As tempting as it is to share lots of nibbles with your dog as you delve into your own stash of goodies, it’s important to be mindful when cooking for pets. ‘Always research the ingredients you use for homemade dog treats and, if you’re unsure, check with your vet. Remember not to feed your canine friend chocolate, as it contains an active compound that is toxic to dogs,’ says animal nutritionist Emma Passman. ‘If you feed treats to your dog regularly, reduce his main meal to ensure he maintains a healthy weight.’
Beastly bone biscuits
Scary skeletons are one of Halloween’s most recognisable effigies, and bone biscuits – from our charity partner Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – will make the perfect snack for your four-legged friend. ‘Dogs just love peanut butter, which is rich in protein,’ Emma explains. ‘These delicious biscuits will keep yours full of energy.’ This recipe makes a large bowl of biscuits.
You will need:
300g plain or wholemeal flour
100g rolled oats
1 tbsp water
250g peanut butter (choose a low-salt version and ensure that it doesn’t contain xylitol sweetener, as this can be harmful to dogs)
Bone-shaped cookie cutter
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/170°C fan. Blend together the peeled bananas, eggs, water and peanut butter. If you don’t have a blender, you can mash the bananas with a fork and whisk in the rest of the wet ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and oats, then add this to the wet mixture.
3. Bring the mixture together using a spoon or your hands, until it forms a dough.
4. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough to around 1cm in thickness. Use a bone-shaped cookie cutter to cut biscuits from the dough.
5. Place the biscuits on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown in colour. Leave to cool fully, then share with your dog!
Eerie egg muffins
Ghoulish by name, but certainly not by taste, these little bites are a great treat for your dog. ‘These muffins are ideal if your dog has a dietary intolerance to grains,’ says Emma. This recipe makes six muffins.
You will need:
1 small chicken breast
8 fine green beans
Halloween-shaped silicone tray
1. Cook the chicken breast at 200°C/180°C fan for around 25 minutes until done. Remove and leave to cool.
2. Meanwhile, boil the green beans for around five minutes until tender. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. When the beans and chicken are cool enough, slice them into small pieces and add to the egg. Stir well.
4. Using a small muffin tray (silicone moulds make it easier to remove the finished product), carefully pour the mixture into each section until about three-quarters full. Add an extra Halloween touch by pouring the mixture into a Halloween-shaped silicone tray!
5. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. If a skewer poked into the centre of the muffins comes out clean, you’ll know they’re ready. Allow them to cool completely before sharing with your dog. They’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
Kate’s ‘creepy’ banana pupcakes
This recipe was created for one of our partner charities, Dog’s Trust, by Great British Bake Off finalist Kate Lyon. It’s dark blueberry centre helps the cakes resemble a ghoulish eyeball, making it an ideal Halloween nibble! ‘Dogs love fruity treats, and these pupcakes with banana and blueberries are rich in natural minerals and antioxidants,’ Emma says. ‘If you have a canine friend with a sensitive tummy, oats are high in fibre to gently support the digestive system.’ This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
You will need:
200g blueberries (washed)
1 ripe banana
450g rolled oats
Halloween cupcake cases
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan and line your muffin tray with cupcake cases.
2. Put the peeled banana and blueberries into a blender, along with the water. Mix until smooth and pour onto the oats. Stir well.
3. Take a tablespoon of the mix, roll it into a ball using damp hands (this prevents bits sticking to you) and place one in each cupcake case. Pat down slightly to flatten the top and place a blueberry on top of each.
4. Bake for 30 minutes. When done, remove each cupcake from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack before sharing with your pup. Be sure to remove the cupcake case before your dog enjoys his spooky treat!
We’d love to see how your treats turn out! If you’re posting a picture, simply tag #PethoodStories.