One of my favorite pet-centric ideas for the Kindness Challenge is making pet treat bundles. It's so easy and so fun to make and then handing them out is equally fun!
One year, I taught a fund-raising summer camp. They would learn some cute songs and skits to perform at the end of the week for parents and friends, but we would also create something to sell in order to raise money for a charity. This particular year, they chose the local animal shelter to support. We asked for donations of dog treats, cat treats, small animal treats and bird treats. We cut out square of scrap fabric and tulle and set to work.
You set a clump of treats in the center of the square, then gather up the corners and bind them together with a ribbon or a thin strip of fabric. They were SO adorable!!
Then I sent the kids home to sell them for $2 a piece. (There were prizes for whomever sold the most!). They had so much fun! At the end of the week, the kids were able to present the animal shelter with a check for all the money they raised. (They had also asked the audience during intermission, if they would donate any extra money.).
It was such a great time. And such a valuable lesson about charity and kindness. (Plus, the program was super cute too!)
So I've kept this idea close and every other year or so, I create little pet bundles. Not to sell, but to just give away to those who have pets. I add a little tag on them to make sure they know it is NOT human food!! Lol!
I give them to people and neighbors I know that have furbabies, and if I'm ever stuck with too many leftovers, a quick stop at a local dog park helps alleviate that problem! And for a few moments, I am Queen of the Dog Park!
If you want to make this a full day activity with the family, there are so many pup treats recipes that you could even make your own! And, since I'm extra, I had to buy all of the adorable pet-type cookie cutters too! But there are some that you just roll and bake. You don't have to make it fancy or difficult, there are lots of super simple options too.
These slow-motion photos of pups "trying" to catch treats make me laugh out loud every single time!
A Simple Recipe for Dog Treats:
Peanut Butter: make sure that the peanut butter you use is natural peanut butter. The only ingredient should be peanuts. Do not use processed peanut butter that contains added oils, sugars, and salt. That stuff is basically frosting and is bad for our pups. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fats for our dogs as well as vitamins B and E, and niacin.
Banana: this is the perfect recipe to use up those bananas that are getting a bit old. Bananas have potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, and magnesium which are all healthy nutrients for dogs.
Oats: you can use whole oats, 1- minute oats, or instant oats, as long as there aren't any added sugars or other ingredients. In this recipe, I grind the oats into a powder to make homemade oat flour. If you have a food processor or blender, this takes just a few seconds to do and is usually more affordable than buying premade oat flour. I also always have oats on hand so it's nice that I don't have to go out to get anything special. Oats are very healthy for our pooches as they are high in fiber, contain vitamin B, and omega-6 fatty acid among other good nutrients.
Preheat your oven to 300F (150C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the oats to a food processor and grind until they reach a fine powder. (If you do not have a food processor, see the recipe notes for other options).
Add the bananas and peanut butter and blend until a sticky dough is formed.
Remove from the food processor and roll out on a lightly floured surface. (Use whole wheat flour, more ground oats, or another dog-safe flour that you have on hand). I used a heart cookie cutter to cut out these homemade dog treats but you could use any cookie cutter, or just cut them into squares with a knife or pizza cutter.Lay the treats on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the treats are puffed up a bit, dry and dark brown on the bottoms, (they will still feel soft when first removed from the oven). The treats will get a bit more firm once they are cool but will still be a slightly softer dog treat. Let cool before giving one to your pup.Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or I like to store them in my freezer which makes them firmer and makes them stay fresh a long time.
This recipe came from: @itdoesnttastelikechicken on Instagram. If you make these at home, be sure to give them a holler on Instagram!!
Simple Cat Treat Recipe
You only need 3 ingredients to make these healthy homemade cat treats. And you might already have them all in your pantry!
This recipe came from @thecookierookie on Instagram! If you make this recipe, make sure you give them a shout-out!!