DIY dog treats – muffins for Bobby’s birthday
29th of November, 2015 was the first time that I met Bobby. The previous night I was so excited that I had difficulty falling asleep – it was the same feeling that I had as a child the night before Christmas. I had to drive across the country to an old little ranch in a small village. I was getting more and more nervous the minute. What if he wouldn’t like me/us? What if he was more interested in the other people that were coming to pick up a dog? There was only one way to find out. Entering the shed I couldn’t see him at first sight but then there he was in a corner keeping distance from the other six doggies that also were waiting for their new families. He and the other dogs had to go through a long and stressful journey in order to come to the Netherlands and find a home. Bobby looked tired, dirty, confused and shy but he immediately stole my heart. When we were taking Bobby home we didn’t know much about him. No clue about his birthday (3-4 years according to the animal shelter), his real breed, his former home or the reason why he was dumped on the streets. We did however know that he have had cancer and recently we even found out that he has a bullet in his chest. Big chance that someone tried to kill him when living on the streets in Bosnia. Luckily their seem to be no complications so the bullet can stay where it is.
I knew that taking a dog with me that has spent most of his life on the streets and the shelter in Bosnia can be difficult. Bobby was used to live alone or with other dogs, mostly outside. Probably being chased by people, cars or other dogs. He wasn’t used to walk on a leash to listen to commando’s or to regularly drive in a car. Being a grown up dog, Bobby already had formed his character based on his experiences on the streets and the shelter. He probably had encountered lots of scary situations such as the times that people made little holes in his cute soft floppy ears. (I still don’t know why he got these but I suspect that he was ear-tagged when living on the street).
In general his health is in a bad/weak condition which makes us regular visitors at the vets. With two very bad teeth that need extra attention, allergies and being a cancer survivor there is always something that needs special care. Despite all that, Bobby still is a sweet, calm easygoing dog that learned and still is learning to trust us. Bobby is kind to other people, children and most animals with the exception of cats, (all) rodents, deer, lama’s, jellyfish and crayfish which merely are a good snack or at least toy for him.
He loves to chill on soft bedding, being cuddled all day long. He enjoys looking out of windows observing everyone and everything. He always is in the mood for a long walk, tracing a trail, walking wherever his nose leads him to. He loves squeaky toys but does not know what to do with a ball or stick. Being wet and/or walking through wet grass is something he avoids with all his willpower. He mostly is not that interested in other dogs – small talk is his thing. I don’t know why but other dogs are not nearly as interesting as the rodent holes in the ground. People that talk loudly or approach him from above with waving arms scare him (me too). However there is one thing that almost always gets his attention and that is FOOD! What better birthday gift could I give him than something delicious (and healthy)?
Sweet potato muffins
It took me a while to find a healthy but simple recipe but in the end I found something nice in Dr. Karen Becker’s book called Homemade Treats for Healthy Pets. With this recipe you get 9 large muffins.
To make the muffin dough I used the following ingredients:
1 large sweet potato
3/4 cup (180ml) unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cup (about 230 gr) coconut flour
¼ cup (60ml) kefir
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Step 1. Peel the sweet potato, cut it in dices, cook it until it is soft (took me about 15 minutes) and then mash it up.
Step 2. I decided to make the applesauce myself because we only had sweetened applesauce at home. To make the applesauce you need to peel one or two apples (I used the brand Goudreinet), remove the apple core and then dice it. Grab a cooking pan, fill it with a little bit of water (1 or 2 cm) and cook the apples until they are soft. Stir frequently. * now would also be a great timing to preheat your oven to 300 ˚F (150 ˚C). If the apples are soft enough make the sauce by using a blender.
Step 3. Mash the banana and mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Step 4. Spoon the mixture into your muffin cases. Press it a bit into the cases so that your muffin will be firm.
Step 5. Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes. Done!
Before serving the muffins to your dog(s) let them cool down properly and of course remove the paper cases!.
Because Bobby stayed with me the entire time, he was allowed to already test one (ok ok it where two muffins). As you can see he approved of them. (To be honest I wasn’t quite sure whether he would like them because he isn’t a big fan of apples).
If you decide to make thiese muffins too, I would love to see some pictures of them and your dog(s) eating them :)