Homemade Dog Treat Recipes: Best Ingredients

Homemade TreatsMany dog owners considering homemade dog treat recipes for their pet are driven to the consideration by horror stories about store bought treats and the harm they can sometimes cause. In recent years, a number of popular chicken jerky treats have been taken off the shelves of large-scale retailers because the tainted treats, which were imported from China, caused a large number of dogs to experience kidney failure and death. The mere concept of losing a pet to a store-bought treat is heartbreaking for pet owners, so it’s not shocking that searches for homemade dog treat recipes are on the rise.

Dogs can do incredible things, but it’s up to their owners to provide them with the healthy diet they require to thrive. Dietary imbalances in dogs can lead to serious weight-related health issues and malnourishment. Your dog is a unique being with unique diet needs, and it’s important to be aware of those before you begin the process of choosing homemade dog treat recipes. In order to be healthy, your dog needs four different dietary elements.

What dietary elements are essential for your dog?

– Healthy carbs, like flours made from whole grains
– Lean proteins in the form of poultry, fish and beef
– Healthy fat, like olive oil – rendered meat fat, while your pup may love it, can cause pancreatitis and a host of other issues
– Vitamins and minerals, which are found in many of the foods we eat that dogs can share

Now that you know what makes up the canine diet, it’s easy to understand how these elements can come together to make tasty and easy homemade dog treats for your pup. As previously mentioned, there are a number of foods humans eat that dogs can share in and reap immense health benefits from. If you’re just starting out, you may be wondering what these ingredients are.

What are the best ingredients for homemade dog treat recipes?

– Fruits, including apples, pears, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and pumpkin
– Nutritious cooked vegetables like iron-rich spinach, winter squash and sweet potatoes
– Lean proteins, especially in the form of eggs, meat meals and low sodium poultry stock

As you can see, the list of ingredients that form the base for many homemade dog treat recipes is full of common ingredients, some of which you likely already have on hand. Before you choose a recipe, make sure to do your research about common foods that can be bad for dogs. Avocado, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts and nutmeg are foods many would assume are healthy, but these foods are actually toxic to dogs. These are far from the only foods that are bad for dogs, so always double check a list of toxic food for pets before you choose your homemade dog treat recipes.

Looking for a basic recipe for homemade dog treats that your pup will love? Try out these Healthy Sweet Potato Biscuits that are easy to make and delicious to your pup. Or check out this post and this post here for some more great recipes and benefits of homemade treats.

1 cup whole grain flour
1/4 cup sweet potato puree
3 tbsp chicken stock
1 tsp fresh parsley

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 F.

Take a medium sized mixing bowl and combine all of your ingredients to form a firm dough. If dough is too sticky, add additional flour in increments of 1 tbsp until dough can be rolled easily.

Dust a large, clean surface with flour and gently turn out your dough, kneading it slightly to give it a light coating of flour. Dust your rolling pin with flour as well, and roll out your dough to a thickness of one half inch. Use fun cookie cutters like dog bones, fire hydrants, paw prints and more to create fun shapes for your pup, placing the finished shapes on the lined sheet. When appropriate, gather the dough and roll again to cut more shapes.

When you’ve finished cutting, bake the cookies for about 10 minutes to allow them to firm up. When they’re out of the oven, let them cool on the counter for an hour or so to allow them to harden, creating the satisfying crunch your dog loves. These treats can be stored for a week in an airtight container or frozen to extend their shelf life.

As you can see, following homemade dog treat recipes is a cinch. If you love spoiling your dog, they’re the perfect way to do so. They’re no more complicated than the simplest of baking recipes, and often, you don’t even have to leave home for your ingredients! Remember to always double check the ingredient list of any prepackaged item you’re using in your homemade treats to be sure it’s safe for your pup.