Our dogs deserve the most delicious treat there is! It is a great prize to give after learning a new trick or for simply being a good, behaved dog.

There are a lot of commercially produced dog treats out there that dogs would truly enjoy but really, I prefer to make my canine pets some homemade ones. Besides, everything is much tastier if it’s made with love.

10-homemade-dog-treats

So today I’m going to share with you 10 recipes of healthy homemade dog treats which you can actually make yourself! Save yourself the time to drive to the pet store and just follow these quick recipes.

Ready? Let’s start.

Why Skip Commercially Produced Dog Treats

There is a wide array of selection when it comes to commercially produced dog treats. You could actually get lost in the pet section of the groceries!

And while they can easily be purchased in your local store, we should be wary of what we buy for our beloved canines. These dog treats may sound like the most delish doggy crunch, but the real question is, are they healthy?

Well, a lot of doggy treats may not pass the standard for nutritious canine food. Here are the reasons why it is a good idea to skip mass produced dog food and just invest time and effort in making some home-cooked doggy treat:

1. A lot of dog treats contain soy, wheat and corn.

These are all fillers, which means they add a lot of calories and fiber, making your dog feel full when in fact, it does not carry any nutritional value.

Some of these ingredients are actually harmful to pets. Soy, wheat, and corn are some of the most common food allergens. Dogs are not designed to digest these grains, too.

These ingredients also contribute to obesity and diabetes because they are high in carbohydrates. Fillers like these add substance to a food that typically lacks appropriate protein, fat and other nutrients.

Making healthy homemade dog treats guarantee that the stuff put into our dog’s bowl is nothing but quality ingredients.

2. Dog treat manufacturers use meat by-products.

These might sound healthy because they come from meat, but they are not exactly what you’d expect. Meat meals and by-products are essentially the leftovers of animals slaughtered for human consumption.

When an animal is processed for humans, the lean muscle meat is butchered and created into human-grade food. What’s left is the bones, organs, blood, beaks, feet, etc. that go into pet foods.

Expired meats from supermarkets, restaurant grease, and the bodies of dead, diseased, dying and disabled animals not fit for human consumption are also processed into pet foods.

These are the meat meals and by-products you see listed in some ingredient labels. These are low-quality meat products that cannot be sold to people.

If you wouldn’t eat it, why feed it to your dogs?

A lot of homemade dog treat recipes are also fine for human consumption! You won’t even get uncomfortable with the idea of eating your dog’s meal since you yourself know what’s in it.

3. A lot of dog treats contain preservatives.

Many people are trying to eat more natural foods that are free of preservatives and there’s good reason for it. Unfortunately, many of these harmful ingredients are also found in pet foods.

The most common preservatives in dog food are BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin and Propyl Gallate. These are known carcinogens in animal studies and are possibly linked to human cancers as well.

There are few studies on Propyl Gallate, so there’s no way to tell if it is safe. Ethoxyquin has been associated with the development of kidney and liver damage, cancer (liver, spleen, stomach, skin), immune deficiency syndrome, blindness, and leukemia.

Whatever the reason for adding these ingredients, they should be avoided at all costs.

One way to avoid it is simply to make your own dog treat with nothing but fresh, natural ingredients. Sounds good?

4. Commercial Pet Food is Loosely Regulated

You may not be aware that unlike the food you eat, there’s very little government regulation of pet food quality. The USDA doesn’t control it, nor does the FDA or the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).

Not one of these agencies watches over what private pet food manufacturers put in their products.

Pet food quality control is governed by each state, and while certain regulatory codes exist, they do not pertain to the absorbability, digestibility or overall quality of commercially prepared foods for pets.

What this all means is you must place your trust in the companies that make the pet food you buy, and you have to count on the accuracy of the labels on the packaging as well.

For many people — especially those of you who’ve had a bad experience feeding commercial foods to your dog or cat — this is just not good enough.

Even the pet food brands many veterinarians endorse don’t live up to their marketing claims and have caused health problems in pets.

Given the lack of regulation and the questionable quality of many commercial pet foods, more and more dog and cat owners have become leery of serving them to their furry family members.

