Easy (and healthy!) homemade dog treats

My dogs, losing their sh*t after I pulled out the peanut butter treats

My dogs, losing their minds after I pulled out the peanut butter treats

Let me preface this post by saying I’m not a crazy dog person. I don’t dress my dogs up daily (only on special occasions) or walk them around the neighborhood in baby strollers. I don’t take them everywhere with me or have hundreds of photos plastered around my desk (they live discretely on my phone).

So maybe I’m a little crazy about my dogs.

But that craziness is not what led to my latest baking endeavor: homemade dog treats. The real impetus was my love for baking and non-love for having delicious, tempting treats around the house that I will likely eat with abandon. So rather than risk increasing my waistline, I decided to bake for my two pups and, as a bonus, know that I was giving them healthy treats sans fillers and artificial ingredients.

Frozen Peanut Butter Yogurt Dog Treats

Frozen Peanut Butter Yogurt Dog Treats

I found two great recipes on CaesarsWay.com, renowned dog trainer Cesar Millan’s website. The first, Frozen Peanut Butter Yogurt Dog Treats, are apparently a dog’s dream – at least based on how my dogs reacted. After tasting their first one, they clawed at the freezer door, hoping it would open and dispense more frozen, creamy goodness.

The great thing about these treats is that they consist of two ingredients – peanut butter and vanilla yogurt – and take all of 15 minutes to make. Definitely worth trying, especially as the mercury starts to rise.

Basic Dog Biscuits

Basic Dog Biscuits

The second recipe, Basic Dog Biscuits, was a little more involved, but still simple. It requires rolling out dough and cutting them into shapes (if you’re so inclined, as I was) before baking. Making these requires a little more time and muscle power (my arms got a nice workout), but was worth it when I watched my dogs chomp away, licking every last crumb off the floor.

Rex, happily indulging in his homemade treat

Rex, happily indulging in his homemade treat

If you give these recipes a try, let me know what you – and your pup – think, or share your favorites below.

 

Related post: When Rex met Penelope

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My un-resolutions

The NYE feast

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had as great a New Year’s Eve as I did. The husband and I stayed in, dressed up and indulged in an incredible seafood feast that included shrimp cocktail, bacon-wrapped scallops, stuffed clams, lobster tails, fresh bread and grilled vegetables, topped with chocolate-dipped strawberries and champagne for dessert. A-maz-ing.

After dinner, I challenged him to a Wii Monopoly game and am shockingly in the lead. I’m hoping this is a sign of an improved financial situation in the New Year (he usually beats me within an hour by scooping up all the railroads and utilities). We ended the night watching the ball drop on TV and snuggling with our dogs. An incredibly happy and peaceful start to the year.

Party animals

Now that 2012 has officially arrived, I’ve been reflecting on this year’s resolutions, or un-resolutions as I’ve decided. Cigna’s new campaign urges people to make one un-resolution, to pledge to keep one thing you like about yourself exactly as it is. I’ve decided to take this one step further. Rather than write up a laundry list of resolutions to make myself a “better person,” I’ve come up with a list of goals that I’m excited to reach – goals that are truly about the journey, not just the destination. If I don’t reach them, I won’t beat myself up, nor will I be any worse for it. But I know I will.

Rather than vague resolutions like “lose weight” or overly-regimented ones like “run five times per week,” I’ve come up with a list that I can work toward in whichever way suits me best and keeps me motivated. So here they are:

  1. Run a half-marathon.
  2. Officially change my name (this may be tougher than running a half-marathon from what I hear!).
  3. Take a creative writing class.
  4. Eliminate my debt (my current payment plan will allow for this).
  5. Build up my savings account (I have a particular number in mind).

I’m excited to work toward these goals, mostly because they are goals I want to work toward, not ones I’m pressuring myself to reach. A no-pressure start to the year – I’m already feeling good about 2012.

My married life begins

Rex, sleeping in front of the Christmas tree. I should take relaxation lessons from him!

Merry belated Christmas, all. I hope your holiday was as wonderful as mine. Mine consisted of two days of family, doggies, delicious food, vino, a new shoe cabinet (my husband fully supports my shoe addiction) and – most importantly – my husband himself.

Since returning from our honeymoon, our lives have been a whirlwind. First, there was Thanksgiving, then the need to buy a new car, followed by a much earlier second dog adoption than expected, capped off with the holiday rush. All great things, but we’ve been two ships passing in the night – not the happily ever after I hoped for.

As we drove home from our last holiday destination last night, I mentioned to Brendan that I felt like we could finally start our new life together, now that the holidays were over. As always, he knew exactly what I meant without my having to explain. He’d been thinking the same thing (I swear he put a chip in my brain when we started dating so that he could read my thoughts. We often say the same things at the same time. It’s freaky.).

I’m looking forward to getting back to running and yoga (I ate enough this holiday week to feed a small country), writing and laughing with the husband and puppies. Those small things are truly gifts to me every day.

When Rex met Penelope

First car ride together.

I’ve fallen in love with someone else. She’s a 16-pound pug named Penelope that my husband and I just rescued, and she’s the sweetest little thing. She looks up at me with her Ewok-like eyes, and my heart melts. More importantly, she’s fit into our family seamlessly, like someone had already decided she was meant for us and was just waiting for the right time!

Our other dog, Rex, who has been the center of our universe since he arrived via plane from Iowa at eight weeks old, is taking it all in. He doesn’t quite know what to make of this wriggling, hyper, furry little girl who demands our attention and has smacked him across the face a few times for getting too close to her and thus jeopardizing the attention she’s getting from us. In short, he’s been force-fed a huge helping of humble pie. But he’s adjusting. We all are.

What’s amazing is how reminders of my need for balance continue to emerge. I have to make sure to give equal attention to both dogs to make sure they both know how much they’re loved. And I need to remember to do the same for myself.

Lately, work has been winning in the battle for my attention. Rather than training for a half-marathon, I’ve been crashing on my couch and watching the It’s a Wonderful Lifetime marathon, holiday shopping via the Internet (thank God for technology) and calling it a night by 10 p.m. Not exactly how I want to live my life.

My goal in the next two weeks: get myself back on track – and on the treadmill!