I love to find creative ways to work canine enrichment into my dog’s day. We have tons of toys, homemade puzzles and games to play to keep Lucy and Burt on their toes. So when I got dried beef trachea chews in our monthly Real Dog Box, I decided to try making a doggy cannoli!
My dogs love anything involving food, so I knew they’d love this quick and easy recipe! As a dog mom, I love it because it makes them eat slower, keeps them busy for at least 15 minutes and provides a ton of mental stimulation.
Read on to learn about canine enrichment, get my doggy cannoli recipe, and discover the healthy benefits of dried beef trachea chews.
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What is Canine Enrichment?
Exercising your dog on daily walks isn’t enough to tire them out mentally. Canine enrichment describes all kinds of activities that you can do to tap into your dog’s natural instincts to chew, sniff, problem solve and work for their food.
You can buy enrichment toys like puzzles and treat-dispensing toys. I love using those, but I also like to get creative and make my own enrichment activities for the dogs! Every week I make a busy box and feed a few meals on a DIY snuffle mat.
This doggy cannoli is another tool I’m adding to my canine enrichment arsenal! I like to feed my dogs their dinner out of this “cannoli”. They get to chew, sniff and problem-solve to take it apart and eat it all. Feeding dinner in a frozen doggy cannoli also helps my dogs eat slower and builds their attention span.
You don’t have to feed every meal as an enrichment activity. If this is new to you, try doing it a few times a week. Eventually, you can try feeding “beyond the bowl” for one meal every day!
Doggy Cannoli Recipe
Cannoli Shell: Dried Beef Aorta or Beef Trachea
Stuffing: Your dog’s food soaked in water
For the “shell” of this doggy cannoli, I use a dried beef trachea or dried beef aorta. You can use any kind of dried chew that is hollow and stuffable.
Since I’m feeding this as my dog’s dinner, I pre-measure my dog’s Stella & Chewy’s kibble dinner and soak it in water overnight in the fridge. When I’m ready to make the cannoli, I mash up the wet kibble with a spoon. It’s almost the exact consistency of the ricotta you’d use in a real cannoli!
To stuff the cannoli, I hold my palm at one end of the trachea and spoon in the mushy kibble until it’s full. If you have kibble left over, you can freeze it in ice cube molds and give it to your dog alongside their cannoli. This is a great set of silicone ice trays for dog treats!
Freeze cannoli for at least 4 hours or until solid.
I recommend you serve this to your dog outdoors since it can be messy.
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Benefits of Dried Beef Trachea for my Dog
The beef trachea chews that I get from Real Dog Box are single-ingredient chews, sourced and made in Georgia where they’re trimmed and hand-cut then naturally dried for about 100 hours. These chews are USDA inspected and antibiotic-free, so I know they’re healthy and safe for my dogs.
Beef trachea (aka the windpipe) is lined with cartilage and naturally high in glucosamine and chondroitin, great for healthy joints in my senior dogs! Plus, the grooves of the trachea help to scrape off excess tartar on their teeth.
Dried beef aorta packs many of the same benefits and occasionally comes in our Real Dog Box.
Where to Find High-Quality Dried Dog Chews
When you’re using dried chews like for this doggy cannoli, it’s essential that you use all-natural chews. Some brands might use chemicals, dye, or even bleach in their process. You definitely don’t want your pup chewing on that!
I’ve been subscribing to Real Dog Box for a couple of years. I discovered the brand when I interviewed co-founder Ruby Balaram on my podcast. She and her partner are passionate about how food can prevent disease and provide a ton of education alongside high-quality all-natural chews and treats.
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Did you like this post? Check out these links:
DIY Busy Box for Bored Dogs
Healthy Kong Stuffing Recipes
The Best Dog Chews for Mental Stimulation
Where to Shop Local for Stella & Chewy’s
Canine Enrichment Doggy Açaí Bow Recipe
How to make a DIY Snuffle Mat for Dogs
*This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.
Select photos in this post by Setter Marie Photography.