coconut oil dog treats

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If you’ve read any of my other posts about homemade dog treats, you know how much I LOVE coconut oil for dogs! It provides many benefits for their skin, coat, hips, and joints. I use it in all of my baked treats. Many people mix some right in with their dogs’ food. If you’re looking for a simple, beneficial treat for your pups, look no further!

There’s just one ingredient: coconut oil. And, you can make as many or as few as you want! Simply melt the coconut oil, pour it into molds, and freeze them until solid. Once they set, pop them out of the molds, and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer.

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I like to fill a spouted, glass Pyrex measuring cup with the coconut oil and microwave it. I use the one cup size and fill it to the top. It takes about two minutes in the microwave to melt to liquid. Then I pour the oil into the molds (I got these on Amazon). *TIP: Place the molds on cookie sheets before filling them, or you’ll have a heck of a time moving them when they’re full of liquid! Set the cookie sheets in the freezer, and allow the treats to set. I get about 48 small treats out of this much coconut oil.

 

diy flea/tick repellent collar (for dogs only)

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My family has had dogs forever, and we’ve always used either Frontline or K9 Advantix for flea/tick repellent. Luckily, we’ve never had any negative side effects, and for the most part, we’ve never had any problems with fleas or ticks. All that said, though, I know plenty people who have had problems, and I know plenty more who haven’t had a ton of success with those products. When our family got on the “natural kick” a while back, we of course brought the dogs on board as well. One of the first questions people asked was if I knew of any natural, DIY flea and tick repellents. After a great deal of research, I’ve come up with a recipe that is easy, inexpensive, and effective.

You can use a regular nylon or other cloth collar, or you can use a bandana or scrap of fabric like I did. I actually like to visit the fabric sections of craft stores whenever possible to see what they have available for swatches. Often, they have small little pieces that are plenty big to make dog bandanas or collars from, and you can get them for just a couple bucks.

As always, be sure to use only pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils, and NEVER use essential oils on cats. I use and recommend doTERRA oils. The recipe will make enough solution to soak two collars or bandanas. Simply half it if you only have one dog.

*Note: depending on the type and size of material used, you may need to increase the solution. The collar should be fully soaked with enough to wring out a little before hanging to dry. If it’s not wet enough. Add equal amounts of water and oils to ensure saturation.

Ingredients:

  • 4 drops geranium essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1/2 cup filtered water

Make It:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a flat, shallow bowl.
  2. Submerge collar/bandana/fabric in liquid; let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove collar from liquid, and wring out excess.
  4. Hang to dry.

Use It:

  • When the collar is completely dry, simply tie around the dog’s neck. Be sure to get it snug enough so as to not come off or catch on things but loose enough to be comfortable. Use the two-finger rule: you should be able to comfortably get two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.
  • Replace the collar every 2-4 weeks depending on insect population, weather, etc. I have a number of fabric swatches in a cabinet for the dogs. When I need a new one, I simply throw the one they’re wearing in the wash and start with a clean one.

The oils I use are great at repelling all sorts of bugs, not just fleas and ticks. This collar should help repel mosquitoes, flies, and other insects too!

 

homemade, all-natural peanut butter dog treats (grain free)

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I should start by saying I am not a baker. I don’t mind cooking, but baking is definitely not my thing. However, I like knowing exactly what goes into my dogs’ treats and food, so I make an exception when it comes to them.

Due to some health issues, one of our dogs has to have grain-free food and treats. These biscuits use coconut flour and coconut oil. Coconut oil is really good for us, and it’s also good for our dogs! It has anti-inflammatory benefits, and it’s good for the skin and coat. I also include turmeric in this recipe because it, too, is anti-inflammatory (our oldest dog has arthritis).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)

Make Them:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Measure coconut oil in its solid form. Melt in the microwave, approx. 1.5 minutes.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Roll out dough, and cut using a cookie cutter of your choice, OR press into silicone molds, OR form into discs using your hands (by far the easiest option!).
  5. Bake molds directly on a cookie sheet if using molds, OR bake on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, approx. 13 minutes or until edges brown slightly.
  6. Allow to cool fully before storing.
  7. Store in an airtight container or bag in the refrigerator.
  8. Yield: approx. 65 mini bones using the molds I purchased here.

