This article at a glance
- The dog treats you make yourself are safer, healthier and cheaper than bought ones
- Start of with recipes containing few ingredients and build your way up
- Try out one of the five simple and really tasteful step-by-step recipes at the end of this article
- Although baking dog cookies don’t take up that much time, it is, of course, more time consuming than buying dog treats
You probably love your dog, right? And loving him means treating him every now and than? Well, then your best friend will just love the treats you bake for him yourself. In this post we will discuss the benefits of handmade dog biscuits and we will give you some general tips. Finally, we will give you some of the best dog treat recipes around.
One of the main concerns of dog owners around the globe is how to enhance their beloved friends’ lives and how to treat them better. This often includes comfortable bedding, plenty of physical activity daily, loads of love, and good nutrition.
However, plenty of people consider that a healthy dog’s nutrition can cost of a fortune and that there is nothing wrong in serving your dog some “inferior” quality food once in a while, just to stabilize the budget. But the qualitative dog food shouldn’t necessarily come with a big price tag as there are countless solutions of feeding your dog in the comfort of your own house, with ingredients that you already use and still offer the best nutrition, just like dog owners have done for thousands of years before you, and without purchasing branded dog food.
Luckily, there are numerous ways in which you could reuse the ingredients you already have in your house to make delicious and nutritious food for your dog as well, without spending a fortune on canned or stored dog food.
One easy way to start offering your dog the full diet required is to do some easy and healthy homemade dog biscuits. Homemade dog cookies or handmade dog biscuits are one of the easiest recipes and there are plenty of varieties you can find online!
The main benefits of making cookies for your dog yourself
Benefit 1: A Safer Option
Most dog food marketed and advertised online like Petco, offline and in stores has a pretty long list of ingredients, plenty of which are not even close as safe, not to mention healthy or nutritious on the long run. Some commercially sold dog food is full of preservatives and harmful ingredients which are mainly used to help store the food for a longer period of time.
Moreover, the list of ingredients often includes a massive amount of grains or corn which is high in carbohydrates but could lead to serious health affections on the long term. A short list of harmful ingredients you should stay away from includes BHA, BHT, sodium metabisulfite or ethoxyquin. Plenty of these chemicals can be extremely harmful for your pet, causing numerous allergic reactions and plenty of diseases, from kidney problems to asthma and cardiovascular problems.
Thus, if you truly care about your dog’s nutrition and healthy development, you should replace at least a part of the stored dog food with healthier alternatives, rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. This can easily be achieved by feeding your dog a diet based on around 70% animal proteins (especially meat) and 30% fresh food (from healthy veggies and fruits to corn in some extend). Tuna, salmon, sardines, chicken, beef, turkey or rabbit meat represent delicious meals packed with the necessary proteins and calcium stocks to help your dog’s development.
On the other hand, a diet extensively based on genetically modified corn or marketed dog food from stores can lead to a poor development of your dog or weight problems without necessarily strengthening your dog. In other words, a poor diet to your dog is equal to a human diet solely based on fat foods and loads of sodas and sugary beverages.
Benefit 2: A Healthier Alternative
As opposed to canned or dry food for dogs, easy homemade dog cookies represent a healthier alternative. First of all, you get to choose your own ingredients based on a rigorous selection and according to your dog’s own needs. Several dog breeds and dogs of different sizes and ages require a more sophisticated diet routine in order to harmoniously develop.
Plenty of dog biscuits sold in pet shops and supermarkets are rich in saturated fats which can endanger your dog’s health on the long run. Moreover, a diet mainly based or “empty calories” and low on nutrients and vitamins decrease the chances of a proper dog development.
On the other hand, choosing homemade dog biscuits allows you to only choose highly nutritious and high quality ingredients, based on your dog’s breed, age and size. Moreover, Diy dog biscuits can include numerous healthy ingredients that can enhance your dog’s appearance, strengthen the gums and teeth, provide a shiny and luscious fur and offer strong bones.
Last but not least, a healthier dog treats will definitely improve your dog’s digestive system and will lead to fewer digestive problems, including less cleaning after “accidents”.
Benefit 3: A Much Cheaper Choice
Have to ever stop to do the math at the end of each month and see exactly how much you spend on looking after your dog(s)? As much as $500 you can spend on an average month just for food and sheltering, without taking into consideration lavish choices for clothing and accessories. So, for families on a budget who still want to properly look after their dogs and invest in a healthy growing, DIY biscuits and homemade treats certainly represent a cheaper and much more fun alternative.
