a pizza cutter to cut them into approximately 1 1/2" squares. 
Save any extra scraps of the dough.  Jill says it's great for making little pill pockets for sneaking medication into a fussy dog. Her dogs love the dough as much as, or more than, the treats themselves.  Just remember to store the extra dough in the refrigerator. 

I cut the dough into 1 1/2" squares.

Jill then transferred the cut squares to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and baked them in a 350˚ oven. Baking for 35 minutes leaves them slightly chewy in the middle.  Baking for 40 minutes makes them crunchy.  One of Jill’s puppers is elderly with missing teeth, so she left her treats more on the chewy side so that Gracie can enjoy them, too.
That’s all you need.  Now you’ve got tasty treats for your canine family members.  If you don’t have pumpkin on hand, you can substitute other things.  Applesauce would work well, so would mashed sweet potatoes, or mashed cooked carrots. Even mashed bananas are an option, depending on what your dog likes.
To watch Jill take you through the process, just click on the video player above.