Homemade Dog Treats: 8 Trendy Recipes To Try This Fall

Making your own dog treats can be a fun experience for both you and your pet. Not only do you get to customize the treats to your dog’s specific taste preferences, but you can also save money when you make your own treats at home. In addition, you get to know exactly what is going into the treats, which ensures wholesome and healthy ingredients without preservatives and additives. Before heading into the kitchen however, you’ll want to check with your vet first to see if there are any special dietary needs or ingredients you should avoid for your specific dog and breed.

Please note: many commercial dog treats use wheat, soy, or corn flour to give the treats form because these flours are plentiful and inexpensive. A natural dog diet requires little carbohydrates, and does not actually include flour at all. As such, many dogs cannot process flour well and may develop sensitivities or digestion issues. Consider choosing alternative flours such as pea flour, chickpea flour, coconut flour, lentil flour, or tapioca. They are much more nutritional and easily digestible for dogs (that goes for humans too, so feel free to experiment with some of your own cooking). In the recipes below we have simply used “flour” as a general ingredient. You may choose which kind you would like to use for your dog. Always check with your veterinarian first to see which ingredients he or she would recommend.

Peanut Butter and Banana Treats

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Most dogs love peanut butter, so this treat should be a hit. This treat also comes with a secret ingredient: Parsley (or you can substitute mint) for a natural breath freshener.

You will need:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 300°F. Mash banana in a bowl using a fork or potato masher. Add flour, oats, parsley, peanut butter, and beaten egg and mix well. Set aside for five minutes to allow oats to absorb some of the mixture.

Roll mixture into 24 balls of about 1 tablespoon of dough each (can be bigger or smaller depending on how large you want the treats to be). Press each ball into a 1 ½ inch to 2 inch coin shape and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown, approximately 40-45 min.

Cool completely. Store in airtight container or freeze until ready to eat.

Dog-Friendly Carrot Cake

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This treat is a perfect option for your dog’s birthday celebrations.

You will need:

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ cup oats

Frosting:

  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix eggs, applesauce, and carrots and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the cinnamon, flour, and oats. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients (mixture will be thick). Bake the mixture in a greased cake pan for 30 minutes and allow it to cool before frosting. Simply blend the applesauce and cream cheese and frost when the cake is cool.

Apple Cheddar Biscuits

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You will need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients plus about 3 tablespoons of water to form a dough. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut out biscuits with cookie cutter (this is when a bone-shaped cookie cutter might come in handy).

Space biscuits about 1 inch apart on parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm. Store in airtight container or freeze until ready to eat. 

Turkey Treats 

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You will need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • ½ teaspoon sage
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 5-ounce can of flaked turkey (can use tuna or salmon as substitute)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 320°F. Mix flour, corn meal, sage, and baking powder. Use a food processor or blender to puree the turkey, then add oil and water and mix until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and knead until smooth and well mixed. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters.

Place biscuits on greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Store in refrigerator or freeze until ready to eat.

Doggie “Ice Cream”

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Fun fact: dogs do not sweat in the same way humans do (panting is their main source of body temperature control). Those summer months can take a toll on our furry friends, especially in warmer climates, so a frozen treat is the perfect way to award your dog after an especially hot day.

You will need:

  • 32 ounces yogurt (look for a kind that has live bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners)
  • 1 cup peanut butter

Melt the peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Mix melted peanut butter with yogurt and pour into cupcake liners or ice cube trays. Place in freezer and wait until solid.

liver treat 11Homemade Liver Treats

Most dogs can’t resist liver! This recipe is quick and simple:

You will need:

  • One package of chicken or beef liver

Boil the liver to cook it thoroughly.  Make sure not to use any garlic or onion powder like some recipes recommend; neither garlic nor onion is good for your dog… and let’s face it he doesn’t need extra flavor anyway. After it has boiled thoroughly (this will depend on the size of the liver), drain it and cook it in the oven at 250 until slightly soft or crispy. Then freeze or refrigerate for future use!

chicken jerky

Chicken/Turkey Jerky

If you have leftover turkey after your Thanksgiving meal, consider using what is left to make some jerky.

You will need: 

  • Leftover turkey scraps

White meat works best because it is lean and dries out easiest.  Dark meat just takes longer and anything that is super fatty like the skin won’t work at all plus it can become rancid if left out too long. Cut the pieces the size that you desire and place in the oven at 250 and allow to cook until crispy (usually an hour or more). Freeze or refrigerate the treats to keep them fresh.

