Category: dog biscuits

Happy Birthday to Indy!

Thanks to everyone who bought something from TOPSTITCH today. I appreciate it! The money is going to a great cause. Keep buying! You have until midnight West Coast time.

Indy turns two years old today. Time flies when you’ve got a four-legged child. It seems just like yesterday he was 35 lbs, chewing on people’s shoelaces & peeing in the dining room. Now he’s a 100 lbs of lean, not-so-mean pupcake-eating machinery, who enjoys sleeping on “his couch”, running around with his girlfriend Miley, Bully Sticks, Greenies and of course… hanging out on the deck (or romping in the snow).

Indy & Miley!

Since we’re not really sure when he was born exactly, we decided September 2nd would be his birthday. I’ve made Indy many, many homemade treats before. He adores them. Inhales them, in fact. I like doing it, besides knowing exactly what goes in them, it beats paying $4.50 a piece for a mass-produced, hard as a rock “pupcake” from a pet shop. Same reason why I make my own baked goods & food, and why I grew my own vegetables & herbs. Just makes more sense to me, you know? I like knowing exactly what’s going into my food, and my body. And my family’s body… and my pets’ too! Even if it is cream cheese, honey, and peanut butter-based *wink*

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Luigi (left) & Mario!Luigi (left) & Mario!

Indy was kind enough to share these with his friends Mario & Luigi (above) who also had birthdays recently. Okay, actually, Indy’s mom & dad shared them, Indy would’ve eaten them all if given the chance. What can I say, he’s an only child. Oh! And Mario & Luigi’s mom & dad got married a week ago- congrats to them!

PUPCAKES WITH PEANUT BUTTER, CARROTS & OATS

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ½ cup organic peanut butter
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup LOW FAT milk
  • 16 ounces low fat cream cheese (or Neufchâtel)
  • another ¼ cup honey

Directions:

  1. Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, honey, peanut butter, yogurt and oil. Mix the milk in with the dry ingredients, blending well. At this point mix your carrots into the honey mixture, then mix the honey mixture into the flour/milk batter.
  2. Put in muffin tins and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. These pupcakes freeze well. Frost if you like using a mix of the cream cheese and ¼ cup honey. Beat those two ingredients until well combined, then cover the tops of the pupcakes with it.

I used ground cinnamon to make little paw prints on the frosting using my thumb and pinky. Cinnamon is excellent for dogs (& humans!). It improves memory, prevents infections (anti-fungal/anti-bacterial), it’s an anti-inflammatory and it also regulates blood sugar, so if you were concerned when reading that I used it- don’t be! You could also just frost them with peanut butter. But you don’t even have to frost these, if you don’t want to. You could just leave ‘em plain and make ‘em doggie muffins. You could even substitute shredded zucchini for the carrots, or use mashed potatoes, pumpkin, applesauce or diced apples in them instead. Or maybe throw in some blueberries!

I’d store them in the fridge because of the cream cheese frosting & the yogurt, but they probably won’t last very long. They never do around here. Indy eats ‘em in two bites, if he isn’t licking off all the frosting first, that is. As always; if your dog is under 6 mos. old, elderly, sick, on medication or pregnant… please ask a vet before feeding it anything new/homemade/you’re unsure about. And do your research- if you can’t call a vet, Google is your best friend sometimes at 12 a.m. when you’re baking something & not sure of what to do.

*Insert long sigh here* They grow up so fast. Happy birthday, Indy, and many more. You’re a good boy, and we love you.

Happy pupiversary pupcakes.

What a mug…

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Saturday (January 30th) was Indy’s first anniversary with us. Exactly a year ago on that day, we went and adopted him from North Shore Animal League.  He was a little 5 month old, squiggly, squirmy ball of cuteness. He is now 3 times the size he was back then (he was 35 pounds, you do the math!), but he’s still a squiggly, squirmy ball of cuteness. Just a bigger and stronger one. We went on to find out he was not a German Shepherd mix as they told us at North Shore, but a  mix of Labrador Retriever, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and English Coonhound. Which explains a lot, really- the powerful chewing, the tendency to carry things in his mouth, the “tracking” he does on walks… yeah, he’s definitely a mix of those three. He’s totally a genius. He’s got his own blog now, did you know that?

The past year has been a total learning experience for both me & Jay- I never had a puppy, when I was a little girl and got my dog Casey he was a year old and fully housetrained and came with a whole set of tricks already. And Jay never had his own dog at all. So we went through housetraining, teaching him tricks (sit, lay down, paw, high five, play dead, and so on), and the other training that comes with having a puppy: not to chew shoes/bags/etc, no begging at the dinner table (which to be honest, Indy never did to begin with), getting them to alert you when they need to be taken out, and all the other things, both banal & exciting.

