Holiday menu for your pets

Oh man! The holidays are upon us, and this time they bring food with them. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes … and the desserts! Just so many desserts! And we pets can’t have any of them. Most of them all have too much fat, salt, or sugar for our little bodies. However that doesn’t mean we can’t join in the festivities, it just means we have to get our own menu.

First up, for the cats and dogs! While I haven’t been able to personally try these, the four legged, furry members of the family always seem to end up in the kitchen whenever my human starts to make these:

Turkey Bites

1 pound cooked and drained ground turkey

1 egg

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

¼ cup shredded cheese

½ cup chopped veggies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all ingredients a large bowl.  Drop small spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until brown. Cool and serve or seal in an airtight container and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve  

Pumpkin Dog Cookies Makes 36 large dog biscuits

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (Pumpkin only, no spices)

1/4 cup cold water or enough to make dough stick

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix eggs and pumpkin together in a separate bowl until smooth. Add pumpkin mixture to flour in two parts. Add water slowly. Use your hands to pull the dough together. Roll dough out between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper to desired thickness. (about 1/4″ thick.) Remove top piece of parchment paper, flip dough onto floured counter, remove top piece, and then cut biscuits using desired cookie cutter. Place biscuits on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the top of the biscuit has dried out completely. Let biscuits cool and store in an airtight container.

And now for my fellow fliers. These I can personally attest to being a great treat, holiday time or not. The Sweet Potato Balls are my favorite, so messy!

Fruit and Nut Bar

2 Large eggs (shells optional, just wash and rise the outside of the egg well before cracking)

1/4 cup walnuts (or other favorite nuts)

1/4 cup raisins

2 ¼ cups corn meal

1/3 cup cranberry or apple juice (unsweetened)

1/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)

1 cup of your favorite vegetables chopped, frozen or fresh

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together, eggs, applesauce, cranberry juice, and veggies. Add corn meal a little at a time. Stir until well combined. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Pour batter into 8×8″ pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes. When cool, cut into squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Balls

1 large sweet potato baked until soft

1/2 cup raisins

1 small banana

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables thawed

1 cup diced apple

1 1/2 cups corn flakes (or your favorite pellet food)

In food processor, puree sweet potato, banana, apple and mixed vegetables. When smooth, add corn flakes/pellets and puree until smooth again. Stir in raisins. Roll into small balls and freeze. They will keep about 6 months in the freezer. Defrost to serve.

Like most baking and cooking recipes these recipes are basic starting places that you can make your own. Don’t like walnuts? Use Almonds! Love raisins? Use extra! Add in your favorites flavors and textures, add in your own kibble or pellets to it and mix it up a bit. But whenever you are adding in ingredients make sure to keep an eye on what is in them. We need to watch the hidden sugar and salt levels, so no sweetened corn flakes or spiced pumpkin. Also, don’t forget to “help” out as much as possible. I personally like to help with keeping track of the oven mitts and generally get in the way.

Do you have a favorite recipe of your own? Have your human share it with us in the comments.

About me…

I’m a 24 year old Senegal parrot. As with any creature as small as I am, I have a big attitude and know how to get what I want. I share my home with my human servant Megan and her Australian Shepherds, whom I torment to my heart’s content. Coming from a rescue, my history is a little bit of a mystery. My early life has caused me to be a picker, but it doesn’t matter too much – I know I’m gorgeous!

Have a question for me? You can contact me through my secretary, Megan at meganvd@santarosavet.comor you can call one of my staff members at your friendly Veterinary Hospital – the Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital.