Homemade Dog Treats (guaranteed to freshen breath!)

This week, I was browsing the dog treat section of my grocery store; on the hunt for something to freshen Hank’s breath. I adore Hank, just not his breath. EverAside from plaque buildup, let's not discuss why a dog's breath can sometimes level a human. And I mean, put a guy out. We need to combat that crap-breath now

I spent a decent amount of time scouring labels, looking for something, anything that was wholesome and simple. I would have taken one or the other (wholesome or simple), but it simply didn't exist. Every treat had a lengthy ingredient list, most of which I didn’t understand (unless it said oats or corn). No joke, I stood in the aisle Googling. 

As I was standing there, kind of annoyed with my selection, I had a daydream thought burst, “You’re a nutritionist and chef, just make your own treats dammit.” And then I woke up from that moment and thought, "Don't be an idiot, you barely have time to brush your teeth." 

But that other voice in my head was loud. My alter, pet ego was persistent, so I decided to research foods that promote oral health (for dogs and humans). And here's what happened: That research turned into one amazing treat, even for those that walk upright. And I must confess, this was one of my favorite recipes to create.

Why these are incredibly healthy treats: First, they're wheat-free (which is as important for some dogs as it is for some humans). Second, they're crammed with dog-friendly ingredients that promote good oral hygiene. Here’s what I included and why: 
  • Oats: Abrasive texture helps clean teeth
  • Brown rice flour: Plenty of dogs are sensitive to wheat
  • Parsley: Freshens breath
  • Cinnamon: Freshens breath
  • Coconut oil: Not only boosts the immune system and digestive and metabolic health, it combats bad breath
  • Green tea: Kills the microbes that make stinky breath, lowers bacteria in the mouth and reduces the acidity of saliva, which reduces dental plaque
  • Peanut butter: Dogs love it
About the shape of the bones: I chose to free-form "bones", but you can certainly use cookie cutters. Just roll the dough out until it's 1/2-inch thick and cut out any shapes you want.

So now you have the backstory - let's make those treats! Oh, and SCROLL ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM FOR A GREAT GUEST POST! 

Homemade Dog Treats (guaranteed to freshen breath!)
Crunchy, wholesome, all-natural, incredibly tasty treats your dog (and you) will friggin' adore. The best part? Healthy, fresh breath!

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup brewed caffeine-free green tea (caffeine-free friends, trust me)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper (the space you need depends on how big your treats are). 
In a food processor, combine the oats, brown rice flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Process until blended. Add the parsley and process until blended. Add the tea, egg, peanut butter, and coconut oil and process until the mixture comes together to form a dough (if the mixture is still crumbly, add a little water and process until a dough forms). 
Shape the dough into 32 bones (or any shape you want), about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough starts to dry out, use water-moistened hands for shaping. Transfer the treats to the prepared pan(s). 
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the treats look dry and are just starting to turn golden brown. Cool completely before delighting your dog.
I more photo Hank... hold on... 
Happy Hank 
Makes 32 treats

And here's a GREAT guest post from Leo Wilson from CyberPet - thanks Leo!: 
Do you love spending your days (and nights) indoors playing with your pets?
Have you ever shared your snacks with them?
Sometimes, it’s really hard to ignore their big soft eyes when they look at you from under the table.
But are you aware of what human foods your dog can and cannot eat?
The fact is, the metabolism between dogs and people is very different.
Therefore, some human foods that many dog owners usually give their dogs, such as popcorn and
chocolate are actually harmful to them.
When it comes to treating your dog with human foods, just be sure educate yourself on what
human foods are safe for them to eat, and which ones are a danger.
Leo Wilson from CyberPet has created a list of over 50 human foods your dogs can and can’t eat.
Click the links to learn which “people foods” are best for your precious pup!