Bare Minimum…


So part of why I was so busy lately has been Crazy Cocker Spaniel. At the beginning of the month I took her in to get her teeth cleaned and mentioned to the vet tech that her coat had not been looking so good could they take a look at it please while she was here.

When I called to check to see how the dog did the vet got on the phone and ripped me a new one to the point of me in tears. I had what could only be called a CPS interview basically accusing me of my dog being in pain (though she showed no signs at home) and me possibly putting her in scalding water? Umm WTF? She was getting redness on her belly that would last about 10 minutes and sometimes around her eyes (not bloodshot) but it always cleared up quickly. I figured the cold weather and her age were at play. Needless to say I was made to feel like crap and felt like a complete dog mom failure. Luckily the vet techs were nice when I picked her up and were quick to comment that my dog has been in great health the 9 years that she had been going there and I always kept good care of her they knew that. To bring her back in 10 days if necessary. Though he couldn’t tell me what was wrong. Just that they gave her Cortisone shot and she was to go on antibiotics and Prednisone.

So we bought special sprays and you name it to try and figure out what it might be. I guessed a flea allergy as one time there was one on her after being out side and her tummy was bright red and so were her eyes. Over the course of the following weeks the redness came and went with not being able to figure out why. Then she went to the groomer. They said oh we will give her an oatmeal bath to soothe her skin. Okay great. Wrong. What I got back was a dog that truly was in pain this time. She was beet red from head to toe and just looked miserable. So I took her to a different vet I had been thinking about. They were nice and saw me right away. The vet walked in and said “how long has your dog had a yeast infection”. And I said is that what it is? I explained all that had been happening over the three week time period. The Prednisone and antibiotics actually made it worse. In even worse for the dog news she has developed an allergy to the yeast that was on her. That of course there was no way of knowing it but that why she was so bad is that she just had an oatmeal bath and I basically just fed the yeast and made it happy and the dog unhappy.

So I said what do I need to do? He said I can give her meds that will clear it up for a little bit but it will come back….and what I need to do is completely change her diet. He was not kidding about completely. Of course it was two days before Christmas and I had bought her a ton of new dog treats (all which she could no longer have) and dog food. She does not get cheap dog food so that was a big blow (all was donated away no worries). She could no longer have wheat, corn, rice, oats, spelt, basically grain of any kind, no potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples (she loves them), no fruit of any kind for that matter (she loves banana as well), beans, no dairy, no peanut butter, no fish except wild caught salmon, no pork of any kind (she like her mom loves bacon), only human grade meats…basically all the food she loves.

In case you haven’t guessed finding new food and treats was quite a research project. I found her a food that met all the requirements…it also cost an arm and a leg. I got wild salmon oil to squirt on her food. She finally gets a little wet food that also meets the requirements. The only dog treats I could find that met them are $11 a bag for freeze dried chicken and duck treats. I can’t afford that. Luckily MDP got a food dehydrator for Christmas (he wanted to make his own jerky) so we will be making some for the dog. But I could not find any crunchy every day treats. Already sinking in way more money than I actually had in the month of December I needed to figure out what to make her. The Internet would surely find a recipe for me…right? Well not in the three hours I looked for recipes. Oh they have allergen recipes but not one that met the requirements. So I had to figure out something.

She can have buckwheat (don’t be confused by the name…there is no wheat and it is not a grain it is actually a seed). Luckily Bob’s Red Mill makes Organic Buckwheat Flour that I just happened to have. So I took that, some homemade chicken stock, and coconut oil and hoped for the best.

Low and behold she loves them! As you can see below.
And thank goodness. These make about a month supply (for my dog) and at about a cost of $4 with the bulk of that cost coming from the buckwheat that I buy in bulk from Amazon. Way better than the $11 freeze dried treats that she was eating a bag a week!

While she loves her new food and treats you can still tell that she thinks she is being punished and I feel so bad about that. When the kids eat pizza she keeps waiting for her little piece of crust. I guess I am going to have to figure out if I can fool her with cauliflower pizza crust (I doubt that). And no sugar cookie with Santa this year. Chicken with Santa this year. :) BUT she has not been bright red anywhere once. She has gotten a little brighter pink on the belly always after going outside (now I am thinking maybe allergic to something out there too) but overall her health is much better so that makes me happy. I know how crappy I feel when I eat something I am allergic to (they feel the yeast was developed from food allergies) so I hate to think that she was going around feeling that way all the time. :(

So if you are looking for a dog treat that at least meets all of my dogs requirements this is the one for you. I will of course be fooling around with more recipes as time goes by and put them on here to save anyone the hours I had to search to find them.

Buckwheat Coconut Oil Dog Treats


  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock


  1. Melt the coconut oil to liquid form.
  2. Add the ingredients together until it forms a dough.
  3. Roll out the dough (you will need more buckwheat flour to prevent from sticking).
  4. Cut out shapes of your choice.
  5. Bake at 375F for 15-18 minutes depending on the size.
  6. Store in a air tight baggy.

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  1. Aww, poor CCS! So glad she is feeling better now. And shame on that vet for being so nasty. A five second check of records or a talk with the tech would have shown you to be a regular customer and responsible pet owner. Wonder if I could try something like this for my cats… I had to go through a complete food change for my kitties last year because all of a sudden after I got a new box of their regular food, one started chewing herself to bits and getting horribly itchy and scabby. I didn’t realize it was the food until a month later. Tried sprays and she hated me for months afterward. Fortunately after finding a much better food she once again has a lush, beautiful coat. I don’t know if we caught all the allergies since she still does itch on occasion. I’d have to go get her tested.

