Reward your canine companion with treats you make at home.
Does your dog have a food allergy? Are you concerned about additives in commercial dog treats? Or do you like to bake for the people (and pets) you love? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider making dog treats for your furry friend. Making your own dog treats offers myriad benefits, including:
- You can make as many or as few as you need, controlling the quantity you have on hand. Going on vacation with your dog? Bake the treats ahead of time, and take them with you on the trip.
- You know exactly which ingredients are included in the recipe. If you know your dog is sensitive to certain foods, you can customize your recipe to avoid those items. You can also use the ingredients you know your dog loves best.
- You can experiment with different flavors without buying multiple bags of treats at the store.
- You can ensure your dog does not consume additives used in some pet treats.
Some of the simplest treats you can make at home use foods you might already have on hand. Common ingredients include peanut butter, pumpkin puree, yogurt, applesauce (no-sugar-added varieties) and oats.
Ready to get started? Try the simple recipe below, and then look for more online. Simply search for “homemade dog treats.”
Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Dog Biscuits (Adapted from www.cupcakeproject.com and “You Bake ‘Em Dog Biscuits Cookbook”)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (substitute another type of flour if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Blend the peanut butter and milk together.
- When completely blended, add in the egg, and blend again.
- Mix the flour and oats together in a large bowl.
- Slowly add in the milk and peanut butter.
- Knead the dough well.
- Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch in thickness. Use a bit of flour to help roll out the dough.
- Cut the dough into shapes with cookie cutters. You can also roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter, then press the balls into circles with a fork.
- Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 30 minutes.
Let the treats cool completely before serving them to your dog. Store leftovers in an air-tight container left unrefrigerated for one week, or keep them in the refrigerator (in the air-tight container) for 3 weeks. You can also freeze the treats for up to 6 months.
Stacy N. Hackett is an award-winning writer with more than 25 years’ experience in the pet industry. She is the former editor of Pet Product News and a former staff editor with Cat Fancy, Cats USA, Critters USA and Ferrets USA. To learn more about her work, visit stacynhackett.vpweb.com.