How to Make Healthy Homemade Dog Treats
There are many, many recipes for homemade dog treats out there. Literally hundreds of ideas, some healthier than others, some exist simply because someone decided to be creative.
But which is the best? Which is the healthiest treat for your dog? Is it cheaper or more expensive to bake your own homemade dog treats, as opposed to purchasing at the store? In the end, does it even make a difference? Don't they all just taste the same?
These are some of the discussions we have with our customers, so we thought we'd reveal some helpful tips we've learned along the way.
Benefits of Homemade Dog Treats
What dog doesn’t absolutely love his or her tasty treat? We all know that wide-eyed, open-mouthed stare you get every time you pop open the treats (and yes, it's usually irresistible!).
Many commercial brand dog treats are filled with not only various additives and preservatives, but sometimes even dangerous metals, that can accumulate and cause an overdose. In addition, store bought dog treats are often made extremely cheaply, filled with ‘fillers’ your dog doesn’t need or ideally shouldn’t have. These are things which bulk out foods or make them a certain color or texture, but does nothing for your dog's health or well-being.
Save Some Money:
Store bought dog biscuits can get expensive, and are usually cheaply made. Depending on the ingredients you use, you can easily produce twice the amount of homemade dog treats, for half the cost.
Even better...you control what goes into them!
So - why not save some money, and make your own? Many pet owners have adopted this cost effective talent, so why not you? Your pup will love you for it!
- If providing fruits or vegetables, be sure to avoid onions, grapes or raisins!
- Don’t use chocolate! Candy store ‘white chocolate’ isn’t as bad, but baking chocolate or cocoa powder can easily be deadly in surprisingly small amounts.
- Many things humans love shouldn’t be given to man’s best friend. If you aren’t sure, a simple ‘Google’ search will take no more than a few seconds!
NOTE: Make sure your dog doesn’t have any food allergies, or be aware if they do, prior to baking!
Pumpkin is a pretty popular homemade dog treat ingredient, but is it really that helpful? In fact, not only are ingredients found in pumpkin seeds believed to support urinary health, but pumpkin is also a great source of fiber!
- Make sure you only use fresh pumpkins. Halloween pumpkins, for example, could have acquired dangerous molds after sitting out.
Recipe #1, Pumpkin Dog Bites
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 4 tbsp molasses
- 4 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Mix Pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil and water together until blended.
- Add whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon until dough softens.
- Scoop out spoonfuls, roll into balls and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake approx. 25 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Let your dog taste test and enjoy!
Eggs are a fantastic source of digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium! Eggs are known to help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. Eggs also contain significant amounts of the fatty acids your dog needs, but may not find in their diet.
Did You Know?
Due to differences in anatomy, dogs aren’t as susceptible to salmonella from raw eggs as humans. With today’s grade A supermarket eggs, the risk of contamination is very low anyway; an adult might drink raw eggs every day for years and be fine (other than the taste being a bit disgusting!).
Even so, there is still a risk; it isn’t going to hurt to cook them.
Recipe #2, Apple Cinnamon Dog Treats
- 1 cup Dry Quick Cook Oatmeal
- ½ cup Cinnamon Applesauce or Apple Sauce with a dash of Cinnamon
- 1 large Egg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large clean but dry mixing bowl pour the cup of oatmeal. Add the applesauce and mix well. Once everything is mixed together, add the egg and mix again.
- Grease the pan or tray (cookie sheet) with oil – as long as your pet doesn’t have any allergies the only oil you should stay away from is grapeseed oil.
- Scoop the mix into the molds or create big drop cookies using a tablespoon.
- Bake for 22 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool until room temperature. Serve to your pup!
Not only do dogs love peanut butter, but it is good for them! Peanut butter is a good source of protein, heart healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E.
- Looking for a fun treat to occupy your pup for hours? Fill a kong with peanut butter, and let it harden in the freezer for a few hours! Make sure you wash the kong afterwards, though.
Recipe #3, Peanut Butter Dog Treats
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Combine flour, baking powder, and egg in mixing bowl. Add peanut butter, water, and honey; stir until dough is stiff, firm, and sticky (you may need to use your hands!).
- Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick, use cookie cutter or knife to separate.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy (your dog), or store in an airtight container!
You can find inexpensive cookie cutters in an entire set for about 6 dollars (or less) at most stores, depending on the size you want. Why not add that special creative touch to your homemade dog treats?
Have you experimented with Homemade Doggy Treats?
If you've experimented with homemade treats for your dog, let us know your favorite dog recipes in the comments below - We'd love to hear about them!