  2. Oh poor girl pup! Allergies are miserable. Times like these don’t you wish she could tell you she doesn’t feel good? I’m definitely going to try these treats for my 14 yr old pup. If you know anyone who hunts geese, it may be a good option. We put our 12 yr old Dobie on just wild goose, rice and veggies she could eat. No commercial anything. It gave her an additional year of quality life when she had been given only 2 months to live. Hope your girl feels lots better! Love all of your recipes and your amazing food pics!

  3. Aww I’m so sorry to hear about CCS. It’s bad when a human gets an allergic reaction but at least people can tell you what’s wrong. Pets can’t do anything and most don’t even tell you. They kind of just suck it up until it gets to a really bad point.

    Since my family moved my baby girl had to go to a new vet which is always hard (the ones in Colorado absolutely adored her!). The new vet said she was too fat (which she is- she is the equivalent of a 300 lb woman last time we checked with the vet) so they put her on this weird food that should have made her loose weight. Well needless to say after many rough nights and allergic reactions to other prescribed things my mom took her off everything and told the vet. She is now soooo much better and is on new food that is actually good for her (who knew Beniful was fattening?)

    I’m so glad to hear CCS is better and has some tasty treats to boot! :)

  4. SO glad you got that 2nd opinion! You are sweet to take such good care of CCS; glad she likes her new treats.

  5. What a terrible experience for both of you! I think it’s awful how the first vet treated you, especially when even he didn’t know what was wrong and his treatments made it worse! Thank goodness for the second one. Dealing with the allergy has to be a pain, but I’m happy you’ve been able to find treats that fit CCS’s new diet, and at least now you know what was wrong.

  6. I’m glad CC is feeling better. Having been on the pet special diet roller coaster for years myself I know how hard and expensive that ride can be. I don’t know if this will work for CC but it does with other pups with allergies but green beans, marshmallows and banana’s tend to be hypoallergenic so you might want to check into those.

  7. I’m really happy that you’re sharing this recipe…my little girl is pushing 14 and, with all the “made elsewhere” treats on the market now, I’ve been searching for something I don’t feel so uncomfortable giving her. Do you think adding a little garlic powder would be acceptable? And do you know how shelf-stable these are…in a baggy for a month and still good maybe?? Only three ingredients and I have all three!! She will be so happy!!! THANK YOU! CCS certainly DOES have a good mommy!!!

  8. I hope you called back your original vet and reamed him a new one!! Poor baby! Glad it all worked out (sort of anyhow). I don’t have a dog now, but I’ll definitely be sharing this post – you never know who might be facing the same problem without knowing the cause!

  9. @Chris- I think you could add garlic powder though there are mixed thoughts on if that is good for dogs. As far as stability I used coconut oil since it does not go rancid. My guess is by the time these would go bad they will be gone.

  10. @Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe- yes I having a feeling lots of people are looking for recipe like this

  11. stephanie says:

    Ohhh, I feel for you. It’s funny how life can change when emergencies come up. My kitty became sick during the holidays. I learned I had to let go of all the things I “had to do” and focus on what really matters. I know that the whole process is exhausting (and expensive!). I teared up when you describe your conversation with your vet because, yes, I understand where he/she was coming from, but really? REALLY? How horrible it feels to have to “defend” yourself. You are a wonderful momma for getting to the root of the problem and finding out how to help her! She is a lucky, lucky girl.

  12. So glad CCS is doing better. Vets can be so hurtful sometimes. I had a vet once chastise me because I turned down a surgery for my dog that came with a $6000 price tag. She pointed to my one year old son and said, “I bet if that kid needed a $6000 surgery you would find a way to make it happen.” I left in tears.

  13. The poor pup! It is so hard when they are feeling bad since they can’t tell you. I hope she feels better soon, and you are a great dog parent.

  14. Audra Blair says:

    Peabody, so very relieved that you have found a solution for CCS. I know first hand how extremely frustrating it can be to chase allergies in pets. Would share the name of the kibble that you decided upon? With so many options out there, it is nice to know what has worked successfully for others. Thank you!

  15. @Audra- she eats Limited Ingredient Instinct

  16. As the mama to a cocker and shih-tzu, skin issues, allergies, ear infections and yeast infections have taken up so much of our world. Our cocker is thankfully well controlled on a ridiculously expensive food made from bison. Yes, bison. His only treats are carrots and ice cubes. It’s like torture, I mean cockers live to eat. And lick garbage cans. I swear they are the goats of the dog world. Anyways, I hope all will calm down. I’ve so been there, looking like I’m some neglectful dog abuser, when in reality we just can’t figure it out and are trying – hard!

  17. Reading about your skin issues with CCS was like reading about the past couple of years problems with our dog! He is a Lhasa-Poo and has been itching/biting himself and getting horribly red and hot on different parts of his body. We have tried EVERYTHING and can’t get it under control. We did find that a shampoo we were using that was supposed to help skin problems was actually making it worse so we only use baby shampoo on him and that seems to help. I have also switched him to a gluten free food (Just 6 by Rachael Ray) but am not sure if it’s helping. Probably because it’s awfully hard to not give him scraps and treats and there really aren’t too many affordable gluten free treats out there. I’m going to have to try your recipe!

  18. Oh my goodness! Glad you found something that works for her!

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