“Incentives.” That’s what we have to call dog biscuits now around the house. The pups have long figured out “treats” and spelling out the letters to each other in this LOL world was starting to get old. We’ve gotten in the habit of using letters instead of words so much I’ve started glancing over my shoulder expecting to hear a pre-K teacher about to scold “Use your words!”
I’ve been wanting to come up with a new dog biscuit recipe for a while. They are super handy to have around while Lexi is in her puppy-teenager phase. Nothing like a little “incentive” to help bring a distracted puppy running when you call them to “come”. My philosophy is that when you call them over to you, it should be the best thing in the world. Full of love, scratches, and often times a delicious treat. Even when you want to twist their floppy ears for getting into something they aren’t supposed to.
Unfortunately my last few attempts at a new biscuit recipe weren’t as good as I had hoped. Sure Lexi and Sierra slobbered, drooled and ate them all up, but I just wasn’t feeling the same excitement they’ve show for the other dog biscuits I’ve made. And I didn’t like how the new recipes would roll out, or keep, or not crumble. It just wasn’t “it”. I think I was f%^$-ing with the recipes too much.
After the the last few weeks of being crazy busy with shoots for clients getting ready with their Summer and Grilling Season recipes, the puppy parent guilt was starting to set it. So a few nights ago I gave up a couple hours sleep and was determined to make a slobber worthy treat for the pups.
Starting with a basic dog biscuit dough, I threw in a couple things that were good for them; turmeric and ground flax seeds. Sierra gets a weird head shaking thing which at best medical analysis is harmless but is probably caused by low blood sugar so I added a bit of brown sugar. Some peanut butter ’cause they really love peanut butter. And for the flavor kicker, added beef bouillon powder to the water used in the recipe. The dough rolled, cut, and baked beautifully. The only thing left was the white boxer test.
Sierra has always been a cautious eater since testing out a devil pepper in the garden as a puppy. Rarely does she take food without carefully testing it. Even then, food is about 5th or 6th down on her list of great things. Head rubs and attention, next is chasing balls, cozy fleece, walks… Oh and don’t forget chasing and arguing with the squirrels. It takes quite a bit to get her amped over any food item.
Verdict: In her 8 years of puppyhood, she has never camped out in the kitchen waiting for a treat. Nearly every night since making these “incentives” she can be found lying and waiting in the kitchen right below the treat container. Hand out a treat and our normally reserved, super gentle treat taker instantly flops her big fleshy lips over your fingers in a mad dash to get the “incentive” in her mouth. These are the best treats EVER.
Lexi – she’ s ridgeback. They LOVE food so of course she loves them.
Pups are happy and the “incentives” are mom and dad approved. Guilt appeased. Now back to work for a couple more client shoots then we’ll see about some dog beach time.
the squinty-eyed Sierra dazed by her own whiteness and the dork-eared Lexi
Turmeric and Flax Dog Biscuits - The Best Dog Biscuit EVER*!
Yield: A couple weeks worth of good dog treats
Total Time: 1 hour
*"Best dog biscuit EVER" claim is based off of Sierra's feedback. Results may vary. See post for more recipe details.
- 3/4 cup (180ml) hot Water
- 1 teaspoon Beef or Chicken Bouillon Powder
- 1 1/3 cup (175g) all-purpose Flour
- 1 1/3 cup (175g) Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup (55g) ground Flax Seed
- 1 Tablespoon Turmeric
- 1/2 cup (130g) Peanut Butter
- 1 Egg
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Dissolve the bouillon in the hot water. Set aside.
- Combine the flours, brown sugar, ground flax, and turmeric in a mixer bowl. Using a dough hook, mix in hot water mixture, peanut butter and egg. Continue mixing until the dough ball is smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl to help everything mix together.
- Roll out the dough to 1/2" thick. Cut into desired dog biscuit shapes (we use hearts for "good dogs" and small circles for training incentives). Place the cut out dog biscuits on the prepared sheet pans.
- Bake for about 35 minutes or until the biscuits feel dried and fairly hard (they will harden a bit more after cooling).