Sunday, September 30, 2012

...and That's How You Make Man-Made Dog Poo

Kate is a picky eater.  She does not like dry dog food.  Kate will give any new food a chance for a couple of days; in fact, she'll be excited about it.  Then she'll refuse to eat it, especially if it's dry food -- cheap kibble or expensive organic bits, it matters not to Kate.  Even if I hide the dry food under a generous layer of soft food, she can sense it, and she will eat so very slowly, until she is hungry enough to eat the aforementioned dry food.  This poses a problem when it is essential to anticipate Kate's bowel movements.  (It's best to clean up after her as soon as possible, lest she eat her "food"...again.)

The only dry "food" she likes without fail are dog biscuit treats.  In the interest of having Kate eat dry food and minimizing the opening of canned dog food and overall spoiling a spoiled dog further -- I set off on a quest to turn unwanted dry food into hopefully tasty "treats" for my dog.

Using food that Kate mostly likes, I created this recipe, somewhat modified from a dog forum thread.  The forum thread no longer exists, except in Google's cache.  Anyhow, this recipe is for a single-serve blender and a bone-shaped biscuit baking tray:

Red kibble.
If you want to have a distinctive color (and perhaps flavor) for the biscuits, you can separate the different bits.  For example, a certain Kibbles 'n Bits bag contains yellow pieces, red pieces, green pieces, brown pieces, and pieces shaped like raw steaks.

Scoop two dollops of plain yogurt into the blender.

Put in about 8 oz. of dry dog kibble into the blender.
Yellow kibble.

Add a splash of water.

Pulse.

Cut up a banana with your hands, and add it to the blender.

Pulse.

Add a dollop of peanut butter.  I've found that this is important for making the cookies not smell like dog food while it is baking.

Pulse.

Pulse again.

Oh yeah, you might want to preheat your over at 350° F while you're mixing the ingredients.

Green kibble.
Pulse until you are certain that you have a good consistency.

Pink slime...for dogs.
Spoon into a bone-shaped mold baking tray.  This recipe should fill one tray perfectly.  If you have two trays, then you can double the recipe.  You can probably make drop biscuits from the mixture, but you'll have to figure out how long to get the ideal crispness or softness or however you want to determine if it's done.

Bake at 350° F for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Through trial and error, I found that the biscuits held its shape and felt right after baking that long.  The cookies will have a dark brown burnt color on the outside, but keep its original color (more or less) on the inside.  I can guess that smaller cookies will bake faster.

Human beings are the not target audience.
Take the tray out of the over, and let the cookies cool for a bit.  A nicely-conditioned non-stick tray should give few complications when removing the cookies.

I figure that the above recipe, which makes five biscuits, is equivalent to about one cup of unmodified dog food, so I take that into account when feeding Kate.  I don't want to overfeed my dog, and neither should you with your canine companion(s).

Kate seems to love these cookies, she eats them really fast, and hopefully she'll like them for a long time!  They're so popular, that she is starting to dislike soft canned dog food.  That's what I get for spoiling a picky dog.

Anyhow, if grinding up dog food, mixing it with other ingredients, then baking it for a period of time seems familiar -- it's basically how a mammal digests food.  Since Kate is the type of dog who sometimes likes to recycle her dinner -- when no one is looking -- maybe that's why she likes eating these cookies.

They're essentially man-made dog poo.  (Processed food for human consumption, on the other hand, is a topic for another day.)

...and that's how you make man-made dog poo.