Whether you love or loathe that annual holiday sing-along “The Twelve Day of Christmas,” we’ve rounded up a different, delectable dog treat for each day of Christmas. As you prepare a holiday dinner for humans this holiday season, fix a parallel feast fit for your dog. We bring you…the 12 Treats of Christmas!
Candy Cane Cookies
Instead of just hanging the crooked canes on the tree, add a striped snack you can share during the decorating. Instructables.com offers up a recipe for candy cane cookies with flour, cornmeal, egg, water, molasses, peanut butter, and oil.
Looking for that hint of peppermint without all the twisting hassle? Petguide.com suggests a “Holidog” recipe featuring whole wheat flour, molasses, peanut butter, and olive oil that offers a simpler solution.
Fruit and Nut
Between decorating and dinner, a handful of fruit and nuts is a healthy option. The Scrumptious Pumpkin prescribes a nutty treat speckled with tantalizing fruit: Just add cranberries and pumpkin seeds to this concoction of rye flour, baking powder, applesauce, honey, and olive oil. Even humans will have a hard time resisting this animal appetizer.
Reds and Greens
We might focus on the meat course with Christmas dinner, but a good holiday feast begins with salad and vegetables. Augment your Christmas color scheme with a plate of red and green holiday biscuits, courtesy of thebark.com.
Reds start with a water, flour, Parmesan cheese, and safflower oil base, adding tomato juice for the crimson color. For your greens, the recipe swaps tomatoes for chopped spinach. That’s some roughage to ruff about.
Grain-Free Sweet Potato
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, someone’s bound to break out an amazing sweet potato dish. The Healthy Mavens grain-free sweet potato treat might be just what you need, offering health-conscious ingredients like almond meal, coconut flour, poultry seasoning, sweet potato, water, and coconut oil.
You can’t design their fitness plan, but you can make sure your dog comes through Christmas even fitter than before. All Natural Pet Care’s Holistic Holiday Cranberry Cookies can help with that, thanks to ingredients like barley and green pea flour, oat bran, sea salt, ginger, seaweed, egg, coconut oil, honey, and yogurt with unsweetened cranberry juice. Not only will your dog love it, it’ll boost their immune system and improve digestion and urinary function.
Fresh Shape, Familiar Taste
At this point, some of you are probably thinking: My dog’s tastes aren’t exotic. Why mess with what works? If you want to steer clear of untested ingredients, get back to basics and shake things up with shapely cookie cutters. Barkpost.com boasts a biscuit blend of baking powder, peanut butter, yogurt, flour, and water that’s sure to soothe the classic palate.
Of course, healthy options don’t mean you can’t have some fun. Top off the healthier fruit and vegetable options above with dog-friendly gingerbread cookies. Ginger, cloves, molasses, and cinnamon jump in the mix with more familiar ingredients like water, oil, flour, and baking soda to produce gingerbread men…or perhaps gingerbread dogs are more appropriate.
After dinner, nothing says Christmas in America like hot apple pie. While it’s probably not wise to give into those pleading puppy-dog eyes that want a slice of their own, you can serve them an apple option that doesn’t fall far from the dessert tree. Whip up these apple carrot cookies courtesy of mybakingaddiction.com: With a hot oven and some grated carrots, flour, egg, and applesauce, you’ll have a distinctly dog dessert.
After-dinner dog breath? Try this offering from Best Dog Treat Recipes for apple mint dog bones. Start with wheat and all-purpose flour, oats, bran, dry milk, and baking yeast, then add spearmint leaves and applesauce to sweeten the deal. Some green food coloring (or spinach powder) will hulk up this halitosis killer.
It can’t be Christmas without some delectable chocolates, right? Except for that little health fact of how toxic chocolate is for dogs… still, we can compromise with carob and let them partake of similar cookie fare. Try some dipped cookies that begin with Bisquick, flour, mint, milk, margarine, egg, and corn syrup, then bake and dip them in melted carob for that Christmas cookie look. Pawluxury’s Christmas carob cookies provide a great holiday look.
Our final recipe comes from a love of chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven on Christmas Eve. If you leave one for Santa, what about your saintly four-legged friend, whose unconditional love is the best gift you receive every year? Minnie in Manhattan’s carob chip cookies are worth climbing up and down a chimney for—they’re made with brown rice flour, oat flour, vanilla extract, egg, water, and canine-safe carob chips. Just make sure your dog gets them before the reindeer do.
Don’t worry—there are Christmas Dog Cookies available for purchase if you’re running short on time and need something elegant and fast. Whether you try one of these dozen recipes or go full bore for the 12 Days of Doggy Christmas, make sure the outcome clearly says “I love you” to your favorite furry friend this holiday season.