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My husband and I had only been married six months when we decided to get a dog. I remember being nervous. I had never been a pet owner before, and I wanted to make sure that I did everything by the book. Through a series of events, we brought TWO dogs home with us. The brother and sister pair were half golden retriever and half labrador retriever. My husband and I took them everywhere with us. We took them to cook-outs, family gatherings, and to the store. We wanted them to learn to listen, so we enrolled them in a puppy class. After three semesters of classes, they were well trained puppies that were crazy over food and us. Our dogs aren’t puppies anymore. We’ve had them for over ten years now. I guess they are officially senior dogs now, even though they are forever puppies in my mind. They’ve stuck by us through all four kids and lots of life changes. Many of those changes have led to less attention bestowed upon them by mom and dad, but they have loved us just the same. I wanted to do something extra special for them this year for Christmas. I decided to make them a gift basket like I used to do when they were puppies. This basket is complete with a new dog food, store bought dog treats, homemade Whole Wheat and Green Bean dog treats, a new ball, and a new toy. Creating a Christmas Gift Basket specifically for your dog is easy, and I’ll show you step by step how I assembled mine.
Have you ever made your own dog treats? I used to all the time. I liked knowing the ingredients that were in my buddies’ treats. But I eventually had to trade my homemade dog treats for homemade baby food. In the back of my mind, I’ve always remembered our puppy class instructor saying how good green beans were for dogs. When creating this dog treat recipe, I knew that I wanted to incorporate green beans. That’s how these Whole Wheat and Green Bean Dog Treats came to be.
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups green beans, pureed (These can be cooked green beans OR canned beans with no salt added. Do not drain the beans.)
- 5-6 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
Mix the cornmeal and 5 cups of flour in a bowl until combined. Mix in the other ingredients until they form a dough. If the dough is still not workable, add the sixth cup of flour. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and use cookie cutters to create shapes.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let the cookies set in the oven until they are crispy, approximately 30 minutes.
From here, the items that you add to your favorite buddy’s Christmas gift basket is up to you. One of my dogs adores fetch. She’ll fetch all day long. I made sure to include a ball and rubber bone for her. My fella likes terrorizing items, so I added a Christmas-y reindeer that just looks like it’s ready to be torn apart. From there it was all about the food. Other than my homemade dog treats, I bought a few rawhide candy canes and a bag of Purina ONE Smartblend: Vibrant Maturity 7+ Senior Formula for the basket.
My dogs have been eating the same dog food for years. They like it, but it’s not formulated for their increasing age. The Purina ONE Smartblend: Vibrant Maturity 7+ Senior Formula 8 lb. bag caught my eye on Amazon because it’s targeted specifically for senior dogs. Shipping is free for those who use Amazon Prime.
Fortunately for my dogs, we ran out of our regular dog food last week. Thankfully, Amazon had already delivered the Purina ONE dog food with their super fast shipping, and I had tucked it away in their basket. They won’t know that we broke it open early, right?
I was shocked by how quickly they scarfed down their food. Seriously. They ate the same amount of food in half the time. The second day that I feed them the Purina ONE Smartblend, they were calling my name before I could pour the food in the bowl. Don’t believe me? I recorded it on Instagram.
Purina ONE is challenging dog lovers to accept their 28 day challenge by switching to a Purina ONE Smartblend dog food in lieu of their regular dog food. The proof is in man’s best friend! My dogs definitely approved of the taste, and after a week of the food they also seemed more energetic.
Do you have a senior dog that has been in your family for a long time? What differences do you think that you would see with Purina ONE Smartblend: Vibrant Maturity 7+ Senior Formula?