My dogs, Tuffy and Selfie, the senior and junior ‘Cookie Inspectors’, take their jobs very seriously. There’s no cheating, unless someone mentions ‘Treats’. I prefer to make treats for my dogs at home so I know exactly what I am feeding them. Indeed, homemade dog treats are the best way to show your dog that you love them like family. Besides being super healthy for your dogs, the homemade dog treats recipes contain easy-to-find and on-hand ingredients, like regular whole-wheat flour, oats, eggs, carrots, pumpkin, apples, bananas, peanut butter, etcetera.
Basics of Homemade Dog Treats Recipes
Glad tidings! Making your own homemade dog treats is easier than you think. Even more, you can create flavoursome treats at home for your dog and at the same time happily avoid any food allergies your dog has, since these homemade dog treats recipes incorporate all safe and healthy ingredients suitable for dogs. Although, you should be mindful about your dog’s specific conditions and contact his vet with any individual concerns. Here are some basic Q&As that can come handy for you before we jump to the recipes.
Which flour is safe for dogs?
Whole grain flours like regular wheat flour, rice, oats, millet, barley, and quinoa are some popular options you can choose from as these contain all the original nutrients. I prefer to use multigrain flour as a tasty-nutritional combo pack. In case your dog has grain-allergy, you can choose to go grain-free; options include potato, lentil, coconut, almond, and chickpea flours. Above all, white flour/all-purpose flour (Indian name: Maida) is not recommended for dogs because they are often stripped of most vital nutrients.
Can dogs eat fruits?
Bananas, Apples, Custard Apples, Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Melons, Watermelons, Pears, Pineapples and Oranges are some fruits that are usually fine for most dogs. They should be washed, peeled and deseeded. Grapes, raisins, avocados, peaches and similar others must be avoided.
Is peanut butter safe for dogs?
Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter as long as it is fed in moderation and more importantly, DOES NOT contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener, toxic for dogs. Furthermore, it is wise to pair peanut butter with a piece of vegetable while feeding it to your dog. So pull out that peanut butter jar, treat your fur buddy and share the good news.
What kind of veggies can dogs eat?
Dogs can happily eat small quantities of Carrots, Boiled Potatoes, Celery, Spinach, Green beans, Broccoli, Cucumber and Brussel sprouts. Ensure to feed your dog only fresh veggies, as canned ones have added salt. Remember to wash, peel and par boil the veggies before you give them to your dog, as certain veggies may have a gassy effect as prevalent in humans.
Note: While flours, fruits and veggies are basic ingredients used in homemade dog treats recipes that are safe for your dog to consume, some varieties can also be toxic. Some popular fruits and veggies that you should avoid feeding your dog include garlic, onion, mushroom, raw potatoes, avocado, and rhubarb. If you are unsure of your dog eating something, verify by asking your dog’s vet.
So, adequately, with five ingredients or less, these are some simple homemade dog treats recipes, easy to prepare even for novices. And if your treats don’t turn out as beautiful as they do in their photos, don’t worry, your dog is going to love them just the same.
1. Oats & Banana Cookies
Three ingredients, 30-mins bake time, Yields 14 medium-sized cookies
1 cup Oats or Wheat Flour, any one works
2 ripe Bananas, mashed
1/4 cup Peanut Butter, smooth (unsweetened/xylitol free)
-Preheat your oven to 325°F.
-Mix mashed bananas with the peanut butter until smooth.
-Add the flour. Knead to make a firm ball of dough.
-Roll out the dough to a 1/3-1/2-inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes using your favorite cookie cutter.
-Transfer your cookies to a baking sheet. Use a fork to poke holes in the centre of each, to allow steam to escape.
-Bake for 30-35 minutes.
-Remove the cookies from the oven and let them completely cool before giving some to your dog. Transfer the remaining into an air-tight container. Can freeze for up-to 3 months!
Note: Before using peanut butter, please read the label to ensure you’re using a product that does not contain added oils or sugar or any artificial sweetener. Some sweeteners are toxic to dogs.
2. Yummy Dog Donuts
Five ingredients, 20-mins bake time, Yields 6-8 donuts
1 cup Flour
1 cup Oats
1/3 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
For the topping: Yogurt (Xylitol free) & sun-dried Chicken bits/Bacon bits
-Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a donut pan with oil and keep aside.
