Let the Christmas dog treat recipes begin! Every dog lover knows the joy of doggy kisses as well as the perils of dog breath. Oh no! Get ready for many thank you smooches if you bake up a batch of “mistletoe” ready meatball dog treats packed with breath freshening parsley for your pooch charming. Here’s our easy recipe for mini meatball dog treats with parsley and cheese.
Blog Dog Taste Tester Duties
To say that my dogs loved these would be an understatement. What’s not to love about dog-friendly meatballs? Cue the drool… As a vegetarian, there is rarely meat cooking in our house except for the pets or occasionally for hubby or guest. Sniffing was set to max and the boys almost desiccated with drooling anticipation of blog dog taste testing duties. I think I’m going to have to up my homemade dog treat making game with more meat and fish dog treat recipes in the future. Stay tuned for more yumminess, furfriends!
Make Ahead Meatball Dog Treats
Meatballs are a great homemade dog treat to make now, before things get too holiday hectic. You can freeze your meatballs (except for a few samples, of course) for special treats at Christmas time. We have some ready and waiting in our freezer right now. If the ingredients in this recipe don’t suit your dog, you can easily adjust a favourite recipe to include some smoochable parsley. Easy peasy.
Celebrate safe, furfriends! Smooching your dog under the mistletoe is a-ok by us, but some festive decorations can be dangerous for pets. Real mistletoe is toxic to pets and people. Keep holiday hazards like mistletoe, poinsettias, holly, etc. well out of the reach. Human treats and sweets, too. And be careful with giftwrap and other small objects. A trip to the emergency vet isn’t on anybody’s Christmas wish list.
“Mistletoe” Mini Meatball Dog Treats with Parsley Recipe
Homemade Meatball Dog Treats with Breath Freshening Parsley and Cheese
- Approximately 150-200g lean ground meat (we used lamb)
- 1 egg
- Approximately 1/2 cup of loose fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup wholegrain oats, scotch oats, or equivalent substitute
- 2 tbsp ground flax or LSA (optional)
- 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional – see below)
- Sprinkle of grated cheese (optional)
When making mini meatballs, I find adding adding some wheatgerm or flour to the mix helps make the mix easier to handle and shape. This is, of course, optional. How much depends on the wetness of the mix (varies with base ingredients) and the texture/absorbency of any additions. I used approximately 1/4 cup of wheat germ here, but you can adjust if/as needed to suit your ingredients, handling preferences, and dietary preferences. If you omit the flax and wheatgerm, your mixture may be slightly wet and soft for forming balls. If so, you can add a substitute that suits your personal preferences and your pet to adjust the consistency.
Making the Treats:
- Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials.
- Combine meat and egg in a mixing bowl.
- Mix in remaining ingredients to combine. Rest briefly (optional).
- Roll into small mini meatballs and place on a lightly greased baking dish or lined baking pan.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes (time will depend on size), until cooked through.
- Optional: broil briefly at the end of cooking for additional browning.
- Cool before serving and storage (refrigerate short term or freeze for longer storage). Pampered pooches might enjoy their treats warmed slightly for extra smell and flavour. Doggone delicious!
Meatball Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- Meatball treats don’t have their own special post in our pet chef help section. They’re very similar to making meatloaf style dog-friendly cakes, and are part of our comprehensive pet chef help post on homemade dog cakes. You can check it out for additional information on ingredients, storage, and more.
- Meatball treats can be made smaller for little dogs or broken up for serving. Cooking times will vary depending on meatball size.
- Note that the fresh parsley in this recipe was coarsely chopped and roughly measured as a loose volume, not packed. Adjust the quantity to suit your pet and your preferences, but don’t use too much.
- If you’re substituting dried parsley for chopped fresh parsley, you’ll want to use a lot less! A sprinkle of dried herbs will do just fine.
- Parsley isn’t only a dog-friendly breath freshener. It also has some great nutritional content and other potential health benefits. As with all treats and dietary add-ins, small quantities are best. Check out this little slideshow at Modern Dog for ideas on other dog-friendly herbs. You can also skip the herbs or use less if you prefer.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can use the category and tag labels to find other recipes that might be of interest or use our internal search tools to find something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.