Are you looking for a healthy treat for your bunny or guinea pig? Perhaps you have a small pet that has been poorly and you are seeking a healthy treat that will help increase his or her weight. Perhaps you are trying to stimulate the appetite of a pet that has been under the weather. The following recipe is very flexible, so you can vary the ingredients depending upon what sort of treats your pet usually likes. Most bunnies enjoy apples and bananas, but some prefer strawberries. If substituting baby food, make sure the only thing in the baby food jar is (for example) carrots, and there is no added sodium or anything unpronounceable.
Dried herbs such as lemon balm, mint and/or hibiscus can be added to the recipe to vary the flavor and increase the flavor and nutrition. Olympia Health Foods has organic dried herbs, and either Olympia or Liberty Market can set you up with organic produce, organic oats and organic honey.
Bunny or guinea pig food pellets can be ground in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder (provided you are able to wipe every bit of coffee out of it first) or you can just save the ‘pellet dust’ from the bottom of the pet’s feeding bowl. Put the ‘pellet dust’ in a zip lock bag before adding fresh pellets and soon you will have plenty of ‘pellet flour’ for making these treats.
Apple and banana bunny treats
- 1 apple, seeds removed, chopped up and microwaved until soft
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ tablespoon dried herbs (mint, hibiscus, etc)
- 1/3 cup ‘pellet flour’
- 1/3 cup steel cut or rolled oats, ground finely
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mash the apple and banana with the honey until well blended. Add the ground pellets and oats and blend well.
Chill the dough in the refrigerator for an hour, and then roll out on waxed paper (so it doesn’t stick) to about 1/4" thick.
Cut into 1” squares or cut out with small cookie cutters if you’re being fancy.
If baking in the oven: place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or foil to prevent sticking and bake for 30 minutes or until brown on bottom. Remove from oven and cook on racks or, for a crunchier treat, turn off the oven and leave them be until the stove cools.
If dehydrating, place on dehydrator racks with vents wide open until fully dry, probably 24 hours or more, depending upon how thickly you have rolled the dough.
Once cooled, place in an airtight container or bag. The cookies will be fine at room temperature for several days, but as they contain no preservatives you will want to refrigerate or freeze them to prevent spoiling.
Instead of the apple, you can use:
- A small carrot, pureed in the blender
- A half jar of carrot baby food
- 1/4 cup strawberries or other berries
- ¼ cup pineapple
- To promote weight gain, you can use Calf Manna Supplement flour (Calf Manna processed in the food processor or blender) instead of timothy pellet flour.
Treats such as these are so much healthier for your small pet than the store-bought type, and are custom-made to your pet's taste preferences!
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