This year when you are doing your holiday shopping and looking for stocking stuffers, don't forget your pets. They see all the excitement on Christmas morning and feel left out if there isn't something for them. Finding pet gifts doesn't have to be a chore. You can go to your local Petco or Petsmart for the "purrfect" gift, or you can create nice treats for them right in your own kitchen. Here are some recipes for your own furry friends, or to give as a gift to friends who have pets.

But first, remember that not ALL foods are good for animals. So here are some tips to keep your furry friends same this holiday season ...

1. Bones are bad for animals! They can splinter or lodge in the intestinal tract or get stuck in their mouth or throat. All bones are bad, including pork, chicken and beef.

2. Chocolate can be lethal to pets because it contains theobromine, which causes increased heart rate, central nervous system stimulation and constriction of arteries. Baking chocolate is the worst. If your pet has gotten into chocolate you should contact your veterinarian immediately. And it's not just the candy that's bad! The foil wraps on candies can cause internal injuries if swallowed - the foil can be like a razor as it is swallowed and ingested. Keep all candies and their wrappers in a secured place.

3. Alcohol is also very bad for cats and dogs. It doesn't take much alcohol to suppress the central nervous, respiratory and cardiac systems and lead to death. It is best to just give your pet water.

4. Milk is also not good for animals. Milk is also not good for animals. Even though they like it, especially cats, refrain from giving your pets milk.

5. Ham and other salty meats and foods are very dangerous to pets. Foods with a high salt content can result in pancreatitis for pets. Also, large breeds of dogs that eat salty food may drink too much water and develop a life-threatening condition called "bloat." This is where the stomach fills up with gas and within several hours may twist, causing the pet to die.

6. Onions are toxic to pets. They contain allyl propyl disulfide, which damages their red blood cells and can cause fatal consequences in animals. They may become anemic, weak and have trouble breathing.

7. Caffeine is also bad for pets. It's effects are similar to chocolate (see #2).

8. Avocados are also bad for pets. In particular, they can cause sudden death in any species of bird, especially parrots.

9. It may come as a surprise to many that tuna fish is bad for cats. The feline heart muscle requires an amino acid called taurine to maintain normal strength and function. Regular tuna fish for humans does not have this amino acid and cats that eat too much tuna fish will develop heart problems. If you want to give your cats that taste of tuna that they love, just make sure it is tuna fish for cats which has this amino acid added.

10. The latest study has found that raisins and grapes can lead to kidney failure in pets. Small dogs can also choke on grapes.

"In His Hand
is the soul of every living thing."
(Job 12:10)



2 c. unsifted all-purpose flour
1-1/4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. vegetable oil
4-1/2 to 5 T. water

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Make a cardboard pattern of a 4-inch long dog bone or use a dog-bone cookie cutter.

Combine flour, cheese and vegetable oil in container of food processor. Cover, whirl until mixture is consistency of coarse meal. With machine running, slowly add water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll out each piece to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out bones. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheet. Do not re-roll scraps. Bake in preheated hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until bottom of cookies are lightly browned.

Carefully transfer bones to wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate in airtight container.


1 lb. chicken livers
1-1/2 c. cornmeal
2 eggs
1/2 c. dry milk
2 T. molasses
2 cloves garlic

Combine all ingredients into a food processor, blend until smooth. Pour into baking pan.

Bake at 400 degrees until sides pull away from the pan, or a knife comes out clean.

Let cool. Cut into bite sized pieces. Store in the refrigerator.


1 lb. shell pasta, cooked as directed
16 oz spaghetti sauce
2 (12 oz) cans chickpeas
6 eggs
1 (16 oz) bag peas and carrots, thawed
8 ounces cheese, cut into cubes (optional)

Cook the pasta and let it cool.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Divide the mixture and put 2-cup portions into zip-lock bags. One zip-lock bag is a meal for a very large dog. It freezes well.


2 c. quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces
4 chicken or beef bouillon cubes
2 c. boiling water
2 c. whole wheat flour
1-1/2 c. white or yellow cornmeal
2 T. sugar
1 c. skim milk
2 large eggs
2 c. grated cheese
2 c. flour, and more as needed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.