First of all, you save money by using the ingredients you already have in your kitchen. No special ingredients should be included in your dog’s food as opposed to what you regularly eat.
After all, you do save money by cooking your own meals instead of eating three times a day on a diner or restaurant, right?
So why not appeal the same cost-efficient strategy to your dog and prepare some delicious and extremely cheap homemade dog biscuits in the comfort of your own home? You can even end up saving more by buying some of the ingredients in bulks instead of en detail.
Benefit 4: Tastier than the one’s you Buy in Stores
Last but not least, homemade biscuits and treats for your dog will definitely taste better than the ones found in pet shops and supermarkets. The secret ingredient?
The owner’s love and devotion for the dog, obviously. However, stepping aside from jokes, homemade biscuits for your dog will certainly taste more delicious than the ones you buy. Most of the food people consume on a daily basis comes from cans and plastic containers and is often enough heavily processed. The same principle applies to dogs’ food, especially because of economical reasons.
Processed dog food is cheaper as lower quality ingredients are used. Preservatives and chemicals are cheap too, so why not add them up to the ingredient list to enhance taste and make the sold version more edible and pleasant for your dog?
By choosing to make your own homemade dog treats you can choose the top ingredients that your dog most definitely prefers and mix them up with countless alternative sources of vitamins and minerals. And, let’s face it – everything that is homemade tastes more authentic and better than processed foods found in stores, so why not choose the same for your dog?
Moreover, dogs can easily crave for their owner’s bowls of food, so why not provide your pup with similar recipes especially made for him?
Benefit 5: Your Handmade Dog Biscuits can be Frozen
While you are at it anyway, it is probably a good idea to make whole load of dog cookies, since most of them can be kept in the freezer anyway. Peanut butter frozen dog treats and frozen dog treats with pumpkin taste as good as freshly made ones. Just make sure you freeze them as soon as they have been cooled down.
Just take them out about 1 hour before you plan to feed your best friend with it. They’ll taste delicious! Extra tip: you can do exactly the same with frozen dog treats chicken broth.
4 Tips for making safe dog treats
Tip1: Understanding the list of ingredients
Before deciding to cook your dog some favorite treats in forms of homemade dog biscuits or snacks you must fully understand the list of ingredients you are about to use. Although dogs are omnivorous beings just like humans this doesn’t mean that the same list of ingredients is applied for both.
While delicious for humans, a list of foods can not only be harmful, but potentially poisonous for your dog. Chocolate, dairy products, macadamia nuts and grapes are extremely toxic for dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death in some cases. A list of other ingredients considered as allergy sources, such as strawberries and alcohol should be avoided as well.
Thus, before deciding to start cooking, make sure you fully know which ingredients are nutritious, which ones only offer empty calories and which foods should definitely be forbidden. The 3 most popular ingredients of most homemade cookies are pumpkin, yogurt and peanut butter.
Tip 2: Different cooking style
Again, not everything that is suitable and marketed as “delicious” for humans applies in the case of dogs as well. The baking or cooking style is no exception. Cooking cookies for your dog should be made at lower temperatures and for a longer period of time to dry the dough.
Thus, dog biscuits should be somewhat crisper and drier than the ones humans eat. The dryness and dehydration plays an important role because they help cleaning a dog’s teeth while eating.
Tip 3: Start by trying a limited amount of ingredients
Although you may be excited by finding out many recipes for dog treats to make at home, you should stick to a fair amount of ingredients when cooking one recipe. Integrating as many tasteful ingredients in a single dog snack could definitely disorientate your dog. Bear in mind that dogs are much more sensitive to smells than we are, thus avoid using too many spices or ingredients with specific smells.
If you are not sure exactly what types of foods your dog prefers, start by making regular mixes and using just 4-5 ingredients. Gradually add fillings and stuffing but without using more than one ingredient at the time. Leave your dog some time to adjust to your cooking and decide whether or not those treats are tasty as well. The key is moderation.
Tip 4: Avoid using wheat flour
Plenty of dogs, regardless of their age, breed or size have a certain allergy to regular wheat flour, thus avoid using it when baking treats for your dog. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives on the market so try do some research before cooking. Ryce, oat or coconut flours have different benefits for your dogs and should definitely be used when cooking for your friends with paws.
