Written by: Madison Troyer
Walk down the pet care aisle at any major retailer and you’ll find dozens of varieties of dog treats. There’s seemingly something for everyone—whether your dog prefers a hard biscuit or soft puff, or you want a treat that helps with joints, teeth, or coat—there’s an option out there for you and your beloved canine.
But for the pet owners who want more control over what, exactly, goes in their pup’s bodies, whether due to allergies or health reasons, the options are certainly more limited.
Enter homemade dog treats. Making your own snacks allows you to pick only ingredients that follow your dog's dietary boundaries without restricting your four-legged friend’s taste buds. Native Pet compiled a list of 10 dog treats that owners can make at home, as well as user-friendly recipes so you can get started.
For the most part, these recipes rely on a handful of common ingredients, like pumpkin purée, whole wheat flour, eggs, bananas, peanut butter, and other pantry staples. Their simplicity, which makes them easy for dogs to digest, also allows for some degree of experimentation by way of additional spices or elements like flax or chia seeds. But before you get too crazy in the kitchen, make sure to check that anything you’re thinking of adding is safe for dogs. Resources like the ASPCA’s list of toxic people foods, or your veterinarian, are the best ways to ensure these homemade treats are safe for your furry friends.
To improve sleep and reduce anxiety, try calming treats for dogs.
Carrot zucchini pupcakes
Whole wheat flour, oats, zucchini, carrots, and cheddar cheese are the primary ingredients in these carrot zucchini pupcakes from Wiggleworthy. The recipe, which makes 36 mini muffins, is nutrient-dense, and a perfect balance of savory and sweet. Even better, the treats can be made from start to finish in under 40 minutes, making these pupcakes the perfect thing for those short on time.
Branislav Nenin // Shutterstock
Pumpkin dog treats
The list of ingredients required for this Love from the Oven recipe is super simple and probably already in your pantry: whole wheat flour, eggs, peanut butter, pumpkin purée, and water. Given the fact that each batch of 25 treats requires only half of a can of pumpkin purée, these nibbles are perfect to make in the fall when you have extra pumpkin from the half-dozen other seasonal recipes you just had to try out.
While the recipe requires rolling out the dough to form biscuit-shaped treats, many reviewers report simply dropping dollops of it onto their baking sheets instead, citing easier storage and less prep work as reasons why this option is better.
Pumpkin for dogs is a natural first-aid for both diarrhea and constipation.
Soloviova Liudmyla // Shutterstock
Thrive Market’s Doggie Donuts recipe uses a dog food—I and Love and You’s lamb and bison dog kibble—as the basis for the finished treat. After crushing up the kibble in a food processor, add peanut butter, pumpkin, eggs, almond flour, and coconut before baking and topping the finished donuts with a frosting made of coconut oil and Greek yogurt. According to the website, Thrive’s office pups devoured all 12 mini donuts, making this a surefire hit with your own furry friends.
Beef treats for diabetic dogs
Most dogs love the sweetness that a bit of pumpkin purée or applesauce adds to these homemade treats, but for some dogs—like those with diabetes—the addition of a sweetener can be detrimental. This is why these three-ingredient beef treats from Allrecipes are the perfect option for dogs who struggle with their blood sugar levels. There’s no added sugar, just whole wheat flour, eggs, and beef liver.
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Baked sweet potato fries
If your pup is the type who’s only interested in treats that come straight off of your plate, try these baked sweet potato fries from Beagles and Bargains. Made with simple, human-friendly ingredients (sweet potato, coconut oil, and spices like cinnamon and turmeric) these can be enjoyed by two-legged and four-legged animals alike. Just be careful—not all spices (like cayenne pepper) are okay for dogs, so if you’re looking to branch out in terms of flavor profiles be sure to check with your vet first.
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Doggy bliss balls
These doggy bliss balls from Blackmores are perfect for when you don’t feel like turning on your oven, as you just blend everything together in the food processor and then let them chill in the fridge. The ingredients list is a bit more detailed than some of the previous recipes (it includes crispy rice cereal, dates, shredded coconut, and a probiotic/wholefood powder), so be sure to read through the whole recipe ahead of time to make sure you have everything you need.
Banana dog treats
Looking for a gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan dog treat recipe? Look no further than these banana dog treats from Three Olives Branch. All you need is brown bananas, oats, and cinnamon, though the recipe does note you can toss in chia seeds or flax seeds for a little more nutritional value.
No-bake peanut butter treats
Another no-oven-required dog treat recipe is these no-bake peanut butter treats from Damn Delicious. A fairly simple list of ingredients—pumpkin purée, peanut butter, milk, and old-fashioned oats—means they also are easier to throw together on a whim than the more involved bliss balls mentioned above. And if you don’t have plain pumpkin purée on hand (avoid the spiced variety as it’s not always safe for pets), you can substitute mashed sweet potatoes or bananas for an equally delicious flavor.
Chicken and wild rice savory treats
Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen knocked it out of the park with these savory chicken and wild rice treats. A perfect alternative to the dozens of sweeter options out there, the biscuits are made with a cooked chicken breast, chicken stock, wild rice, flour, salt, and an egg. Each batch makes somewhere between 35–40 biscuits, which is ideal if you aren’t looking to whip up new treats for your pup every few days.
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Air-fried puppy poppers
Air fryers are arguably the trendiest kitchen appliance these days thanks to how easy they are to use and how quickly they cook our favorite meals. These countertop cookers can also be used to make dog treats. These air-fried puppy poppers from Blue Jean Chef come together with just five ingredients (applesauce, peanut butter, oats, flour, and baking soda) and eight minutes in the air fryer, making them the quickest treats on this list.