Dr. Jessica Vogelsang is a veterinarian and head honcho at the award-winning petcentric website pawcurious.com, where she posts recipes, pictures of her pets and rants about pseudoscience. When she’s not writing, she provides home hospice care for pets with her San Diego practice Paws into Grace. Her memoir All Dogs Go to Kevin will be available in bookstores on July 14th.
There are two things I love a whole lot in life: my family and shortcuts. When I can combine loving my family with something really easy, I do a little happy dance. The options for showing love to our dogs are admittedly somewhat limited to food, attention, and exercise — which is why I hold a special place in my heart for making easy dog treats.
Like many of you, I wander the aisles of the stores avoiding jerky like it’s toxic waste (and, in some cases, it might be). I flip boxes over and scrutinize the label for saying “Made in China.” I’d like to make things for my pets more than I do, but the same holds true for my kids and my husband, so I do the best I can.
Little hand-rolled biscuits cut into bone shapes and baked are delightful. No-bake balls you stick in the fridge and pop into your dog’s mouth before you even finish rolling the dough for the biscuits? Score! As an added bonus, I can recruit my kids to help with this one without worrying that it will result in a visit from the fire department or the plumber.
As a final bonus, I got to name these treats and decided on an homage to a very famous SNL skit. So without further ado, here are my very favorite dog treat ever: No-Bake Brody Balls. [Editor’s note: You see why we love Dr. V now, don’t you? She’s totally one of us.]
No-Bake Brody Balls
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 cup oats
- ½ tablespoon ground flax
- ¼ cup dried fruit such as cherries or blueberries (not raisins!)
- Directions Mix in bowl.
- Roll into balls.
- Chill in the fridge on wax paper.
I told you it was easy!
With all that peanut butter, these aren’t exactly low-calorie treats, so portion accordingly. I roll them into 1-inch balls for my big Golden Retriever, but you could make them marble-sized for smaller dogs. (It goes without saying, but if you have any concerns about your dog’s ability to handle any of the ingredients, check with your vet before feeding them.)
If you can’t bear how easy this was and want to impress your friends at the dog park, you can roll these babies in carob powder or coconut and stick them on a little rawhide stick. Voila! Cake pops!
Think you’ll try these at home? You should — your dog will be ever so grateful. —Dr. V