Making your own dog treats is easy and cost-effective. You can also ensure the treats are natural and healthy as you know exactly what is going into them. The recipe below is always a hit with even the fussiest of dogs, and are a big hit with Alfie the greyhound.
What you’ll need:
Around 500g of whole lamb hearts and a 100g piece of liver, chopped into bite-sized pieces. You can also just use 500g of liver for this recipe (or mix liver with some mince if you want a slightly less rich treat).
Optional: a pinch of dried herbs and/or spirulina
Optional: wheatbran or flour
Making the tasty treats:
Pulse the chopped heart and liver in a food processor (you can also run them through a hand grinder if you have one of these) until they have the texture of a thick paste.
Mix in the egg.
You can also add a handful of dried herbs or spirulina if you want to at this stage.
The mixture should now resemble a thick, lumpy cake batter. If it’s still a bit runny, add a small handful of wheat bran or flour to soak up the liquid.
Pour the mixture into a non-stick baking tin (square or rectangular). It should be spread quite thinly (about 2cm deep) and evenly. Licking the bowl is optional, although Alfie thinks it should be compulsory.
Pop the tin into the oven and bake at around 150 C. until the top is brown and dry and there is no wobble in the batter. This could take up to an hour.
Remove the tin from the oven and allow it to cool enough so you can touch the mixture and cut it into treat-sized chunks. You may find it easier to cut it into long strips and break it up by hand, as the texture is quite coarse which can make cutting difficult. Just make sure to avoid creating meaty breadcrumbs – it’s better to make them too big and then just break them up from your treat bag.
Space the chunks out on a standard baking tray and pop them back in the oven. Allow them to cook until they have the same dry texture the top has all over.
Once the treats have cooled you can test their popularity with your favourite canine friend. I often freeze about half the batch so they last longer, and either defrost them the night before or just give them frozen, especially on a hot day.