By Richard Gray
As a reward system, dog treats can be a great motivator in training and mental stimulation tasks. When you make your own dog treats it is not only kinder on your pocket but can also be healthier for your dog. Another benefit is you will also know what exactly the ingredients of the treats are.
This article sets out to focus on homemade treats that are easy to make and have few ingredients. Many of the core ingredients (peanut butter, oats, flour, yogurt, apple, banana, pumpkin) are often repeated.
It is very important to be aware of what foods are harmful before you feed a treat to a dog. Also, be careful not to overfeed your dog and to keep the treat intake to 10% of their daily food recommendation.
During my many days of research on online resources, I found that the homemade treat recipes were not clearly organized. I set out to clarify that in this post.
I organized this article into non- baking/frozen treats and treats that needed baking. My goal was to find the finest and easiest to make homemade dog treat recipes for you.
For your convenience (and in case you skip to a particular treat in the contents) I have highlighted and repeated where you need to be concerned with ingredients in the ‘tips’ section.
Always check with your vet before feeding your dog something new.
Here is the list of the 15 Homemade Dog Treats I found for you.
Now, it’s time to read on and investigate. Follow the links for the recipe instructions.
Part 1 Frozen & Non-Bake Treats
With Fruit & Vegetables
#1. Frosty Apple & Yogurt delights
- 1 large or 2 small apples
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- Splash of water
Watch as Morg Menu blends together the apples with dairy-free plain yogurt into paw-shaped moulds. You can check out this Irresistible Pets recipe on ‘Morg’s Menu’ YouTube channel here frozen apple bites (3 mins 40-6 mins 20) and see the results (14.40)
Tip: Be careful, there is a small amount of cyanide in apple seeds which is released by chewing the seeds. Although this is only a very small amount, removing the apple core and seeds is best.
#2. Frosty Banana, Peanut Butter & Yogurt Fancy
- 1 banana
- ½ cup plain yogurt plain or Greek yogurt – unsweetened
- 2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter
Check out this illustrated recipe from Mary at Home is Where the Boat Is, (aka from Frozen Paws): Quick and Easy Frozen Dog Treats for Summer.
Tip: Make sure the peanut butter does not contain XYLITOL. This natural, but considered artificial sweetener, is harmful to dogs. Yogurt is a good source of calcium but be careful the plain yogurt you choose does not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars.
#3. Banana & Coconut Oil, Peanut Butter Ice Dessert
- 1 medium banana
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup peanut butter
Mandi Welbaum’s recipe at Moments With Mandi shows you how to make a sweet, cooling tidbit that’s healthy too. Click here for Homemade Frozen Banana Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Dog Treats.
#4. Iced Pumpkin Yogurt Treat
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 cup plain or Greek yogurt
- ice cube trays
In these quantities, pumpkin, is a great source for minerals and vitamins and kind to the stomach too. Enjoy making this 2 ingredient combination with Kait Hanson’s recipe Frozen Pumpkin +Yogurt Dog Treats at CommuniKait.
Tip: Your canine pal may make a mess of your carpet with this ingredient combination! A good idea is to serve outside. Ensure the yogurt does not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Make sure you use pure pumpkin puree and don’t use pumpkin pie filling.
#5. Oatie Peanut Butter Pumpkin Puppy Pleasers
- ½ cup of pumpkin puree – the canned variety is good.
- ¼ cup of peanut butter
- 1 & ¼ cup of rolled oats – add more if needed
You can watch Leslie Sprinz combine these 3 organic ingredients into quick and easy homemade puppy treats here.
Tip: Be careful not to get pumpkin pie filling by mistake. It can contain nutmeg (which is toxic to dogs) and sugar. Avoid peanut butter which contains XYLITOL. Giving plain oats in moderation is recommended. Oats are a great source of fiber but large amounts can produce side effects like bloating.
#6. Oatie Peanut Butter Treats (No-Bake)
- 1 & ¼ cup of oats- 100% whole wheat-quick oats
- ¾ cup of smooth peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup of water
Watch Heather mix together these cinnamon flavored No-Bake Peanut Butter And Oat Dog Treats into bite sized balls that tempt her lovely pouch Kiara into an appreciative whine.
