Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have occasionally seen recipes of healthy homemade dog treats that my dogs often enjoy. I wanted to put them all in one place for everyone to easily access when you want to spoil your dogs! I recently started using silicone molds to make these treats, which makes the whole process so much faster and easier! The molds I am using are available here. I use the Mini size, but you can also get them in large. It is not necessary to use molds to make these treats; you can make them with any small cookie cutter. I will include both methods below.

The instructions for the various dog treats are the same, so I will group into ingredient combinations and include the instructions below. Pick your favorite flavor combination and Enjoy!

©2018 Candid FX Photography. All Rights Reserved. Any use of images without photographer’s permission is a violation of copyright law.

 

Easy Peanut Butter Dog Treats

1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce

1/4 cup organic peanut butter

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons flax meal

1 1/2 cups oat flour

Sweet Potato Dog Treats

1/2 cup peeled, cooked sweet potato, pureed

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups chickpea (garbanzo) flour

Cinnamon Pumpkin Dog Treats

1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon pure agave (optional)

1 1/2 cups oat flour

Blueberry Banana Dog Treats

1/2 ripe banana, mashed

1/2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries, pureed

2 tablespoons walnut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 1/2 cups oat flour

Coconut Banana Dog Treats

1/2 ripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup dehydrated unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon pure agave (optional)

1 1/4 cups oat flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

Chickpea Basil Dog Treats

1/4 cup canned chickpeas, pureed

2 tablespoons aquafaba (juice from chickpeas can)

1/4 cup zucchini, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped

2 tablespoons

1 1/2 cups oat flour

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats

1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree

3 tablespoons organic peanut butter

2 tablespoons walnut oil

2 teaspoons chia seeds

1 ½ cup oat flour

Pumpkin Blueberry Dog Treats

1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree

1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or thawed frozen)

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons chia seeds

1 ½ cup oat flour

 

©2018 Candid FX Photography. All Rights Reserved. Any use of images without photographer’s permission is a violation of copyright law.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 280°F

Make sure your wet ingredients are all pureed, mashed, or thoroughly chopped. Add all ingredients, except the flour, to a large bowl and combine. Add flour incrementally while mixing with a fork. Once the ingredients are becoming more solid, start kneading dough. If it is too sticky, add more four, too dry, add a little warm water. Some combinations will require some finessing and a little more flour to get the balance.

Silicone Mini molds

If you using mini molds, fill silicone molds up to edge, but not over. Push into molds to fill the spaces. Place silicone molds on a baking sheet and place in the center rack of the oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from molds. Ovens will vary; I recommend checking the treats at 30 and 35 minutes to ensure they don’t over bake.

Cookie cutters

If you using cookie cutters, roll out the dough on wax paper or pastry board. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out treats with about a 1 inch cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the center rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Ovens will vary; I recommend checking the treats at 30 minutes to see they need more time. Bake a little longer for crunchier treats. 

 


I hope your dogs enjoy the treats!

*Candid FX Photography is the parent company of Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

Lentil Quinoa Kibble Topper

Lentil Quinoa Kibble Topper

My dogs love having tasty toppers for their kibble and have become quite spoiled! Jax loves red bell pepper, so I created this combination to incorporate the sweetness of red bell peppers. I make 24 muffins at a time, which is perfect for topping the kibble for my three dogs every morning and evening for up to 6 days. Loaves may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container or Ziploc for up to 6 days.  Muffins may also be made in advance and stored in the freezer for up to two months (be sure it is airtight and stored in a freezer bag or other freezer safe container). Just thaw to room temperature and it’s ready to serve.

Quinoa is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids dogs need, making it a complete protein. It has a low glycemic index is also a source of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential Omega-3 fatty acid. Quinoa is a good source of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and many other nutrients. Unlike other grain alternatives, Quinoa has a great protein to carbohydrate ratio. Quinoa is also known for reducing the risk of many cancers and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

The vegetables can be changed out to create more variety, but be sure to avoid any foods that are toxic to dogs. Check out the post Food Allergens and Toxins for Dogs for a list of foods to avoid.

