While your dog loves those dried treats you get from the pet store, you sometimes worry if they’re getting bored with them. Sometimes, they even show it. Homemade dog treats are well worth the effort.
You place the treat in front of their nose and they just sniff it, look at you, and take it without much interest — eating it as if they’re just going through the motions.
If you love to bake, you’ve probably had a thought: Why don’t I make a homemade treat for my dog? Making fresh-baked treats for dogs must be easy, right?
If you’ve had the thought, you might as well run with it. But what treat does your dog most want?
4 Homemade Dog Treat Recipes Your Dog Will Love
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
You’ve probably fed your dog peanut butter before. You’ve seen the wild look in their eyes when they sniff it on a spoon or it’s been placed inside of their toy. So why not make them a peanut butter biscuit they’ll love?
The best part when making dog biscuits is that you can modify them as needed. They can be made with whole grains or with rice flour — which is perfect if your dog is on a grain-free/gluten-free diet.
Looking for a homemade peanut butter dog treat? Here’s an excellent recipe from Damn Delicious:
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and eggs on medium-high until they are combined. Add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating until incorporated. Then, add an additional 1/4 cup of flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 4 times until it starts to come together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out your desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool completely.
2. Peppermint Christmas Treats
The holiday season is all about candy canes and peppermint candies. While your dog can’t enjoy a candy cane, you can make a treat of your own to let your dog get in on the fun.
Pet Guide has a peppermint dog treat that’s sure to knock your dog’s (metaphorical) socks off!
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. molasses
- 2 tbsp. peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, peanut butter, molasses, water, olive oil, and peppermint extract until smooth.
- Knead mixture on a floured surface and roll out to ¼-inch thickness. Cut with festive cookie cutters and place on a non-stick cookie sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes, cool on a wire rack, and store treats in a sealed container and refrigerate or freeze.
3. Stuffed Shin Bones
Want to give your dog a rich treat that’s packed full of nutrition? Shin bones are a great alternative to the traditional dog bone. Shin bones for dogs still contain similar nutritional benefits, while having the added benefit of being hollow.
That means they can be stuffed with various goodies, whether it be cheese, sweet potato, peanut butter, or applesauce — whatever your heart desires. This makes it easy to give your dog a treat that’s healthy as is, whose taste can be improved by stuffing it with whatever filling you want.
4. Turkey and Cranberry Dog Bones
Looking to give your dog a treat to enjoy while the rest of you eat Thanksgiving dinner? You can give them some table scraps, but you can also make them something just of their own. That’s why we love this Turkey and Cranberry Dog Bone recipe:
- 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup shredded cooked turkey
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets, or line them with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mold the dough, and let it sit.
- Turn the dough out on a floured work surface, and knead for 1 to 2 minutes. Roll the dough out ¼-inch thick, and cut out with your favorite cookie cutters.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until the treats turn brown. Turn the oven off. Then, leave the dog treats in the oven an additional 30 minutes to dry out. Refrigerate leftover dog treats.
Better Yet, Get Them a Natural, Good Old-Fashioned Bone
Lastly, you don’t always have to make something at home for your dog. Rather than giving your dog any old bone you can find, or the traditional rawhide, you can get your dog all-natural dog bones.
They’ll allow you to give your dog a healthy treat that’s easy on their stomach — unlike rawhide. They also don’t feature any additives, so your dog is getting all the nutrition they would as if they were gnawing on a bone they found out in nature.
Best of all, it will allow them to get their primal energy out. Combine that with a tasty treat you made at home and you’ve got a recipe for success.