Notes:

  • Try these with pumpkin puree or mashed sweet potato (or any combination of all three)!
  • I made these in the mold because they’re super cute. However, pressing the dough into the molds is tedious and time consuming. Most of the time, I like to just form the dough into discs with my hands and bake them that way. If your dogs are anything like mine, they probably don’t care what shape they are anyway! I bought the molds on Amazon; get them here.
  • Because these have no preservatives, they will keep best in the refrigerator. They can be kept in an airtight container or bag at room temperature if you’ll be using them within 3-4 days.

apple pumpkin dog treats (grain free)

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If you’re anything like us, your dogs are your kids, and you want to give them the best. While you can absolutely find some great store-bought treats, sometimes it’s nice to make them yourself. By making them, you can control the ingredients, and they tend to be cheaper!

Many of my homemade dog treats include coconut oil and turmeric. Coconut oil is fantastic for dogs on so many levels. It’s great for the skin and coat, which means it helps alleviate dry skin, shedding, and cracked pads. It’s also great for the hips and joints, helping to lubricate joints and ultimately making movement a bit easier. Turmeric is an optional ingredient, but I always include it because it also is great for the skin, coat, hips, and joints.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (or mashed cooked sweet potato)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
  • 6 tbsp coconut flour
  • Pinch sea salt

Make Them:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Melt coconut oil in the microwave, approx. 1.5 minutes.
  4. Add pumpkin, eggs, applesauce, coconut oil, and turmeric to a food processor and mix.
  5. Gradually add coconut flour to the processor and mix.
  6. Transfer mixture to papered pan, and spread out to approx. 1/4 inch thickness (I just use my hands for this). Try to keep the edges as smooth as possible.
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove pan from oven, and cut into bite-size pieces using a pizza cutter.
  10. Return pan to oven and bake an additional 18-20 minutes, or until edges begin to brown slightly.
  11. Allow to cool on the pan before transferring to a storage container.
  12. Store in an airtight container (for extra shelf life, store in the refrigerator).

doggie breath busters (grain free)

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Few dogs exist that don’t have bad breath. The best defense to bad breath is regular vet visits and an annual dental cleaning. Bad breath is not something to be ignored because it can be indicative of any number of medical issues from plaque and tartar buildup to tooth decay to something far more serious. Assuming you take excellent care of your fur babies like I do, they still can knock you out with their kisses. This recipe is easy to make, and my dogs love the resulting treat. And the most important part of course – they really do help with the nasty breath!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Small handful fresh mint
  • Small handful fresh parsley
  • 1-2 tbsp filtered water

Make It:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender cup and puree.
  2. Pour into ice cube tray to desired size – half full for small to medium dogs and full for larger dogs.
  3. Freeze until solid.
  4. Pop out of trays and store in the freezer in a freezer-safe container or freezer storage bag.
  5. Feed 1-2 treats daily.

Yield: approx. 24 half-cube treats

This would also make a great puree to pour into a Kong and freeze!

calming spray for dogs

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My oldest dog used to be the sweetest, happiest dog. As he’s aged, however, he’s losing his sight and hearing, and he’s become arthritic. Understandably so, he’s a bit defensive and seems to be nervous almost all the time. New places and people are scary, and he tends to stick as close to me as possible, so he doesn’t get lost.

To help ease his anxiety, I did some research on a calming spray for him. Essential oils are wonderful aromatherapy for us, and because the dog’s sense of smell is SO MUCH BETTER than ours, they are even more powerful for them! After experimenting with a few different blends, I came up with a great combination. It’s easy to make and easy to use! I simply spray it on a bandana and tie it around his neck. This way, the spray goes everywhere he goes! You’ll need a 4-ounce cobalt or amber glass spray bottle. Not sure where to get one? Check here.

How to Make It:

In a clean 4-ounce bottle, add:

Shake gently to mix, and shake gently before each use.

*Note: every dogs responds to different oils in different ways! Sometimes, what works for one dog might not for another. Other great oils to try are chamomile, wild orange, and vetiver.