Pumpkin/Peanut Butter Treats

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You will need:

  • 2 ½ cups of wheat flour (remember to cook healthy of your dog too!)
  • 2 eggs ½ can of plain canned pumpkin (make sure there are no spices included *nutmeg can kill dogs)
  • 3 tablespoons of peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk ingredients together in a bowl and use a little water to make the dough workable if needed but the dough should be dry and stiff to make good dog biscuits. Roll the dough out to about ½ inch think and cut into ½ inch pieces. Bake in oven until crisp (about 45 minutes).

What other homemade treats have you served to your dog? Comment below with your ideas!

For more homemade dog treat ideas, click here.

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Comments

  1. Reenie Ager says:

    Wonderful idea and recipes and fun to make! Big thank you for this!

    [Reply]

  2. Sue Walker says:

    Thank you for these wonderful recipes.
    I will definitely be making them for my awesome border collie, Bandit.

    You have already helped to make Bandit the best, most well behaved dog I’ve ever had.

    Again, Thank you,

    Sue

    [Reply]

  3. Joe Doherty says:

    just want to say thank You !

    [Reply]

  4. Wow! These look great, Chet. Thanks for sharing. I’m not only going to make some for my girl, Kady, but modified versions for her human mom and dad. Thanks much.

    [Reply]

  5. Janet says:

    I’d love to make treats for my dogs but I have dogs that are sensitive to wheat. Do you have any treat recipes/ideas that do not contain wheat? Commercial wheat free treats tend to be expensive so I’d love to find an alternative.

    [Reply]

    Miriana Reply:

    maybe try rice flour..that is what I am going to do..or potato flour. If you look online there are great substitutes for wheat flour that is MUCH healthier for dogs.

    [Reply]

    Laureen S Reply:

    You sub all wheat for brown rice flour. That is always what I use fir treats and it is WAY healthier than wheat flours.

    [Reply]

    Ross Reply:

    Janet, If you had read the whole article you would have noticed Chet specifically warns against using wheat flour.
    Happy baking with potato flour maybe?

    [Reply]

    Penny E Reply:

    I make many treats and special occasion cakes for our furry friends. I use tapioca flour, rice flour, oat flour to name a few. Using these various flours will also add different textures to your recipes.

    [Reply]

  6. david w. says:

    Recently lost SISI & have been destroyed. She was the every breath that I had. Has been 6 months now and still grieve. Daisy is now part of this recovery project & for a rescued terrier from the pound – she is the sweetest pup!
    Thank you Chet for never giving up your love of a pup!
    I will certainly use the recipes & foward to all
    David

    [Reply]

  7. Luann says:

    thanks, I’m going to print this out and make these. Lot’s of good and healthy treats.

    [Reply]

  8. Agnes says:

    Thank you for sharing the dog recipes! It is helpful to extend the variety of food for my corgi. He is used to eating good food and does not like any of the commercial dog foods.
    This way you have control over the quality of your ingredients and what you actually use.
    Thank you for the tips about garlic, onions and nutmeg. I was not aware that nutmeg could kill a dog…

    I remembered I had a cook book for my previous corgi [now deceased from old age]
    I just pulled it out and thought i would share it with you and your dog lovers. It is called
    “Baking For Your Dog” by Ingeborg Pils. Publishers – Parragon in the UK.
    Ingeborg is a journalist, cook and passionate dog lover. She lives in Munich and writes for papers, specialist journals and bookpublishers for the last 15 years. Her major topics are good nutrition, healthy living and cooking. There are 30 recipes, vegetarian, seafood
    and meat. I have done lots of cooking classes and masterclasees and her recipes are
    excellent,as well as gourmet and nutritious. Those canine pets will thank you.

    Kind regards
    Agnes

    [Reply]

  9. P. Folsom says:

    What is the calorie and sugar count on these snack items?

    [Reply]

  10. bert says:

    Thank you. will try some of the recipies.

    [Reply]

  11. Gail says:

    Oh oh. I’d better find some kitty treat recipes, or there will be problems. On the other hand (paw?) when my human)boys “show off’ by eating the dog treats, I will not have to worry. In fact, these will be healthier than the junk they usually eat!

