These homemade dog treats and toys can be made any time of the year, Christmas just gives you a great excuse. Gift them to your dog, and make some extras to give as gifts to the fellow dog lovers in your life.
When I was a child we had a dog that was crazy for Christmas. His name was Jeremy and I lived my life in total fear of him. He was a peekapoo, so he was small and his teeth didn’t fit in his mouth. He wound up looking like a scary version of a muppet and his favorite snack was me.
My grandmother would tell a story, breathless with laughter, about the year Jeremy chased me around the Christmas tree because he fancied one of the gifts I had. Regardless of my fears, that dog’s love of opening Christmas presents is a permanent part of my childhood memories.
I have a small dog these days, though she is much less fond of chewing on small children. It is her first Christmas and I am hoping to teach her to relish opening her presents as much as Jeremy. There is a special kind of joy watching an animal at Christmas. They retain that child-like need to rip and shred no matter how many years have passed.
Unfortunately, my dog destroys every toy we give her so this year I’m making a few that should be indestructible. I thought I’d share my ideas with all of you who are dog parents as well.
Homemade Dog Treats
Herbal Dog Biscuits
(makes about 24 small bones)
- ½ cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (or pumpkin)
- 1 cup oat flour (find it here or make your own)
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup dried plantain (Plantago spp.) leaf – parsley can be substituted here, both will freshen breath (find dried plantain leaf here)
- 3 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 300° F.
- Mix all ingredients together in order.
- Separate your dough into two or three balls. If the dough is sticky, chill it for an hour.
- Flour your counter and roll out the dough. Using a dog bone cookie cutter, make each bone and place on a silpat lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the bones are golden brown and dry. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze for later use.
Homemade Dog Toys
Tennis Ball Tug Toy
- 3 clean Adult t-shirts – varying colors
- 1 tennis ball
- sewing machine
- Cut ½ – 1 inch off the bottom of each t-shirt. You should now have 3 loops. You may choose to keep them doubled like this to make a smaller toy or cut open the loop at the seam to make a longer toy.
- Place all three strips side by side and stitch them together at the end. Tie a knot over the stitch.
- Braid the three cloths until you get to the middle. Tie a knot.
- Make a hole in the tennis ball and thread it onto the middle of your toy. Make another knot to secure your tennis ball and braid the rest of your toy to the end.
- Stitch through your braid and then tie a knot to complete.
Note: This toy can also be made with cotton rope, old jeans, or fleece remnants.
This will be our puppy’s first Christmas with us, so I’m really looking forward to watching her enjoy the festivities. For everything they give us through the year, our pets deserve a spot right in the middle of the Christmas morning mess, don’t you think? Oh! And you cat lovers, don’t think I’ve forgotten pets of the feline persuasion. Check back early next week to see what I’m working on for our cats!
What are you giving your dog this year? Share in the comments below!