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With the holidays creeping up fast, you may have recently realized that your house is really not ready to host the entire family and the Christmas dinner menu is, for the most part, non-existent! You may have on your plate quite a bit of holiday cleaning, planning, and decorating that needs to get done, and more than likely you’ve got some more gift shopping to do. It’s completely normal at this point in December to still have these holiday chores, so instead of stressing, write out what you need to get done and have ready by Christmas week.

Gift giving can be a difficult task for some folks, but with a little change in your mindset, you will do just fine. You cannot go wrong giving gifts to family and friends that are meaningful, useful, and homemade, as these are the gifts that are most cherished for them and gentler on your wallet. But no matter how crazy things get, don’t forget to also treat your furry family members to something tasty (while still being healthy) this Christmas season!

Pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, maple syrup, and more are holiday themed ingredients that your pet will enjoy. Add peanut butter into the mix and dogs will go bonkers! Guinea pigs and rabbits will loudly munch away on scrumptious nut bars! So, let’s look at a few easy homemade Christmas treats for the above mentioned furry companions:

GUINEA PIG & RABBIT MAPLE VEGGIE BARS that I used to make for my guineas and rabbits (may they rest in peace…)

INGREDIENTS:(measurements will be based on how many creatures you’re making treats for and what foods they like to eat.)

  • Guinea pig or rabbit food pellets
  • Ripe banana(s)
  • Fresh carrots
  • Fresh parsley
  • Ground oats
  • Nuts and seeds of your choice
  • Maple syrup (the real stuff)

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to  350 degrees fahrenheit. You want to dry out/lightly toast, not fully bake.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Crush creature food pellets and oats almost to a powder.
  4. Mash bananas!
  5. Finely chop or puree the carrots and parsley.
  6. Leave nuts and seeds whole, unless they are gigantic then break them down a little.
  7. Except for the maple syrup, mix all ingredients in a bowl until completely combined. Add a splash of water as needed if mixture is too dry to shape.
  8. Take a little bit of the mixture at a time and roll into small logs or bars and place onto lined baking sheet. Brush on a thin layer of maple syrup over each bar.
  9. Place in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes, but only until the treats have hardened.

PEANUT BUTTER PUMPKIN DOG TREATS adapted from Running to the Kitchen

Makes 24 biscuits

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 flaxseed egg or 1/4 to 1/3 cup applesauce
  • pinch of salt
  • Dash of ground cinnamon (optional, but makes the treats more festive!)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup organic peanut butter

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. See here for complete baking and shaping instructions on Running to the Kitchen. Or, for a sweeter take on a homemade holiday themed dog treat, check out these Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits made with molasses and vanilla from a fellow Green Monster!

See how easy it is to gift your furry friends yummy homemade treats for Christmas? For an even simpler treat recipe that dogs, rabbits and guineas can all enjoy, see this article on How to Make Dehydrated Veggie Treats for Your Dog using healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Woof! Squeak! Crunch!

Image Source: Andrew Roberts/Flickr 

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