Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

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Of course you want to show your dog the love. But if your dog is fighting mites, giving wheat and filler filled dog treats is the last thing you want to do. Please keep in mind that dogs eat to survive, not for pleasure. I know, your pet might disagree with that and argue that yummy snacks are an absolute necessity. I won’t argue that point, I’d hate to live a life without the occasional treat or delicious reward myself. Just don’t go overboard. Dog treats are not substitutions for healthy dog food. Just as we need to be sensible with desserts, the same goes for Fido — don’t overfeed even if the treats are healthy. The suggested amount is 1-2 treats a day. You can give more or less depending on how active your dog is and how big the treats are.

Your dog’s taste buds are not sophisticated like humans, so leave out the sugar, salt, processed ingredients, artificial coloring or preservatives — these are pure fertilizer for these parasites! Dogs with diabetes or certain allergies should also avoid all of the above too. 

Wheat free or grain free dog treats can be expensive simply because wheat is the cheapest ingredient. Here are a few recipes that will help you save some dough (sorry, couldn’t help it) and feed your pet healthy treats. They’ll adore them. And you too!

Below are 4 recipes for homemade dog treats. One Gluten free and one grain free, yet still yummy dog treat.

Ginger Snap Dog CookiesHome made dog treats made of healthy natural ingredients for your dog's sweet tooth.
2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoons dried ginger powder
1/4 cup shredded carrots
Combine ingredients. Bake at 300° F for 30-35 minutes. Leave biscuits in oven until they are dry for extra crunchiness.

 
Pumpkin Cookies
Makes 36 large dog biscuits
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
2 tablespoons flax seed
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup cold water or enough to make dough stick
 
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine brown rice flour and flax meal in a large bowl. Mix eggs and pumpkin together in a separate bowl until smooth. Add pumpkin mixture to brown rice mixture in two parts, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add water slowly. Use your hands to pull the dough together.
Roll dough out between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper to desired thickness. (about 1/4″ thick.) Remove top piece of waxed/parchment paper, flip dough onto brown rice floured counter, remove top piece, and then cut biscuits using desired cookie cutter. Re-roll and cut scraps until you’ve used every possible bit of dough.
Place biscuits on parchment lined baking sheets (or lightly greased with oil). If using a dog bone shaped cutter, gently press down, wiggle a little, then lift out.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the top of the biscuit has dried out completely. Let biscuits cool on wire racks. 
 
Grain-Free Dog Treats
1 medium banana, mashed
3 tablespoons creamy (natural) peanut butter
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
Preheat the oven to 300° F. In a small bowl, mix together the banana, peanut butter and egg; mix until completely combined. To a medium bowl, add the flour and rolled oats; mix. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine until the dough comes together.
Transfer the dough to a piece of heavily floured wax paper. The dough will be sticky so flouring everything (wax paper, rolling pin and cookie cutter) is important. Roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut out the cookies using a cookie cutter of choice; re-roll the scraps and cut out more cookies. Transfer the cookies to a parchment lined cookie. These cookies won’t spread so placing them close together (not touching) is okay. If you don’t want to roll the dough out, alternatively, you can scoop teaspoon of dough onto a baking sheet, flattening cookies with the ball of your palm.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the cookies to come to room temperature on a cooling rack. 
 
Gluten-Free Delights
2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (flaxmeal)
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup chicken OR beef stock
 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place buckwheat flour and ground flaxmeal in a large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin puree, eggs and chicken or beef stock. Use an electric mixer or stand mixer and beat on high until the mixture is smooth and very thick.For easy prep, use a 1 tablespoon equivalent spring-loaded scoop (like an ice cream scoop) to drop rounded mounds of mixture on prepared baking sheets. Use a fork to press down on mounds, just like making classic peanut butter cookies. Dip fork in water frequently to prevent sticking and press mounds until they are about 1/4-inch thick.

For small pets: Use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon to drop mounds of dough on baking trays.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove trays and turn the dog treats upside down. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes. When done cookies should feel hard to the touch. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

 
Remember, these have no preservative so store them carefully. Cookies kept in an airtight container will be good for up to 2 weeks and will last up to 3 months in the fridge. Be sure your creations are completely cooled before storing them.
 
About the author: Cindy Ritchie
Professional, driven, and passionate about helping dog owners.