8 best homemade dog treats to spoil your pup with

Homemade dog treats
(Image credit: V.Williams)

Homemade dog treats are the perfect way to spoil your pooch and not only that, but if you have lots of friends and family who are dog owners, they also make a lovely, personalized and inexpensive gift that's bound to impress.

While there's nothing wrong with the best dog treats lining the supermarket shelves, a lot of us are becoming much more conscious of what we're feeding our pets and homemade dog treats allow you to see exactly what's going into the food your dishing up to your pup.

Although some of the recipes below contain high-fat ingredients like dog-friendly peanut butter and bacon, all of these treats are free from artificial colors, flavors, fillers and preservatives, so as long as the best dog food forms the basis of your pup's calories and you're serving treats in moderation, they can make a wonderful addition to your dog's diet.

You'll find all of the below recipes have really simple steps and most use only a few ingredients, making them incredibly easy to whip up in very little time. You can also purchase silicone molds in various shapes to create impressive looking snacks that have serious wow factor going on.

Without further ado, here's the recipes for our favorite homemade dog treats with sweet and savory options to suit even the fussiest foodie fur baby!   

1. Pumpkin and peanut butter dog treats

Pumpkin and Peanut Butter dog treats

(Image credit: therecipecritic.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter with no xylitol
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer use the paddle attachment to combine the pumpkin, peanut butter, and eggs at medium-high speed.
  3. Add in the flour and cinnamon and mix until a stiff dough has formed.
  4. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll out to ¼ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut your desired shapes.
  5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Allow cooling completely.

Recipe via therecipecritic.com (opens in new tab)

2. Bacon dog treats

Bacon dog treats

(Image credit: sallysbakingaddiction.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (255g) natural creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) nonfat milk
  • 1 large egg or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups (244g) whole wheat flour* (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (30g) oats*
  • 2–3 strips cooked bacon, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently mix the peanut butter, milk, and egg together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the flour and baking powder. You may need to turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and use your hands to work in the flour. Mix in the oats and bacon. The dough is extremely thick and heavy.
  3. Using a floured rolling pin, cut into shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Arrange on the baking sheets. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and flip the treats to bake the other side for 10-12 more minutes.
  4. Allow to cool completely before serving to your pup. Cover and store leftovers at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes:

  1. Freezing Instructions: The treats freeze well up to 2 months.
  2. Flour: Unbleached all-purpose flour is safe for dogs, but whole wheat is more highly recommended because of its added health benefits. Please consult with your vet about any allergies your dog may have.
  3. Oats: Either whole-rolled or quick oats are fine.

Recipe via sallysbakingaddiction.com (opens in new tab)

3. Cheddar and bacon treats

Cheddar and bacon dog treats

(Image credit: goodhousekeeping.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add oats, cheese, and bacon to the bowl of a food processor and process until ingredients reach a crumb-like consistency. 
  3. Add two eggs to food processor and process until mixture resembles a sticky dough.
  4. Sprinkle flour or finely ground oats onto a wood cutting board and roll out dough to about ¼-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out dough into desired shape. 
  5. Transfer dog treats to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes. 
  6. Cool treats completely and store in an airtight glass or plastic container.

Recipe via goodhousekeeping.com (opens in new tab)

4. Calming dog treats

Calming dog treats

(Image credit: animalhumanesociety.org)

Ingredients for the cookies:

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons oats

Calming ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon edible lavender buds OR
  • 1 tablespoon chamomile powder

Ingredients for the icing:

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • Bit of water (about ¼ teaspoon)
  • Food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl mix the peanut butter, milk, and applesauce together.
  2. In a smaller, separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and stir well.
  4. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface.
  5. Using your hands, gently knead the oats and lavender or chamomile into the dough.
  6. Once you have a nice, compact ball of dough, press the dough into a rectangle (about ½ an inch thick). Because of the crumbliness of this dough, using your hands to press out the dough will be easier than a rolling pin. The warmth from your fingers aids the process.
  7. Using your desired cookie cutter, cut the dough into biscuits.
  8. Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Next, mix the egg yolk and a bit of water together. Divide into small bowls and add food coloring to achieve the desired colors.
  10. Brush the “icing” on to the unbaked biscuits using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon.
  11. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Recipe via animalhumanesociety.org (opens in new tab)

5. Apple carrot treats

Apple carrot treats

(Image credit: V.Williams)
(opens in new tab)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 15-18 minutes

Makes 90 nibbles or 22 doughnuts

Ingredients
• 1 large carrot, grated (approx. 4oz)
• ½ apple, grated
• 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
• ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
• 1 egg
• Plain natural yogurt (optional)
• Ground cinnamon (optional)

