As a nation of dog lovers, we owners are becoming increasingly aware (and concerned) as to what is in our pets food. Recent recalls from established international brands have prompted many pet parents to reconsider what we feed our dogs. After all, our pets rely on us to make good choices for them. A growing awareness of allergies and intolerances to common ingredients is also driving many of us to check the labels and opt for wheat free dog food, dog biscuits and treats. Our Small Biz 100 friends at Addiscotts know all too well how diet can impact on a dogs health and well being – read how they started their grain free dog food company here! https://www.addiscotts.co.uk/about-us
We love our furry family members and want to give them the best we can afford. Home made dog biscuits are a simple way to treat your dog without worrying about the potentially harmful additives and preservatives used to keep a product on a warehouse shelf for 12 months… not exactly ‘fresh’ is it? Below I will share a simple wheat free dog biscuit recipe you can bake for your dog to enjoy. But first, a few words about pet food labelling and legislation in the UK.
In the UK, any business making and selling dog food (including dog biscuits and treats) needs to be registered with the local trading standards office and the labels must display the analytical constituents of the product. There is a requirement for samples to be routinely sent for microbiological testing and if the product contains any ingredients of animal origin (this includes ingredients such as eggs and chicken stock) the business premises also requires licencing and approval by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (a division of DEFRA). Dog friendly cafes beware – you will not be granted permission to make food for animal consumption on the same premises. If you are considering starting a dog bakery business, check out the current legislations first.
As stated in the beginning of this blog, our dogs dietary needs and welfare is of paramount concern and is the primary reason for legislation to ensure products are appropriately labelled and produced in a safe, controlled environment. My final words on this are to check the labels of your pet food and treats to ensure any ingredients are conducive to your own dogs dietary needs. Read on for the promised recipe!
Fresh breath biscuits
This a wheat-free recipe including fresh herbs to combat dog breath and coconut oil. Coconut oil is great for your dogs skin and coat and may also help with digestive health too. Win-win!
You will need:
- 125g porridge oats or oat flour
- 100g gluten free plain flour
- 30g pack fresh parsley
- 30g pack fresh mint
- 1 egg
- 55ml water
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tsp xantham gum (optional)
Also: Food processor, Baking/greaseproof paper, Biscuit cutter, Bowl & whisk, baking sheet
Most people have porridge oats already to hand in the kitchen cupboard and you can whizz them in a food processor until they resemble a coarse flour. Alternatively you can buy oat flour and this will be milled to a finer consistency. As with all gluten free cooking the structure of the baked product can be a bit crumbly – if you already do a lot of GF baking you may have xantham gum already in store which you can add to help bind the ingredients. With regards the herbs, you can chop them whole, stalks and all but I like to pick and chop the leaves for the biscuits and give the stalks to our guinea pigs as a treat – they love them! Sometimes the stalks can stick out, compromising the biscuit cutting so simple shapes work best as fancy shapes can lose their definition.
Preheat oven to 175°c and gently melt the coconut oil until it liquefies. Allow to cool but not solidify. If you are using porridge oats, prepare them whilst you are waiting.
In large bowl whisk together parsley, mint, egg, water & oil, then add the flours and stir. Knead the dough then turn out onto lightly floured surface and roll to about 1/8” thick. Cut to approx 1” shapes, place on a lined baking sheet & bake for 35-40 mins until lightly golden.
Did your dog enjoy his home made dog biscuits? Please share and tag us in your photos! (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @furbabiespetsuk)