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A Review: Bake a Bone
Why Did I Get One?
So, why did I buy one of these strange contraptions? I love my dog. I spend too much time at work where I can see them from my desk. I had been at work too long that day and the overtime was making me loopy. That, and I wanted to see what I could make. I won't lie, the recipe on the box, for peanut butter biscuits, sounded really tasty.
Really, I don't think I needed much of a reason. They were on sale, I knew I was getting overtime, and I had been thinking about getting one for months. So far, I'm not sorry that I did. It might have just sat next to my couch for a week before I used it, but I had a lot of fun making biscuits for my little girl.
Was it easy?
I flipped through the recipe booklet and saw that most of the recipes called for ingredients that I already have. Though, there are some recipes that I will most likely never make (like the liver or vegan treats..) This may sound strange, but most of the recipes, minus all the chicken flavoring of course, sound tasty. I mean when you think about it, the ingredients are the same that are used in people food.
I choose a simple recipe that I thought my dog would like. Chee Chee's Chicken Treats called for milk, flour, baking powder, and chicken bouillon cubes. There was a strong chicken smell as I was making the batter. The batter itself was very sticky and thick. I just used a large spoon to fill the little bone shaped spots on the fancy waffle maker, which is essentially what this product is. I closed the lid and set a timer for 8 minutes. The directions said that I might need a rubber spatula to remove the bones, but I was able to just use my fingers. They didn't stick and came out very easily.
Would you make your own dog treats?
How Did They Turn Out?
The treats were very soft. They almost felt like a Belgian waffle. They cooled off fairly quickly on a fowl and my dog was very excited the entire time I was baking. Maybe it was because I was excited and she was feeding off that. Or maybe it was because you knew I was making treats for her. Or maybe it was just the smell of chicken.
Ironically when the treats where done baking I didn't really smell the chicken anymore. I will admit I tried a little bit before I gave one to Karma, and I ended up eating the entire thing. I didn't taste the chicken flavor at all. To me it tasted just like a waffle, minus the sweet syrup. I will say that the peanut butter treats are pretty good and the carrot and apple really weren't too bad. I won't lie, when coming home from a late night I totally had a couple of bones for dinner before passing out in bed.
When I gave one to Karma she seemed a little confused. She was wagging her tail and walking in circles, but it took her a little while to eat it. She had never had a soft treat before, so I'm sure it was very interesting to her. It took her a little while to eat it. I was surprised by how big they ended up being. They bones seemed small in the Bake-A-Bone, but when they were done they easily larger than my finger. I feel like they might need to be broken in half for small dogs, but overall they seemed liked a good size.
After her initial confusion she really likes them. Since I store them in ziplock baggies she is now trained to come running at the sound of a ziplock bag being opened.
The Original Bake-A-Bone Commercial
The user guide said that extra treats could be kept in the fridge or even frozen. This seemed odd to me until I saw how many treats one batch made. I tried to keep them in a ziplock bag, making sure that I got all the air out each time I closed it. That didn't save the bisects though. After a little over 10 days, so that was about 10 biscuits that Karma got to enjoy, they started to grow mold.
I think I will either half the next batch or try to keep them in the fridge the next time I make them. If I can't feed them all out after a week I think I know a few dogs that would enjoy them. I wasn't too happy about the fact that they grew mold so quickly, but after thinking about it it made sense. There are no preservatives in these treats, of course they will go bad faster than store bought treats.
11/20/14: I made the same biscuits again and this time I also made the peanut butter ones as well. The amount of peanut butter is kind of a lot, and it's a little hard to stir. This batter was definitely stickier than the chicken broth one. It seemed a lot more dense. But, the biscuits turned out just ad nice as the other ones. I've had both in the fridge for over two weeks and they are still good.
I've given all of my coworkers with dogs one of each and they have all said that their dogs love them. Little Karma still loves them too.
12/2/14: The peanut butter bones lasted longer in the fridge than the chicken bones. The chicken bones started growing mold after 4 weeks, thankfully I only have three left.
8/26/17: The veterinary clinic I work at had an even to celebration the fact that we are AAHA accredited. I was asked to make cookies for the event. I made double batches of the chicken, peanut butter, and I used the recipe book to make two of my own: beef and carrot and apple. For the beef bones I simply used beef bouillon cubes instead of chicken and the carrot and apple was shredded carrots and apple sauce. They were a big hit. The clients really like giving out the peanut butter and the carrot and apple treats. They all loved the little bone shape and how they looked like little waffles for dogs. They lasted about a week before they started to mold. I still have a few leftover treats in my freezer.
I am very pleased with this product. I liked the simplicity of the recipes. I liked the design. I loved how fast the treats baked. I was pleasantly surprised by how many bone one batch produced. I was a little worried that my little girl wasn't going to like the treats, but she seemed to really like them.
I am very much looking forward to making my next batch. I think I will give the peanut butter bones a try. I also can't wait to use some of my leftover Thanksgiving turkey for the Thanksgiving bones.
If you read the reviews for this product on-line you will see a lot of negative reviews. From what I saw most people didn't like that it only made four bones at a time. Well, my waffle iron only makes one waffle at a time and I somehow survive each Sunday. I was done baking in under an hour, and it only took a minute to remove the bones and refill with new batter. Its like if you need to reuse a cookie sheet when you bake cookies.
If you have patience, and want to give homemade dog treats a try I would highly recommend this product.
I do recommend that you keep any dietary needs for your pet in mind when you select a recipe to try. Not all of the treats are a good fit for every dog. But, the really awesome thing is the recipes are very versatile and easily allow for changes or add ins.