Happy fall!!! Just kidding. We’re not quite there yet. But that doesn’t mean we can’t bake something pumpkin-y. And pumpkin dog treats just felt right this weekend, since I was dog-sitting my family’s black lab, Peepers. Did you know that pumpkin is really good for doggy tummies? And that a lot of dogs really love the taste of pumpkin? That’s why this recipe is such a success – and not just with Peepers, who will eat literally anything. Peep has lots of dog friends who acted as my taste testers: a yellow lab, an American foxhound, and a vizsla with a sensitive stomach. I think I know a beagle who might appreciate them, too.
The results: the labs and vizsla were bonkers for them, and the foxhound was funny – she carried a treat around in her mouth for a while before she finally ate it.
One important note. You know your dog better than I do, so if he has a sensitive stomach or hasn’t tried anything like this before, give him one or two treats and then watch for any signs of upset, just to be safe. As for my taste testers, the canine verdict is good – my pup was breaking out all her tricks to get her paws on these pumpkin treats.
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 1/4 cups unbleached flour, plus more for dusting (if your dog is sensitive to gluten, use brown rice flour or a similar substitute)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Stir together pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and eggs. Add 1 cup flour, stir to incorporate, add the rest of the flour, and stir again.
Lightly flour a flat surface. Take half the dough and use a rolling pin to roll it about 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the treats. I used a heart, but honestly, your dog has no clue what shape they’re eating, so do whatever you want. Repeat with the rest of the dough until it’s all cookie-shaped.
Lay the treats on a baking sheet (they don’t expand much, so feel free to crowd them on, as long as they’re not touching) and bake for 20-30 minutes. They do puff up in the oven, almost like a cute little pillow, so that the hearts are more 3D than flat.
Let cool completely before putting them away.
Peepers was suspicious of the treats at first – like, are you trying to make me eat something healthy?? – but once she had one, I could barely keep her away. Love her little face when she gets excited to eat another treat!