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Monday, December 31, 2012
How to Make Easy, Simple Dog Biscuits
My dog, Wiley the Wonder Dog, loves treats. Who doesn't? Here is a simple recipe to make your own canine cookies. It's a fun, easy project for kids.
Measure 3 cups flour into a bowl. I used a whole wheat flour to give the biscuits a nice color.
Dogs have a very underdeveloped sense of taste. While humans have about 9,000 taste buds, dogs only have 1,700 and cats even fewer at around 470. As a result, most dogs like strong flavors.
Interestingly, dogs and cats have taste buds at the tips of their tongues that taste water. While humans can taste things added to water such as chlorine or impurities, dogs and cats can actually taste the flavor of water. This is probably why my cat prefers to only drink running water directly from the faucet and refuses to drink any lukewarm water.
The next ingredient is garlic. I usually add about 2 crushed cloves. If you don't have fresh garlic, you can use about 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
Onions are not good for dogs and garlic is in the onion family. Some people do not feel comfortable feeding their pets anything with garlic. My research seems to indicate small amounts of garlic are safe for dogs but if you don't feel comfortable using it, then certainly feel free to leave it out.
Next, add about a cup of cheese and 1-2 eggs. (If your dough mixture is too dry, just add another egg). I had one of those packages of Kraft Fresh Take Cheese & Breadcrumbs that I got a free coupon for and never used so I dumped it in. As a result, I had to add a second egg because of the additional breadcrumbs.
My point is, dog biscuits are a good way to get rid of stale breadcrumbs, old oatmeal, or that package of Stove Top or Shake n Bake you never got around to using. Your dog is not nearly as picky as you are. You can kind of wing it with dog biscuits.
Now, add about a cup of milk. "Milk Bone" dog biscuits were created in 1908 and named such because of their large concentration of Cow's milk. Milk bone biscuits were the first dog treat manufactured in the shape of a bone. Marketing genius!
And though, I forgot to take a picture of it, add about 1/2 cup oil. Certainly feel free to experiment and add your own ingredients such as sunflower seeds or wheat germ (if your dog is especially health conscious or a hippy), beef bouillon or peanut butter. I wouldn't add them all, just try different combinations until you find the mixture your dog loves the best.
Mix all the ingredients together. The dough is usually rather stiff and hard to stir. Feel free to skip the gym today if you make dog biscuits. Rolling out dough is a great upper body workout. If too dry, just add a little more milk or an egg. If too wet, add a little more lour.
Roll out the dough. Throw a little flour on top to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough. Roll out to about 3/8 inch thick and use cookie cutter. I purchased a bone shaped cookie cutter years ago. They are easy to find online or at most local pet store. If you don't have a bone cookie cutter, you can just roll into small balls about the size of marbles.
I think those plastic rolling pastry mats are a very good investment. I think I got mine at Wal-Mart for around $10. It makes clean up much easier.
Grease a cookie sheet before placing the biscuits on it to take. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
This batch made 80 biscuits. Cool on a rack, then transfer to a storage container. I think dog biscuits make a really cute gift for your dog-loving friends.
Though dogs have less taste buds than us, they are overly blessed with receptive smell cells. Dogs can smell 10,000-100,000 more than a human. About 40% of a dog's brain is devoted to smelling. To a dog, smelling is like reading a book. He can tell where you have been, what you have recently eaten, what other animals you have recently encountered, what mood you are in and probably a lot more.
When we walk into a house and smell something cooking, a dog walks into a house and discerns what individual ingredients are in the dish. Humans have about 5 million smell receptors and dogs can have up to 300 million. Dogs probably get more pleasure from smelling their food than from actually eating it.