An essential guide for making delicious homemade dog treats that your dog will love.

–Guest blog by Haley Mills

Getting Started With Homemade Dog Treats

There are an overwhelming number of choices within the vast world of dog treats. Many dogs are food-motivated and enjoy special treats and goodies. Most humans can relate. With certain dangers lurking in commercial treats, such as brand recalls, the overuse of preservatives, and unhealthy ingredients, it can be challenging to make the right choice for your dog. The expense can also be a factor as higher quality treats can lead to a higher price tag.

Creating homemade dog treats can seem like a lot of work, but it’s simpler than you think. Once you master a few solid recipes, you may find that you’re saving time and money by making them yourself. Besides, the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what ingredients your furry friend is munching on is worth the hour or two of prep.

While dairy and sugar aren’t great for your dog, most things are okay in moderation. Be sure you aren’t using chocolate or artificial sweeteners in your frozen goodies, as both ingredients are toxic to dogs. Studies show that xylitol and many other sweeteners have been linked to canine illness and death. You can learn more about the Paws off Act–which aims to get warning labels on all food products containing xylitol–on Episode 1 of The PETestal: on the Human-Animal Bond. Shop smart and check the ingredient labels before using them, and you’ll be good to go.

Here, we’ll cover five categories of dog treats that you can easily craft in the kitchen. I have compiled some of our favorite recipes, basic do’s and don’ts, and helpful tips for a successful DIY experience. Be sure to adjust your dog’s daily food amount accordingly and offer treats in moderation. Most recipes are easy to adapt and quickly prepared, so feel free to get creative!

Frozen Treats

We all love ice cream, popsicles, and frozen treats on a warm summer day—including our pets. So, instead of leaving them out of the fun, it’s an excellent idea to have frozen treats prepared for these occasions. Below, we’ve included some tasty, icy treats that you can whip up fast and will last in the freezer for months.

  • PB & J Freezies– frozen pureed strawberries with a dollop of xylitol-free peanut butter
  • Frozen Fruit Pupsiclecantaloupe, pineapple, peeled apple chunks— make a slot for the popsicle stick and freeze for the perfect, one-ingredient treat.
  • Doggo Froyo– use your favorite dog-friendly fruit and combine it with Greek Yogurt in an ice-tray

No-Bake

No oven? No Problem! Just mix, chill, and serve your way to your dog’s heart.

Baked Goodies

These recipes are a little more advanced but still completely doable. Most of the ingredients are pantry staples that you probably already have, and the baking time is less than an hour for each one.

Grain Bowls

If you’re looking to supplement your dog’s kibble with healthy, protein-filled bowls, then this one’s for you.

Dog-friendly grain, combined with meat and vegetables, is a great way to incorporate essential nutrients into your pet’s diet in a savory, delicious way.

Special Occasion

Whether you’re celebrating your dog’s birthday, taking pupcakes to a furry companion’s party, or looking to include them in the holiday festivities—we’ve got you covered!

  • Birthday Cake– because dogs need cake on their birthday, too
  • Spoiled Dog Cake– garnished with milk bones, enough said
  • Holiday Cookies– applesauce, oat flour, coconut oil, and eggs make for a tasty cookie for your doggo

Final Thoughts

Even if you’re not a chef or a baker at all, you will be able to make many of these simple treat recipes. You can’t go wrong with easy, delicious recipes that require a few steps and essential ingredients. You’ll feel comforted knowing exactly what is in your furry friend’s snacks and they’ll feel comforted by yummy food. It’s a win-win. Especially for pet parents who are beginning or continuing training exercises, homemade treats will make for quite the motivator.

Surprise your dog with homemade treats baked with love, and you’ll see them light up with joy. It’s a fun way to work on your cooking skills while trying out healthy treat recipes for your dog. They will surely love your cooking and come back for seconds (and thirds) every time!

Haley Mills and her dog Shiloh

Haley Mills and Shiloh

Haley Mills is a writer, a lover of animals, and dog mom to a wonderful Aussie Shepherd, Shiloh. She gets her inspiration and pet-related knowledge from her experiences with him, and from adventures with his furry friends around the neighborhood. As a Tennessee native, she has made it her mission to explore the many natural wonders of their area with hopes of bringing awareness to the benefits of enjoying and taking care of our great Earth.

Published On: January 21, 2022|Categories: Dog Nutrition, Dogs|