Keep calm and snack on! I’ve been meaning to post this recipe ever since chatting with an Instagram furfriend about their pet’s travel stress. With Guy Fawkes fireworks imminent (call us party poopers, but we hate it!) it seemed like a great time to post about calming chamomile. These gummies are a simple way to make chamomile tea more palatable and (if needed for travel) portable by infusing it into yummy gelatin gummy chamomile dog treats.
Chamomile for Dogs
Chamomile has mild sedative and anti-anxiety effects, both for people and for pets. It can be particularly helpful for soothing dog’s stressed out tummies, which I why I’ve included the option of adding ginger in the recipe below for complementary benefits with nervous travellers. It can be prepared in varying methods and strengths for different dogs, noting the need to be careful for allergies and any contradictory conditions.
From Tea to Treat
Chamomile tea is the usual human go-to, but that can be difficult for travelling pets and may not appeal to your dog’s sniffing snacking pleasure. Making tea with broth and gelatin turns the “meh” of chamomile into a yummy treat that can be easily taken on travels or served in small portions.
Things That Make You Go Boom
We use these gummies for around the annual Guy Fawkes noise fest as well as during the holiday season in anticipation of people hanging onto their fireworks until New Years. For our international furfriends, fireworks sales are restricted to Guy Fawkes here in New Zealand, but some people hang on to them to unleash the boom on unsuspecting neighbours at random. You can probably tell by my tone that I support changes to those rules. Until then, here are some tips from the NZ SPCA on fireworks and pet safety.
The treats aren’t magic, but every little bit helps when it comes to fireworks and our boys. I’ve also made them when some potentially unsettling activities have been happening near our home, like heavy construction on neighbouring properties. Do they make a difference? Much like us humans and a calming cup of tea, it’s hard to say of course. But everyone around here is a little happier when there are treats involved.
Chamomile Gelatin Gummy Dog Treat Recipe
Gelatin Gummy Dog Treats Infused with Chamomile
This recipe is an adaptation from our simple stock gelatin gummy dog treats, using the prepared gelatin mixture as the hot liquid for steeping the chamomile. I’ve included some alternative steeping and prep methods below. These gummies were made in moulds as individual shaped treats, but they can also be made as set-and-slice treats in a pan. The process is the same for either method, other than slicing of course.
- 1 cup unsalted unseasoned stock (or alternative dog-friendly liquid)
- 3 tbsp quality powdered gelatin
- Sprinkle of powdered ginger (optional)
- Chamomile tea bag(s) or dried chamomile with a tea ball/strainer (see tips below)
Using stock in these treats helps make the slightly floral/grassy chamomile more appealing to the dogs. If you’d prefer a lighter less-rich gummy treat, you can dilute the stock instead of using it straight. I often make my simple stock gummies with a combination of broth and water. You can also use plain water or an alternative dog-friendly liquid.
- Measure cold broth into a small pan.
- Sprinkle the surface with gelatin powder.
- Wait and let sit for approximately five minutes or longer for the gelatin powder to bloom / gel.
- Gently stir the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Take care not to shortcut with high temperatures or overheat. Heat can reduce the setting strength of gelatin.
- Remove from heat.
- Place the ginger (optional) and the chamomile tea bag(s) or ball/strainer in a suitable container for prepping and pouring.
- Allow to sit and steep. 5-10 minutes is the typical time frame when making a herbal tea, but you can steep longer if you wish. Once you are satisfied with the infusing time, remove and dispose of the chamomile.
- Pour (or spoon) the gelatin mixture into a glass pan (cut and slice) or silicone moulds (shapes).
- Chill to set.
Yes, those are cubes of frozen broth on the bloomed gelatin in the collaged photo below. It’s one of my sneaky shortcuts for making gummies with homemade frozen broth without melting the broth separately first. See the tips and tricks below for more information.
Chamomile Quantities and Infusing Time
How much chamomile to use for dogs depends on how strong you’d like the infusion, which depends on why you want to use chamomile, the size of your dog, size of your gummies, feeding frequency, etc. A single teabag in one cup is considered mild by infusion standards, which makes it a fairly safe starting point and strength can be adjusted up/down from there.
Alternative Chamomile Gummy Making Methods
Steeping in the hot mix is a quick and simple method for making chamomile gummies, but it’s not the only option. Adjust the recipe and methods above to suit your personal preferences. Not everyone wants to dip their tea ball or strainer in gelatin after all. Or put gelatin in their fancy strainer pot. Hehehe. As alternatives to steeping in the hot prepped gelatin mixture, here are a few ideas:
- Chamomile tea could be prepped hot and then refrigerated to cool before blooming. You can make the tea with water and then drop a few frozen stock cubes in to speed up the cooling, if you’d like as an adaptation of my shortcut above.
- Chamomile tea could be long cold-brewed before blooming if you’re a fan of cold brewing tea. You can use water or stock for your cold brew.
- The liquid quantity could be divided, with some used for cool blooming while boiled water is used to prep the tea, then mixed together. This is an easy option if you’re making the treats with all water or part stock and part water. No extra wait time required.
Dog Gummies vs. People Gummies
When we first shared this recipe, I was asked about whether they were ok for calming people as well. Of course! If your ingredients are all human grade and your food handling is sound, then your gummies are a-ok for shared snacking. They might not be to your human tastes, though!
Some gummies are easily shared between people and pets, like our watermelon gummy dog treats. Others, like our guilt-free carob gummies might be more palatable if you add a little bit of sweetness. And I’d probably pass on the stock for human gummies as well. Haha!
Chamomile and ginger have similar properties for people as for pets. For humans, you can make the calming chamomile gummies as above using water. Swap a little for honey if you’d like to sweeten things up. You could also experiment with some other natural anti-anxiety foods as ingredients like including some dark cocoa powder in your mix. Definitely no sharing with the dogs, though! Chocolate is toxic for our precious pooches.
Gummy Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- See our comprehensive post on making and storing homemade gelatin gummy dog treats for additional information about making gummy treats including helpful gummy making tips, troubleshooting, and safe treat storage.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- My preferred dog treat stock is simple unseasoned broth saved from preparing homemade food. It can be difficult to source ready-made unsalted and unseasoned stock. As you can see in the collage above, as a shortcut for making gummy treats, I sometimes bloom the gelatin on cool water and then drop my frozen dog-safe homemade broth cubes straight from the freezer into the pan to melt at the same time as I dissolve my gelatin. It’s super convenient and works perfectly! Just make sure the total measurements work for the gelatin to liquid ratio.
- In my experience, 3 tbsp of gelatin powder per cup of liquid makes firm gummies. If you prefer, you can use more gelatin for added supplementation or less for a jigglier jelly treat with lower gelatin content. Individual gelatin powders may be a little stronger / weaker. Find a ratio that works for your preferences and, of course, your dog.
- Some chamomile teas have other added ingredients. Choose a plain chamomile tea or ensure any added ingredients are dog-safe.
🦴 Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas here from treats that we make ourselves for our pets, but different animals will have different preferences (likes or dislikes) and dietary needs. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies or intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.