 

*Candid FX Photography is the parent company of Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked green lentils
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (white, red, or tricolor)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed, and boiled
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetables (green beans, zucchini, peas, carrots, or spinach)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • Egg substitute, equivalent to 3 eggs such as VeganEgg (do not use if your dog is allergic or sensitive to soy) or aquafaba (canned chickpea juice)
  • 3 tablespoons Vegedog supplement

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into lightly sprayed muffin pans (can also use mini loaf pans)
  • Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Broil for 3-5 minutes to brown the tops (watch carefully to ensure they don’t burn)
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from pan
  • Serve 1/4 to 1 muffin (depending on your dog’s size and appetite) crumbled or whole on top of kibble.

I use V-Dog kibble, which my dogs love! They even have Mini kibbles for those petite pups 🙂

 

Banana Cinnamon Cookies

Banana Cinnamon Cookies

Trying to teach your dog a few new tricks? Try perking your pup’s interest with these flavorful Banana Cinnamon Cookies!

Many dogs love bananas and why not, they are delicious and packed full of goodness as well. Bananas are a good source of potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, biotin and copper. Bananas are also low in cholesterol. They are good for dogs, but in moderation. Dogs should only eat bananas as a treat, due to the high sugar content. I also added some wholesome oats for added protein and fiber, flax meal for omega 3 fatty acids, coconut oil for healthy coat and skin, and a touch of cinnamon to get those salivary glands fired up! 

 

*Candid FX Photography is the parent company of Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 small banana
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup oat flour (more or less as needed)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ᵒF

In a large bowl, add banana and mash until smooth.

Add applesauce, coconut oil, and cinnamon; mix until blended.

Add oats and flax meal and blend in.

Slowly add flour knead until dough is firm and not sticky.

On a pastry board or piece of wax paper, sprinkle a little flour and roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick.

Use a 2 inch cookie cutter in whatever shape you like; I chose hearts for my love of dogs!

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place treats on the paper.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes (depending on size of treats).

Remove and allow to cool.

Store in an airtight container or zip lock bag and refrigerate up to one week.

 

Ophelia’s Twilight Session

Ophelia’s Twilight Session

Being a pet photographer is an awesome job, but sometimes that job can be very challenging, especially when you get a call about a pet that is at the end of their life. I offer special twilight sessions with priority scheduling for senior or terminally ill dogs. Contact me for more information on Twilight Sessions.

A couple of months ago I had the honor of meeting and photographing the beautiful Ophelia. Ophelia was diagnosed with a very aggressive lymphoma and didn’t have much time. Ophelia’s mom, Hannah, contacted me to create photos for her to remember her beloved darling. Ophelia was a 3 year old Bloodhound with those soulful eyes and sweet temperament. It didn’t take long for me to fall for this brown-eyed girl.

I met Hannah, along with her parents, Kathryn and Gary, at their home and we headed out into their backyard, where Ophelia liked to spend time. Ophelia’s energy was good and she was happy to hang out with us and enjoy lots of pets and ear scratches, and of course treats. At the end of the day, Ophelia was tuckered out and we finished are session with that picturesque bloodhound on the porch shot.

 

*Candid FX Photography is the parent company of Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

Candid_FX_Photography_Ophelia_01Candid_FX_Photography_OpheliaHannah sharing a hug with Ophelia

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Unfortunately, dear Ophelia passed away only a couple of weeks after the session. As sad as it is to do these twilight sessions, it is also incredibly rewarding to capture those precious moments for my clients to treasure for years to come. Goodbye sweet Ophelia.

 

How I Unwittingly Adopted a Chihuahua

How I Unwittingly Adopted a Chihuahua

Have you ever had a DNA test done on your dog? Have you ever wanted to? When you have a purebred, you don’t think much about it. You have a pretty good idea of your dog’s history, lineage, and evolutionary story. However, when you have a mixed breed dog, you may find yourself asking what his/her story is? What is their history? What behaviors and personality traits are typical for him/her?

After adopting Jax, these questions were a daily thing for me. If you are not familiar with Jax’s adoption story/adventure, check it out HERE. I would study his face and features, watch his behavior and movements (and he has some serious moves!), and note all of his many personality traits. I wondered what lurked underneath it all; what produced the unique creature that was Jax.

One day my husband gave me a dog DNA test for Jax. Apparently, he was sick of hearing my frequent ponderings on the subject 😉 We quickly got our samples and mailed the kit off to Wisdom Panel. Jax sat patiently and let me rub the swabs along his cheek and gum line; like he was invested in this venture as much as I was!

