Tomorrow morning I’ll be surrounded by family including my critters. Many of my pets I’ve adopted; they are some of the lucky ones who get to spend Christmas in a nice warm home with people that love them. Many animals don’t have that so let’s all say a Christmas wish that next year not just the dogs, but also the cats, ferrets, parrots, rabbits and all the others get the home they deserve.
My dogs rip into their presents (would you expect anything else from Jack Russells?) while my sister’s dog (a nice, placid English Setter) takes time to carefully open his.
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We couldn’t make holiday treats in my house for just the dogs. The cats
demanded requested I make them something too. I don’t like making treats with a lot of carbohydrates in them especially having to cats that are diabetic (carbs = high blood glucose). I decided to make a simple recipe using canned cat food.
-A large can of loaf (also called pate) type cat food
-Extras- freeze dried fish or chicken
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Open can and remove the food so it stays in one piece. This may require some shaking (be sure to do over the counter unless you have cats or dogs like me that are more than willing to clean up your mess) or running a butter knife around the edge to loosen.
- Tell meowing cats doing figure 8s around your legs that this isn’t dinner yet.
- To make it easier to slice, place the food on it’s side on a plate and put in freezer for about 45 minutes.
- Remove from freezer and slice in 1/4 inch slices.
- Lay each slice on a foil lined cookie sheet (I’ve found foil makes it easier to remove the slices when they have to be turned over).
- Remove cat from counter when he jumps up to get food.
- To add some more flavoring, crush up the freeze-dried treats and press into the slices.
- Use a knife to score slices into the size treats you want.
- Place in oven for about 2 hours.*
- Tell cats hanging around the oven that it’s going to be awhile before they get to sample.
- Flip slices over and return to oven for another 2 hours.*
- Remove from oven and break into pieces.
- Serve to cats who were hanging around the kitchen waiting for their treats to get done.
My canine crew love getting treats for Christmas. They aren’t too picky which is good because I don’t have to worry about impressing them with my cooking skills. When making treats, I love simple recipes, like this turkey treat recipe. It’s basically 1 ingredient and if you like you can add some items for flavoring.
Ground meat, I’m using 1lb of ground turkey. Low fat meat will not shrink as much and won’t leave as much grease in the pan when cooking.
possible additions- soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, grated cheese, garlic powder.
- Mix any additions into the ground meat. I added 1 tbsp soy sauce.
- Spread ground meat onto a slightly greased sheet pan.
- Score the meat to make it easier to cut apart when done cooking.
- Cooking time can vary depending on the meat. I cooked the turkey at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. I then took the tray out and poured off the fat that was in the pan. I also blotted the top to remove some of the fat. I returned it to the oven and continued cooking it at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.
- I removed the tray from the pan and cut the treats up. I turned the treats over and returned thetray to the warm oven for 10 minutes with the oven turned off. This helps harden the side that was underneath and makes it not greasy to handle.
- Pass out to eagerly awaiting canines.
What’s your favorite simple dog treat recipe to make?
The anticipation of waiting for Santa can have the kiddies (not kitties, although my kitties are always crazy!) going a little crazy. Print out some of these animal themed Christmas coloring pages to help them wait for Santa to visit them.