DIY Gingerbread Dog House – How To Guide
Christmas is a wonderful time to build gingerbread houses and enjoy gingerbread cookies! And we can’t forget our furry canine companions, who also enjoy special treats during the holidays! We’ve done the research to help you find some great solutions to help your dog enjoy gingerbread treats, just like the rest of the family!
Are Gingerbread Cookies OK for Dogs?
Before jumping directly into gingerbread for dogs, we first have to consider if gingerbread cookies and the ingredients in these cookies are OK for dogs. What’s the verdict? Gingerbread is generally safe for dogs; in fact, ginger is a healthy ingredient that fights inflammation in dogs and their pet parents! What about the other ingredients? The other ingredients typically found in gingerbread cookies can cause a problem, including:
- Nutmeg: contains myristicin, which is toxic to dogs. Small amounts of nutmeg in a recipe will probably not cause too much trouble, but it can cause digestive system issues if a dog eats too much. However, if your dog eats a large amount of nutmeg, he could suffer from myristicin toxicity, which can be a serious medical emergency.
- Cinnamon: in small amounts, this spice is generally safe, though can cause an allergic reaction in dog’s who are sensitive to cinnamon or other ingredients.
- Anise: a spice that’s like catnip for dogs, is famous for giving licorice it’s flavor. A small amount of anise is OK, but larger amounts can upset your dog’s stomach and/or perhaps depress his nervous system a bit too much.
- Sugar: is just as unhealthy for your dog as it is for you. It can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea, canine tooth decay is another issue, weight gain and diabetes are two other issues dog can suffer from too much sugar.
- High fat content: foods high in fat should also be avoided as it can cause many health issues in dogs including pancreatitis, weight gain, obesity, and more. Your dog needs some healthy fats in his diet, but he shouldn’t have an excess amount of fat.
- Molasses: while molasses is a natural sweetener, it can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet in small amounts. In fact, molasses is filled with good things including copper, iron, calcium, vitamin B-6, potassium, manganese and selenium. And dark molasses is healthier than light molasses (which has more sugar than dark). Even though it’s healthy, only allows your fur baby to eat small amounts of molasses, since it is sweet.
So, avoid recipes that contain nutmeg, anise, and high amounts of sugar and fat. Look for recipes that your dog can enjoy with safe ingredients such as molasses, small amounts of cinnamon, and ginger.
Gingerbread Dog House Kit
What about a kit to help you build a gingerbread dog house for your fur baby? We did some research and were only able to find one that might work. That is the Bosco & Roxy’s Gingerbread Dog House Decorating Kit Christmas Dog Treat. This kit includes pre-baked dog cookies, pet safe frosting and other toppings. It’s made in the USA.
The one we review we found of this product said it looked really cute, but the cookies were all broken into small bits when the package arrived. The reviewer said this was due to the poor packaging, which allowed the gingerbread cookies to be destroyed during shipping. Unfortunately, you may have the same problem, unless the company has upgraded the product’s packaging.
Gingerbread Cookies for Dogs
Now you know which ingredients to avoid and which your fur baby can have in moderation, you’re ready to look for ginger bread cookies for your dog!
First, let’s take a look at store-bought products, which are great if you’re too busy to bake! We’ve found some gingerbread cookies your dog will drool for—better have a sponge ready!
Blue Dog Bakery Gingerbread Cookie Dog Treats: your fur baby will be in heaven with this tasty holiday treat! These dog cookies are made with all natural, low-fat ingredients that are safe for dogs. Not only do they taste good, but they’ll also help care for your pup’s teeth and keep his breath fresh! These cookies do not contain animal by-products, artificial flavors or colors or artificial preservatives. Your pup is sure to love these gingerbread doggie treats!
Evolve Gingerbread Flavor Dog Biscuits: these doggie bone-shaped gingerbread treats will have your canine companion running when he hears you open the container! These oven-baked treats contain all the flavor and scent of real gingerbread cookies and will be sure to please your dog’s taste buds and tummy every time. Not only do they have a great flavor, but they’ll also keep your fur baby’s teeth clean as he chews! These biscuits are made in the USA.
Distinctive Dog Apple Ginger Snap Dog Treats: while these are slightly different than gingerbread, this treat contains healthy apple and ginger your dog is sure to enjoy over the holidays! These doggie apple ginger snap treats are made with only natural ingredients and contain organic extra virgin coconut oil to your fur baby’s immune system, keep his coat, skin and bones healthy. The treats contain no grains including wheat, corn or soy. They are also free of artificial preservatives and colors, making them perfect for dogs who have sensitive stomachs. This product is made in the USA.
This is a great selection of store-bought gingerbread options for your dog’s holiday fare. Now, let’s take a look at a couple of doggie gingerbread cookie recipes your dog’s sure to love!
