By Nancy Cope
Homemade dog treats are good for your dog and any easy way for you to help control what your pup eats.
You can use any ingredients you and your dog like. If he has some preferences like, for example, blueberries, you can make him blueberry treats or doggy muffins with blueberries.
If he is crazy about tuna, there are lots of great treat recipes for tuna cookies and tuna treats for dogs. You can give him exactly what he likes best.
With homemade dog treats you control the quality of the ingredients, too.
Ingredients for homemade dog treats
You can use the same ingredients that you would use for your own family — with a few exceptions.
Dogs can’t eat many foods including grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, garlic, avocado and most nuts.
And while most dogs love peanut butter, be sure to check the label to ensure it’s not sweetened with Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s also found in gum and candy, which can be deadly for dogs.
Good foods for dogs include carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and spinach.
When you make your own treats, you know the ingredients are healthy and safe. You can also use organic ingredients if you prefer or buy from local farmers.
Produce as many or as few of the treats as you want to make. Quadruple a recipe and make lots of treats so you can freeze them. Or you can make a small batch to see how your dog likes them.
In most cases when you make homemade dog treats, you save money because you can buy ingredients in bulk or when they are on sale.
If your dog has allergies, you can make sure that you only use ingredients that are safe for your dog to eat and avoid using any items that might trigger a reaction in your dog.
And, homemade dog treats are usually delicious. Dogs will love them.
You can give him treats right out of the oven. Nothing says, “I love you” quite like baking for your dog.
Store bought dog treats
There are some great store bought treats, too. Of course, some commercial treats have questionable ingredients and you will probably want to avoid them, just as there are some lower quality dog foods.
You should avoid treats that use animal digest or bi-products, for example. But there are some very good treats made by reputable companies that use human grade ingredients, organic ingredients, and which have good reputations. Need help finding healthy treats? Use this guide from Consumer Affairs.
Three Dog Bakery makes good treats using natural ingredients for dogs with many creative flavors. Old Mother Hubbard is a company that’s been around for a long time and which is known for making healthy treats using human grade ingredients for dogs, and there are others. If you feed your dog a good quality dog food, the company that makes the food probably makes dog treats, too, so check the store to see if they carry them.
If you have the time to make homemade dog treats for your dog, your dog will love them. They are always wonderful. But if you don’t have time or if you hate to bake, don’t feel bad. There are still some very good store bought dog treats that your dog will love.
Nancy Cope is the owner of four rescue dogs and Pampered Dog Gifts.
Peanut Butter Doggy Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup peanut butter (smooth)
1 cup milk
Before you begin, you should preheat your oven to 375F. Lightly grease a
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Use a separate bowl to
mix the peanut butter and milk to form a smooth paste and then add this to the
flour mix. Mix these together well until they form a thick dough.
Lightly flour a clean bench or surface and knead the dough lightly. Roll the dough
out until it’s approximately ¼ inch (1/2 centimeter) thick. Cut the dough into bite-sized
squares, or use a cookie cutter to create shapes if you wish.
Place the cookies onto the baking tray and bake them for around 20 minutes until
they turn a light golden-brown. Watch them carefully as they have a tendency to
Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely before
offering them to your dog. Store any unused cookies in an air tight container until