Autumn Treats You and Your Jack can Enjoy Together

a jack russell terrier chasing a ball on wet sand

As the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, many people's minds turn to treats. Hot chocolate, candy corn, pecan pie — and your dog would love some treats, too, please, while you're at it!

But of course, as you well know, many things that are treats for us, would be no fun for your dog if they ate it.

Good thing there are plenty of autumn treats that your dog can enjoy, too!

But First…A Shopping List

Our autumnal recipes collection relies on ingredients that are healthy, inexpensive, and generally easy to find. If you like baking, and especially if you like baking for your dog, it's good to have some of these on hand, so stock up!

Canned pumpkin

Canned pumpkin is easy to find in the United States, though it may take a bit of work finding elsewhere.

Do not mistake pure canned pumpkin for pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling may contain sugar — or even artificial sweeteners like Xylitol, which are poisonous for dogs — as well as spices, like nutmeg that can make your dog sick.

Make sure, instead to buy only pure pumpkin, with no other ingredients.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is beloved by dogs, children, and, frankly, by a lot of adults, too. But not all peanut butters are created equal.

Just like with pumpkin, look for “natural” peanut butter, with no added sugar or sweeteners. Be especially careful, as numerous manufacturers have started adding artificial sweeteners to peanut butter.

Brewer's yeast

Brewer's yeast is different from the kind of yeast you use to make bread. Brewer's yeast is a by-product of brewing beer. It contains several nutrients that are beneficial to dogs and humans alike, including protein and B vitamins. It also gives baked products a pleasant salty, nutty flavor.

You may have to look for it beyond your local grocery stores. Many health food stores stock Brewer's yeast. You can also find it online.

Wheat germ

Wheat germ is part of the wheat plant. It's rich in fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin E, protein, and healthy fats. And it tastes lovely sprinkled over cereal. It's also widely available in most grocery stores.

So, now that you've got your shopping done, on to the recipes!

Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin is a wonderful thing for us, as well as for our dogs. It's full of vitamins A, C, and E; beta-carotine, fiber, and more.

If that's not enough, pumpkin has been shown to be beneficial for dogs' urinary health, digestion, and weight management, as well.

Pumpkin is inexpensive and easy to find, whether whole or canned on your grocery store shelves.

It's also hardy and easy to grow in most places, if you want to try growing your own.

Best of all, you can use it to make treats that both you and your Jack can enjoy together.

Pumpkin pie

We wouldn't recommend buying any old pumpkin pie and cutting your dog a slice. For one thing, commercially made pies may contain ingredients that could make your dog sick, like nutmeg or Xylitol.

For another thing, when you cook from scratch, you control the ingredients and the portions. And that's a win-win for everyone.

Now, how about a pumpkin pie recipe you and your pup can share?

Our first recipe comes from I Heart Dogs. It serves 12.

DIY frozen pumpkin pie-cicles

What you'll need:

  • Half of a banana
  • Three quarters cup flour
  • Half a cup of oatmeal
  • One 16-ounce can of plain pumpkin (check for added spices or sweeteners)
  • One quarter cup plain yogurt
  • One half cup water

How to make it:

First, grease or line cupcake pans, and preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190.5 degrees Celsius).

Then, mix together your oatmeal and flour.

Slowly add water, stirring, until the mixture forms a ball. Divide the ball into twelve pieces, and press each piece into the bottom of one of the cupcake molds. This will be the crust.

Bake the crust for eight minutes, or until firm. While the crusts are cooling, it's time to make the filling.

Mix the pumpkin, the banana, and half the yogurt together. Spoon the mixture into the crusts.

Now freeze the pies, and serve frozen.

Pumpkin peanut butter treats

Who doesn't love peanut butter? Peanut butter and pumpkin might seem like an odd combination, but dogs love it. And if you give it a chance, you might, too!

This recipe come from Crayons and Collars. It's fast, easy, no-bake, and a terrific project to do with the kids.

What you'll need:

  • Half a cup of peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin (again, check for additional unwanted ingredients)
  • Two-and-a-half cups of oats

How to make it:

First, put aside one cup of the oats. Now, mix all of the other ingredients together.

Divide the dough into little balls, and roll the balls in the oats. That's it! They're ready to serve!

And they're just as healthy and tasty for humans as they are for dogs!

Pumpkin dog (and human!) biscuits

Are these delicious baked treats dog biscuits, or are they cookies bound for your cookie jar? After making this recipe from Proud Dog Mom, you may have a hard time deciding!

What you'll need:

  • Half a cup of natural peanut butter (check for artificial sweeteners)
  • Half a cup of canned pumpkin (check ingredients list carefully)
  • One cup of water
  • Two tablespoons of your choice of oil
  • Three cups of flour

How to make it:

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) and grease or line your cookie sheet.

Next, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until it forms a ball, then knead.

Roll out the ball until it is approximately one-quarter inch thick. Now, cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutter.

Bake for about half an hour.

Savory Treats

A lot of autumnal treats are sweet, and too many sweets aren't good for anyone! Good thing there are plenty of savory recipes that you can make for your dog…and yourself.

Martha Stewart's Savory Biscuits

This recipe from Martha Stewart Living creates a succulent, savory dog biscuit. But it's filled with healthy ingredients that pet parents will also love.

What you'll need:

  • Two cups of flour
  • Half a cup of brewer's yeast
  • Three tablespoons of oil
  • Half a cup of wheat germ
  • Two teaspoons of salt
  • One and one-half cups of chicken stock (store-bought or homemade)

How to make it:

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204degrees Celsius). Then grease or line your cookie sheet.

Next, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and put the oil into a different large bowl. In a third bowl, put one cup of the chicken stock. Set the remaining half-cup of chicken stock aside.

Divide the dry ingredients into three parts. Add one part to the bowl with the oil, and mix. Then add one-third of the chicken stock from the bowl.

Add the second third of the dry ingredients to that, then add the second third of the chicken stock, and mix.

Finally, add the last of the dry ingredients, and the last one-third cup of the chicken stock.

Knead the dough for two minutes on a floured surface, then roll out to a thickness of one-quarter inch.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out your cookies. Place them on your cookie sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Halfway through, brush some of the remaining chicken stock over the biscuits.

When it's done, let it sit for 40 minutes.

Are You Ready for Some Fall Baking?

Baking is always more fun when you have someone to bake for — and someone to help you enjoy your creations!

What's your favorite recipe to share with your dog?

Featured Image: CC SA 3.0 by Steve-65 via Wikimedia Commons