Baking with your pets
As we enter the fourth week of lockdown here in the UK we’ve all started to notice we’ve been getting some new habits – from taking online classes to baking, we have all been discovering lots of novel ways to entertain ourselves (and our pets) during this difficult time. Picking up on this, last week Battersea Dogs Home decided to combine some of the nation’s new favourite hobbies by launching a series of free online classes that teach you how to bake for your pets.
Dog Cake - Picture by Battersea
The classes use ingredients that are easily accessible and safe for pets to eat, including items like potatoes, carrots and tuna. Battersea will be releasing a new episode every Thursday at 2:30pm where they encourage people to ‘bake along’ at home. The tasty creations will include cakes, lollies and biscuits for dogs and cakes and biscuit treats for cats.
Speaking about the new series, Battersea’s rehoming manager Rebecca Malver stressed that (just like cake for humans) the treats should be included as part of a balanced diet:
“While we’ve been in lockdown, many people are taking up new hobbies. If you’re a pet owner and are getting into baking, it would be a shame not to let your dog or cat enjoy the fruits of your labour too! If you are going to bake for your dog or cat, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t make this a regular treat. Just like us, dogs and cats can get a bit too round if they overindulge and should only have a treat as part of a balanced diet.”
How to make a cake for your dog
The first online class shows you how to make a tasty birthday cake for your dog with mashed potato icing. If you missed it you can watch it here - and we’ve included the recipe below. You can catch the next episode on Thursday at 2:30pm.
For the cake:
210g Plain or wholemeal flour
1 Peeled Banana, mashed
Half a Grated carrot
2tsp Coconut oil
250ml Oat milk
For the decoration:
1 Large potato, mashed
Treats to decorate Meaty stick for a candle (Stick-shaped edible dog treat)
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade and line a small cake tin with greaseproof paper. We’ve used an 11cm round cake tin, but if you don’t have one of these you could use a cupcake tray and make a several smaller cakes instead.
Put your banana into a bowl and mash with a fork, then add your whisked egg, grated carrot, melted coconut oil and oat milk. Mix all the ingredients together, then add the flour and stir into the mixture.
Spoon the cake mixture into the lined cake tin and level out, using the back of a spoon. Bake the cake 45 minutes to 1 hour until completely cooked through, then remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool. Don’t worry if the cake doesn’t rise much – that’s because there is no baking powder in this recipe.
Whilst your cake is cooling, make the frosting. Peel and chop your potato into chunks, then boil in a saucepan of water for 15-20 minutes until soft. Drain your potato and leave to cool before mashing. Make sure it’s mashed thoroughly and that there are no lumps. Loosen with a little water and spoon into a piping bag, ready to decorate your cake.
Cut the cooled cake into two even layers. Pipe some of your mash onto one half and sandwich the layers together. Pipe the remaining mash on top and decorate with your dog’s favourite treats. If it’s for their birthday, you can even add a meaty stick-shaped edible dog treat to make a candle.
You can bake with Battersea on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you prefer crafts to baking, you can also find out how to create toys for your cat or dog including a knitted mouse and an octopus on the Made in Battersea YouTube playlist.
We have been alarmed to see on social media that people have reportedly been dumping their pets because they believe they can catch and spread Coronavirus. As we reported before on this blog - as far as we know - cats and dogs cannot catch the virus. If they could we would have seen a lot more cases of it by now. The press reported a story a month ago of one dog in China that allegedly died from Covid-19 but this is extremely unlikely. A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York has also tested positive for the disease, but we’re not likely to be bumping into any of those at home.
Sad Dog Photo by Catarina Carvalho on Unsplash
It may be that more people are taking their animals to shelters because of financial uncertainty and hardship at this time, which is why there has been an increase in admissions. We ask that if you can afford it, consider giving a donation to an animal rescue centre like Battersea – or order some pet food and have it delivered to a someone you know that may be struggling to feed their pets.
Battersea are still caring for dozens of animals across their three sites. To give a donation toward their care, please visit donate.battersea.org.uk.
Main Photo by Oscar Chevillard on Unsplash