Reward your canine friend with one of these quick and healthy homemade dog treats! Free of additives and preservatives, these DIY dog treats are simple to make with few ingredients.

By Barry Stringfellow
Updated August 17, 2018

Sure, dogs may love treats that looks like people food, but that doesn't mean they're always good for them. Quite often, the more a treat looks and feels like people food, the more chemicals it contains. Take a look at Dog Food Advisor and you'll see that dog treats, even ones considered "high-end," are recalled on a regular basis. Dog treat oversight is not a high priority for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Some dog treats are produced abroad in countries with even less oversight. In 2011, chicken jerky treats made in China made thousands of dogs in the United States sick. The illnesses eventually led to massive recalls but the exact cause was never determined.

If you really want to be sure of what you're feeding your dog, take matters in your own hands and make your own treats at home. DIY dog treats can also be ideal for dogs with dietary restrictions or food allergies. The best news of all: You can make a batch of treats in about the same time it takes to go for a walk!

Chicken Biscuits Homemade Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cup whole grain flour
  • 3 tablespoons oil (coconut is especially good for your dog's skin, although any oil works well)
  • ⅓ cup of chicken broth

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, oil, and broth, adding more broth if needed to reach kneadable texture.
  2. On a clean, lightly-floured surface, roll dough to about ¼-inch thick.
  3. Cut into desired shapes, such as bones.
  4. Place on a parchment paper-lined or non-stick baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Baby Food Cookie Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole grain flour
  • 2 4-ounce jars baby food (meat flavors are a sure-fire hit)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour and baby food.
  2. On a clean, lightly-floured surface, roll dough to about ¼-inch thick.
  3. Cut into desired shapes, such as puppy figures.
  4. Place on a parchment paper-lined or non-stick baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Tip: Experiment with additional ingredients like carrots, apples, or sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are often used in homemade dog treats since they're high in fiber as well as vitamins B6 and C.

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) plain yogurt (with minimal sugar content)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, melt peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix yogurt with melted peanut butter.
  3. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake papers.
  4. Evenly distribute yogurt mixture in the 12 cups.
  5. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
Tip: These frozen treats will be messy and melty if your dog doesn't gobble it up in one bite, so you may want to take them outside on a summer day or idole out in an easy-to-clean area.

Grains and Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine oats, peanut butter, and sweet potato.
  2. Evenly distribute oat mixture in the sections of a silicone ice cube tray.
  3. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Tip: If you don't have a silicone ice cube tray, roll ½-inch balls. Like the frozen yogurt treats, consider having your pet nibble on these outside.

    Ingredients to Avoid in Your Homemade Dog Treats

    There are some ingredients you should absolutely steer clear of when making your own dog treats. Some are dangerous to your dog's health; some are simply unnecessary and may cause stomach upset or other illness in your pet.

    • Never use grapes or raisins or baby food that contains either ingredient. Those foods are known to cause kidney failure in dogs and should be avoided at all costs.
    • Stay away from wheat and corn flour. Wheat is one of the biggest allergens in the canine world. White flour is highly treated and stripped of most of its nutrients. Whole grain flour made from oats, buckwheat, or rice is better for your dog, and probably for you as well. For non-grain flours, try almond, coconut, or lentil.
    • Caffeine should be avoided. That may sound like a no-brainer, but caffeine lurks in unexpected places. Green tea, for instance, can contain high amounts of caffeine, which can cause vomiting, agitation and even seizures.
    • Xylitol is toxic to dogs and should absolutely be avoided at all costs. Check the labels on any ingredients for Xylitol; some peanut butters contain the sweetener.


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