America’s pet parents love to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with their dogs, many of which have traditional Irish names. It makes sense. After all, what’s cuter than a puppy in a leprechaun hat? If you’re looking for easy ways to get your pooch into the lucky spirit, try some DIY dog treats. You’ll be amazed at how easy they are!
More and more pet owners are turning to the pantry to whip up simple, tasty and healthy options for their canine kids. Premium dog biscuits are pretty expensive, for one. Plus, making dog treats is yet another great excuse for spending quality time with your pup.
So, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve rounded up some fun, safe and delicious recipes for your dog. Erin go bark! (OK, we had to go there.)
1. Just add spinach
While this recipe in The Bark is designed for Christmastime, it works well for St. Patty’s Day, too. Starting with a base of flour, cheese, oil and water, the dough becomes green thanks to a superfood: spinach. Turns out simply blending in a few handfuls of spinach leaves gives you a rich green tint without the artificial ingredients in commercial food dye.
2. Green icing makes everything more fun
The easiest way to get your dog treats ready for St. Patrick’s Day? Slap on a coat of dog-safe green icing! Milkbones just got lucky. You can buy natural food coloring, or make your own — The Simple Homemaker has a great roundup of ideas. As a general rule, you want to avoid sugary sweet icings popular with humans. Try yogurt or cream cheese instead! Adding cornstarch and water helps thicken.
3. St. Patty’s Day patties
These shamrock-shaped treats from the folks at DogTipper are sure to make your pet happy. Chock-full of tasty bacon — who doesn’t like bacon? — and green peas, they’re a healthy treat that you can adjust for any special occasion, depending on the shapes you choose.
4. Gluten-free greenies
Want to skip the wheat? Minnie in Manhattan uses brown-rice flour, along with a dog-friendly mixture of fresh herbs and chicken broth for a “green juice” infusion in these gorgeous, healthy treats. Seasonal cookie cutters take the Irish theme to the next level. Oh, and the mint flavor just might freshen your pet’s breath!
5. Doggy fro-yo
We admit it. We want to eat these, too. This super-simple recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon combines favorite dog-friendly ingredients like yogurt and peanut butter for a protein-packed treat. Pour the mix into a silicone mold — like this adorable shamrock one — and freeze. Yep, that’s it. And it takes just a few minutes.
6. Go traditional
If you’re making an Irish-themed feast for your own enjoyment, you might be wondering if your dog can partake. Certain traditional St. Patrick’s Day foods are safe and healthy for your dog, but you’ll want to avoid others. Carrots, potatoes or peas? Sure, yum. Cabbage? In small amounts — but be warned, it does cause gas!
This hearty, wholesome beef stew is chock full of dog-friendly ingredients and flavors. Make a big batch while you’re at it, and you can freeze some for later.
What to avoid
While corned beef is on many Irish-American tables, it shouldn’t be in the dog dish. This is one St. Patty’s Day staple your dog should avoid. Why? Because it’s packed with sodium, which doesn’t agree with our pets.
Last but not least, don’t let your dog have any beer — nope, not even a sip. Vets agree: Alcohol and dogs don’t mix. Unless it’s dog beer, because, yes, that’s a thing. It’s safe for your pet, alcohol free, and guaranteed to give you a hilarious St. Patrick’s Day photo op.