November 1st is National Cook For Your Pet Day! I’ve compiled a list of 10 meals and treats that you can make at home for your fur and feather babies. Not a whiz in the kitchen? No problem. These recipes are healthy and easy. Keep in mind for any recipe containing peanut butter, carefully read the label to be sure it does not include the artificial sweetener “xylitol” as this can be dangerous for your dog or cat. Read on to find recipes to tantalize your dogs, cats, birds, and even ferrets!
These treats are simple to make, and you might even have all the ingredients on hand!
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350℉. Stir all ingredients together. The dough will be stiff, so add water as needed to make it workable. Roll dough into ½ log, and cut into ½ inch thick pieces. Bake for 40 minutes until hard.
This simple, nutritious meal is a great place to start if you’re a beginner to making dog food. You can serve it to your dog on its own, or mix it with their dry food. Substitute the ground turkey with ground beef or ground chicken. Add lentils for an extra kick of protein. This meal is sure to be with your pooch.
- 6 cups water
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ 16 oz bag frozen cauliflower, carrots, broccoli mix
Combine water, ground turkey, rosemary, and brown rice in a large pot on high heat. Stir until turkey is broken up and ingredients are well mixed. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add frozen vegetables and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool before serving. Store in refrigerator.
These healthy mini muffins make a well-balanced meal for your pup. While it seems like a lot of ingredients, this recipe is very simple. This makes enough for 4 large dogs.
- 1 ½ cups brown rice (save time by using pre-cooked or steam in the bag rice)
- 3 cups water ( if not using pre-cooked rice)
- 2 large potatoes grated
- 2 large carrots grated
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 6 pounds ground beef or turkey
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- Dash of salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 400℉. Prepare rice. Mix ground meat, potatoes, carrots, celery, and eggs. Using your hands might be easiest. Add salt, olive oil, and oats. Mix well. Fill greased muffin tins with meat mixture. Pack down until firm. Bake 45 minutes or until tops are firm and set. Cool on wire racks. Refrigerate until served.
Don’t worry cat lovers, here’s a recipe for your feline friends.
- 1 4oz can tuna in spring water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon dried catnip
- 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350℉.Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender.Process until ingredients form a thick dough.Roll dough into ¼ inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Slightly flatten each ball. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Store for up to five days in an airtight container.
This tasty treat is perfect for this unseasonably warm weather. It’s also dog- and cat-friendly. You may even want one!
- Plain Greek Yogurt
Place yogurt in piping bag, squeeze bottle, or baggie with the corner cut off. Squeeze onto a cookie sheet lined with foil or wax paper. Place in freezer until hard. Remove from cookie sheet and store in a baggie in the freezer.
This savory treat will definitely put you in your cat’s good graces.
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup corn-meal
- ¼ cup water
Preheat oven to 350℉.Mix cheese and yogurt. Add flour and corn-meal to cheese mixture. Add water as needed to make dough workable. Roll into a ball.Roll dough into ¼ inch thick square. Cut into 1-inch pieces and place on cookie sheet. Bake 25 minutes until treats are firm on the outside and spongy on the inside.
The vegetable oil in these simple treats helps lubricate your cat’s digestive system to prevent hairballs.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 cans tuna in oil
- 4 cups bread crumbs
- 4 eggs beaten
- 2 teaspoons brewers years (optional)
Preheat oven to 350℉. Drain the oil from tuna and combine with vegetable oil. Mix tuna, eggs breadcrumbs, brewers yeast, and oil. On a greased baking sheet, drop ¼ teaspoon scoops 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until set. Cool, and store in refrigerator.
Our feathered friends enjoy the occasional healthy treat also! The fresh fruits and vegetables will be a delicious surprise for your bird.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
- ½ cup raisins
- 1cup diced apples
- 1 ½ cup quick cook oatmeal, cornflakes, granola, or similar cereal
Pierce the skin of potato and cook in microwave until the potato is soft about 5 to 9 minutes, turning halfway through. Peel potato and place in a bowl. Add vegetables, fruit, and oatmeal. Mix with a hand mixer until vegetables are in tiny pieces, and all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Add water to soften if the mixture is dry. Roll into marble-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze, defrost before serving.
Give these treats once or twice a week, to jazz up your parakeet, parrot, or cockatiel’s palette.
- ½ cup birdseed
- ½ cup oats
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup honey
- ⅛ cup finely chopped dried fruit
- 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 350℉. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients and fruit. Add water and honey, mix well to form a dough. Roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined tray. Add holes for hangers or bird food skewers. Pop in oven. Bake until firm and turning brown. Cool and store in an airtight container.
Finally, let’s round out our list with something for ferrets. Make sure this is only an occasional treat since ferrets have very specific dietary needs.
- 1 egg
- ½ jar fruit baby food
- ½ jar meat baby food
- A few raisins
Mix fruit baby food with egg and raisins. Cook as you would a regular omelet. Top with meat baby food. Cool and serve.
Are you inspired to head to the kitchen for National Cook For Your Pet Day? Get cooking! Just remember treats, even healthy ones, should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s diet. Interested in learning more about nutrition for your feline companion? Head over to my blog post about Feeding Your Finicky Feline for tips and tricks. Or, if you are in the mood for some more pet DIY, learn about 4 Cat Toys You Can Make at Home.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. In 2016 she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR and committed to ongoing training and education. She leads a team with diverse backgrounds who are all animal-loving pet care professionals. Melanie is the mother of two amazing humans, two small pups and a witty African Grey parrot and enjoys volunteering, reading, swimming, hiking, traveling, grilled cheese sandwiches, and naps.
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