Measure out the oatmeal in a medium to large bowl and place the pieces of butter along with the bouillon cubes. Pour the boiling water over the mixture and let sit for 10 minutes to melt butter and dissolve the bouillon cubes.

Mix the contents well with a wooden spoon, then add the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, milk, eggs and cheese mixing well to combine. Add enough of the regular flour to make a stiff dough, making sure that all of the ingredients are well incorporated (I have had to use both my hands to do this step).

Roll out the dough onto a floured surface (for a crispy cookie, roll out the dough 1/8" thick). Cut out shapes of your choice and place on prepared cookie sheets until very hard, about 5 to 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the dough). Remove from sheets and cool on wire racks and watch your dogs do tricks.



1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. soy flour
1 tsp. catnip
1 egg
1/3 c. milk
2 T. wheat germ
1/3 c. powdered milk
1 T. unsulphured molasses
2 T. butter or vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together. Add molasses, egg, oil and milk. Roll out flat onto oiled cookie sheet and cut into small, cat bite-size pieces. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool and store in tightly sealed container.


1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. nonfat powdered milk
1/2 can tuna (Remember ... only use tuna made especiall for cats!)
1 T. vegetable oil or cod liver oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. water

Heat oven to 350 degrees; grease cookie sheets with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mash the tuna into smaller pieces. Add flour and milk. Mix well. Pour in water and oil. Mix well again.

Beat egg in separate dish until dish until egg is foamy texture. Add to mix. Mix well. The dough mix will be sticky. Using your fingers, shape dough into small bite-size balls, about the size of a marble. Put balls on prepared cookie sheets. Flatten with hand. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove treats from oven. Wait five minutes, then turn treats over. Bake 10 more minutes or until golden brown in color. Place treats on cookie rack to cool. Cool for 15 minutes. NEVER give hot treats to your pet.

Place in airtight container and store in refrigerator or cool dry place.



1-1/4 lbs. suet
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. crushed peanuts
1/2 c. cracked corn kernels

Melt suet in the oven or saucepan (yields about 2 cups liquid fat). Stir in peanuts, sunflower seeds and corn. Spoon into a 4-cup heart-shaped mold (or two 2-cup molds); insert a drinking straw at the top (for rope). Cool in the refrigerator until solid.

Unmold; remove straw. Thread with string and tie to a shaded tree branch.


1 day-old bagel
Jute or string (for hanging)

Spread entire bagel with lard. Place birdseed on a paper plate. Roll the bagel in the birdseed. Tie jute or string through the hole of the bagel to hang the bagel. The birds can eat the whole thing!


1/4 c. almonds
2 T. sweet butter, softened
1/4 c. cornmeal
2 T. honey

Place the almonds in a blender or food processor and process until they are finely ground. Add the cornmeal and process 1 minute more.

Cream the butter and honey in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients and work into a stiff paste. Pack the paste into a feeding tray or granulate the paste by pressing it through a sieve and mounding the paste on the feeding tray.


(This is to be used for baby birds that fall from the nest.)

1 can Ken-L Ration dog food
1 hardboiled egg, mashed
2 tablespoons Hi-Protein baby cereal

Mix well. Form into rather large pellets (the size of a raisin). Offer to birds every half hour, feeding as much as they will take each time. Mixture may be refrigerated. Offer water from medicine dropper, but very little is needed and should be given carefully to avoid aspiration into lungs causing pneumonia. It is next to impossible to overfeed.

NOTE: It is illegal in most states to cage most wild baby birds, but this food may save them until they can be released.



1 packet dry Quaker oatmeal
1 handful sweet feed
2 spoonsful applesauce
1 spoonful honey or molasses
1 handful Cheerios
4 sugar cubes
Pinch of brown sugar
1/2 cup water

You can mix this right in your horse's feed bucket. Mix the oatmeal with the water. Add sweet feed and applesauce. Stir together. Add the Cheerios, brown sugar and honey or molasses. Mix again and place sugar cubes on top. This serves one horse.


1 c. uncooked oats
1 c. flour
1 c. shredded carrots
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 c. molasses

Mix ingredients in bowl as listed. Make little balls and place on cookie sheet which has been sprayed with oil or Pam.) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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