We learned a lot of things too. That not every dog needs a crate, that no crate can contain certain dogs (at the mere size of 35 pounds Indy demolished not one, but two crates made for dogs more than twice his size), some toys that claim to be indestructible are certainly not, some food isn’t as good as others, and the list goes on. Indy has a very sensitive stomach & digestive system, so most of the treats that other dogs get to have lots of don’t agree with him, like Jumbones, or Pup-peroni, or Snausages. He can really only eat Milkbones, or biscuits, or all natural treats. We only let him eat treats made in the U.S.A. and most of it is 100% natural so there are no additives or by-products. His dry food has to be high quality (Solid Gold, Blue Buffalo, EVO, Innova, etc) and he can only tolerate Halo wet food (we just use it as a “gravy”- one tablespoon mixed with his dry food). The non-dog owners or people who dislike or don’t have pets may think this is slightly insane; but we don’t. For many reasons, not the least of which because he may as well be considered my son, but the one reason you’ll relate to the best is this- what would you prefer, a 95 pound dog you feed garbage to with diarrhea who whines, barks and cries incessantly and tries to chew your fingers off out of frustration because he’s uncomfortable and has to constantly go out (the result of which is quite messy)… or a happy, comfortable, healthy 95 pound dog who contently enjoys his organic food & homemade treats? Thought so. Now tell me I’m crazy.

So anyway I like making him treats, because I know what goes into them, and I know he’ll be able to eat them, enjoy them, and not suffer later.  I can tailor them to his likes (many things) or dislikes (very few things) or things I know he can tolerate. The first thing I ever made for him were these pupcakes. He was crazy about them, and he especially loved the frosting, so I added a similar frosting on these. If you wanna do the same go here to get the frosting recipe. I also topped these with peanut butter chips, because he loves peanut butter.

While these were in the oven, I gave Arwyn catnip & a good brushing, because she can’t stand it when the dog gets more attention when clearly cats are superior animals.

BANANA, HONEY & CINNAMON PUPCAKES

First you get:

  • 2 ¾ cups of water
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 med bananas (mashed)
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup dry milk powder (*I used ¼ cup fat free milk)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

Then you:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray muffin pans with Pam to keep the cakes from sticking.
  3. Mix water, egg, honey, and mashed banana together. (I add the milk here too).
  4. Combine flour, dry milk powder, cinnamon and baking powder to the wet mixture.
  5. Mixture should have a cake batter consistency.
  6. Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.
  7. Pupcakes are done when they turn a golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Indy adored them, I’m sure your pup will too. I have quite a few dog treat recipes, to see more of them go to the dog biscuit category. Actually, humans might enjoy these cakes as well. They certainly smell fantastic, and this time there’s no random ingredient like cheese to make them a bit off-putting. A tip from me to you: feed them to your dog on tile floor or wood, otherwise you’ll be cleaning cream cheese & honey frosting off your carpet. Indy has a thing where he will not eat anything off the tile, and he won’t eat anything but his food out of his bowl… so I speak from experience.

Look at that face… haha..

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And remember, if your dog is a senior, or has any kind of health issues or food intolerance, please ask a veterinarian first before making them any homemade treats. And do your research before feeding anything to your dog. Grapes, garlic and onion are all included in a list of foods that can make your dog seriously ill.

And thanks to Brianne for coming up with “pupiversary.” Why didn’t I think of that!?

Woof, woof.

So I mentioned awhile back the Just For Fun Dog Show I was donating homemade dog treats to, and Yoyo donated some handmade dog blankets to. Well it was supposed to be on September 12th, but it was postponed due to the rain, so it was actually on September 13th in Cedar Creek Park and it was a huge success! Unfortunately, me, Indy and Jay were unable to go because Jay had to work. But I have some pictures to share, and also the recipe for the doggie biscuits I made ‘specially for this!

First, some pictures of the prizes themselves:

They came out really beautiful, and in case you can’t read that picture, they each contained a handmade blanket from Topstitch, a dog bowl filled with homemade doggie biscuits I made (tied with a red ribbon), and a nylon chew toy. Thank you to Dayna for making me a part of this, and thanks to Yoyo for helping out and donating the gorgeous blankets!

INDY’S FLAX SEED, PARSLEY AND PEANUT BUTTER BREATH-BISCUITS

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ c. whole wheat flour
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. cornmeal
  • ½ c. rolled oats
  • ½ c water
  • ½ c. canola oil
  • ¼ c. parsley flakes
  • 3 tbsps flax seeds
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tbsps peanut butter
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease your baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal and rolled oats.  Little by little, add in the remaining ingredients until it’s mixed well.
  3. Using your fingers, scoop out a decent amount of the dough into your hand.  Press it down on the baking sheet and form a rough dog bone shape, then press down to flatten.  Alternately, you can just make plain round cookie shapes, or roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut into whatever shape you like. If you have a dog bone cookie cutter, you don’t need to mold them into bones by hand!
  4. Bake for 10-20 minutes then turn off the oven.  Let the cooked treats hang out in the oven for at least 20 minutes, so that they will harden.