Homemade Gingerbread Cookies for Dogs
We were able to find a couple of great recipes you can use to make your dog some healthy, homemade gingerbread cookies for Christmas and New Year’s! Let’s take a look!
Ginger Dog Cookies Ingredients:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (this amount is safe for your dog)
- ¾ cup molasses
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- ½ cup canola oil
Ginger Dog Cookies Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F (163° C). In a large mixing bowl, whisk together water, molasses and oil until well-blended. In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until blended; stir into flour mixture (expect the dough to be stiff and thick).
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut with a floured 3-inch shaped cookie cutter. You can choose any shape you want. To make it cute, you might choose a bone-shaped cutter, holiday shapes or even animal shapes. Place these cut outs about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. You can re-roll any scraps and make additional cookies!
3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set. Remove from baking pan and place on wire racks to cool. Be sure these doggie cookies are completely cooled before serving to your pup!
We’re pretty sure your pup will LOVE these gingerbread cookies for dogs! Next, we’ll take a look at a gluten free gingerbread cookie that also safe for dogs.
Homemade Gluten Free Gingerbread Dog Cookies Ingredients:
- 2 cups gluten free flour (such as brown rice flour)
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ canola oil
- ½ cup water
- ¼ molasses
- Optional: carob chips (for dogs who love chocolate!)
Homemade Gluten Free Gingerbread Dog Cookies Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F (163 C).
2. Whisk together the gluten free flour and ginger in a large bowl.
3. Mix oil, water and molasses into flour mixture until well combined.
4. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a cover to keep the dough from drying out.
5. Roll dough out onto floured surface—roll the dough to about ½ inch thick.
6. Cut out using any shape cookie cutter.
7. Place the cut out cookies on a baking sheet that has been coated with non-stick spray, lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and bake for 16-18 minutes.
8. Once they’re done baking, allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack. Then serve to your pup and allow him to enjoy his own gluten free holiday gingerbread cookies!
Edible Gingerbread House for Dogs
Now, you may be wondering how to go about creating an edible gingerbread house for dogs! We’re here to help you with that information! Before we get to the how-tos, let’s take a look at some important things to consider when making a gingerbread-safe house for your dog to enjoy!
Dog-safe icing: gingerbread houses are typically made with all types of decorations, some of which are created with frosting.
For your dog’s gingerbread house, you’ll need to find dog-safe icing ingredients to decorate with. You can choose one of these tasty recipes, or even creatively use ingredients like peanut butter!
a. Yogurt Frosting for Dogs Ingredients:
- ½ cup plain white yogurt (Greek or regular)
- ½ cup of tapioca starch
- 2-3 teaspoons low fat or 2% milk
Yogurt Frosting for Dogs Instructions:
1. Place yogurt and tapioca starch in a small bowl and thoroughly combine.
2. Mix in milk a teaspoon at a time until consistency is like frosting.
3. For decorating, use a cake decorating bag or you can use a butter knife and toothpicks to create fancy designs on your pup’s gingerbread cookies or gingerbread house.
b. Cream Cheese Frosting for Dogs
Cream Cheese Frosting for Dogs Ingredients:
- 1 (4 oz.) package of low fat cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
Cream Cheese Frosting for Dogs Instructions:
1. Let cream cheese come to room temperature.
2. Whip honey or maple syrup until fluffy.
3. Decorate using a cake decorating bag, a knife or even toothpicks (for smaller details).
Gingerbread House Dog-Safe Decorations
Every gingerbread house includes yummy treats as decorations! However, you’ll need to make sure to use dog-friendly and dog-safe decorations for your fur baby’s gingerbread house. Here, you can be quite creative. Think about using some of your dog’s favorite dog snacks, such as dog biscuits, treats for the roof shingles and more. Just be sure these snacks are safe for dogs. Look for all-natural treats with healthy, safe ingredients for dogs that are made in the U.S.A.
Build the Doggie Gingerbread House
Now you’re ready to bake and decorate! First you can use one of the recipes above to create the walls and roof of the gingerbread house. Just roll the dough out to about ¼ inch (or a little thicker) for the roof portions and the walls. Place these on a non-stick cookie sheet, or a baking pan prepared with non-stick spray, parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake according to the recipe’s instructions. When the cookie parts are done, allow them to completely cool on wire racks. When they’re completely cool, you can then begin to “build” your fur baby’s gingerbread house.
The next part is really fun—it’s time to put up the walls and the roof. Use a dog-safe frosting or even peanut butter to firmly “glue” the walls together. You may need to let the walls dry a bit first. Once they’re dry, then go ahead and attach the roof portions with the same frosting you used on the walls. Again, allow the creation to dry before attempting further decoration. Once everything is dry and set, then you can have fun piping on doggie-safe frosting and other treats! Use your imagination to create the perfect Christmas gingerbread house for your dog to enjoy over the holidays!
You now have a dog edible gingerbread house! Maybe your fur baby will even share it with you and the rest of the family!