How to Bake a Dog-Safe Pumpkin Pie for Your Pup

While not everybody has the time or inclination to strap on an apron and make like mighty Martha Stewart in the holiday baking department, it's...


While not everybody has the time or inclination to strap on an apron and make like mighty Martha Stewart in the holiday baking department, it’s safe to say that we all love the aroma and flavor of seasonal baked goods, whether they’re purchased from a patisserie or made from scratch.

Nobody, however,lovesthat irresistible smell and tasteof seasonal baked goods more than your dog.

Tempted by the smell of delicious dough raw or cooked Spot can easily get in trouble if s/he samples the wrong recipe. So please take a few simple precautionsto ensure that you won’t bespending any part of this heavenly holiday season at the emergency veterinary hospital.

Avoid chocolate recipes wherever possible: The theobromine in cocoa is notoriously toxic to dogs, and baker’s chocolate has the highest theobromine content of all. Happily, two staples of holiday baking involve no cocoa whatsoever: gingerbread and pumpkin pie. Besides having universal holiday appeal, these seasonal treatsalso happen to be pet-safe, so if your pet scores a crumb or two, the incident won’t spell disaster.

If you find yourself too tired to bake, here’s a super-simple recipe for no-bake “pumpkin pie” well, it’s really more of a pumpkin pudding that will earn any dog’s paws-up. Plus, all the ingredients are perfectly safe to share with your beloved dog, even if s/he has a sensitive stomach.

(In fact,here’s afabulous fringe benefitto this easy recipe: Pureed pumpkin is excellent for remedying upset stomach in canines.)

Here’s how to make no-bake “pumpkin pie”:

Simply spoon a couple of tablespoons of pureed pumpkin into a bowl (my dogs’ favorite brand is Farmer’s Market, which happens to be organic). Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon, a seasonally essential spice that has year-round health benefits for dogs. Serve before, after, or during your dog’s regular meal.

Here’s another fringe benefit to this tempting treat:Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene, which protects against heart disease, regulates blood sugar, and reduces the severity of osteoarthritis. That’s especially good news for senior dogs with joint stiffness,like my sweet Sheba. Plus, the beta-carotenein precooked canned pumpkin is more bio-available than the beta-carotene in fresh pumpkin, soa dogs body can assimilate and process it more efficiently.

If yogurt agrees with your dog’s digestion, add a dollop of it to the pumpkin-pudding mix. This is the kind of cooking, er, food prep, thateven those who loathe cooking can love: It’s all about improvisation!

For added decadence,go ahead andadd one loving teaspoonful of coconut oil.Like cinnamon, coconut oil can helpprevent diabetesby regulating and balancing insulin; it also promotes normal thyroid function,helps prevent infection and heart disease, and promotes mobility in arthritic dogs.

For an over-the-topgarnish that willstart Spot seriouslysalivating, addin somecoconut peanut butter.ThisK9 concoction will makeany dog feel as much a part of the holiday celebration as if s/he’d scored a slice of your whipped-cream- or ice-cream-topped pie!

Ifyou’re not at all culinarily inclined, your dog is in luck two clever pet-product manufacturers have Spot’s back. Cloud Star, maker of Buddy Biscuits, offersits seasonal special-editionGingerbread Man Holiday Buddy Biscuits, while Ark Naturals captures the essence of pumpkin pie in a bite-size treat called Paws in the Pie (left). Either or both make brilliant holiday gifts for fellow Dogsters and their best friends.

I don’t know about you, Dogsters, but I’m getting hungry. Won’t you please share your favorite recipes for holiday dog treats in the comments? Happy Holiday Baking and Un-Baking!

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