Flax seed aids digestion, and also helps dogs keep a shiny coat and healthy skin. Parsley naturally fights bad breath and peanut butter… well, all dogs love peanut butter. These biscuits are a huge hit with Indy (hence my name for them, heh) and I’m sure your dog will love them too.

And here are some pictures from the Dog Show itself of some awesome doggies enjoying themselves! Thanks to Dayna at All Things Sweet for the pictures.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out my crazy-go-nuts giveaway for Cupcake Rehab’s second birthday. I’m giving away TONS of awesome prizes! So go check it out and enter your Cupcake Rehab-themed cupcake for a chance to win a Cupcake Rehab painting by Chrisie Comis, a Topstitch pouch and cupcake/baking materials from Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies… or a set of Cupcake coasters and a custom painting by Anna at Very Small Anna and more stuff from Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies! But hurry, the contest ends October 12th. So start coming up with those cupcake ideas now before it’s too late :)

This blog has gone to the dogs.

Quite literally, well for today anyway. I wanted to remind everyone that coming up next month (September 12th to be exact) is the Second Annual Just For Fun Dog Show in Seaford, Long Island. This year, not only am I attending (with Jay & of course, Indy, who’s very excited to meet new friends!) but I’m also donating some pupcakes to be raffled off. My dear friend Yoyo from Topstitch.org donated some gorgeous reversible doggie blankets to be raffled off as well.

So if you’re in the area and want to bring your doggie(s) down, please do! It should be a really fun time.  I’ll post more about it as I get info.

Also, if you want to donate something dog-related for the raffle, e·mail me! The more the merrier!

Good dog!

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback/comments on my homemade doggie treats lately. But the best endorsement I can get is this: Indy adored those Snickerpoodles so much, its almost indecent. He went insane everytime he saw the container they were in, and when he wouldn’t eat his food all you’d have to do is crumble one up on top of it and it’d be gone in seconds flat. Not that he exactly turned up his nose at the pupcakes… as you can see here. But anyway I’ve been getting a lot of comments on them, and I decided to try something new.

By the way, I’ll be donating some pupcakes or homemade dog biscuits to be raffled off (along with a dog blanket handmade by Yoyo at Topstitch) at the 2nd annual Just For Fun Dog Show this September 12th in Seaford on Long Island. If you’re an Etsy seller who creates canine clothes/collars/etc or if you own a dot com pet supply shop and you’re interested in donating something, please let me know. I plan on creating a basket filled with the ‘cakes/cookies and the blanket so I’ll have room for other things. If you’re a blog owner who’s crafty or if you just want to donate something, feel free to also let me know via e·mail. And I’d appreciate it if you could spread the word!

So I found a recipe at the White On Rice Couple blog, but adjusted it and changed it a bit to meet my needs & use what I had on hand, so I renamed it, since its not the same exact biscuit, and actually… its really pretty different. Also, you may need to add more flour/cornmeal or water when making it. I made a wetter dough and just made rough shapes of bones, but if you desire a firmer dough for cutting out shapes with a cutter you can do that as well. The blueberries aren’t necessary either. I didn’t let mine get too dark brown (although the second batch did come out darker than the first) mainly because my recipe isn’t exactly like that on White On Rice Couple so I wasn’t sure if it would just burn or get dark. But feel free to experiment and let me know how they work out for you. You can use wheat germ instead of a cup of flour or the cornmeal as well, or add other things your dog likes, like apple or carrot.

Making your dog homemade treats is fun and saves money, but please, before adding anything, if you aren’t 100% positive if its okay for dogs to eat, ask your vet. Especially if you have an older dog or one on medications for certain diseases or digestive problems or a dog under 6 months.

GOOD DOGGIE! BLUEBERRY FLAX SEED DOG BISCUITS

First you gotta get:

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons whole Flax Seed (optional)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup water

Then you have to:

  1. Combine wheat flour, ground flax seeds, cornmeal, salt, brown sugar, and whole flax seed in mixing bowl. Stir in eggs and vegetable oil.
  2. Mix blueberries in, and then add water in.
  3. Mix to form a firm dough that is smooth and workable (or you can keep the dough wet and form balls using a spoon or mold it into bone shapes as I did). Adjust by adding a little extra flour or water as required.
  4. Roll the dough out to 1/2″ (1.2cm) thick (if making firm dough). Cut out biscuits using a bone-shaped cutter 3″x1.5″ (7.5×3.7cm). or whatever cutter you like. Place the biscuits on sheet pans lined with baking paper, or well greased. Or, if making wetter dough, just plop palmfuls of dough on pan and mold into desired shape, be it cookie-like circles, bones, hearts, whatever. You can also use some more flax seeds* to decorate if you wish, or, omit them from the dough and just use them on top.
  5. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for approx. 40 minutes or until biscuits are browned and, more importantly, rock-hard. Let biscuits cool, then store in a covered container five to six feet off the floor (guess why!). Use as needed to reward your four-legged friends.