Tip: Giving plain oats in moderation is recommended. Oats are a great source of fiber but large amounts can produce side effects like bloating. Avoid peanut butter which contains XYLITOL. Cinnamon is not an essential ingredient in this treat and it is not toxic to dogs. But, if taken in larger amounts cinnamon powder and oil can cause problems.
#7. Frozen Yogurt Chicken Bites
- 1 & ½ cups shredded plain organic chicken
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt – no artificial sweeteners
Watch Kat at The Drunk Bridesmaid use ‘plain organic rotisserie chicken’ to make 2 ingredient easy tasty treats on YouTube (1.36-2.33).
Part 2 Baking Treats
With Fruit & Vegetables
#8. Home Baked Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon water, or more if necessary
Your dog will be an excited pup as he smells that delicious cookie smell from your oven. Check out Kelly’s recipe Homemade Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats at All Recipes.
Tip: Make sure the canned pumpkin is not the pie filling. Avoid peanut butter which contains XYLITOL. Follow Kelly’s recipe and make the treats a small size. Dogs have been known to choke on larger sized treats!
#9. Banana, Oatie, Peanut Butter Bakes
- 2 cups oats (old fashioned, 1-minute oats, or instant) add more if needed
- 2 medium ripe bananas
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
Use up your ripe bananas in this 3 ingredient cookie bake. Follow Sam Turnbull’s recipe Easy Homemade Dog Treats at It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.
#10. Carrot & Pumpkin Puppy Bites
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin (get the kind that has ONLY pumpkin in it)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
Take a look at the Ann Staub recipe Pumpkin Carrot Bites for these veggie doggie tempters at My Pawsitively Pets.
Tip: Don’t use pumpkin pie filling by mistake.
#11. Peanut Butter & Sweet Potato Dog Treats
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup baked sweet potato
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
It’s an irresistible canine combination that’s easy to make. Check out Reesa Lewandowski’s recipe Peanut Butter and Sweet Potato Dog Treats at Momma Lew.
#12. Applesauce & Carrot Oatie Treats
- ½ cup quick oats
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup (about 1 large) carrot finely grated
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
You can make these 4 ingredient quick and easy treats in about 30 minutes total. Have a look at Tracy’s recipe Carrot Oat Applesauce Treats for Dogs and Horses at Baking Mischief.
#13. Carrot, Spinach & Zucchini dog treats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup old fashioned oats
- 3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1 zucchini, shredded
- 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
An 8 ingredient recipe that is sure to delight your dog. Check out these nutritious and healthy treats with Chungah Rhee’s great recipe Spinach Carrot and Zucchini Dog Treats at Damn Delicious.
#14. Baby food treats
- 4 oz jar of sweet potato baby food
- 1 cup of wheat flour
Follow this quick and easy 2 Ingredient Dog Treat recipe from Ryan at Whisker Biscuits Whiskervision
Tip: baby food is fine for dogs in moderation and in occasional treats. Avoid baby food with onion & garlic in the ingredients.
#15. 4-Ingredient Chicken and Biscuits Homemade Dog Treats
- 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
- 2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1 (5.3-ounce) container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Check out this enticing 4 ingredient biscuit recipe from Shelley at Two Healthy Kitchens.
Tip: Be careful not to include chicken bones or chicken skin.
What to do next?
As mentioned before, be careful not to overfeed treats to your dog and be careful with the ingredients you feed him.
Be sure to check out our article What Foods Can Dogs Not Eat?
Can I use regular flour instead of whole wheat flour in dog treats?
Yes, you can. Whole wheat flour is more nutritional and the texture of the flour is a little thicker, but regular all-purpose flour can be safely used in dog treats. Some recommend only giving all-purpose flour in small quantities. Whole wheat flour is the better option.
Is baking powder safe for dogs?
Baking powder, baking soda and yeast are not safe. They can cause serious gastrointestinal problems. Adverse effects may not be apparent immediately, so if you suspect your dog has consumed any of these don’t delay in taking your dog to your vet.