Homemade dog treats made with healthy ingredients keep you and Fido happy. Apple cinnamon dog treats will suit you both. Unsweetened apple juice replaces highly refined fructose and lightly flavors homemade dog treats without the need for additional sugars.
Whole-wheat flour and ground cinnamon are all of the dry ingredients you need to make a sweet homemade dog treat. Mix 2 cups of whole-wheat flour with 1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon in a medium-size mixing bowl. If your pooch is wheat-free, you can substitute brown rice flour for whole-wheat flour. The measurements remain the same.
The wet ingredients will bring the dough together. Beat an egg and pour it into the dry ingredients. Follow the egg with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 3 tablespoons of apple juice that has no added sugars. Work the ingredients together with your hands until a thick dough is formed. If the dough is too dry, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple juice. The dough's consistency should ultimately be the consistency of rolled sugar cookie dough.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it. Roll the dough onto a floured surface with a rolling pin until it is about 1/3 inch thick throughout. With a small cookie cutter, cut treats out of the dough; or use a sharp knife to cut the dough into small squares. Place the treats onto the baking sheet until they're about 1/4 inch apart. Bake them on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Once the treats turn golden brown, open the oven door for a minute or two to let most of the hot air. Allow the treats to cool inside the oven with the door cracked just a bit so they'll get crunchy.
Storage and Feeding
Store unused treats in an airtight container on your countertop for up to a week. To prolong freshness, consider freezing treats in a freezer bag between layers of parchment or wax paper. Thaw them at room temperature for about one hour to soften them up a bit before serving. Feed one to three treats to your pet daily as a reward for good behavior.
Apple Juice Puppy Pops
As an alternative to baked dog treats, treat your dog to the occasional sweet treat during the dog days of summer. Consider freezing apple juice with no sugar added in an ice cube tray. Feed him the frozen cubes of apple juice sparingly as a summertime treat. You could do the same with orange and pineapple juices. In addition, you can add in unsweetened yogurt, peanut butter or chopped bananas. Because of their high sugar content, limit these frozen treats to one or two cubes per day.
Leeann Teagno has been writing professionally since 2006. An English major, she continues to study information systems management at American Public University. Teagno is an organic gardener, cook and technology buff with past employment in mobile communications. She also volunteers at an animal shelter and operates a home bakery.