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Homemade Dog Treats

by Scott Marshall March 03, 2024 6 min read

Homemade Dog Treats

Homemade Dog Treats

Homemade dog treats offer a unique blend of nutrition, customization, and bonding experience between pet parents and their canine companions. 

By opting to cook or bake your own dog treats, you engage in a process that prioritizes healthier ingredients without preservatives, caters to specific dietary needs and allergies, and proves to be more cost-effective than its store-bought counterparts. 

What are homemade dog treats

Homemade dog treats are snacks crafted by pet owners, prioritizing ingredients that are safe, nutritious, and appealing to dogs. 

These treats stand out from commercial products as they are devoid of artificial preservatives and can be customized to cater to the unique dietary needs or flavor preferences of each dog. 

By opting to prepare treats at home, owners gain complete control over their dog's diet, ensuring a healthier and often more satisfying snacking experience for their furry companions.

Why make dog treats at home

Creating dog treats at home offers a wealth of benefits in its raw diet.

Healthier Ingredients Without Preservatives

Choosing to prepare dog treats at home empowers you to use healthier ingredients that are devoid of artificial preservatives and harmful additives prevalent in many commercial options. This improves your dog's health, ensuring their diet is as natural and beneficial as possible.

Customizable for Dietary Needs and Allergies

The ability to customize recipes is a significant advantage of homemade dog treats. 

It allows for adjustments to cater to specific dietary needs and allergies, offering a personalized approach to your dog's nutrition. 

More Cost-Effective Than Store-Bought Options

Creating dog treats at home is notably more cost-effective than relying on store-bought alternatives, especially when bought in bulk. 

This approach is not only budget-friendly but also ensures a steady supply of healthy treats for your furry friend.

Basic ingredients for homemade dog treats

At the heart of crafting nutritious homemade dog treats lies the careful selection of basic ingredients. 

Whole Wheat or Gluten-Free Flour

Utilizing whole wheat flour provides a nutrient-rich foundation for dog treats, catering to dogs without specific dietary restrictions. 

For those who don’t want gluten, gluten-free flour options such as oat, coconut, or rice flour ensure the treats are safe and enjoyable, making them a versatile choice for all pet owners.

Eggs as a Protein Source

Eggs stand out as a crucial source of protein, supporting muscle health and overall vitality in dogs. 

Their role extends beyond nutrition, acting as a natural binder in recipes to achieve the perfect treat texture.

Natural Peanut Butter Without Xylitol

Opting for natural peanut butter that is free from xylitol is essential for pet safety. This ingredient adds a layer of richness and flavor that dogs find appealing, while also contributing healthy fats to their diet.

Meat or Vegetable Purees for Flavor

Meat or vegetable purees elevate the taste and nutritional profile of homemade dog treats. From savory chicken and beef to sweet potato and pumpkin, these purees offer endless possibilities for customization, allowing treats to be tailored to your dog's dietary preferences and nutritional needs.

Simple recipe for beginners

Embarking on the journey of making homemade dog treats can be both exciting and daunting for beginners. 

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 -


  • 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)


  • 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

How to determine if an ingredient is safe for dogs

Identifying whether an ingredient is safe for dogs is a fundamental aspect of preparing homemade dog treats. 

One of the most reliable methods is to consult with a vet for dietary advice. A professional can offer personalized guidance based on your dog's health, age, and nutritional needs. 

Additionally, conducting research through reputable sources like the ASPCA can provide insights into which ingredients are safe and which pose risks. 

This dual approach ensures that the treats you prepare not only delight your dog but also support their health and well-being. By taking these precautions, pet owners can confidently create nutritious and safe homemade treats, contributing positively to their dog's diet.

Storing homemade dog treats

Ensuring the longevity and freshness of homemade dog treats is crucial for maintaining their nutritional value and appeal. 

Refrigeration in Airtight Containers for Up to 2 Weeks

Utilizing refrigeration to store homemade dog treats in airtight containers is an effective way to prolong their freshness.

 This method ensures the treats remain appetizing and nutritious for up to 2 weeks. It's an excellent strategy for maintaining a batch of treats that are ready to be enjoyed by your dog at a moment's notice.

Freezing for Long-Term Storage Up to 6 Months

Freezing homemade dog treats offers a solution for long-term storage, preserving their quality for up to 6 months. 

This method allows you to have a substantial supply of homemade treats on hand, providing a convenient way to reward your dog without compromising on health or taste.

Monitoring dog's reaction to homemade treats

After incorporating homemade dog treats into your pet's raw diet and creating changes, it's imperative to monitor their reaction carefully. 

Be on the lookout for any signs of allergic reactions, such as itching or skin irritations, which could indicate that certain ingredients do not suit your dog. 

Likewise, observing any digestive issues or changes in stool is crucial for identifying ingredients that may be problematic for your pet's digestive system. 

Attentive monitoring of your little furry friend will ensure you know how it is adjusting to the treats and whether or not it likes them.

Not to mention, any problems it might have such as allergic reactions, can be dealt with fast without causing too much discomfort. 

The Takeaway

Dog treats can allow you to showcase your love for your canine friend in another way, and one that will hit them where it matters most - their stomach. 

Putting in the extra effort will give them joy and also strengthen the bond between you two!


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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