Have you ever made a batch of dog treats that were tasty and healthy, but just didn't go over well with your dog?
Maybe there was a flavor in the treat that your dog didn't like, and you just can't figure out what is was. Or maybe you just want to go the extra distance and make sure your dog gets the flavor, taste, and spoiling that they deserve.
Dog treat icings can be a great way to add a layer of flavor to your dog's homemade treats and guarantee that they'll be gobbled up. You can jazz up boring biscuits, disguise something healthy-but-unflavorful, or just add another layer of deliciousness to already delicious biscuits.
Although you want to make the icing as appealing as possible to your dog, be sure to avoid foods that are known to be harmful to dogs. You'll also want to avoid too much sugar, even though icings are traditionally mostly sugar. Treats loaded with sugar are going to be bad for your dog's teeth, and contribute to obesity and diabetes.
The following icings are commonly used on dog treats and should be made as low-fat and low-sugar as possible, if you plan on feeding many of them to your dog.
Hard dog treat icings are typically made from melting:
Some coating chip suppliers on Amazon:
Add Some Paramount Crystals...
When you start an adventurous session of melting coating chips for a hard icing, you'll want to have either canola oil or the preferred paramount crystals on-hand, to add to your chips during melting. This, in addition to water, will be what gives your icing a thin consistency and allow you to work with it easily. (See my Simple Carob Icing Recipe below.)
Paramount crystals are formulated with oils that are going to thin your icing, and also add shine. They can be obtained from specialty bakery-supply stores via Amazon:
Tip: You'll want to get your treats to the desired level of dryness before adding your hard icing. Icing does not stand up well to many hours in a dehydrator. It can re-melt and change shape on you.
Most coating chips have an ingredient which acts as a preservative. Once your treats are dehydrated and you've added the hard icing, your treats should last many weeks without refrigeration. Be sure to store them in an air-tight container or package.
For yummy dog treat icings, check out K9 Cakery's selection of Fido's Frosting, the winner of the 2010 Pet Product News Editors Choice Award. These all-natural, yogurt-based powdered frostings are healthier and more convenient to use than coating chips because all you do is add water, stir and frost! Dogs love the taste!
Soft icings are for treats that should be eaten right away. Even with refrigeration, treats with these icings should be consumed within a few days to avoid spoilage.
Typically these icings are based with:
Carob makes a great hard dog treat icing because it doesn't have the fat, sugar, and theobromine(harmful to dogs) that real chocolate does. Most dogs love the mild, earthy sweetness.
For a batch of treats (15 - 30, depending on size), try this icing:
Melting carob chips can be very tricky! Don't give up if your first attempt didn't go well.
See these tips on melting carob chips for more detail.
Carob chips have a lower fat content than chocolate chips, so they require a bit more care to melt without drying them out.
You'll want to melt chips over low heat using a double-boiler. (See tips link above.) Stir constantly and you should soon have a creamy consistency.
Carefully dip the tops of treats into melted carob. For added appeal, sprinkle with chopped nuts, oats, sesame seeds, or other healthy toppings.
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