 

We sent the sample off and patiently awaited the results. Was he a Papillon/ Pomeranian mix, as ResQ Animal Coalition thought, or maybe a Papillon mixed with a fox or rat terrier as we suspected.

Well, we don’t have to ponder anymore! The results are in and to our surprise, Jax is not quite what we expected!

It turns out that those ears are not Papillon ears after all. In fact, there is not a trace of Papillon in him! There is also no trace of Pomeranian in him either.

When I opened the results, I was surprised to read the sentence “Jax is a Chihuahua, Toy Fox Terrier mix”!

 


I suspected some kind of fox terrier type dog, but I admit, the Chihuahua part caught me by surprise. And that Chihuahua part is 50% ?

Working my way through the results, it made sense.

Recognize any of these Chihuahua behaviors in Jax?

  • Alert, active, and often playful dogs.

  • Small size makes it easy for them to live in smaller places such as apartments.

  • Responds well to reward-based training using treats or favorite toys.

  • May be suspicious of strangers or bark at other dogs when intimidated by their size.

Why yes, I do!

Recognize any of these Fox Terrier (Toy) behaviors in Jax?

  • Agile, energetic, intelligent and playful dogs.

  • Toy Fox Terriers seem to enjoy dog sports such as agility, flyball, and tracking.

  • Toy Fox Terriers learn well with reward-based training using treats or favorite toys.

  • Is an excellent watch dog due to its tendency to bark to defend itself.

Why yes, I do!

 

I am very glad that those ears are as big as they are and the ResQ Animal Coalition had him listed as a Papillon mix, because otherwise, I would not have come across that special little face during my search.

Regardless of Jax’s ancestry, he remains a special part of our family and we couldn’t imagine not having him and his antics around.

The adorable Colonel Jax O’Neill

Candid FX Photography

*Candid FX Photography is the parent company of Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

Introducing Cooper

Introducing Cooper

Cooper came to join our family just eight weeks ago from the local Pom rescue, Second Chance Poms. We weren’t really thinking too much about getting another dog; we had just adopted Jax a couple months before (check out Introducing Colonel Jax O’Neill), but Jax is very energetic and my older Belgian Tervuren, Loki, tires pretty quickly playing with him, so we thought another younger dog would give Jax someone else to wear out!

I was not actively looking for a dog at the time however, and was just emailing with one of the volunteers about the possibility of helping out the rescue, so I went to look at what photos they had of their adoptable dogs. The first dog I saw was Cooper (then named Tanner). His coloring reminded me of a Keeshond named Ringo I had as a child. I inquired about him to the volunteer and in a matter of a few days, we were embroiled in the adoption process. Apparently he had just been picked up in San Angelo after being temporarily fostered there for the month prior, as they tried to track down any owner. He was found wandering in a warehouse district with no collar, tag, or chip. The Second Chance Pom rescue then picked him up to foster him in the Houston area. We don’t know Cooper’s story and only know that he is about 2 years old, was not neutered, and not house trained.

After picking Cooper up, it was a tense few days. Cooper did not appear to have experience with large dogs, so he was hostile toward Loki, who is a 75 pound Belgian. This made it difficult to even put him down in the house. We also quickly realized that this little Pomeranian was a lot more fragile than your average Pom. Both back legs had fully luxating patellas, which is not uncommon in these breeds. The first week was tough on the little guy, as he seemed depressed, didn’t get along with Loki, and found Jax to be too energetic. He would often just hide in the crate to avoid all the activity. I began to think that he had come from a quiet home and missed it, but without any way to find that home, we had to help him adjust.

Fast forward 8 weeks and Cooper is a different dog. He is constantly smiling and bouncing around (when not napping), loves to be held, loves playing with Jax, loves going for walks, and most of all, loves food! Since he kind of looks like a racoon, loves to eat, and nap, we sometimes call him ‘trash panda’ ?  I also call him Pom Pom, since he is such a fluff ball! House training is still a work in progress and he still doesn’t totally get along with Loki, but they tolerate each other; or I should say, Loki refrains from biting his head off when Cooper nips at his legs and barks at him!

Enjoy a few photos of the always adorable Cooper!

Posing with his new brothers, Loki and Jax!

