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by Caitlin Saniga

This recipe makes a dozen small meatloaves. If your dog can’t make it through that many in a week, it’s a good idea to store the extras in the freezer. When I served these to my dog, I’d pop a completely thawed pupcake in the microwave for about 20 seconds and then mash it up with a fork before serving it in his dish. That way he couldn’t gulp it down all at once.

In my family, a dog’s birthday is cause for celebration. Mom used to make our dog a bone-shaped meatloaf for his birthday every year, and us kids would stand around in awe as he would inhale his birthday snack in seconds.

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 carrots, grated
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup prepared brown rice
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil the cups of a 12-slot muffin pan.

Knead together all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Divide the meat mixture into 12 clumps, rolling each into a bowl and pressing each into a cup on the muffin pan. The clumps should fill the cups and be rounded on top, like cupcakes.

Cover the pan in foil and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of a the loaves registers 175 degrees.

Allow the loaves to cool before serving. These pupcakes can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Makes 12.

Recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

I recently marked one year since I adopted my dog, Sage. I’ll probably never know what his actual birthday is because the adoption agency where I found him had very limited records. If you ask me, I’ll say this was his second birthday. And it’s been one heck of a year since I brought him into my home. It’s been awesome to see him grow and mature from a skinny, skittish puppy into a happy, playful dog. For his birthday week, I made him a batch of pupcakes and handed out the extras to my friends who have dogs. There were no complaints! Even from the few friends who dared to try a bite themselves!

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