My pug is 8 years old as of yesterday. While he may not be able to clamor up and down stairs like he used to nor can he run laps around our house like a mini tornado, I only fall even deeper in love with him everyday. His idiosyncrasies have become an integral part of my life, like how he hates walking on fallen leaves on the sidewalk and he refuses to eat leafy greens unless baked into dog treats.
And, with my amount of time free to devote to precious hobbies and the like, I am dedicating myself to showering my pug with an abundance of homemade treats.
Didi (his name) adores these treats. You can tell he adores them because after munching rambunctiously on one treat, he instantly licks his lips and that small pug nose of his in satisfaction, spins in endless circles and settles down for a good post-snack nap.
Or if he’s feeling extra spoiled (a.k.a. if I’m feeling like giving him absolute royal treatment), he’ll get a good old back scratch before his nap.
Homemade Peanut Butter Banana Treats (Slightly adapted from Whole Foods)
- 1 banana, peeled
- 1 cup oat flour
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup dried parsley and/or cilantro
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 300°F. Put banana in a large bowl and use a spoon or potato masher to mash it thoroughly. Add oat flour, oats, parsley, peanut butter and egg and stir well to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Roll mixture into 24 balls, using about 1 tablespoon dough for each; transfer to a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet as done. Press dough to 1 1/2- to 2-inch thick and cut using a cookie cutter or shape to your desire. Bake until firm and deep golden brown on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.
Storage note: It’s best to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, freeze them to give to your pal later; just be sure to thaw the treats befor handing them out.
But, of course, treats are just treats. For a true special birthday pug, there has to be cake. Or, as cleverly coined by other homemade-dog-food-connoisseurs, “pupcakes”.
Didi loves bananas and peanut butter and I recently found out that he loves dried blueberries, so what better way to celebrate than by treating him with those things. Oh, and even better, these cakes are entirely human-friendly. So yes I did sneak bites and so did my sister, but shush, Didi got the biggest layered cupcake.
Mini Banana Pupcakes (Adapted from Veggie and the Beast)
- ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup peanut oil (or other vegetable oil)
- ⅓ cup mashed banana (one small/medium over-ripe banana)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons natural salted peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 tablespoon corn starch or as needed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- Add the oil, banana, egg, and honey, and use a fork to mix until incorporated.
- Grease a mini muffin pan. Drop 1 tablespoon of batter into each muffin tin.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes, until lightly golden on top.
- Let cool completely. While cooling, use a fork or whisk to mix together the peanut butter and almond milk and add corn starch until the frosting is at your desired consistency.
- Spread the peanut butter frosting on the top of each cupcake.
And you will have a very happy and ravenous pug.