You are probably spending more time in the kitchen than you have all year, which is a fact not lost on your sweet, curious, and forever-hungry pet. Between the baking, canning, roasting, and preparing for all the feasts and parties on the calendar, they might be wondering when it’s their time to enjoy your delicacies. Luckily, there are many yummy recipes for holiday pet treats that not only entice your best friend, but go easy on you, too. Let’s get crackin’!

What Not To Do

Before we get into the fun stuff, it’s worth reminding pet owners of the dangers associated with the following foods or ingredients:

  • Garlic
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Xylitol
  • Pits (from apricot, plums, avocados, cherries, peaches, etc.)
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Apple seeds
  • Chocolate

We recommend checking that any of the above are nowhere near your work surface, and that all items are stored appropriately. Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and behavioral changes signal the need for emergency care.

Making It Happen

You know your pet’s tastes better than anyone. Use this knowledge to your advantage when making your own holiday pet treats. You can definitely experiment with new flavors and textures, but if you really want the slam dunk, consider what your pet likes the most.

Any of the following foods deliver satisfaction:

  • Plain yogurt
  • Steamed rice
  • Lean meat (always boneless)
  • Berries
  • Steamed carrots, sweet potato, or green beans
  • Plain pureed or mashed pumpkin (no sugar)
  • Plain cooked oatmeal
  • Apple or pear bites
  • Small cube of low-fat cheese
  • Cottage cheese

Holiday Pet Treats

Most dogs are likely to enjoy any of the following yummy treats:

  • Frothy Dog Nog: Blend together plain yogurt with low-sodium broth for a delicious drink.
  • Barky Bites: Combine an equal amount of natural peanut butter (Xylitol-free), banana or pureed pumpkin, egg, and whole-wheat flour into a batter. Roll out, cut into cookies, and bake for 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
  • Yummy-Yummies: Combine canned chicken, bacon bits, shredded cheese, pureed carrots or green beans, and whole wheat flour to make a thick paste. Add low-sodium broth to thin it out. Roll out, cut, and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350-degrees.
  • Doggie Crunchies: Combine ground lean meat (like turkey or chicken) with yogurt, peanut butter, and broth. Add kibble bits, roll out, and cut. Bake at 350-degrees for 18-20 minutes. Frost with 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon honey, 3 tablespoons hot water and ⅓ cup cornstarch.

Cats love these homemade holiday treats:

  • Kitty Croutons: Mix 1 ounce tuna, 1 cup whole-wheat flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon dried catnip, 1 egg, and 1-2 tablespoons water into a loose batter. Pinch into small bites and bake in a 350-degree oven for 12 minutes or until crunchy.
  • Cheesy Bites: Combine 1 egg with 1 tablespoon each of nutritional yeast and pureed pumpkin. Add 2 mashed sardine filets (canned in water). Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Once cooled, cut into shapes.
  • Fishy Delights: Mix 1 can of cooked salmon with 1 egg and 2 cups flour. Add water if dry. Roll out, cut and bake at 350-degrees for 10 minutes.

From all of us at Kings Trail Animal Hospital, we wish you and your pet a very happy holiday together!