Healthy dog treats can be made at home. With just a few ingredients, you’ll provide your pets with nutrients and keep them happy. Using pumpkin in small amounts is a great way to aid their digestion!
Pumpkin for dogs
Pumpkin is rich in fiber, and is a source of Vitamin A. Pumpkin dog treats are a strong option for helping your pet break down solid foods, and even to alleviate symptoms of diarrhea. It’s recommended to give no more than 1-2 tablespoons per day to large breeds, and less than 2 teaspoons for small breeds.
You can make a puree from whole pumpkins. This process involves roasting the meat in your oven, then removing the skin. Here’s how to do it.
Use a variety called sweet sugar pie, which are generally large, orange and sweet. Halve it directly using a long, sharp knife, then remove the strings and seeds with a metal spoon.
Set your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the open parts of the sliced pumpkin face down on top. Roast for about an hour, until you can easily remove the hard outer shell.
Blend the raw, baked pumpkin in a food processor. Smooth puree will cook consistently, so grind it up as much as possible before storing or using in food recipes.
Homemade dog treat recipe
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 cup soft peanut butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
Set your oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk together flour and baking powder in a bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in another bowl and stir to a thorough consistency.
Gradually scoop and stir in the flour mixture. Since there’s little moisture in this recipe, it’ll be tough to create the dog cookie dough unless you add a little at a time. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to ¼” in thickness.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add snack-sized portions, leaving space between each piece so they cook equally. Bake for 20 minutes, then set aside to throw off excess heat.
Pumpkin puree in a professional dehydrator
It’s not like you’ll be using an entire pumpkin just for dog treats. If this is the case, you may even be working with many pumpkins at once, and need a way to store and preserve your ingredients. We have the solution!
You can dry pumpkin puree into powdered form. This way, you can prepare pumpkin puree to your hearts delight, and make absolutely as much as you choose. With its moisture removed, it’ll last much longer in the cupboard and take up less than half the space.
You’ll need a dehydrator machine. Set it to 130 degrees F and pour your puree onto the solid variety of dehydrator sheets, ¼” thick. Let it dry for 8-10 hours, until it’s hard and brittle.
Next, place the solid chunks into a food processor. It may take some time to grind the whole batch into a fine powder, but it’s worth the effort. You could sift out remaining pieces to isolate them in a coffee grinder, as well.
Extended shelf life isn’t the only benefit of dried pumpkin puree. Its nutrients are preserved and concentrated, giving you about 4 times its volume once rehydrated. Combine it with hot water, stir and let it settle for half an hour, and you have delicious, aromatic pumpkin puree!
A digital food dehydrator is a stress-free way to generate large batches of pumpkin puree!