Dog treats are easy to make, healthy and cheap as well! All they need is a little time, some ingredients you probably have in your kitchen and a dog to taste test.
“Treat!” I yell, and no matter where he is in the house, my dog will come running, plop himself on his haunches and look up at me expectantly, his tail sweeping the floor as it wags in excitement. These reactions have gotten particularly more excited since I began making my dog treats. Real ingredients, no fillers or any junk stuff… homemade dog treats make both me and my cutie happy.
There are a few foolproof recipes I use, some of them help me sneak in all kinds of nutritious stuff into my dogs die, others are simple treats that are ALWAYS met with a wagging tail and a slight drool.
Before I launch into these recipes, there are some great dog treats just lying around in your kitchen that you can feed your pet with no worry! These treats are good for canine health and need little to no prep at all!
Cheese cubes (cut up into small squares)
Hard-boiled eggs (cut into smaller chunks)
Small bits of peanut butter (frozen)
Popcorn (no salt, a little bit of coconut oil)
The cheese can be cut up and stored in a separate ziplock bag for your dog, and the eggs can be prepared up to a week in advance if they are refrigerated. You can cut up the eggs as needed. In the summers, the banana slices can even be frozen before your dog snacks on them!
You might wonder why you should make treats at home or use slightly messy, perishable treats (like the ones I listed above) when you can just buy long-lasting treats? Well for one, homemade treats with real ingredients are far healthier because there are no filler ingredients, no preservatives, no processed ingredients. Just whole ingredients that you, yourself would eat. It’s cheaper to make them at home. Yes, it’s a bit of work, but those cheap treats are often the unhealthiest ones, and the good ones are priced like they’re made of gold. So on a low to no budget, that extra cheese cube in your fridge doubles as a treat for a training session when you’ve run out!
Here are some of my go-to DIY easy dog treats. And boy are they easy because honestly, I am as lazy as they come.
Single Ingredient Jerky Treat
The beauty of this treat is that YOU can choose which ingredient to use! Also, this one’s so simple it’s barely a recipe. So the first step here is to choose from one of the following ingredients -
Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature setting, around 95 C
Once you’ve chosen your (and your dogs) favourite ingredient, slice it up just a little over 1/8th inch thick.
Arrange these slices on a baking tray and place them in the oven for about 2 hours. This will make them dry up. Once done, you should get a hard, tough jerky like a slice.
These make for great chewy treats that will help keep your dog's teeth clean. The chicken is full of protein, and the veggies have fibre and other nutrients that are good for your dog.
Just set a timer, come back and check on them, once they’re done… let them cool and store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Fruit & Veggies Strips
This treat is filled with good stuff… and your pets will have no clue that they were tricked into eating veggies!
Preheat your oven to 175 C
Mash the bananas and sweet potato together till you have a nice puree (you can also do this in a mixer).
Add the carrot and coconut oil along with the water and mix well.
Add the oats and flour and mix till you have a soft dough.
If your dough is not soft enough, add a small amount of oil and water to soften it. It shouldn’t be sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour until your dough is easy to roll out.
Flour your surface and roll out your dough to about 1/8th inch thickness.
Cut dough into strips and bake for about 25 minutes or until they have browned and no longer have a soft centre.
Grain-free Apple Treats
These are just a bit sweet and have all the goodness of coconut oil, apples, and eggs! The cinnamon smells amazing and is good for dogs as it helps regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation (fantastic for arthritic dogs) .
Preheat oven to 170 C
Combine the egg, pureed apples, coconut oil and cinnamon. Add the oat flour or rice flour (add more or less as your dough forms into an easy to roll dough.)
Roll out your dough and cut into desired shapes.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in your oven.
Chicken Chip Cookies
These treats are a little more effort, but these biscuits are irresistible — a meaty treat that will appeal to the pickiest of puppies.
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1 cup chicken stock
chicken skin (you can ask your local butcher for these and add as much or as little of this ingredient as you prefer) Note: If you don’t want to use chicken skin, use tiny pieces of cooked, shredded chicken or chopped liver.
A handful of chopped parsley (for the doggie breath)
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 / 3rd cup coconut oil
Preheat oven to 175 C
If you’re using chicken skin, cook it on a pan, and chop up into small pieces before use. There are good fats in the skin. If you want to use liver or chicken pieces instead, cook up the pieces and then chop them into tiny pieces.
Combine the peanut butter with coconut oil and eggs, add chicken stock and parsley.
Add the flour and oats until a dough forms.
Add the meat bits to the dough. Break off small pieces of dough and make one inch balls.
Flatten the balls and cook in the oven until they get golden brown and crunchy. About 20 to 25 minutes.
If your cookies are thicker, allow them to cook for longer.
I really hope you try some of these recipes. If yours and your loved one's health is a priority to you, as a member of your family, your dog’s diet also needs that same care! Thankfully, a healthy and appealing diet for a dog need not break your bank. These treats are proof.