*Candid FX Photography is the parent company of Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

Introducing Colonel Jax O’Neill

Introducing Colonel Jax O’Neill

This post is long overdue! In August 2016 we adopted this precious creature, Jax. This was not a simple process of going to a shelter or rescue and picking out a dog, getting Jax was an interesting adventure. In the month before, I began browsing adoptapet.com. I wasn’t really sure if I was ready to have another small dog around. After losing my beloved Kiko the year before, the idea of bringing another dog into our lives seemed a little uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I found myself browsing pictures almost daily.

The picture I first saw of Jax!

Then on August 15, 2016 I came across the picture of Jax. A bit scraggly looking, but I knew right then; that was the dog. Of course, what I didn’t know right that second was where he was located! It turned out that I was no longer searching in my own zip code radius, I had wandered past that into country-wide search. Little Jax was located at the ResQ Animal Coalition in Redding California! It was too late though, I had already decided the second I saw that face. After discussing with my husband, we agreed that he was coming to Texas!

I filled out the adoption application and waited. I didn’t have to wait long though, the next day the process began and by the end of the week I was booking my flight, hotel, and car rental. On August 26, 2016 I flew to Sacramento and on the 27th I was making the trip to Redding. The moment I met him, I think he knew that he was coming home with me. We drove back to Sacramento and hung out in the hotel, where Jax bounced off furniture, discovered a bed, and generally overflowed with excitement all night! With no sleep, we headed to the airport the next morning and made the journey back to Houston. Jax was amazing; he never complained and quietly laid in his carrier for each flight.

 My first night with Jax at the hotel 🙂



Jax had been on the street as a pup and was taken in by the rescue back in April 2015. How he was not adopted all that time is a mystery to me! After getting him home, the introduction to my 75 pound Belgian, Loki began. To our surprise, Loki immediately liked Jax and they became friends and playmates right away!

Since he had been called Jax for a year and a half, we decided to keep the name…but, I added a little pizzazz to it. One of my all-time favorite television shows is Stargate and my favorite character and namesake was always Colonel Jack O’Neill…so you see how Jax became a Colonel 😉

Jax is an incredible dog and I am so glad we took a chance on him and made that long trip to get him. He is super smart, cuddly, affectionate, playful, and just plain amazing!

You may be wondering what kind of dog Jax is; well I have wondered that myself. He was listed as a Papillon mix and you can see by the ears, Papillon seems most likely. However, secondary characteristics have kept me wondering. Was he part Pomeranian? Part Fox Terrier, Part Chihuahua? Or other mixed breed combination? Well recently my husband gave me a dog DNA test, so that I could finally quench that curiosity. The test has been sent off to the lab and we should find out in a couple weeks. Check out the big reveal in an upcoming blog!

We also adopted another small dog a couple months ago, check out his introduction HERE!

Enjoy a few photos of the awesome Colonel Jax O’Neill!

 

Jax with his big brother, Loki, and new little brother, Cooper.

 

*Candid FX Photography is the parent company of Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

 

Studio Session with Cookie

This is Cookie; she is a three month old Shih tsu that is just too adorable! This petite pup was so easy going and sweet. When she wasn’t posing like a little doll, she was bouncing around, giving kisses, and bubbling over with cuteness! Enjoy a few photos from this fun session. 🙂

*Candid FX Photography is the main business name for Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

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Mini Studio Session with Sage and Sawyer

It is hard to look away from these two pint size pups! Sage and Sawyer are teacup Yorkies and only 3 and 5 pounds respectively. Even more amazing is, that little 3 pound Sage just had puppies a few weeks prior to our session. These two little dogs were rescued from a bleak existence living in a garage. Their mom, Ann, opened up her heart and home to these little ones and is even keeping the puppies! She now has a houseful of children and dogs to keep her busy! Please enjoy some photos I captured of this darling duo during one of our fun mini sessions  🙂

*Candid FX Photography is the main business name for Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

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Mini Studio Session with Diesel and Sky

How do you pose a 185 pound American Mastiff? Well, you don’t! This American Mastiff, aptly named Diesel, was just too tired to care that we were doing photos and can you blame him? At that size, I am sure laying down is the most comfortable position. His sister Sky is a much more petite beagle that helped us out by playing along with whatever Diesel wanted to do. We did manage to get a few cute ones during our mini studio session that show the unique bond these two share.

 

*Candid FX Photography is the main business name for Green Paws Photography. See the “About” section for more details.

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