Eugene Weekly : Feature : 7.28.11

Eugene Weekly‘s Pet Issue:

Cooking for Canines Get baked with Fido

Neu Day Rising Make your dog’s life testicle-rific with fake balls

Are You a Badfish Too? Exploring the toothy side of freshwater aquarium-dwellers

The Furriest Firefighter Firedog is much more than a mascot  

Sasha at Serbu Hero dog needs a home  

The Healthy Hound Holistic pet care in Eugene

Pure Pixelated Cuteness Popular cat videos, explained


Cooking for Canines
Get baked with Fido
by Shannon Finnell

When your faithful companion has completed a hard day’s work of walking, sitting and fetching, what could be a better reward than a scratch behind the ears and a home-cooked snack? That’s right, when you don’t have the cash to shell out for fancy-schmancy boutique-bought treats or are simply in the mood to get crafty in the kitchen, you can whip up your own doggy dessert. These are the EW dogs’ faves, culled from the interwebs.

photograph by Trask Bedortha

Keep ‘em regular: With fiber, vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is great for dogs and humans — just be careful you’re picking up pure pumpkin and not pie filling. Mix a 15-oz. can of pumpkin, 3/4 cup rice cereal and 1/2 cup dry powdered milk, then drop spoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cook at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Dog breath veggie bones: Maybe they won’t cure serious halitosis, but throwing some parsley into a treat can take some of the bite out of a pooch’s bark. Preheat the oven to 350 and re-grease that cookie sheet, then combine 2 3/4 cups wheat flour, 2 tbsp. bran and 2 tsp. baking powder. Separately mix up 3 tsp. minced parsley, 1/4 cup shredded carrots, 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add 1/2 cup water to the wet ingredients and mix it all together, kneading until it’s dough. Roll the dough into a sheet 1/4 inch thick, cut out bones (or hearts or stars) and bake for 20 minutes.

Carrot treats for fatties: Whip up this healthy, natural treat for your chubby buddy who loves food rewards. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet, then mash together a ripe banana and a cup of shredded carrots, and mix in 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce and a little water. Finally, knead in 1 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour and a cup of rolled oats. Roll the dough into a sheet half an inch thick, then cut ‘em out and bake for 25 minutes.

Potato power: Make sure the mashed potatoes in this recipe don’t contain any leaves, stems or brown spots, which contain toxins. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; lightly grease the baking sheet. Mix 1 cup mashed potatoes and one shredded carrot, then stir in an egg yolk. Mold the mash into miniature balls and bake for 10 minutes or until they begin to brown.

Going grain-free: A lot of dogs are sensitive to a particular grain, and alternative flours can save the day — and a dog’s ability to eat peanut butter goodies. To make these grain-free treats, preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a cookie sheet. Blend 3 cups garbanzo and fava bean flour (or another traditional flour substitute) with 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 cup water and 2 tbsp. vegetable oil. Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the cookie sheet, then bake for 20 minutes.

Gnaw-hide: As an alternative to a rawhide, wash and dry a sweet potato and preheat the oven to 250. This time, line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut the potato into pieces about 1/3 inch thick and bake them for three hours. They keep in the fridge for about three weeks and can be frozen for a few months.

Broth-sicles: If Eugene ever sees the return of hot weather, freezing a treat might be more fun than firing up the oven. A little low-sodium chicken or beef broth frozen in an ice cube tray makes a delightful alternative to warm or room temperature treats.

Frozen 2.0: Here’s another cool treat for the dog days of summer. Microwave a cup of creamy peanut butter until it melts, then add a 32-ounce container of fat-free vanilla yogurt. Fill a muffin tin with the goo and freeze until it’s hard.

While creating cuisine for canines can incorporate a lot of nutritious elements, there are also foods to watch out for. Onions, garlic, coffee, alcohol, macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs, and salt is particularly bad for big dogs. Yeast dough is also a no-go.

Raw salmon infected with a parasite that is infected with the microorganism Neorickettsia helminthoeca can kill dogs, and because it most frequently occurs west of the Cascades, it’s a good thing to avoid in these parts.

Edging away from those controversial or downright dangerous foods, you can incorporate sub foods like applesauce, bananas, honey, cornmeal, pumpkin and sweet potato into recipes, and enjoy treating man and woman’s best friend. 

Eugene Bakes

Too tuckered out to cook treats yourself?

Fetch Fido some fresh goodies from these local bakeries that cater to dogs:

Sweet Life sells peanut butter bones that EW dogs James and Charlie devour with manic enthusiasm. 755 Monroe St.

Not For Dogs Only cooks up fresh treats in apple cinnamon, banana lavender, banana butter and more. They focus on healthy treats, but are still delicious enough to capture the attention of office dogs Rhoda and Zella. A complete list of their distributors is available at 

Bare Bones Dog Wash carries NFDO, and it also sells Kristi’s All Natural Dog Food, made in Albany of beef from Coburg’s Knee Deep Cattle. All of the products that Bare Bones carries are gluten and grain free. 1025 River Rd.

Muddy Paws Pet Parlor is a self-service dog wash and pet store, complete with a gluten-free dog bakery. 1025 River Rd.