Did you know you could bake treats right at home for your furry friend? This lets you know exactly what ingredients she’s eating—giving her a health boost, and you some peace of mind. Store-bought treats contain preservatives—harmless, but needed to preserve a longer shelf life. Homemade treats are especially beneficial if your dog has any allergies. Finally, DIY dog treats could also save you some money on what you spend on your dog in the long run.
Remember always to check with your veterinarian to be sure your dog has no allergies or aversions to any ingredients prior to making and giving homemade treats to your dog.
Key Ingredients for Baking Homemade Dog Treats
You probably have most of these already in your kitchen pantry! Most recipes require ingredients such as oatmeal, flour, eggs, and water or broth. Add some flavor — as well as vitamins, protein, and fiber — with peanut butter (free of artificial sweeteners like xylitol), pureed pumpkin, apples, carrots, sweet potato, and cheese to create delicious cookies any dog would love. See below for a recipe.
Making Frozen Dog Treats
For those hot summer days, combine one-half of a frozen banana with some peanut butter in a blender to create dog-friendly “ice cream.” You can also substitute the banana with plain yogurt. Plain yogurt is one of the few dairy products dogs can tolerate well—plus, it’s a great source of calcium and probiotics. For a low-fat option, add some dog-friendly fresh fruit to your ice cubes and serve — these are great to add to your own water, too!
Meat and Vegetable Dog Treats
Don’t want to put your dinner leftovers to waste? Your dog will definitely enjoy some table scraps! Rinse off any seasoning and reheat (optional) some treat-sized portions for your dog — but be sure it's not too hot.
You can also stir in some mashed potatoes, meat, and veggies to add to your dog’s food. Be sure to remove any skin, fat, bones, stems, pits, or seeds that could cause choking or are otherwise toxic to your dog. You can also put strips of chicken, beef, and vegetables in a food dehydrator to make a jerky-like treat.
Remember always to check with your vet before giving your dog anything other than dog food, treats, and prescribed medication to avoid serious sickness, digestive problems, and allergic reactions. See our list of human foods that are okay for dogs, as well as ones to avoid.
Recipe for Apple-Cheddar Dog Biscuits
2 cups barley flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients and about 3 tablespoons water to form a dough. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thick; remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a 3 1/2-inch bone-shaped cookie cutter. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.
- Space biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.
- Transfer biscuits to a wire rack. Turn off oven and place biscuits on wire rack in oven overnight. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe from Martha Stewart