5 Delicious Homemade Dog Treat Recipes
Luckily, the Internet and animal lovers’ websites are full of delicious recipes to try out for your dog. Apart from tasting divine, these recipes will also provide the right amount of vitamins, nutrients, proteins and carbs to maintain a healthy development for your dog and keep him away from further health problems.
Elsewhere on the internet you will find lots and lots of ideas for baking your treats using pumpkin: for instance pumpkin yogurt dog treats recipes, pumpkin yogurt peanut butter dog treats (either frozen or not),… The list goes on and on. In this post we wanted to give you some new recipe ideas. So this time, no pumpkin but some other alternatives. Check them out and happy baking!
1. Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats
What you need:
- 2 and half cups of rye flour, one egg,
- Two teaspoons vanilla
- Two tablespoons honey
- One tablespoon coconut oil
- A cup of natural peanut butter
The first step is to preheat the oven and set it to 300 F degrees. In a bowl, mix together the egg, the vanilla, the coconut oil and the honey. Gradually introduce flour to the mixture until a thick paste and after add the peanut butter. Add warm water if the dough needs to become more solid. Slice the dough into cookie shapes and put them on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for around 35 minutes and then leave the cookies in the oven for another half hour to allow the cookies to dry and harden. This is pretty much the recipe that is used for the extremely popular Exceed dog treats, but without having to do the cost! Remember you can also put them in the frig and serve them to your dog as frozen dog treats!
2. Chicken treats
What you need:
- one and half chicken breast without skin and bones
- half a cup of olive oil
Cut the chicken into small strips. Sprinkle olive oil from abundance until coating the entire strip of chicken. Place the chicken strips into a dehydrator preset at 140 F degrees. Leave the chicken strips inside to dry for around 12 hours until they become hard and dry. Store them in cool places for up to 10 days. What can be easier than that?
3. Bacon and peanut butter biscuits
If your dog wants to taste the 100% real American taste, what could be better than mixing America’s two favorite ingredients in one delicious recipe for homemade dog biscuits? Bacon and peanut butter actually go extremely well together and your dog will certainly taste an explosion of delish tastes after just one bite.
What you need:
- Two slices of thin, uncooked bacon
- Two cup of rye flour
- Half a cup ground flaxseed
- Two teaspoons of baking powder
- Half a cup of peanut butter
- One egg lightly beaten, and one cup of water
Cook the bacon in low heat until nicely crisp. Put bacon aside to remove crumbles and excessive fat. Mix the flour, flaxseed and baking powder into a bowl and then add the crumbles of bacon. Preheat the peanut butter in microwaves for 20 seconds until quite melted. Mix together the egg and peanut butter, add the water and some bacon grease. Add the dry ingredients and stir until beautifully blended.
Bake the mixture for 15 minutes at 325 F degrees and let cool for another two hours before serving. A nice variant of this classic recipe are the homemade peanut butter banana dog treats.
4. Buckwheat Biscuits
Biscuits made of buckwheat are great for dogs. Because they can chew on them for a longer time, they can enjoy the great buckwheat taste of the cookie for a longer time. On top of that, it is also a great source of protein.
What you need:
- Buckwheat flour (3 cups)
- Rolled oats (1 cup)
- Ground beef (half of a cup)
- A little olive oil and a little water
- Salt (1 pinch is enough), 1 egg
Put all ingredients in a large bowl. You can do that all at once. Start kneading! Of course this step if much easier if you have a machine. Now roll out the mixture and cut out the cookies in shapes you prefer. Tip: in stores you can buy little dog biscuits cutters in some great shapes. Finally bake them at 375F and let them cool down for a while.
5. Sweet potatoes dog biscuits
This is a really simple and fast recipe for dog biscuits that most dogs just love.
What you need:
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 cups of wheat flour (whole)
- Quarter of a cup unsweetend applesauce
- 1 or 2 eggs
Put the sweet potato in the microwave for 5 minutes (medium capacity). Cut it in half and get all flesh out of the potato in a large bowl. Mash it (fork or masher). You will only need about 3/4 of a cup to continue.
Put the mashed sweet potato together with all other ingredients in a bowl and start kneading until you have a nice dough. Roll out the dough, cut out the biscuits in your favorite shapes and put everything in the oven. Let it bake for about 40 minutes at 375F, until the cookies come out really crispy.