While many store-bought dog treats work great in a pinch for a tasty reward for good behavior or a quick snack, there is no substitute for homemade dog-approved nibbles like these. Whether you use them to rotate flavors, better manage ingredients, or save on added expenses, one thing is for sure. Your dog will appreciate how delicious treat rewards can be!
1) Tail-Wag Worthy Peanut and Tree Nut Butter Treats
Dogs who are not allergic will often begin to salivate in an instant when they smell the nutty scent of an open peanut butter jar for good reason – it’s tasty! Although there are many food items humans eat that dogs should avoid, natural peanut and tree nut butter products that do not contain xylitol are generally considered safe for dogs to enjoy in small amounts. So, the next time you make a PB&J, almond butter topped celery snack, or cashew sauce for your pasta dinner, be sure to share the enticing aromas and flavors of nut butters in a dog-friendly treat like these fan faves.
- Peanut Butter Pumpkin Grain-Free Dog Treats from Urban Bliss
- Honey Oat Peanut Butter No-Bake Dog Treats from DogVills
Pro tip – Before preparing any recipe for your dog, ask your vet about how much of each ingredient to use in your dog’s treats to reduce the risk of stomach upset, excessive weight gain, or other potential food-related issues.
Safety tip – For your dog’s optimum health, try avoiding grain flour like wheat flour altogether or use only whole grains and whole-grain flour in small amounts in accordance with your veterinarian’s recommendations. While discussing flour, it may also be helpful to request a list of the healthiest cooking oils to use, along with amounts.
2) Tasty Fruity Treats
Why should peanuts and tree nuts have all the fun? Try skipping the blah and bland by adding nutritious berries and apples. Naturally sweet and tangy, these ingredients are sure to spark interest in even the pickiest eaters. Don’t forget to document and share your mad dog-friendly baking skills in some beautiful pics!
- Oat and Apple Pretzel Dog Treats from The Cookie Rookie
- Gluten-Free Blackberry & Almond Flour Dog Treats from The Produce Moms
Pro tip – Make it fun by using a baking mold for dogbones, paw prints, or other dog-friendly shapes.
Safety tip – These fruits are known to be harmful to dogs: grapes, raisins, avocados, cherries, and tomatoes. Use substitute fruits when following a recipe or when giving them to your dog directly.
3) Yummy Protein Treats
Looking to promote muscle growth? Workouts alone won’t build your dog’s peak physique. He or she will also need optimal nutrition like protein-rich treats to stay strong and ready for the next morning’s run. Check out these two super easy recipes for fast dog-safe snacks that can help your dog prepare for the day’s events.
Pro tip – For the omelet, be sure to cook the omelet all the way through the middle as dogs can be sensitive to undercooked eggs. In the dog jerky, limit the cinnamon amounts to a teaspoon as directed.
Safety tip – Omelets can bring out the culinary genius in all of us, but remember dogs should never eat these ingredients: tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Also, check with your vet before adding extra seasonings, fats, or oils to the dog jerky.
4) Cool Breath Mints
Sometimes, the treat is more for you than for your dog, such as when your dog won’t stop giving you the “puppy dog” look that’s hard to ignore or say your dog’s breath could knock over a water buffalo. While there could be a medical concern for your dog’s bad odors and some serious brushing could be in order, let’s face it – dogs are going to have some level of stinky breath. For this reason, we would be remiss if we did not make a couple of minty suggestions that can add a bit of naturally delicious freshness to your daily snuggle ritual.
Pro tip – If your dog is not a fan of mint, substitute ingredients like other dog-friendly spices where you think it makes sense in recipes. It may not give your dog’s breath a hint of mint, but a hint of cinnamon isn’t a bad alternative.
Safety tip – Do not use peppermint. Stick with fresh mint when preparing your dog’s mints and always check with your vet when in doubt about trying a new ingredient.