This is not to say there aren’t good quality pet foods on the market, but many people have simply lost trust in the pet food industry and are eager to learn how to make their own pet food at home.

Benefits of Homemade Pet Food

  • You have complete control over the ingredient list and the ability to eliminate all additives and preservatives
  • You can pick just the right veggies for your pet’s particular needs, including those with higher antioxidant or medicinal properties, for example
  • You can decide which meat sources to feed your pet, which is especially important if you have a cat or dog with an allergy to certain types of protein
  • Another benefit of switching to homemade is you can save money by buying large quantities of meats and vegetables when they are on sale. You can prepare, package and freeze your homemade pet meals weeks or even months ahead of time.
  • You can also pair up with friends who have pets to buy ingredients in even larger quantities. It can be both economical and a time saver if you can spread the expense and meal prep work among the entire group.
  • Another wonderful benefit of preparing a homemade diet is that when you follow a recipe for balanced meals, which is what I’m about to recommend, you’ll know for a fact you’re doing the best job possible in nourishing your pet. You’ll be:
  • Fulfilling your dog’s or cat’s vibrant, living food requirement
  • Providing nutrient balanced, species-appropriate food that is rich in omega fatty acids and contains vitamin-mineral supplements in the correct proportions

All in all, homemade dog treats are a lot healthier compared to commercially produced canine goods – that is, if you do it properly (wink).

10 Homemade Dog Treats

Preparing homemade dog treats may be a little intimidating especially if it’s the first thing you’re doing so. But worry no more! Below are easy-to-follow, balanced recipes that even a complete novice can handle. Get your ingredients ready and let’s start.

1. Red Velvet Pup Cakes

This easy to follow recipe by Tastemade is a nice treat to start up the list. Celebrate your dog’s achievements with a bite of this delicious canine dessert. This cupcake is just the thing to keep your pet motivated!

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium-sized beets, peeled and quartered
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup sunflower seed oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 141g (5 oz) can of tuna in water, drained
  • 2 cups cream cheese, room temperature

Directions

  1. Place the beets in a pot and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 45 minutes, until the beets can be easily pierced with a knife.
  3. Drain and place in a food processer and pulse until smooth. This should make about 2 cups of puree. Set aside.
  4. Add the hot water, flour, oil, tuna and eggs and mix until well combined.
  5. Dollop into a greased mini muffin tin. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
  7. Place the cream cheese in a piping bag fitted with a large, star-shaped piping tip.
  8. Pipe a dollop of cream cheese onto each cupcake.
  9. To store, cover these with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

This recipe makes at least a dozen pupcakes!

Red Velvet Pupcakes

Red Velvet "Pupcakes" you can make for your dog!Save this recipe: https://taste.md/2lY0lEc (via pankobunny)

Posted by Tastemade on Saturday, March 4, 2017

Health Benefits

Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential forhealthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

2. Easy Homemade Dog Biscuits

Skip the store-bought dog treats and go homemade with these healthy, yummy dog treat recipes. With just a few key ingredients, you can make homemade dog treats right in your kitchen. From dog biscuits to Martha’s special dog food, your dog will love these tasty treat recipes.

easy-homemade-dog-biscuits
source: marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup brewer’s yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken stock, plus more for brushing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt; set aside
  3. Place oil in a large bowl. Add stock and flour mixture in three alternating batches, beginning and ending with stock. Mix well.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to about 3/8-inch thick.
  5. Shape biscuits using a dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter or by cutting around a store-bought dog bone with a butter knife. Remember: Make biscuits that are appropriate for your dog’s size.
  6. If desired, you can spell out your dog’s name or a holiday message in the dough with a toothpick (wet the toothpick first so it won’t stick).
  7. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
  8. Bake biscuits 10 minutes.
  9. Brush with stock; rotate baking sheets, and bake 10 minutes more.
  10. Turn off oven, leaving door closed.
  11. Let dog biscuits stand in oven to dry completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
  12. Wrap as a gift, or store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Your dog won’t be able to resist chowing down on these edible bones. Personalize them with decorations and by writing his or her name on the dough before baking.