    [Reply]

  12. Aso and Yuki says:

    These treats sounds good for human too. This will encourage my picky eater dogs to eat their treats once they see me eating it too. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  13. Pat Clarabut says:

    Here is a treat that I make for my dogs. I slice them (1″X 1″).
    My dogs love them. I cut them up & put in freezer bags & freeze.

    DOG TREATS

    Heat oven to 500 degrees.

    In food processor mix:
    1 lb. beef liver
    3 eggs – can use shells & all
    3 T. peanut butter
    1 box of Jiffy corn bread mix

    Pour in cookie pan that has been sprayed with Pam. It will be thin.

    Turn oven down to 250 degrees. Cook for 1 hour.

    Cut in small squares.

    Keep in freezer. They will not get hard, Dogs love them. Don’t
    give more than 2-3 a day.

    Dogs will love them.

    Pat Clarabut

    [Reply]

  14. Lynda Loo says:

    Thanks so much! My ‘fur son’ loves when I make him special treats from scratch.

    [Reply]

  15. Debbie says:

    Looks interesting. Are dogs really ok with cinnamon? Some people can’t take it, so it seems abit strange to put it in dog treats. Am wondering about wheat flour too?
    Wouldn’t the fish substitute for turkey flakes go bad quickly? I guess small batches would be advisable!
    Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

  16. Emma Jean Wike says:

    I had no idea nutmeg could kill a dog. Things like those little tidbits of wisdom is why I love your site so much.
    It would be wonderful if you could write a Colum about things that can kill dogs & cats for that matter.
    Thanks so very much for the info,
    Jean

    [Reply]

    Diana Reply:

    Totally agree! Will be very helpful if we can know which things can be harmful for our kids.

    [Reply]

  17. susan davidson says:

    My dog is allergic to wheat. Do you have any treat recipes for “sensitive dogs”? I like the liver, chicken and turkey ones.

    [Reply]

  18. Betty says:

    I have made the pumpkin – peanut butter treats twice and have had to throw out most of them AS THEY MOLDED. I tried different ways of storage. How do you store them so they will not spoil? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Jason Reply:

    We keep ours in the fridge for weeks with no mold problem.

    [Reply]

  19. Laureen S says:

    Replace the wheat flour in recipes with brown rice flour. It is far better for animals than wheat and much easier to digest.

    [Reply]

  20. Vicki Christensen says:

    I am wondering if you could use what the grain guru calls “wonder flour” in place of the wheat since it is gluten free for the dogs that are allergic to wheat {as is mine}. Wonder flour is made up of 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup pearl barley, and 1 cup spelt. Grind like you would wheat, and mix together. You need to add about 1/2 cup more than what is used for white or wheat flour.

    [Reply]

  21. Cheryl says:

    thank you for the treat recipes, I unfortunately don’t have a dog at the moment but will be getting one in the future and when I do I will certainly be using these recipes for training purposes. They look good enough to eat myself. I used to make dog treats for my son’s dog. I would buy dog mince and mix it with eggs, cheese, potatoes, pumpkin and water. Roll it out until about 1inch thick and cook it in the microwave on a browning tray until brown. The dog and cats loved it.

    [Reply]

  22. Lin says:

    I have a super sensitive dog. At the present time she is only allowed Quinoa, safflower oil and goat meat. We have recently introduced camel jerky. I am looking for recipes that I can convert to using those ingredients. I can buy Quinoa in a flour. We hope at some stage to introduce more foods.

    Lin

    [Reply]

  23. T.Harris says:

    would not take much to make thise into chicken treats also…

    [Reply]

  24. Helen T says:

    What kind flour do you use in the recipes. you do not say what kind

    [Reply]

    Jason Reply:

    We used whole wheat flower.

    [Reply]

  25. Thank you for your training seminars. They are the greatest. My dachshound really improved. I still use the mat near the front door for her to wait on when guests arrive. Frequently, I find her sitting there waiting for her evening walk.
    She loves the peanut butter cookies. Thanks again for all your training information

    [Reply]

  26. Geri says:

    Any suggestions for how to make non-crumbly, but soft chewy type treats? I like to have some in my pocket for training those trainable moments, and it gets very messy when my home made treats crumble in my pocket, and I have nothing to offer as a reward when I need it.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Honestly string cheese is my favorite in these instances because it comes in it’s wrapper and yes, it gets kinda gross hahaha but it is containable and easily carried and well loved

    [Reply]

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