Buster’s Big B-day Treats and other Updates

22 Jul

Buster just hit the big 3 year old mark. I’m hoping that means he’s successfully left the terrible twos behind him. By terrible I mean his snarlin’, growlin’, attackin’ ways. And although he’s gone through phases in his young life when I thought he’d never be cured of such ways (like two weeks ago when he destroyed our door frame), last weekend we received a very tangible glimmer of hope in an unexpected package.

Saturday, we took our second trip to the dog park. And this time Buster went in with our dog trainer’s recommended hardware, a choke collar. My stomach dropped a little when I saw the menacing metal prongs. It dropped about 10 feet lower when I heard Buster’s surprised cry the first time he was corrected.

A little scary, huh?

But when I saw his vastly improved behavior (and with us, not our trainer holding the leash), I was simply amazed. A-mazed! He was great in the dog park. Only one growl situation. I’ll take that in a dog filled environment any day. Really. Since then, he has not had a freak out moment and we’ve seen several other dogs on our daily walks. The choke chain is an amazing training tool! He is starting to respect us more, and we are starting to feel more confident about taking him anywhere no matter the canine population.

Ok, let’s get back to the birthday treats. Although we’re in the training phase when we’re not supposed to give excessive affection or attention, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make my little furball some homemade treats. I went for a sweet potato treat recipe out of Barbara Burg’s cookbook The Good Treats Cookbook for Dogs (p 101). Through various granola bar thefts, we’ve deduced that Buster has a sweet tooth, so this seemed like the perfect choice. Plus, it didn’t have any excessive or strange ingredients.  So if you are looking for a simple, natural and sweet dog treat recipe, read on!

The Players

1 large sweet potato

¼ C vegetable oil

1/8 C honey

1 egg, beaten

1 C flour (unbleached if possible)

The Action

1.Set oven to 350.

2. Bake sweet potato until soft. The original recipe says bake it for 30 minutes, but I probably added an extra 15 or so. I’d say it’s done when you can easily stab it with a fork.

3. Once the potato is baked to your/your dog’s taste, let it cool (unless you enjoy that burnt fingertip feeling).

4. Peel the potato.

5. Cut the potato into to 1” cubes.

6. In your favorite (or cleanest) mixing bowl, combine slightly beaten egg, honey and potatoes.

7. Add that flour.

8. Mix well.

9. Spoon onto your fave (yes, again, your cleanest will do) cookie sheet.

10. Bake for about 20 minutes.

11. Cool on wire rack.

12. Taste test on your favorite dog. In this case, cleanliness does not matter, but is generally preferred. Ok, I tried them, too. They were pretty good! Not super sweet for this human’s sweet tooth, but pleasant and natural tasting.

13. Store the rest in fridge in your fave sealed container.

Buster seems to love the treats! He’ll sit in a flash when he sees these bad boys. I’d say they were a howling success.

He licked the floor clean.

Until next week!

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