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Baking For Your Best Friend: Treats For Dogs

by Scott Marshall February 29, 2024 7 min read

Baking For Your Best Friend: Treats For Dogs

Easy Recipes To Treat Your Dog

Embarking on the journey of creating homemade dog treats is a rewarding venture that fills stomachs and strengthens bonds.  

This guide serves as a beacon for dog parents who prioritize the health and happiness of their furry companions through the power of thoughtful, homemade nourishment. By focusing on dog-safe ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes, you're not just preparing treats; you're enhancing your dog's diet with healthier, preservative-free options. 

Let's dive into the world of homemade dog treats, where every ingredient is chosen with love and every recipe promises a wagging tail.

Why consider homemade dog treats?

Opting for homemade dog treats presents a myriad of benefits, the primary one being the ability to use healthier ingredients devoid of preservatives, alongside others:

Healthier ingredients, no preservatives

Opting for homemade dog treats empowers you to choose healthier ingredients that are free from preservatives. 

This choice not only supports a more natural and wholesome diet for your dog but also promotes their long-term health and vitality.

Avoiding allergens like wheat or corn

By preparing treats at home, you gain the ability to steer clear of allergens such as wheat or corn, which are prevalent in many commercial dog treats. 

This is especially crucial for dogs with dietary sensitivities, ensuring they can enjoy delicious treats without the worry of allergic reactions.

Cost-effective compared to store-bought treats

Crafting your dog's treats at home proves to be far more cost-effective than the ongoing purchase of store-bought options. 

This economical approach not only yields savings but also allows you to invest in higher quality, nutritious ingredients, ensuring your dog receives the best without breaking the bank.

How to start making dog treats at home?

It’s all well and good trying to make treats for your canine friend, but you need to know the basics to make sure the treats are also healthy for them. 

Gather dog-safe ingredients: lean meats, vegetables

Begin by selecting dog-safe ingredients such as lean meats and vegetables. These choices ensure the treats are not only appetizing but also rich in vital nutrients, fostering your dog's health and vitality.

Choose simple recipes with minimal steps

Embrace simple recipes that boast minimal steps for preparation. This strategy simplifies the treat making process, making it accessible and enjoyable, while also offering the flexibility to tailor treats to your dog's unique dietary needs and taste preferences.

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

The Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats recipe is a delightful combination, utilizing the creamy texture of natural peanut butter and the fiber-rich goodness of pumpkin. 

This duo not only offers a taste that dogs crave but also packs a nutritional punch, providing essential vitamins and minerals for your pet's well-being. Here’s how to make it -

Ingredients:


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (unsalted, no xylitol) (xylitol also goes by several other names like birch sugar, please research these other names and ensure they are not in the peanut butter you choose)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (or oat flour for a gluten-free option)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin and peanut butter, and stir until it is well mixed
  • Gradually add in the flour, mixing well after each addition. The dough should be thick and slightly sticky
  • If desired, sprinkle in the cinnamon and mix until evenly distributed throughout the dough
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes from the dough. Place the cut-out treats onto the prepared baking sheet
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the treats are lightly golden brown and firm to the touch
  • Once baked, remove the treats from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack
  • Store the cooled treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks, or freeze them for longer storage

Recipe 2: Chicken and Rice Dog Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (unsalted, preferably homemade)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cooked chicken, cooked brown rice, chicken broth, chopped parsley (if using), and the egg. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  • Using your hands or a spoon, scoop out portions of the mixture and shape them into small biscuit-sized rounds or any shape you prefer.
  • Place the shaped biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown and firm to the touch.
  • Once baked, remove the biscuits from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Once cooled, store the biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. You can also freeze them for longer storage.

Recipe 3: Sweet Potato Dog Chews

This straightforward recipe transforms thinly sliced sweet potatoes into a nutritious and enjoyable treat for your dog. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C).
  • Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into thin strips, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. You can also use a mandoline slicer for more uniform slices.
  • Place the sweet potato slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they are spread out evenly and not touching.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 2-3 hours, flipping the slices halfway through the baking time. The chews are done when they are dried out and slightly crispy.
  • Once baked, remove the sweet potato chews from the oven and let them cool completely.
  • Store the cooled chews in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. You can also refrigerate them for longer storage.

How to ensure the treats are safe for your dog?

Ensuring the safety of homemade dog treats begins with a crucial step: consulting with a vet about your dog's potential allergies and dietary needs. 

This conversation is essential to customize treats that cater specifically to your dog's health requirements. 

Moreover, introducing new treats gradually over the span of a week allows for careful observation of your dog's response, enabling you to swiftly identify and address any adverse reactions. 

By following these guidelines, you can confidently offer your dog treats that are not only enjoyable but also safe for their overall well-being.

How often should you treat your dog?

Determining the right balance for treating your dog involves ensuring that treats do not make up more than 10% of their daily caloric intake. 

This careful balance is essential to avoid overfeeding and to uphold your dog's health. Moreover, consider your dog's size and activity level when deciding on treat size and frequency. 

Smaller, less active dogs necessitate smaller, less frequent treats, whereas larger, more active dogs can handle larger, more frequent rewards. 

Maintaining these factors, you can safely indulge your dog with treats.If you notice unhealthy weight gain after the addition of new treats, cut back on the amounts you are giving.

Storing homemade dog treats

Ensuring the longevity and safety of homemade dog treats begins with proper storage. 

Use airtight containers to maintain freshness

Employing airtight containers is crucial for preserving the freshness of homemade dog treats. 

This storage method effectively prevents the intrusion of moisture and air, key contributors to the degradation of treat quality.

Refrigeration recommended for treats with perishable ingredients

For those treats incorporating perishable ingredients, refrigeration is strongly recommended. 

This precaution extends the shelf life of the treats by inhibiting bacterial growth and spoilage, ensuring they remain safe and enjoyable for your dog.

Homemade treats typically last 1-2 weeks, check for spoilage

Under optimal storage conditions, homemade dog treats can be expected to last 1-2 weeks. 

However, it's vital to regularly check for signs of spoilage, such as mold or unusual odors, and discard any compromised treats to safeguard your dog's health. If you find mold or unusual odors in a batch, it is best to ditch the remainder of the batch. While you may not see the mold on each treat, it is likely that growth has begun. 

The Takeaway


Strengthen the relationship between you and your canine buddy by giving them treats, and using our recipes - but make sure you don’t overindulge them.


Also, always keep in mind the risks that are involved, and understand any and all health issues that your pup may have. 


DISCLAIMER:
The information on Raw Feeding 101’s website and other media outlets is designed ONLY for educational and informational purposes. It is essential that you understand the statements and information provided on this website and its other outlets do not aim to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any diseases or illnesses. Raw Feeding 101 strongly insists that you consult with your veterinarian to discuss your dog's medical care thoroughly.

Scott Marshall
Scott Marshall

Scott has been feeding a raw dog food diet for over 13 years. He lives in Utah with his wife Arianne, his 11.5 year old german shepherd Wolken, and his 2.5 year old labradoodle Montu. Scott has been teaching others about raw feeding since 2013, started Raw Feeding 101 in 2017, and has been solely focused on simplifying the process of pet parents meeting their dogs’ daily nutrient requirements since 2018.


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