I suppose if I am trying to live a less processed life, there's no reason why my dog shouldn't either. As it turns out, for the most part, Leroy's diet is the most unprocessed in our family. After becoming less and less enamored with his dry food, followed by some major digestive issues after eating a purchased rawhide treat, we switched him to a raw diet late last summer, and he has really done well with it. Now his twice-daily meals consist of a combination of beef heart or venison, whole eggs, chicken necks, and fresh veggies. His new meal plan is definitely a bit more messy than his previously easily-scoopable one, but the important thing is that he's getting the nutrients he needs.
When it comes to treats, I typically purchase types that are wheat-free and have limited ingredients. Leroy has a peanut allergy, so we avoid giving him anything with peanut butter (which is unfortunately quite a popular dog treat ingredient!). We recently ran out of his favorite treats, and, since getting more would require a trip down to Wausau, I figured I might as well make him a batch from scratch.
Pumpkin Dog Treats
makes at least 2 dozen treats (depending on size of cookie cutters used)
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, pumpkin, and egg until a dough forms.
3. Take a handful of dough and form it into a small ball. Press it lightly onto a work surface until it's about 1/4" thick, flipping as you press to prevent it from sticking. Use a cookie cutter (I used the small and medium size cutters from this set.) to cut the dough into bone shapes, then place on the prepped baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
4. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Set on a wire rack to cool. Place in an airtight container to store. (These treats can also be frozen.)
(inspired by this My Baking Addiction recipe)