4 DIY Dog Treat Recipes

Want to cook and bake with your dog? Try these recipes that will have you and your pooch sharing quality time in the kitchen.

Cooking and baking for your dog can strengthen the bond you share. By: Shane Adams

2012 was the year of my culinary awakening, when I felt confident in anyone’s kitchen with any ingredients, where no recipe appeared too daunting.

Handmade pasta with roasted artichoke and Meyer lemon sauce? No problem. White cheddar and apple scones with bits of applewood-smoked bacon? Easy-peasy. Fish tagine, poached in heirloom tomatoes, meaty cerignola olives and a dash of vodka? A little messy, but I got there. Eventually.

But my joy and vigor subsided every time I looked into my two dogs’ hungry eyes from the just beyond the kitchen and realized they couldn’t join me in this celebration of gastronomic revelry.

Their dry food (and the occasional carrot) just couldn’t be as satisfying as what I could make for them. That’s when I started looking up tasty recipes — for dogs. And I found some fantastic ones.

Through using do-it-yourself dog treat recipes, I discovered that I’m not only strengthening the bond I share with my dog, but I’m aware of exactly what goes into my dogs’ treats; this is more than I can say of their store-bought treats and food, which is often subject to scary recalls.

A Whole New World of Doggy Delights

Dog Treat Kitchen has been my go-to site for cooked and baked pooch food. It’s a fabulous resource to find DIY dog treat recipes for yourself, your braver friends and, most importantly, your dogs. Doggy Dessert Chef also gives great ideas for gourmet dog treats. Here are some of my personal favorite recipes I’ve adapted for my dogs and that you can share with yours.

1. Pumpkin Peanut Butter Treats

These are wonderful fall and winter snacks for your devoted doggies during the colder months.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (use only pure pumpkin purée, and not the pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • water (around ¼ cup)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place all ingredients in a bowl; mix well, using water, until ingredients are combined.
  3. Roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness and use cookie cutters to create cookies.
  4. Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. For a harder cookie, bake for five minutes longer or more.
  5. Cool cookies on a wire rack before serving.

2. Doggy Oreos

These sandwich cookies are an appetizing dessert treat for any hungry dog. Chocolate is replaced by carob powder to make these treats safe and delicious for dogs to consume.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Creamy Vanilla Icing

  • 8-oz package of low fat or fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup low fat or fat-free milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, and place both sheets in the preheating oven.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, carob powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a whisk.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the egg; stir the sugar and applesauce into the beaten egg.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the applesauce mixture, stirring until combined. The mixture will be very moist.
  6. Remove one baking sheet from the oven. Scoop a rounded teaspoon of the cookie batter and place onto the baking sheet. (Try to keep the little cookie as round as possible!)
  7. Remove the other baking sheet from the oven and place the sheet with the unbaked cookies in the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. While the first batch of cookies is baking, repeat the scoop-and-place method with the remaining batter onto the second baking sheet.
  9. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet; then gently lift the cookies off of the parchment paper, and continue to cool on the wire rack.
  10. For the icing: Mix all three ingredients until smooth with a hand mixer. Spread a leveled tablespoon of icing in an even layer onto one cookie and then top with a second cookie; press the cookies together.
Make kitchen time fun for you and your dogs by baking up whimsical treats. By: Betsy Weber

3. Salad Cookies

A more savory (and health-conscious) snack could pique your dog’s interest and appetite, and quite possibly your own.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lightly packed baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup mixed vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
  • 1/4 cup plain low fat or fat-free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Yogurt Glaze:

  • 1/2 tsp. low fat or fat-free yogurt
  • 2 tsp. water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Finely dice the spinach and mixed vegetables; place into a large bowl and stir in the yogurt and applesauce.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture to the vegetable mixture, stirring frequently.
  4. Knead the dough in the bowl until a firm ball is formed.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a ½-inch thickness.
  6. Cut treats into shapes with a cookie cutter.
  7. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and place the treats onto the baking sheet.
  8. Yogurt Glaze: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and water; lightly brush the treats with the mixture.
  9. Bake treats for 20 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

Need more dog treat ideas? Try the recipe in this video:

4. Salmon Cakes

If your mouth doesn’t water for these delectable morsels, give them to your dog; he’ll benefit from the healthful Omega-3 intake.

Ingredients:

  • 1 14.75-oz can of wild Alaskan salmon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup low fat or fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed

Yogurt Tartar Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain low fat or fat-free yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Drain liquid from salmon. Remove bones and skin, if any.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the salmon with the next four ingredients.
  4. In a separate shallow dish, mix together the plain bread crumbs and dill weed.
  5. Using a cookie scooper, scoop one ball of the salmon mixture and make a flat patty using your hands.
  6. Dredge the patty in the bread crumb mixture and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Repeat until all the salmon mixture is used.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes on one side, and then flip and bake for 12 more minutes on the other side. For a softer cake, bake for only 10 minutes on each side.
  8. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Yogurt Tartar Sauce

  1. Mix the yogurt and the dried dill weed in a small bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until salmon cakes are cool.

Remember: Not All Foods (Even Cooked) Are Dog-Friendly

There are many foods fit for human consumption that dogs cannot digest well and may even cause serious problems. As a reminder, these foods include, but are not limited to:

  • Onions and garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Bones
  • Yeast dough
  • Avocado

Make sure that you read about the benefits and dangers of certain foods before sharing your kitchen talents with your dogs. For example, while raw garlic can be applied topically to cuts and scrapes on a dog’s body as an antiseptic, it should never be fed to a dog, along with most of the onion family.

Quality Time with Quality Eats

Bonding with your dog is not limited to the outdoors. Especially on these recently freezing evenings, try cooking and baking with and for your dog — it’s a real treat for both parties.

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