DIY & Home

How to Make Your Own Dog Treats

Posted in - DIY & Home on January 31st 2013 0 Comments Making Dog Treats with Cream Cheese

I am the owner of 2 dogs, an old Welsh Corgi and a German Sheppard who is a little over a year. As a pet owner, I am often concerned about the quality of the foods and treats offered for sale in stores. High quality treats can be very expensive, and most store-bought treats are full of preservatives and low quality ingredients. Then, there are the many recalls and stories of pets becoming ill or even dying from their treats. Because of these concerns, I began looking into making my own treats instead. I have made homemade treats several times now. With a little time and experimentation, I have found some recipes that are both fun to make and yummy!

There are many benefits to making your own dog treats. Homemade treats are safer because they are fresh and do not contain the preservatives that packaged treats do, and making your own treats is generally cheaper than buying them at the store. Plus, it is easy to tailor the recipe to accommodate your dog’s needs. For example, you can easily find a recipe for dogs with allergies or even a recipe to help with bad breath!

Corgi and German SheppardThere are a ton of dog treat ideas on the internet, as well as articles about what ingredients are safe for your dog. Generally, you want to stick to low-fat, low-sodium ingredients, and avoid products that have a lot of sugar in them. Using organic ingredients is the healthiest way to go, but will also increase the cost. There are many healthy treat possibilities out there, and homemade dog treats are a great gift! The following recipes are those I have personally used. I have also included some icing recipes, as well as ideas and tips!

Chicken Broth Dog Biscuits

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup corn meal
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (low-sodium)
  • 1 egg (plus 1 extra egg to brush on)
  • 1/8 cup low fat milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour and corn meal in a medium bowl.
  3. Add oil, broth, and 1 egg. Mix well.
  4. Knead on floured surface until a soft dough ball is formed.
  5. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness and use cookie cutters to cut.
  6. Whisk 1 egg and brush onto the top of biscuits prior to cooking (this step can be skipped, but adds a nice finish to your biscuits).
  7. Cook 25-30 minutes on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  8. Cool completely.
  9. Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

*These treats are a great everyday treat. I like to use a small cookie cutter to make these so that I can use them as easy rewards anytime!


Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Treats

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup Peanut Butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Mix in Peanut Butter and water (may need extra flour if dough is sticky).
  4. Knead well.
  5. Roll to 1/4 inch thick and use cookie cutters to cut.
  6. Whisk egg and brush onto treats.
  7. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Cool completely.
  9. Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Pumpkin Dog Treats

  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (be sure it is pure pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling. Pie filling has way too much sugar and is bad for dogs!)
  • 1/4 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients. Add water to combine.
  3. Roll to 1/4 inch and cut with cookie cutters.
  4. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes (bake 30 minutes for harder treats).
  5. Cool completely.
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Everyday Biscuits

  • 2 tsp. dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp. dry parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 egg
  • 5 to 6 cups whole wheat flour

Directions

  1. Dissolve yeast into warm water.
  2. Stir in parsley, garlic, broth, honey, egg.
  3. Gradually blend flour forming stiff dough.
  4. Knead on floured surface for 2 to 5 minutes.
  5. Roll to 1/4 inch and cut with cookie cutters.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees on ungreased cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Turn over and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Cool overnight in oven.
  8. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week at room temp, 1 month in the fridge, or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Cinnamon Bun Bites with Cream Cheese Drizzle

Making Dog Treats with Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup water or milk (low fat)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/4 cup low fat cream cheese and 1-2 Tbsp. milk (or water) for cream cheese drizzle.

Directions

  1. Combine flour and baking soda. Add in water, oil, and egg. Stir until soft dough forms.
  2. Roll into a rectangle (approximately 8 x 14).
  3. Drizzle honey, cinnamon, and walnuts or pecans across dough.
  4. Roll up from long side and cut into 1/2 inch slices using a knife or dental floss.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees on lightly greased cookie sheet for 15 minutes.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. Soften cream cheese in the microwave. Add milk or water and mix. Drizzle or spread over top of treats.
  8. Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month or freezer for up to 6 months.

Doggie Icing Recipes

There are many doggie icing recipes available online. I have tried 3 different recipes, and have found some pros and cons for each. Food coloring in small amounts will not harm your dog, so just add a little to whichever icing you are using to add some color to your treats. I use Wilson’s Icing Colors concentrated gel. It is available on amazon.com, and you only have to use a tiny bit so it lasts forever. Another option is icing sold specifically for dogs, but it is a little pricey so I have not tried it.

Cornstarch Icing

Everyday Biscuits with Cornstarch Icing

Make Dog Treat Cornstarch Icing

  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • Add 1 tsp. of water at a time until desired consistency (should be a watery consistency).

Directions

  1. Paint onto treats with a paintbrush before baking.

*This icing is easy to throw on, and involves minimal mess. However, the color fades a little with baking.


Vanilla Icing

  • 3 cups vanilla chips (white chocolate)
  • 1 tsp. canola oil

Directions

  1. Melt vanilla chips and stir in oil.
  2. Use knife or cut a corner out of a baggie to create a pastry bag and decorate cookies.

*This spread on very easily if done fairly quickly once the chips are melted. It dries hard, but dries too quickly to experiment much with colors or decorations. Also, it does not reheat well so if you do use this be sure to melt small amounts at a time. White chocolate is safe for dogs, but is higher in sugar content so it should be used moderately.


Cream Cheese Icing

Making Dog Treats with Cream Cheese

  • 8 oz. low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. plain, nonfat yogurt
  • A little flour, 1-2 Tbsp. to thicken
  1. Soften cream cheese.
  2. Mix ingredients until smooth.
  3. Add flour until desired consistency.
  4. Cut a hole out of the corner of a baggie to make a pastry bag.
  5. Use food coloring if desired and decorate!

*This is the easiest icing to experiment with. It dries somewhat solid, but not as hard as the Vanilla icing. Refrigerate treats that have this icing on them.


Tips and Tricks

  • Always use the egg yolk in recipes for your pooch. For a dog, the yolk is actually the healthiest part!
  • I almost always keep finished treats in the fridge or freezer. Recipes that do not have icing, such as the Chicken Broth Biscuits, can be kept at room temperature for up to a week. My dogs really love their treats straight out of the freezer and the extra hardness makes their treat last longer! My Sheppard will curl up with her treat for several minutes before completely finishing it.
  • Icing can be added to any of the recipes for decoration! Just remember that many icings add sugar (such as the white chocolate or cream cheese) and should not be given in large quantities but as a special treat.
  • Get creative! You can use holiday-themed cookie cutters or icing colors, or play with different ingredients.
  • Homemade dog treats also make a great gift. Use a little bit of twine or ribbon, dress up a paper bag with treats inside, or use Chinese take-out containers for iced treats. Just remember to include the recipe!

A Great BIG Thank You to the Author!

Author Kimberly AlbertKimberly Albert has worked around animals her entire life. She’s a Do-It-Yourself(er) Army wife who enjoys taking on new challenges. Thanks to Kim for donating her time to write another awesome Spastic Goat article!

Visit Kimberly’s Blog: A Moment With Me

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