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December 26, 2020 5 min read
As you can probably guess, those of us behind the scenes at Cooper's Treats love to spend time researching, understanding and trying out new dog treat recipes. Thankfully, we also have many willing dogs, including Cooper himself, who are more than happy to taste test for us. We thank them for their dedicated and selfless service!
We thought it might be helpful to share some of our favorite dog treat recipes (though as you can probably guess, our absolute favorites are the ones we put in our Baked Biscuit Starter Kit and Pupsicle Starter Kit). We'll give you a few different variations on some main types of dog treat recipes, so you can make treats regardless of your time, cooking skill or budget.
Peanut butter is a staple in dog treats for lots of reasons - it's high in protein, easy to get your hands on and generally good for dogs. There are a couple of things to be aware of when it comes to peanut butter, though. First of all, it has relatively high fat content, which means you can overdo it, so make sure to give your dog peanut butter dog treats in moderation. Second, when you're making treats with peanut butter, you should use plain, unsalted peanut butter with no additives. The one thing you should double check for is xylitol, which is dangerous for dogs - you should never feed your dog anything, including peanut butter, than contains xylitol.
If you're really busy but still want to make your dog homemade treats, here's the easiest way humanly possible - take some peanut butter, scoop it into an ice cube tray (or use the silicone ice cube tray in our Pupsicle Starter Kit) and freeze. Voila! In a couple of hours you have crunchy, frozen treats at the ready (and since they're frozen they'll last a very long time). Easy peasy.
Want to step it up a little bit beyond just freezing peanut butter? Here's a few ways:
Make It Last
Want your frozen treats to last for more than one big chomp? Instead of making individual frozen treats out of peanut butter, put it into something that makes it a little harder for your pup to get at. We always recommend a Kong for this, since it's a sturdy, well-made toy and if bought in the correct size, it'll take plenty of time for your dog to get all the peanut butter out.
If you happen to have our Doggie Deluxe Box, you can also make a very long-lasting treat for your pup by spreading peanut butter in the lick mat that comes with it and freezing that.
Mix It Up
Peanut butter is great, but that doesn't mean your dog wouldn't appreciate a little interesting new flavor or texture added to it. Try cutting up some celery, smearing the inside of the pieces with peanut butter and freezing those. Alternatively, peanut butter goes great with bananas, so you can mash those up, mix in some peanut butter and freeze for an extra tasty treat!
While baking definitely takes a little more culinary aptitude than putting peanut butter in an ice cube tray and freezing, you shouldn't be intimidated - there are plenty of really easy recipes out there. We're going to give you the absolute easiest one we know (but don't worry, your pup won't know it was easy and they'll still love it!).
Three Ingredient Dog Treats
The three ingredients you need are simple: Peanut butter, a banana (ripe is good, overripe is better) and oat flour.
The instructions are also simple: Take half a cup of peanut butter and put it in a medium bowl. Add one and a quarter cups of oat flour. Add a banana. Mash up the banana and mix it all together. If it's too sticky to work with, add a bit more oat flour. If it's too crumbly, add a bit more peanut butter. It's not an exact science - your dog isn't going to care if the ratio is perfect. Just get it to a state that feels like cookie dough and form into cookies. You can roll it out and use cookie cutters or just roll into individual balls and flatten with your palm.
Once the cookies are ready, put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, and let cool for about 10 minutes before giving them to your very, very good dog.
See - we told you it was easy!
We love homemade dog treat recipes with pumpkin because it's a great ingredient that's nutritious and full of fiber. It's also easy to work with, particularly if you buy it already pureed in a can. One important note about that, though - if you're buying canned pumpkin for dog treats, make sure the can is just pureed pumpkin, not canned pumpkin pie mix, which has added sugar and shouldn't be given to dogs.
You may have already guessed that as with peanut butter, pumpkin puree can be put into an ice cube tray and frozen to make healthy, frozen pumpkin dog treats. They're easy and a great snack, so if you don't have a lot of time, take the easy route! They also have a beautiful color that looks great in pictures.
If you want to mix it up a bit, though, we recommend mixing pumpkin puree with an equal amount of yogurt. As always when making healthy dog treats, use plain, ideally Greek yogurt that has no added sugars. The yogurt has some probiotics that can help with digestion, plus it adds a little extra flavor for your pup!
We're going to give you a baked recipe that's a little tougher than the one above with peanut butter (though if you want, you can just add a bit of pumpkin puree to that recipe). Just remember that your dog is going to love it even if it's not perfect, so give it a shot!
For the ingredients, you'll need:
To make the treats, just follow these steps:
See? That wasn't so hard!
We really hope these homemade dog treat recipes have made you realize that no matter what your level of cooking skill, it's always possible to make healthy, homemade dog treats for your best friend. And of course if you want to make things even easier (and make treats that are even better), we can't help but recommend our Pupsicle and Baked Biscuit Mixes. Both have everything you need for healthy, delicious treats - all you have to do is add water.
If you'd like the easiest homemade dog treats you'll ever make, check out our Baked Biscuit Starter Kit and our Pupsicle Starter Kit. And if your pup deserves to have it all (and what dog doesn't??), then take a look at our Doggie Deluxe Box.
Happy dog treat making!
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