5 Homemade Dog Treat Recipes for a Happy and Healthy Pup

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Key Points

  • Homemade dog treats are a great alternative to store-bought options because they allow you to control the ingredients so your dog gets a nutritious snack.

  • Fresh, minimally processed food is the best diet for dogs, and feeding whole-food treats provides your pup with health benefits.

  • Here are five homemade dog treat recipes that benefit your pup's well-being.

As a dog owner, you want the best for your furry friend, including giving them healthy and delicious treats. Homemade dog treats offer a great alternative to store-bought options, allowing you to control the ingredients and ensure your pup receives a nutritious snack.

Fresh, minimally processed food is the best diet for dogs. Among many other health benefits, whole foods also improve immune function. Research published in Frontiers In Veterinary Science by veterinarians Dr. Jared Jaffey et al. says, "[t]hat whole food diet could have anti-inflammatory effects in dogs with disorders causing systemic inflammation."

Feeding fresh, real-ingredient snacks and treats is a great way to add the healthy benefits of eating fresh food. This article explores five homemade dog treat recipes that are both tasty and beneficial for your pet's overall well-being. Following these recipes gives your pup the right nutrients without compromising on enjoying their treats.

Carrot and Quinoa Bites

Carrots aren't only crunchy and delicious to most dogs, but they also produce a range of health benefits. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, carrots contribute to good eyesight and support digestive health. Quinoa is a protein-rich grain that offers essential amino acids and acts as a natural energy source for your pup. Quinoa is a great grain alternative for dogs with gluten intolerance or allergies.

To make carrot and quinoa bites at home, you need:

  • 2 cups of grated carrots

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup of organic peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil

  • 1 egg

Pro tips:

  • Add a teaspoon of turmeric to the mixture for an extra anti-inflammatory boost.

  • Use a piping bag or cookie press to create fun shapes.

  • Finely chop or shred carrots for dogs who prefer a softer texture.

To prepare the treats, blend the ingredients in a food processor until well combined. Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool before serving to your pup. Ensure proper storage in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

These treats are high in fiber and nutrients, so give them in moderation due to the high calorie content. These bites are great frozen and served as a refreshing treat during hot weather.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Jerky

Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein for your dog, contributing to the development and maintenance of muscles. Sweet potatoes contain many vitamins, minerals, and fiber, promoting digestive health and supporting the immune system.

To make chicken and sweet potato jerky, you need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 large sweet potato

Pro tips:

  • Partially freezing the chicken breasts makes it easier to slice them into thin strips.

  • You can add a sprinkle of cinnamon to enhance the flavor.

  • Adjust the thickness of the slices for chewier or crunchier jerky.

Start by preheating your oven to 250°F. Slice the chicken and sweet potato into thin strips. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the strips on it. Bake for two to three hours until the jerky is dry and crispy. Allow it to cool before storing them in an airtight container.

This recipe uses a food dehydrator for a longer shelf life. This dog-favorite jerky is high in protein and easily customizable for your dog's preferences but requires longer cooking time compared to other treat recipes. An added benefit is that sweet potatoes assist in cleaning your dog's teeth and promoting fresh breath.

Blending homemade dog food

Coconut and Blueberry Cookies

Rich in healthy fats, coconut furnishes your dog with energy and supports a healthy coat. Blueberries contain a ton of antioxidants, which protect against cell damage and boost the immune system.

To make coconut and blueberry cookies, you need:

  • 1 cup of coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup of blueberries

  • 2 eggs

Pro tips:

  • You can substitute coconut flour with oats or almond flour if needed.

  • Add a tablespoon of honey for a touch of natural sweetness.

  • Use silicone molds to create small, bite-sized cookies.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until they form a dough. Roll tablespoon-sized portions of the dough into balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten them slightly. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow them to cool completely before serving. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Coconut oil improves your dog's skin and coat health. These cookies are a grain-free option suitable for dogs with gluten sensitivities. Coconut flour is sometimes crumbly, so handle the dough gently. Blueberries aid in cognitive function and memory retention for dogs.

Oatmeal and Apple Biscuits

Oats are a fantastic source of fiber for dogs, aiding in digestion and helping to regulate bowel movements. Apples are tasty and provide essential vitamins and minerals, promoting a healthy immune system.

To make oatmeal and apple biscuits, you need:

  • 2 cups of rolled oats

  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 cup of grated apple

  • 1/4 cup of organic honey

Pro tips:

  • Add a tablespoon of ground cinnamon for extra flavor.

  • Use a silicone baking mat to prevent sticking.

  • Instead of grated apples, use finely chopped dried apple pieces.

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until well combined. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out biscuit shapes and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the biscuits to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

Oats relieve dogs with itchy skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties. These biscuits are suitable for dogs with allergies as they don't contain common allergens like chicken or wheat. Apple is a natural breath freshener for dogs. The finished biscuits are crumbly, so handle the biscuits gently before serving.

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Treats

Peanut butter is a beloved treat for many dogs, providing them with healthy fats and protein. Pumpkin, high in fiber, supports good digestion and alleviates tummy issues for dogs.

To make peanut butter and pumpkin treats, you need:

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 cup of water

Pro tips:

  • Use all-natural peanut butter without added sugars or salts.

  • Add a teaspoon of ground flaxseed for extra omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Freeze small portions of the dough for longer shelf life and freshness.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until they form a firm dough. Roll out the dough to approximately 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to shape the treats as desired. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remember to let the treats cool completely before offering them to your pup for a yummy snack.

Pumpkin helps regulate your dog's digestive system, making it an excellent choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Pumpkin is a natural stool firmness regulator, beneficial for dogs with inconsistent bowel movements. Peanut butter is an excellent source of healthy fats and protein for dogs. Always select dog-safe xylitol-free peanut butter.

Homemade Health

Health and longevity begin and end with a fresh, whole-food diet. Homemade dog treats offer a fantastic opportunity to provide your pup with delicious and nutritious snacks. For more inspiration, Woman's Day shared 25 easy DIY dog treat recipes in July 2023.

The five recipes here cater to your dog's taste preferences while ensuring they receive various health benefits. These homemade treats will surely make your pup's tail wag joyfully. Enjoy the process of baking for your canine companion and reap the rewards of a happy and healthy pup!

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