If you've been to my blog before, you know that we're friends of animals here. Obviously I'm a little biased toward dogs, but I do love creatures of every kind. Animals are the number one reason I eat a plant-based diet.
My darling Jack Russell Terrier Clem is a treat snob. For example, when we're in a store and they are pet-friendly, inevitably someone will ask, "Can your dog have a biscuit?" My response is always, "Yes, but please don't be offended if she spits it out. She's a brat." And, 9 times out of 10, she spits out the biscuit at the person's feet. I think that it's partially because they are strangers, but I think it's mostly because she's a jerk. My husband and I call her a "Jerk Russell" Terrier.
The dog treats that I have featured below are some of her favorites. She really likes homemade biscuits - EXCEPT if they're burned! I mean even slightly. This snotty pup can tell the difference and will spit them out as well. When I bake them, I have to be extra careful or else I will be giving the treats away!
I've also adapted this recipe for cats too. I have only one good friend with a cat and she said that her kitten really liked the addition: about 1 tablespoon of catnip. So feel free to make this recipe for your cat-loving friends too!
Below, I have directions for some adorable, inexpensive gift containers!
Adapted from Just A Pinch
1 1/2 c. rice flour*
1 1/2 c. oat flour*
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 ripe banana, smushed
1/2 c. water
*You can totally use whole wheat flour for the entire recipe. Rice flour is generally easier for dogs to digest, but I find that if you use it for the entire recipe, the biscuits are weird and gritty. Add a tablespoon of catnip for the kitties.
Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the ingredients and mash them together with your hands - get in there and get dirty! The dough should come together after some kneading. If you're having trouble, add a little more water, about a tablespoon at a time, until it seems like dough. If it gets too soupy, add more flour.
Taking about half of the dough at a time, roll it out on a well-floured surface. Cut the dough with your cookie cutters and line them on your baking sheet. I can get probably between 80-100 small biscuit shapes from this recipe, like a small heart or star. Depending on the size of your container, this will fill one or two of them. (I start making batches of dog biscuits weeks before Christmas and then freeze them until they're ready to be packaged.)
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes and then flip them; bake for another 15 minutes. They should be pretty darn hard.
Allow them to cool completely. These biscuits freeze well. My freezer is filled with them as I'm writing this!
Now, on to the adorable upcycled containers...
With all of my vegan baking, I go through containers of coconut oil like no one's business. Once you strip the labels off of them, they make great containers for pet treats. I really like small salsa jars as well. Collect jars from your friends and neighbors to surprise them with a fun holiday gift!
Go to Michaels or another craft store and buy a sleeve of tiny plastic dogs. I purchased mine at Michaels and got them (with a coupon) for about $4.99 for about 12 of them. You'll also need spray paint (color of your choice - I picked gold glitter and mint-ish green) and some crazy glue. Easiest craft ever.
Step One: Glue your plastic dogs to the tops of the jars. Try your best to center them. I just put a dab of crazy glue on each paw and let them dry. I tried to mentally match up the doggies with the ones that my friends have! Like I said earlier, only one of my friends has a cat, so that makes her gift easier.
Step Two: Spray paint the lids, plastic creature and all. Very lightly do a first coat. If you go too heavy and keep caking the paint on top, it will start to gather weirdly around the plastic animals' paws. Just do about 3-4 light spritzes until everything is covered.
Step Three: Fill and label your jars. This is the easier part. I plan to print out labels with the ingredients in these biscuits. Being a concerned dog mom, I always like to know what's in her food, although it's not like she eats all of it anyway!
These upcycled jars look stylish and modern, especially in primary colors or ones that match your friend's kitchen! I saw a similar craft in the newspaper months ago and I felt inspired! I hope you consider making these adorable jars for Christmas or for an upcoming pet birthday!