I never thought about making dog food until I visited my veterinarian friend’s house and she had an enormous pot on her stove. Meghan explained she was using leftover beef and veggies to make moist food for her dogs. Since then, I’ve made dog food a number of times with healthy leftovers, which got me thinking about treats.
After all, our dog, Cleo, is very food motivated and loves to eat.
I found it's easy to make healthy homemade treats that my dog loves. These dog biscuits are fun to make ... and a great excuse for you and the kids to bake together in the kitchen.
Here are two simple dog treat recipes that use only three ingredients and come together in minutes. Unlike many dog treat recipes, these two are peanut-free. While peanuts aren't toxic to dogs, they can be hard for them to digest and can cause an upset stomach — not what you want in your dog treats.
Chicken or Beef Treats
Makes about 2 dozen treats
- 2½ cups whole wheat flour (or any other whole grain. Buckwheat, rye, barley, almond, rice, and chickpea flours are all good choices. White flour has no nutritional value and some dogs are sensitive to gluten.)
- 1/3 cup oil (any kind)
- 2/3 cup beef or chicken broth
- Add the flour, oil, and broth to a large bowl and mix together well, adding more oil or broth if needed until you get a pliable dough ball. Hands work best to turn it into a dough ball — and makes it fun.
- Roll the dough with a rolling pin (or bottle) to about 1/8 inch thick, and cut into the desired size for your dog with a cookie cutter (You can also use a jar, glass, or even a knife or pizza cutter.)
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. For softer treats, remove and cool. For crisper treats, turn off the oven and leave treats inside until cool.
Store in an airtight container.
Tip: If you make your own bone broth, use the meaty broth left at the bottom of the pan in your dog treats.
Makes about 2 dozen treats
- 2 cups whole grain flour (Whole wheat, buckwheat, rye, barley, almond, rice, or chickpea flour)
- 1 ripe, mashed banana (a great way to use brown bananas)
- 1½ cups mashed yams, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin (cooked or canned pure pumpkin —not pie filling — work well)
- Add flour, mashed banana, and drained mashed yams, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin to a large bowl and mix together until you have a firm dough.
- Use your hands to roll into the desired size ball and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten using the bottom of a glass.
- Bake about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Treats should still be soft to the touch.
Cool and store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. These treats will stay soft, making them a good choice for dogs with teeth issues, and a good way to hide medication. Mix in blueberries or cranberries for a tasty nutrition boost.
Tip: Use up leftover sweet potatoes or cook a couple extra to make these for your pup.