How to Make Homemade Dog Treats

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dog treatsHave you ever gone to the pet store looking for the perfect dog treat for your dog, only to be disappointed with the options? Chances are the treats you’d love to buy cost more than a three-course meal, and the ones you’re willing to spend money on are seriously lacking in edibility – even for a dog treat.

If you’ve fallen victim of this terrible conundrum there is a solution. You can put away your wallet, roll up your sleeves and make your own dog treats. Nothing says loving like some dog treats in the oven. And before you huff and puff and complain that you don’t have the time or skills to make your own treats, keep in mind that the treats we have listed here are so easy that even your kids can make them (for the most part).

Banana Bites – Our friends at Animal Planet offer up this easy treat. Here’s what you need:

  • 3 cups oatmeal

  • 1 and ¼ cup of flour

  • 2 eggs

  • ¼ cup oil

  • ½ cup milk

  • 2 mashed bananas

Mix the oil, honey, milk and bananas together, then add the flour and oatmeal to create a batter. Pour the batter into small cookie-batter-like bits onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Allow the banana bites to cool down a bit before you cut them down into smaller sizes.

Apple Cinnamon Drops – This one is perfect for a cool and crisp autumn day. We admit it might be out of your kids’ ability to prepare (just the first step), but it’ll make for a nice family project. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1 large apple

  • ¼ cup of honey

  • ½ cup of water

  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 1 cup of oatmeal

  • 1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour

  • 1/8 cup of whole wheat flour (yes, two separate measurements of flour)

 

Okay, here’s the hard part – core, slice and mince the apple (a food processor works wonders). Then, in a large bowl, combine the minced apple, honey, water, cinnamon, and oatmeal. Gradually add the 1 and ½ cups of wheat flour to create a stiff dough.

Next, add the 1/8 cup of wheat flour into a smaller bowl. Spoon your stiff dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing apart the spoon-fills by about 2 inches. Now here’s where you use that 1/8 cup of wheat flour to your advantage. Using the bottom of a glass that’s been dipped into the flour, flatten each spoonful of dough into a tight circle.

Bake your circles for 30 minutes in a 350-degreen oven, then flip each drop, reduce the heat to 325 degrees, and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let your cookies cool overnight.

Paw-Print Dog Treats – We have to thank Martha Stewart for this one. If you’re in the mood to get a little creative with your treats, try these decorative goodies.

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

  • ½ cup of wheat germ

  • ½ cup of brewer’s yeast

  • 2 teaspoons of salt

  • 3 tablespoons of canola oil

  • 1 ½ cups of homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Next, combine the flour, wheat germ, yeast and salt into one large bowl. Place the oil into a second large bowl, then add the flour mixture to the oil in “3 additions,” alternating with 1 cup of the stock. Mix the ingredients until they are combined.

Next, knead your newly made dough on a lightly floured surface for two minutes. Roll out the dough so that it’s roughly ¼ inch in thickness, Use a 2-inch fluted cutter to cut out rounds, then transfer these rounds to your baking sheet.

Here’s where the paw-prints come in to play. Use your thumb to make an indentation toward the bottom of a circle. At the same time, use your pink to create four smaller indentations in an arch toward the top of the circle. Repeat this for each circle.

Freeze these rounds for 15 minutes, then bake them for 20 minutes (you may want to brush the rounds with the remaining chicken stock around halfway through. Turn off the heat, then let the cookies stand in the oven for 40 minutes.