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This week is Be Kind to Animals Week and we are celebrating with one of our favorite books and a special treat for the animals in our lives. With two dogs and a cat in our family, it is very important to me to teach my children to treat animals with respect and love. We put together a fun activity to show our dogs how much we appreciate them, and enjoyed one of our favorite books along the way!
We decided to make some homemade dog treats for our pups. Making dog cookies is a really great activity for kids, because the ingredients are simple and you don't have to be as precise as in human baking (dogs aren't that picky). If you don't have dogs of your own, this is still a wonderful activity to demonstrate kindness to animals - you can donate them to a local shelter or give them to a friend!
One of my dogs LOVES hot dogs so we came up with a special recipe just for him.
Hot Dog Chip Dog Cookies
- 1 hot dog
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk (you may need a little more or less to get your dough to the right consistency)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet (or line with a silicone baking mat.)
Make your hot dog "chips". Cut your hot dog into very small pieces (I cut it in quarters lengthwise then chop into small bites).
Arrange hot dog pieces on a plate and cover with a paper towel. Microwave at 30 second increments until the pieces are dry and crispy. Mine took about 2 minutes. Break them up if they stick together. It's OK if they get a little burned, your dogs won't mind. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix flour, eggs, and milk. Stir. Add in your hot dog chips and mix until dough is formed. You may need to use your hands (kids love this part)!
Roll out your dough onto a floured surface. Use cookie cutters to form into shapes - we used a dog bone.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until cooked completely through.
While ours were cooking, we took the opportunity to read one of our favorite books about being kind to animals, Tails Are Not For Pulling.
Tails Are Not For Pulling is part of the Best Behavior Series, a wonderful collection of books that help little kids with topics like biting, hitting, and potty training. We love them!
Tails Are Not For Pulling is a must read for any family with small children and pets. With simple text and lovely illustrations, it helps little ones to understand how to gently handle animals. It shows that behaviors that may seem fun can be scary for our pets! This is such an important message and we have read this book several times since my boys were babies.
We finished reading and our cookies were done! We had to let them cool a bit, and my dog could hardly wait.
Finally they were ready to taste - and he declared them to be delicious!
This is a really fun activity that combines kitchen skills, reading, and a lesson in animal kindness. And our dogs benefited from our play by having a batch of yummy, healthy, homemade snacks. What better way to be kind to our four legged family members?
If you have dogs and small kids like me, I also highly recommend the book Living with Kids and Dogs... Without Losing Your Mind by Colleen Pelar. It's an easy and realistic look at life with kids and pets from a mom and dog trainer.
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