Golden Milk for Dogs
Golden milk and turmeric lattes seem to be everywhere these days, but they’re rooted in a very old natural health beverage with lots of potential benefits. Traditional Indian recipes for golden milk typically use regular milk, but many modern recipes have been adapted to be non-dairy diet or vegan friendly with coconut milk. In addition to the milk and the turmeric, most are lightly spiced with other add-ins and sweetened.
Some of the spices used in human golden milk recipes aren’t well suited to dogs and dogs don’t need the added sugars or sweeteners either. Turmeric can be a great health booster, but it’s also very messy. It will stain everything it touches, including your hands and your dogs! Not a great combo for messy slurping as dog-friendly drinks. Securing it in a yummy gummy is a great was to serve turmeric in small quantities with less mess. Pawfect.
Turmeric in Easy Delicious Dog-Friendly Treat Form
Both of our dogs have turmeric regularly, both in some of their homemade treats and sprinkled directly onto their food. Sometimes this is a prepared mixture (see this guest post for how to make golden powder dog food sprinkles) but often I just sprinkle the turmeric powder straight-up onto their food. We give a number of different healthy add-ins this way to keep things interesting with variety. Turmeric is a favourite of both dogs for smell/taste and us for its potential health benefits.
When Oli was heading into cataract surgery, I wasn’t sure whether sprinkling quick-to-stain turmeric on his meals would be a good idea. We anticipated significantly impaired vision during healing. Oli is a messy eater at the best of times (see our dog-friendly home cleaning tips) and I could imagine things getting rather nasty in a hurry. Blind eating, stainy turmeric, white fur, tender face, Elizabethan collar… Oh my. I decided to whip up a batch of extra potent turmeric gummies for his recovery.
Turmeric Latte / Golden Milk Gummy Dog Treat Recipe
Homemade Gelatin Gummy Dog Treats with Stock, Turmeric, and Coconut Milk
This an adaptation of our lightly seasoned and simpler stock and turmeric gummy recipe, as shown in our golden gummy star dog treats. I decided to go all-in on the golden milk and create treats with not only tumeric and it’s partner pepper, but coconut milk and dog-friendly spices, too. You can use more or less of the spices if you wish to alter the supplementation content or smell/taste of the gummies, or something omit completely to better suit your dog.
- 1 cup of homemade (or ready-made unsalted unseasoned) chicken stock
- 3 tbsp quality gelatin powder
- Up to 2 tbsp turmeric powder (see below)
- Sprinkle of ground black pepper
- Sprinkle of ground ginger and/or Ceylon cinnamon (optional)
- 2 tbsp coconut milk powder (see below)
The pictured treats are intentionally strong in turmeric, for reasons in the introduction above. Don’t go overboard though! In addition to making the treats potent in scent and flavour, too much powder will make it difficult to get the gummies to set and unmould cleanly due to settling powder sediment. Keep it under 2 tbsp maximum (I typically use a tablespoon or less per cup of base liquid in gummies). See the additional tips below for suspensions.
Powdered low-fat coconut milk works wonderfully for baking and cooking. In addition to helping balance the strong earthy turmeric, it adds nutrients and a great scent. And I assume a yummy taste too, but I didn’t sample the treats. Hehehe. If you don’t have it, you can leave it out or swap some of your stock for coconut milk instead. Easy peasy! We did an adaptation with a mixture of stock and coconut milk as the base liquid for Oli’s golden Oldie birthday party treats. It worked beautifully.
Making the Treats:
- Measure the cool stock 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.
- Measure your powdered add-ins into a suitable container for mixing and pouring. I’ve tried a variety of methods over the years, but nowadays, I like using a coffee milk jug when I make gummies. They’re stain resistant, heat safe, easy pour, and dishwasher-friendly. Awesome!
- Mix a small spoonful of the prepared liquefied gelatin with the powders to dissolve/mix with minimal lumps and clumps. Once mixed, add in the rest of your gelatin and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Cooling to help suspend the solids (optional) prior to pouring to set can help if you’ve used a generous amount of turmeric in the treats. See below.
- Pour into a glass pan (cut and slice) or silicone moulds (shapes).
- Chill to set.
To suspend solids in a gummy, you can cool the gelatin down to just above its setting point so that it is thick and viscous enough to hold the floating and/or sinking pieces distributed through the gummy mixture. Slowly, stirring often, allow the mixture to cool and thicken. You can do this at room temperature, but it will be faster if you use the fridge (or an ice bath, if you prefer). When the mixture has thickened enough, spoon or pour the mixture into your moulds to set as per above.
As you can see in the collaged photos above, when these treats were first made and posted, I added the spices and powders first, then prepared the gelatin. It works fine either way, but in the years since this post was shared, I’ve come to prefer a different mixing method for powders that works well for add-ins that are trickier to mix without lumping or clumping. I’ve updated the recipe instructions above to the new method, with the gelatin added to the powder after prep.
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.
- These treats should be kept refrigerated and can be frozen for longer storage, although freezing can affect consistency.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- My dogs like the smell of plain gelatin and will happily accept plain gummies (gelatin and water), but a little tasty boost of chicken stock never goes astray. Mine is homemade. You can read more in our FAQ post on stock for making homemade dog treats.
- 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.
- Remember, turmeric stains. Pick your cookware with care, clean-up any spills quickly, and keep stain-awareness in mind when giving treats.
- In addition to being doggone delicious and fragrant, cinnamon offers some great health benefits to dogs (and people); however, it’s not suitable for everyone. Pregnant/nursing dogs in particular should not be given cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is the recommended variety for dogs, if/when used.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can also use use the category and tag labels above/ below this post 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.