The point of homemade dog treats is to stay away from preservatives, chemicals, dyes and all the other nonsense. Be smart. Do extensive research on the ingredients you wish to use and the alternative to each of them. Even if you think your dog has a ‘tolerance’ for milk, you should use it regardless unless you 100% know of any additives. In that case I just take milk right out of the equation. Theres no need for it anyway.
I’ve been making these for a long time now. My dog, Lola, knows by the smell when I’m baking for her and is in the kitchen the whole time! To make it easier, I use a pizza cutter and make 1x3” long strips instead of the bone shape. It is much faster with less rolling and these strips fit very nicely into Lola’s Kong. I use all natural peanut butter, and if I remember, get it freshly ground at the grocery store. I also buy the real Ceylon cinnamon to avoid any coumarin overdose if I give her too many treats.
Bake these healthy treats a shorter time to keep them chewy, or a little longer for a crispy outside and chewy center. Combine a pound of ground beef, turkey or chicken liver with 1 C. corn meal, 1 1/2 C. flour, 1 tsp. anise seed and 1/2 tsp. salt. Spread into a greased baking pan, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, and slice into squares when cool. Substitute fennel for anise if needed. Add an egg, or grated apple or carrot for more nutrition and flavor. Any ground organ meat, such as heart, can be used in place of liver. Dogs love these chewy brownies with nearly any kind of meat.
I didn’t realize you could make dog treats with only 2 ingredients, That’s awesome! All of the recipes sound great. I read some of the other posts, and I’m borrowing one of the ideas. My daughter is in a Girl Scout troop and her troop’s project is to volunteer at a shelter. I will check with the shelter and see if we can bring homemade treats. Thanks for all of the ideas!
In the south of England it is much the fashion to give sporting-dogs a food called dog-biscuit instead of barley-meal, and the consequences resulting from this simple aliment are most gratifying. Barley-meal, indeed, is an unnatural food, unless it be varied with bones, for a dog delights to gnaw, and thus to exercise those potent teeth with which nature has furnished him ; his stomach, too, is. designed to digest the hard and tough integument of animal substance; hence, barleymeal, as a principal portion of his subsistence, is by no means to be desired. In small private families it is not always possible to ohtain a sufficiency of meat and bones for the sustenance of a dog, and recourse is too frequently had to a coarse and filthy aliment, which is highly objectionable, especially if the creature be debarred from taking daily exercise, fettered by a chain, and restricted, by situation, from obtaining access to grass ; and no one who has not watched the habits of our faithful allies (as we have done), can be aware of the absolute necessity which exists for his obtaining a constant supply of it. If no other good effect resulted from it than the sleekness of his coat and clearness of his skin, these benefits ought to the procured for him; but when his health and comfort are to be also ensured, who, that has a grain of benevolence in his disposition, would hesitate to perform so simple and gratifying an act of duty?
Fantastic list! I loved every recipe, until I read #23. I don’t care how little it is, bacon is not good for any animal (although it’s one of MY favorite foods and I’ll eat it, but I won’t give it to my dogs). I read one blogger justify bacon in their dog treat recipe by saying that for the number of treats that their recipe provided, one piece of bacon wasn’t going to hurt a dog. That may be true, but it’s not worth it. Boiled chicken might be used instead. I guarantee dogs would love it, and it would be safer for them. Just as a reminder, the American Kennel Club states:
I must agree with previous reviewers that this is not a healthy biscuit recipe for dogs. Our bulldogs have many allergies, so I modified the ingredients and they came out great (just ask our happy pups)! Substituted both the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour for brown rice flour, eliminated corn meal (too hard for dogs to digest) and used 2-1/2 cups of old fashioned oats. Eliminated wheat germ & brown sugar and used 1/2 cup of all-natural peanut butter with 1 Tbsp. honey. Eliminated salt and only used 1/2 stick of unsalted butter. My substitutions required more liquid, so I used 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth (instead of only 1 cup water). This recipe came out terrific...the whole house smelled like peanut butter cookies (^:
Dog-biscuit is a hard and well-baked mass of coarse, yet clean and wholesome flour, of an inferior kind to that known as sailors' biscuit; and this latter substance, indeed, would be the best substitute for the former with which we are acquainted. A bag of dog-biscuit of five shillings' value, will be an ample supply for a yard-dog during the year: it should be soaked in water, or " pot liquor," for an hour or two ; and if no meat be at hand, a little dripping or lard may be added to it while softening, which will make a relishing meal at a trifling cost. We have for many years known the utility of the plan thus advocated, and we earnestly recommend all who value the safety of the community and their own (to say nothing of the happiness of the canine race), to make trial of the rational and feasible plan which we have detailed." (1841)
Christi is the baker, cook, blogger, food photographer, recipe developer and sprinkle lover behind Love From The Oven. As a busy mom, it's important to Christi that her recipes are family-friendly and picky eater approved. In addition to running Love From The Oven, Christi is the author of The My Little Pony Baking Book and Smart Cookie, and the co-author of Peeps-A-Licious.