Homemade “gourmet” dog biscuits seem to be the in-thing. A friendly gourmut-chef sold her homemade dog biscuits at the McFarland Farmers’ Market on Saturday. Sunday, several vendors at the 21st Annual Wisconsin Dog Fair at Madison’s Alliant Energy Center were selling multiple varieties of homemade biscuits baked especially for beloved pooches. The exceptional nutritional value of the biscuits, their super-healthy ingredients, such as flaxseed and wheat germ, were the primary reasons vendors gave to encourage the several thousand passer-bys at the fair to pick up a bag of biscuits. Of course, vendors also said that dogs love these biscuits.

But love them as much as a dead mole in the backyard? Or maybe  a decaying rabbit? When I have to lure my dogs away from succulent roadkill, I have to use treats maxed with dog-attracting flavor. Pieces of hot dog or bacon work best, but unfortunately they make my pockets greasy. Plus, even dogs can over-do it on the pork fat. You have to consider if what you’re using as a lure is actually healthier for the dog than the disgusting thing it wants. Moles are pretty lean prey, -the bones, a good calcium supplement.

So for me, biscuit flavor and nutrition are both major considerations. I use biscuits to train my dogs, and since I train them daily I have to be pretty careful not to feed them dog junk food. Also, cost is a consideration. Those homemade dog biscuits at the farmers’ market and Wisconsin Dog Fair were priced reasonably when you consider the labor involved to make them. However, the cost is in the labor, not the ingredients. I can make the same great-tasting, healthy dog biscuits at home, and I do. For me, it’s been much more cost-effective to use Martha Ward’s Doggie Delights and Kitty Cuisine cookbook and bake dog biscuits that my dogs will actually do tricks for. And if I give them a lot of biscuits at one training session, it’s not a problem. I can cut back on the dog food and know that my dogs are still getting the nutrition they need. Click on “continue reading…” for one of Martha Ward’s great-tasting and nutritious dog biscuit recipes and for more about the WI Dog Fair.

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