Taste test results: Two paws up!

Obviously, these were a hit. Be sure to feed them to a dog in an area where they won’t stain anything valuable- blueberries are notorious for leaving behind stubborn stains. But any self-respecting dog won’t drop a bit of biscuit, let alone blueberry.

Store these in the fridge, because flax seed oil can go bad quickly. I doubt they’ll last that long though. And yes, the small amount of brown sugar in these is okay for them to eat. Never feed a dog sugar substitutes- here’s a handy list of foods to avoid from the ASPCA.

*You may see whole flax seeds in your dogs, uh, *cough* poop. That’s fine and normal. The ground flax seed is excellent for them and so is the seed, but sometimes they go undigested. Flax seed not only adds fiber to your dogs’ diet, but also flax seed oil (which comes out when flax seeds are ground) can improve the coat and skin of pets. Also, the lignans contained in flax seed oil may have anti-cancer benefits. The blueberries are also excellent, providing antioxidants but should only be used if FRESH. Blueberries are found in many organic dog treats and food products, and are an exception to the rule of “no fruits for dogs” along with apples. Never feed a dog grapes or raisins, though, they can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and vomiting.

By the way, if you’re into those newfangled social networking sites- don’t forget to add Cupcake Rehab as a friend on MySpace, follow me on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook!

Snickerpoodles, for the pampered pooch.

Snickerdoodles are a very popular cookie, one of those old-timey ones. I’ve even seen snickerdoodle scented candles. But to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what the hell they were made of until I looked it up, and discovered:

A snickerdoodle is a variety of sugar cookie made with cream of tartar, and rolled in cinnamon sugar. It has a characteristically cracked surface, and can be crisp or soft depending on preference. In modern recipes, the leavening agent is usually baking powder.

So here we have the doggie version- snickerpoodles. I made these in celebration of our puppy Indy’s DNA test results: thanks to The Canine Heritage Breed Test, we found out that he’s a mix of Labrador Retriever, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and English Coonhound. And what better way to celebrate finding out who you are than with cookies?! Really, what better way to celebrate just being a dog than with cookies?

I made these kinda huge, ’cause, well… Indy’s kind of a big dude. I mean look at him- he’s 8 months old and almost 60 pounds and eats like a monster. They’re like the size of my palm. But depending on the size/appetite of your dog you can make them smaller… or even bigger if you’ve got a Great Dane or St. Bernard or a horse. And  by the way, that picture is from the cover of his new rap album, Yo! Indy Raps, in stores now. Gangsta!

Basically, why pay $3.50 per dog cupcake or cookie at Pet Supplies Plus when you can make your own and actually know what you’re putting into it?

SNICKERPOODLES

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ¾ cups white flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Mix vegetable oil, shortening , honey with eggs. Beat well.
  2. Add flour, soda and cream of tartar. Knead dough until mixed well. Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls.
  3. Mix the cornmeal and cinnamon together in a bowl and roll balls in mixture.
  4. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet . Press the balls down with a fork.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400F. Cool on a rack. Store in airtight container, if they last that long!

And let me repeat, for anyone out there who’d like to comment and tell me how terrible I am for feeding cookies to a dog (like the troll from the last dog treat post) … THESE ARE DOG-SAFE. NO SUGAR. ALL-NATURAL. NO ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS. NOTHING IN HERE IS BAD FOR DOGS. A healthy dog should have no problem eating these or digesting them. Now for my little Public Service Announcement: Its fun to make your own dog treats and food, but please remember you should never give your dog sugar, and don’t feed a senior dog/dog with special dietary needs treats like this without consulting your vet first.

The end!

How a dog eats a pupcake!

Picture from ihasahotdog.com!

Lucky for me, not all dogs feel that way!

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for pupcakes, or cupcakes for dogs. Well, our dog puppy Indy loves them, and has a very specific way of eating them. I thought I’d share with you how exactly a dog eats one of these, having no thumbs you’d think it would be different from how a human would. Turns out, its not really all that different from how a person eats one… well, minus the thumbs. Enjoy!

And that is how you eat a pupcake!

P.S. If anyone makes their pup some of these delicious treats, I’d love to see pictures! Send them to cupcake.rehab@gmail.com!