-In a large bowl, mix all ingredients (except topping ingredients). You can mix with a spoon or use your hands to form a dough.
-Now press the dough into the donut pan. Fill each donut hole and press firmly to ensure everything sticks together (it won’t rise, so make sure each donut is tightly packed).
-Bake these in your preheated oven for approximately 15-20 mins.
-After the donuts cool, carefully remove the them from the pan. Now you’re ready to decorate them!
-Set out a small bowl of yogurt and another of sun-dried Chicken bits/Bacon bits. Dip each donut carefully in the yogurt, then sprinkle with tiny bits of sun-dried Chicken/Bacon. Voila!
3. Sweet Potato Chews
One ingredient, 3-hrs bake time, Yields 8-10 chewy treats
2 Large Sweet Potatoes, washed & dried
-Preheat oven to 250°F
-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
-Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/3″ slices.
-Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
-Bake for 3 hours, turning half way through.
-Cool completely on a wire rack.
-Now, treat your fluffy pooch! Who’s a good-boy? Who’s a good-boy?
Note: Although these treats are dried, you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. You can freeze them for approx. 4 months. Also, you can continue to bake these chews for additional minutes according to the desired degree of chewiness. The longer you bake the treats, the crunchier they get.
4. Carrot & Apple Biscuits
Four ingredients, 10-mins bake time, Yields 20 medium-sized biscuits
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup red apple, shredded
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
-Preheat your oven to 400°F.
-Combine flour, carrots, apple, and chicken broth in a large mixing bowl.
-Fold ingredients together.
-Sprinkle counter-top with some flour and roll mixture flat (about 1/2”) using a rolling pin.
-Using your favourite cookie cutter, cut biscuits until the mixture is used entirely.
-Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
-After your dog gets one or two, refrigerate the rest of the biscuits.
Note: While tricks and treats continue to be a dog’s thing, the commercialized dog treats are making dog parents pay through the nose. According to various news reports, grains rejected from the human supply chain are being put into most pet foods. Sigh! Even though unwholesome, advertised dog treats are pricey, not to mention the others featuring high-quality ingredients costing a lot more money. On the other hand, homemade dog treats not only cost less than their store-bought counterparts but also allow you to have better control of flavour and freshness of your natural ingredients. So they’re worth the investment.
5. Pumpkin & Peanut-Butter Pie
Five ingredients, 20-mins bake time, Yields 40-45 small treats
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup peanut butter natural (No Xylitol or sugar substitutes)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon (can also use a pumpkin pie spice or make your own – NO nutmeg, can be toxic to dogs)
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your baking tray with parchment paper.
-In a large bowl, blend the pumpkin, eggs, and peanut butter. Stir until completely combined.
-Add in the flour and pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon) – stirring just until properly mixed.
-Press small quantities of dough into pie-moulds. Cookie cutters can be used in the absence of pie-moulds. Set these on the tray.
-Bake for 20 to 40 minutes – depending on desired level of softness.
-Remove treats from oven and let them cool on a cooling rack. These pies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
-If your dog loves strawberries, garnish the pies with some. Click your pretty girl chomping that pie!
6. Diabetic Dog Homemade Treats Recipe
Three ingredients, 15-mins bake time, Yields 36 treats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ pounds chicken liver, cut into pieces
-Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan (or use any baking pan available at home) with parchment paper.
-Place the liver into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Now, add the flour and eggs, and process until smooth. Spread evenly in the pan.
-Bake for 15-20 minutes until the centre is firm. Cool, and cut into squares using a pizza cutter or knife.
-A spongy and healthy delight is ready for your canine. Store the remaining in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Dogs may not care about shapes or sizes as far as the treats trigger their nose and make their mouth drool, still, you can customize the treats to look more dog-tailored by using a dog-bone-cookie-cutter or Christmas cookie cutters and moulds for the festive season treats. More importantly, we need to keep in mind, these are treats and must be given only as snacks or appetizers. Please refrain from giving your dog too many. Usually 1-2 per day is more than enough to munch on, depending on your dog’s size. These homemade dog treats recipes will make your kitchen smell awesome. Good luck keeping your dogs out of the kitchen while making these!