Health Benefits

Low sodium dog food is the most critical dietary consideration for dogs experiencing heart conditions such as congestive heart failure. High sodium intake may cause your dog to have an increased thirst accompanied with higher intake of water. This treat is perfect for dogs suffering from kidney disease, liver disease or a heart failure.

3. Izzy’s Apple-Cheddar Dog Biscuits

Associate food producer Courtney Knapp shared this recipe from her mother, Marcia Knapp. Marcia bakes these and her blueberry biscuits for Izzy, the family’s chocolate Labrador retriever.

apple_cheddar_dog_biscuits
source: marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups barley flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients and about 3 tablespoons water to form a dough.
  4. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thick; remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a 3 1/2-inch bone-shaped cookie cutter.
  5. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.
  6. Space biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.
  8. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack.
  9. Turn off oven and place biscuits on wire rack in oven overnight.
  10. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

This is a great treat to feed your dog and to make together as a family. If it weren’t made for canines, I would take a bite to taste myself but for now, I think Mr. Wiggles want it more!

Health Benefits

Oats are a great source of soluble fiber, which can be especially beneficial to senior dogs with bowel irregularity issues. It is also a great alternate grain for dogs allergic to wheat. Make sure to cook oatmeal before serving it to your dog.

4. Paw Print Dog Treats

These homemade biscuits are sure to make an impression. You don’t even have to be an expert in order to be successful with this bake!

paw-print-dog-treats
source: marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup brewer’s yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  3. Combine flour, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Place canola oil in a large bowl.
  5. Add flour mixture to oil in 3 additions, alternating with 1 cup stock; mix until combined.
  6. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes (dough will be sticky).
  7. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
  8. Cut out rounds using a 2-inch fluted cutter.
  9. Transfer to baking sheets.
  10. Make an indentation toward the bottom of 1 circle using your thumb, then press dough to make an arch of 4 small circles on top of the thumbprint using the tip of your pinky.
  11. Repeat with remaining rounds.
  12. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating sheets and lightly brushing with remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock halfway through.
  14. Turn oven off, and let stand in oven for 40 minutes.

This is a wonderful recipe for dog parents who promise to give their dog a well-balanced and healthy food. These treats can be stored in room temperature for up to one month! That means you can safely reserve some for the weeks to come.

Health Benefits

Canola Oil contains some omega-3’s in the form of LNA, along with a substantial amount of monounsaturated fat-62% in total. It’s no secret that dogs love the taste of chicken. This a simple treat can provide your dog low-sodium, quality protein.

5. Blueberry Dog Biscuits

Show your devotion to your pup by making these wholesome biscuits. Filled with blueberries, flax, and oats, they’re nothing to bark at!

blueberry_dog_biscuits
source: marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups quinoa flour
  • 3/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup frozen, organic, unsweetened blueberries
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients with 1 cup water to form a dough.
  3. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thick; remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a 3 1/2-inch bone-shaped cookie cutter.
  4. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.
  5. Space biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.
  7. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack. Turn off oven and place biscuits on wire rack in oven overnight.
  8. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Health Benefits

All the antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals blueberries boast provide the same benefits for your dog’s body that they give yours. Blueberries are rich in various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibers with many health benefits. Since dogs don’t have stomach issues eating blueberries, they can be used as a healthy dog treat, both fresh and frozen.

6. Handmade pumpkin dog chips

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
handmade_pumpkin_dog_chips
source: wholefully.com

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, and flax seed. Set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, combing honey, eggs, oil, water, applesauce and pumpkin puree until well combined. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until well-mixed.
  4. Form into a disc and roll out on a well-floured surface until about ¼” thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place on prepared baking sheet about 1″ apart.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until treats are very brown and very hard.
  6. Let cool completely before giving them to your pooch to try out. Store in an airtight container out-of-reach of your puppy.

Health Benefits

Honey is extremely useful and nutritious for dogs. Topically it heals wounds. Internally, it provides numerous sources of nutrients, such as vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E and K, plus minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and more. It helps dogs with allergies, fights infections, and helps with digestive problems.

7. Carob Crunchers

This recipe offers a little Carob love for our wheat sensitive doggys. This recipe is wheat and gluten-free!