Ah, January, the month of newly adopted lifestyles and good intentions. The gyms are full, cold-pressed juice sales are soaring, and declarations of “big changes” are shouted into the cold, brisk air. But unless your pup has taken up dieting with you, she probably doesn’t know that this is the month to start eating healthier. (Though now that I think about it, even if they had resolved to start eating better, they wouldn’t be able to do much about it, as you control the food supply.)
Good thing your pet has a personal dog treat chef (you!) and that this month’s treat recipe features two health powerhouses: olive oil and flax seeds.
As any regular Dogster reader knows, there are at least eight reasons you should be incorporating olive oil into your dog’s diet. In addition to giving pets a shiny, healthy coat, it can help them lose weight, boost their immune system, even keep them sharp and alert as they age. In short, incorporating olive oil into you pup’s diet is a pretty good idea.
Speaking of good fats, flax seeds are the second healthful ingredient in this month’s treat. You may have heard that flax seeds, like sardines, are a good source of omega fatty acids, which are excellent for your pup’s coat and skin, but did you know that they also contain alpha-linoleic acid? This compound not only gives the immune system a boost, but it can work as an anti-inflammatory, providing some relief to those pooches with joint problems. You can buy flax seeds whole or ground, but whole flax seeds are likely to pass through your pet without being broken down. You can crack them yourself, just be sure to store them in the fridge, as the oil goes rancid rather quickly, and don’t crack them until the day you plan to bake.
This recipe I make for my dogs, Kira and Angie, combines olive oil, flax seeds, and a bit of cheddar cheese for a treat that is healthful and tasty. (As always, be sure to consult your vet before incorporating a new food into your pet’s diet.)
Kira & Angie’s Health-Boosting Cheddar Biscuits
- 1 cup flour (either all-purpose or whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup of beef broth
- 2 tablespoons of flax seeds, freshly crushed (the ground stuff is fine too, just use a little less)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Shredded cheddar for topping
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together broth, flax, and olive oil until they are fairly combined (some separation is unavoidable). Add flour and flax, then whisk to combine. You will have a sticky, stretchy dough. Coat your hands with a little olive oil and roll dough into 16 ping-pong-ball-sized mounds. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and press a pinch of cheddar into the top of each one. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is browned and the biscuits are firm, but slightly springy. Let cool.
Optional: Try to get a picture of your food-motivated dogs patiently waiting for their treats.
Let’s see if their patience was rewarded.
You know those Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster that everyone loses their minds over? Well, I’ve never had those, because I’m a dog. They don’t allow dogs in Red Lobster, which is pretty discriminatory and something I have written many a letter about.
ANYWAY. These little biscuits are what I imagine those taste like, except they have the added benefit of not containing any garlic, which dogs should avoid. Overall, I give these a nine out of 10. I would give them a 10 out of 10 if they appeared more frequently, but Claire doles them out slowly, like they’re “treats” or something.
All I know is that I want these in my mouth as fast as caninely possible. They have cheese. I love cheese. They also have the added benefit of being chewy, which means I can’t gulp them down super quickly. These treats make me take my time, and I like that.
These get a 10 out of 10 from me, but I give literally every food that rating. Except oranges. Oranges are the worst.
I’m beginning to think that my dogs aren’t the pickiest of eaters — they’ll pretty much devour anything that even remotely looks or smells like food (or garbage) — but at least I know that when they’re devouring these, they’re devouring a healthful treat made with olive oil and flax seeds.
Have you guys made any Treats of the Month? How did your pups find them? Any favorites? Let me know in the comments!
Read more Dog Treat Recipes of the Month by Claire Lower: