It's the little things that make you feel like a pet's parent rather than his owner. Baking homemade treats for your pooch is definitely one of these things. Recipes for dog treats make any birthday, holiday or ordinary day special, and those containing carob are always a hit.
Carob's a substitute for chocolate. Hopefully, you didn't learn the hard way that your dog can't eat chocolate. Dogs eat just about anything edible if the opportunity presents itself, including chocolate. Unfortunately, this favorite human treat contains a compound called theobromine that your pooch's digestive system can't handle. Illness and potentially fatal toxicity results. Dark chocolate and baker's chocolate are the worst, but no dog should ever eat anything containing cocoa. Vegans and people with food sensitivities use a chocolate substitute made from a legume called carob. While it doesn't have the best reputation for deliciousness amongst the human folk, dogs gobble it up. As a bonus, this theobromine-free food is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, so carob dog treat recipes are healthy ones.
Carob Chip Peanut Butter Dog Cookies
Chocolate and peanut butter: Scientifically proven to be the greatest combination mankind has reaped from nature. Or not, but you know you love it. Provide a similar experience for your pooch with carob-chip peanut-butter cookies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together 3/4 cup rolled oats, 2 cups whole wheat flour and 4 teaspoons carob powder. Warm 1 cup of natural peanut butter for 30 seconds in the microwave, then thoroughly combine it with 1 cup of milk using a fork. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the peanut butter and milk, then combine it with a wooden spoon to form a thick dough. Fold in 1/4 cup carob chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and divide and roll the dough into about 40 evenly sized balls. Bake the carob-chip peanut-butter dog cookies for 15 minutes, then let them cool completely and harden on a wire rack for at least two hours.
To keep the saturated fat content of your doggy's carob-chip peanut-butter cookies down, use lowfat or skim milk. Whole-wheat flour also makes the treats more nutritious, but you can use all-purpose flour. Whole-wheat flour is denser and heavier, though, so you'll need about 1/2 cup more all-purpose flour. Add the extra in gradually as you mix the wet and dry ingredients together until you get a thick dough consistency. The carob powder in the recipe is optional, so don't worry about it if you don't have any. As for the carob chips, skip the natural, unsweetened ones, because they'll melt in the oven while your dog treats bake. To expedite the recipe's prep time, use a 1-inch cookie baller instead of hand-rolling the dough.
Carob Chip Icing
Carob chips work well for making an easy, delicious, nutritious icing for dog treats. Melt 3 cups of carob chips in a double boiler and mix in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. You melt carob chips the same ways you melt chocolate. If you don't have a double-boiler, you can mimic the effect with a small and medium saucepan. Put about 1 inch of water in the larger pot and bring it to a simmer and turn the burner down to medium-low. Place the carob chips in the smaller pot and place it in the larger pot. Cover the smaller pot and stir the carob chips occasionally. They'll melt in about five minutes. You can also melt them in the microwave, but do so a few seconds at a time, stirring between, to avoid burning them or ending up with an undesirable consistency. Make sure your cookies or other dog treats are completely cooled before you apply carob chip icing, or it won't adhere well. Also, don't paint on a thin layer; apply the icing coating liberally to prevent cracking.
- WebMD: Dogs and Chocolate: Get the Facts
- Dog Treat Kitchen: Double Carob Dog Cookie Recipe With Peanut Butter
- Better Homes and Gardens: Can I Substitute Whole Wheat Flour for All-Purpose Flour When Baking?
- Doggie Bistro: Free Homemade Dog Treat Recipes
- Dog Treat Kitchen: What Can I Use to Make Yogurt or Carob Icing Stick Better to the Cookie?
Eric Mohrman has been a freelance writer since 2007, focusing on travel, food and lifestyle stories. His creative writing is also widely published. He lives in Orlando, Florida.