Now that we’re only a few short days away from Christmas, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for you to expect today’s post to contain a recipe for Christmas cookies or a dish to enjoy at an elaborate holiday dinner. Indeed, I do have a recipe for Christmas dinner to share with you, but here’s the catch: it’s not really for you. It’s for your dog! After all, why shouldn’t the furry members of the family have a special holiday meal?
I know some of you must be thinking that I’m crazy for suggesting that you add “cook meatloaf for dog” to your holiday to-do list, but don’t worry—mixing up this meatloaf hardly takes any time at all, especially if you’re already got some leftover rice in the fridge! It’s super easy. Your dog will be super excited. It will be super cute.
Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I made some turkey pumpkin meatloaf for Phoebe after she was bitten by another dog. A couple of people commented or messaged me that they would like the recipe, so here it is! This is actually a slightly modified version of my mom’s meatloaf recipe, which I’ve known and loved since childhood—the rice and oats give the meatloaf a great texture and tenderness, unlike pure meat versions, which are too dense and dry for my liking. To make it dog-friendly, I omitted the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and onions, and substituted pumpkin puree for the ketchup that goes on top, since most ketchups contain onion and/or garlic powder. I also tossed a little extra pumpkin into the meatloaf itself, since it’s a good source of fiber for dogs.
Thank you so much to all of you who wished Phoebe a speedy recovery or asked about her! She is doing well: she had her stitches removed, the fur around the wound is beginning to grow back, and—this won’t come as much surprise to anyone who has met Phoebe—her spirits bounced back pretty much immediately. She’s certainly not one to let the so-called “cone of shame” keep her down!
For those of you who have pets, how do you include them in your holiday traditions? Do you dress them up for photos? Have you ever taken your dog to see Santa? I’d love to hear!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup old fashioned oats (rolled oats)
- 1/2 cup cooked rice (brown or white)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, divided
- dash of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 mini loaf pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (reserving 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree).
- Divide the mixture in 3 equal parts and transfer to the greased mini loaf pans. Use an offset spatula to smooth the tops. Use the remaining 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree to spread a thin layer over the top of each loaf.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Let the meatloaves cool until they are warm (rather than hot) to the touch before serving to your pup.
- Makes 3 mini loaves.
- To bake this in a single (regular) loaf pan, bake for 1 hour (or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees).
- While this recipe is titled “Dog-Friendly,” it is also fit for human consumption. If you are planning to have some, I recommend dividing the meatloaf mixture and adding salt, pepper, a dash of soy sauce, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to your portion.
Love this recipe! Thanks for including a recipe for some of the most important members of the family! My dogs are sometimes finicky so they get some kind of home cooked meal. Happy Holidays!
Love and Aloha,
If Phoebe’s enthusiasm is any indicator, your dogs will adore this! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Tracy | Baking Mischief says
I always have leftover rice that goes to waste. I love that this gives me a way to use it up and make a treat for my dog!
I’m glad Phoebe’s feeling better! This year, I thought it would be fun to include my dog in the festivities by doing a holiday photo shoot. I had her balance a gingerbread cookie on her nose and it took forever to get a half decent shot. She was supremely bored and little confused as to why she couldn’t just eat the cookie. I may have to make her some of this just as an apology!
Oh wow, I don’t think I could do that with Phoebe, but that sounds super cute! She has probably already forgiven you (or forgotten), but then again, a meatloaf apology couldn’t hurt 😉
chef mimi says
Sweet! I hope your dog is okay!!! I made some meatballs for my mutts last Christmas, and it was a really fun post, because they were photographed in it!!! #lovedogs
I had no idea you are a fellow dog lover! I just checked out your post and the photos are so sweet.
I’m just now catching up on pre-Christmas posts, but I totally think this meatloaf can still show up as a special New Year’s Eve treat for our pups. We love making treats for our two dogs, but this will be the first time we’ve made them meatloaf. Love it! Hope you and Phoebe had an awesome Christmas!
Oh definitely – this meatloaf will make New Year’s Eve a night to remember for your pups! I hope you and your family had a great Christmas as well!
Most dogs are lactose intolerant … maybe substitute chicken stock for milk
Yes, many dogs are lactose intolerant, but 2 tablespoons spread out over the whole of the recipe is unlikely to upset their stomach. At any rate, I imagine chicken stock would work just fine – or lactose-free milk, which is actually what I personally keep at home!