I thought it would be fun to post a recipe for homemade dog treats. Now you might be saying- well I can buy treats for a few dollars at the store so why should I bother making them myself?
For a few reasons- first of all there was a recall last year with certain dog treats from China that were leading to illnesses in dogs. By making your own treats you can control exactly what goes into it and feel confident that you are giving your dog something wholesome and nutritious.
Second we absolutely love our dog – literally like a family member in this house. My kids adore him but more often than not his needs tend to get pushed down the priority list. When it comes to checking off the to do list each day, a walk for the dog or trip to the dog park is more likely to get skipped than say homework or say making dinner. 🙂 So why not do something special for your pet! This could be something your kids really get out a kick out of- my girls loved the idea of making treats for our dog.
Third is the price consideration- really good quality treats at a pet store can be fairly pricey. I just went to the groomer and found small-ish bags of treats priced at $15+. This recipe is very inexpensive.
And last, what a fun homemade gift idea! If you know someone that adopted a dog recently, how sweet would it be to put these in a cute jar and drop them off?
Plus how do you say no to this face?
Hopefully I have convinced you to give this a shot :). This is for dog treats like you see above that are similar to a Milk Bone except I sneaked in a little peanut butter which makes these smell like fresh baked cookies when they come out of the oven.
I used whole wheat flour but you can also use gluten free flour or rice flour if you prefer for your dog. Also note it is important to buy a high quality peanut butter. Make sure you read the label- if it is loaded with sweeteners or preservatives you might actually harm your pet. My peanut butter label says “peanuts and salt” or grab a handful of peanuts and pop them in the food processor to make your own.
- ¾ cup hot water
- ⅓ cup butter
- ½ cup powdered milk
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (high quality, all natural peanut butter)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl pour hot water over the butter.
- Stir in powdered milk and egg.
- Add flour ½ cup at a time and stir well.
- After 2 cups of flour are added, mix in the peanut butter.
- Knead for a few minutes to form a stiff dough.
- If the dough feels too sticky add in another ¼ cup of whole wheat flour.
- Pat or roll dough to ½ inch thickness.
- Cut into bone shapes or any shape you prefer.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool.
And one important note here is that I was nervous to make my own treats. I am certainly not a Veterinarian. I did go into a gourmet pet food store and looked at the ingredients listed on the treats available- all of the ingredients were similar combinations to what is listed here.
You may want to speak to your Vet about dietary changes just to be completely safe. Also note these are treats- so it is important to limit the number your dog eats in a day. Some dogs have trouble with gluten (sorry for the TMI but our dog gets horrifying gas if he eats too much. He would be mortified if he knew I told you).
Oh and I got the little dog bone cookie cutter at Joann’s for $.99. Sur La Table might also have them or you can pick one up from Amazon here. If the shape isn’t important to you, you can use any cookie cutter you have or a small glass or jar to just make a circle.
These should last an extremely long time in an airtight jar or bag. I would guess probably 6 months or so.
Oh and I did put these to the test. This was totally scientific research as you might imagine (or perhaps it was a dog drooling all over the place as I tried to take photos of these treats). I put one actual Milk Bone dog biscuit on the ground and one of these homemade guys on the ground. We released Milo from a center position to see which one he wanted first. The homemade one was the winner! (Although he scarfed that Milk Bone immediately after)- so I can tell you that 1 out of 1 dogs prefer these homemade biscuits ;).
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*NOTE: I got this recipe for treats from a pet friendly hotel I stayed at recently. They offered free dog treats in the lobby and also had a card with the recipe. My recipe above is loosely adapted from the recipe I picked up at the hotel.
I hope your dog enjoys these! Please come back and let me know what you thought– or even better post a picture on my Facebook page so I can see how they turned out!