20 Easy Homemade Dog Treats to Pamper Your Pooch
Show your dog some love with one of these baked, no-bake, or frozen treats you can make with your own two loving hands.
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There’s no denying that your dog is your best friend. I know mine is. No one greets me with as much wiggly enthusiasm as President Camacho does, even after I’ve left the room for a mere five minutes. He’s always there to snuggle when I’m down and cracks me up with his spontaneous zoomies. Such a character. I want to pamper him with only the best of everything, be it the best dog food or the comfiest dog bed. But since he’s a 110-pound pitbull mastiff, buying the extra-large dog treats got really expensive fast. So it made financial sense to make them myself.
The great things about doing up your own dog treats are that they’re made with love, don’t contain preservatives, and can be tailored to suit your dog’s palate — which is key if he’s a picky eater. And since dogs don’t have as many taste buds as we do, they aren’t as discriminating as humans. I gave Camacho peanut butter bites I froze in an ice cube tray and he looked at me like I was Chef José Andrés.
Of course, despite what your dog may lead you to believe, he cannot and should not eat everything. Definitely no table scraps. There are some foods that may upset your furbaby’s tummy and some that may even be toxic to them. These easy recipes are dog-friendly and created by dog lovers. But even though a few include peanut butter, make sure you use natural peanut butter with no artificial sweeteners. The same can be said for any ingredient you include in dog treats, such as yogurt, pumpkin puree, and apple sauce. Stick to plain and unsweetened.
Some of these recipes may call for using cute cookie cutters or pawprint silicone ice molds, both of which you can buy from Amazon. But let’s face it, your dog will gobble up the goodies no matter what they look like.
And by the way, it doesn’t count as "spoiling them" if the treat is actually good for them. Bone appetit!
Jump ahead to:
Baked dog treats
You’re no stranger to baking treats for yourself and your family, why not also for your bestest boy or girl? Here’s a mix of treats, from dog cookies to dried liver treats, that you can easily throw together and into the oven.
Everyone wins with these breath-freshening treats. Your pup will love to eat them and you can banish his perpetual morning breath thanks to the parsley and food-grade eucalyptus oil in this recipe.
Instead of making banana bread again, how about use those ripe bananas for these yummy dog cookies? Your puppy will thank you. This dog treat recipe calls for oat flour, which you can easily make from whole oats in your food processor. They can keep for up to two weeks in the fridge in an airtight container, not that they’ll stick around for that long.
As unappetizing as it may sound to you, liver is actually really good for your dog. It’s considered a natural multivitamin, providing iron, folic acid, and Vitamin A, an antioxidant. Homemade liver treats are a lot better for your dog, not to mention cheaper, than the storebought kinds. Plus they’re easy to DIY. Just pick up some liver from your grocery store or butcher, rinse it, pop it in the oven for a bit to dry, and then cut it into bite-size pieces. These will last a few days in the fridge or longer in the freezer.
Just because there aren’t many options for dogs with food sensitivities doesn’t mean they should be left out. This easy-to-bake treat recipe uses coconut flour, which is a great gluten-free alternative. White flour has no nutritional value for dogs anyway.
Dogs cannot resist salmon, which is a good thing since it’s chock full of healthy benefits for their skin, coat, immune system, and brain function thanks to those Omega-3 fatty acids. Pups will go crazy for this yummy, super nutritious, and healthy treat, which is also gluten-free, using coconut flour. And the half cup pumpkin puree can be swapped out for pureed sweet potato or squash.
Bust out your dehydrator and slice up some sweet potatoes and zucchini to make healthy chews for your dog that will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can also pop these in the oven on the lowest setting for three hours. You want these chewy, not crunchy or soggy, so check them once in a while. Your doggy isn’t into zook? This page also includes a list of 10 dog-friendly fruits and vegetables you can try out in this recipe.
Bake up a batch of these for your pawtner and she won’t even so much as sniff toward the treat aisle in the pet store anymore. These homemade doggy treats are better than the storebought kind in every way: they’re healthier, cheaper, and don’t contain preservatives. Cut out the biscuits with a dog bone cutter and they’re the perfect gift for fellow dog pawrents.
Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan knows how to get a dog to pay attention, and of course, any dog treat recipe he’s behind will make for the perfect training tool. After all, what dog can say no to beef or chicken broth? This recipe is an easier, simplified adaptation of Milan’s basic dog biscuit recipe with less salt and fewer steps.
Babies aren’t the only ones who love snacking on Honey Nut Cheerios; four-legged furbabies do, too! Just make sure to stick to the plainest variety of the cereal with the fewest ingredients to prevent negative side effects. These can be rolled small for tiny dogs or if you want to make training treats. They’ll last about a week in an airtight container in your refrigerator.
When baking treats for the holidays, don’t leave your furry friend out. While everyone is enjoying your famous pumpkin pie, your pup can chow down on these whole wheat flour pumpkin dog treats. Just make sure you use natural molasses in this recipe, and that it doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
Want to celebrate your special boy or girl’s birthday? Bake up this pupcake, which contains just three ingredients: apples, peanut butter, and one large egg. The recipe also gives you the option to add baking powder for texture or switch out the apple with pumpkin puree or banana. Frost these with a mix of peanut butter and plain yogurt and sprinkle bacon bits for extra pizzazz and nom factor.
How fun would it be to make these sweet potato pretzels for your dog and then pair it with one of those dog beers? If you don’t want to go through the trouble of shaping the dough into pretzels, you can also roll it out with a rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
No-bake dog treats
Short on ingredients and don’t have time to run to the store, but your dog is staring at you expectantly? These simple recipes will save the day, and all without you having to touch your oven.
Even though I would never eat dog food, I would totally sneak bites of this doggy snack. It’s simply peanut butter and banana rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla! The stated total time to prep these? Zero minutes. You could also substitute almond or sunflower butter to switch things up. But keep in mind that although tortillas aren’t harmful to dogs, they don’t contribute to a healthy diet and should be given in moderation.
Dog lovers are making these easy, no-bake treats to disguise pills. Made with ¾ cup peanut butter, it definitely makes the medicine go down easier. Prep time is only 10 minutes. Just mix together the ingredients, scoop them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and pop them in the fridge for a couple of hours. They can keep in your freezer for up to three months.
If you find your dog treat cupboard empty, not to worry. These no-bake dog treat balls can be made in 20 minutes, minus the time you stick them in the fridge to firm them up. Bonus is that since they’re sweetened with honey, which can help with dogs’ digestive issues and seasonal allergies, the treats will double as a yummy snack for humans, too.
Frozen dog treats
You’ve seen your dog go after an ice cube with such gusto, but imagine how much more excited he’d be over a frozen treat, especially on a hot day. These chilled dog treats are not only easy to make but will keep longer.
A recipe with just two ingredients. It can’t get any easier than that! Plus you use the parts of the rotisserie chicken that you normally toss out, like the cartilage and connective tissue, but that your pup finds delicious. Just make sure not to include the skin or too many fatty bits, which definitely are not good for dogs as they may contribute to high cholesterol.
Blueberries, a superfood rich in antioxidants, are a healthy treat for both humans and dogs alike. But freeze them with coconut oil and you get a gluten-free treat that your pooch will go nuts for and that will benefit his or her skin and coat.
My dog has skin allergies so I always include a dollop of coconut oil in his food, which he loves, to help with his skin condition. Coconut oil is great for dogs’ skin and makes their coat shiny! Plus it makes them smell better than salmon oil does. Believe me, I know. So a frozen treat with peanut butter and coconut oil is the best of both worlds, especially after a long walk or a hot day.
There are several reasons cranberries should be included in your dog’s diet. The berries, given in moderation, possess so many health benefits, including promoting gut health and reducing the risk of heart disease. But that doesn’t mean you should dole out some cranberry sauce for your pup; instead, make these frozen dog treats that mix cranberries with raw goat milk, kefir, and Greek yogurt.
Dog ice cream that you buy in pet stores can cost even more than your own favorite pint. Fortunately, you can easily whip up a frozen treat for your pup that is not only wallet-friendly but that uses ingredients that are actually good for their tummy. Pumpkin puree is usually fed to pups with upset tummies, while plain yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and benefits their gut health thanks to its probiotics.
Woof! Woof! More treats, please!
Curious what other homemade dog treats you could add to your doggie meal plan? Check out thousands more dog treat recipes on Yummly here.