Method
• Add ingredients to a bowl and mix to form a dough
• Wrap dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for an hour or two
• Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and line two large baking trays with parchment
• For small ‘nibbles’, roll a teaspoon of mixture between your palms, place on a baking tray and press down gently with the back of a fork. For doughnuts, scoop a tablespoon of mixture, roll between your palms, press down on a baking tray and make a hole in the centre with the end of a paintbrush or teaspoon
• Bake nibbles for 15 minutes, doughnuts for 18 minutes

Optional steps
• Dip doughnuts in plain yogurt to create ‘frosting’ and sprinkle with a small pinch of ground cinnamon
• Place in freezer for 20 minutes to allow the yogurt to set

Tip
Don’t be surprised if the dough is wet and sticky, but you can add a few more tablespoons of flour if it’s really unmanageable. If you’re after more of a biscuit texture, try squeezing some of the moisture out of the grated carrot and apple before adding to the mixture. 

These can be kept in a refrigerator for up to a week.

6. Chicken and rice bones

Chicken and rice bones

(Image credit: V.Williams)
(opens in new tab)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes

Makes 22-24 bones

Ingredients
• 7oz raw chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
• 500ml chicken stock
• ½ cup cooked rice (white and wild rice mix)
• 1 ½ cups wholewheat flour
• 1 egg

Method
• Add chicken breast and stock to a pan and boil until chicken is cooked – about 10 minutes
• Remove chicken from stock and leave both to cool
• Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
• Add rice, chicken and ⅓ cup chicken stock to a food processor and blend to a paste
• Add chicken paste, flour and egg to a bowl and mix to form a dough
• Add a tablespoon of dough to each well of a silicon mould and press down until evenly spread
• Bake for 25 minutes until light brown
• Allow to cool down and firm up before removing from the mould

Tips
If you don’t have a silicone mould, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut out with a cookie-cutter, or roll a tablespoon of dough between your palms and press down slightly on the tray. 

Rice is a great treat option for older dogs or dogs with easily upset stomachs – it’s nutritious but bland enough for their digestive systems to handle. 

These can be kept in a refrigerator for up to a week.

7. Peanut butter banana bites

Peanut butter banana bites

(Image credit: V.Williams)
(opens in new tab)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 12-15 minutes

Makes about 24 bites

Ingredients
• 1 large or 2 medium bananas
• ½ cup natural unsweetened peanut butter (xylitol free)
• 1 ¼ cup rolled oats

Methods
• Mash banana(s) in a bowl
• Add peanut butter and stir well
• Whizz oats in a food processor until it looks like flour
• Add oat flour to bowl and mix to form a dough
• Wrap dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for an hour
• Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and line two large baking trays with parchment
• Roll a tablespoon of mixture between your palms, place on a baking tray and press down slightly – leave about ¼ inch between each biscuit
• Use the end of a paintbrush (or the tip of your little finger) to press a paw shape into each biscuit
• Bake for 12-15 minutes until the bottoms are light brown
• Leave to cool down before giving to your dog or storing in an airtight container 

Tip
These can easily be made into bite-sized treats instead of biscuits – just measure out a teaspoon of mix for each one rather than a tablespoon. In their mini form, these irresistible peanut butter treats make perfect training rewards.

These can be kept in a refrigerator for up to a week.

8. Blueberry pupsicles

Blueberry pupsicles

(Image credit: V.Williams)
(opens in new tab)

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Freeze time: 5+ hours

Makes 8 pupsicles

Ingredients
• 2.5oz plain natural yogurt
• 2.5oz water
• 2.5oz unsweetened frozen blueberries

Method
• Blend yogurt, blueberries and water in a food processor
• (Optional step) Fill paw pads of silicone with some plain yogurt
• Pour blueberry yogurt mix into moulds until almost full (the pupsicles will expand as they freeze)
• Freeze for at least five hours

Tips
This recipe can be adapted endlessly – try using frozen strawberries or watermelon instead of blueberries, adding the blueberries whole instead of blending them, or adding peanut butter to the watery yogurt mix. 

If you need to keep the calories down, use a little less yogurt and make up the weight with extra water. 

For more frozen dog treats recipes visit our DIY guide. 

Get creative

All these recipes are human-friendly, so no need to worry if little hands find their way into the dog-treat jar. They’re forgiving and adaptable recipes too, so you can alter the contents and quantities to suit your dog’s preferences and dietary needs – just remember to make sure any ingredients you’re planning on adding are safe for canine consumption.