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Recipes for Dogs: Homemade Dog Treats

Updated on August 19, 2012
My Chihuahua cross Shitzu pup, Chanel is the fussiest eater but can never say no to the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Treats - find the recipe below!
My Chihuahua cross Shitzu pup, Chanel is the fussiest eater but can never say no to the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Treats - find the recipe below! | Source

Homemade Dog Treats for Your Favorite Canine

We bake and cook things for ourselves, our families and our friends but "Man's Best Friend" often gets stuck with packaged foods and cardboard treats. Why not show your favorite pup some love by baking him or her their own homemade dog treats!

Even if you have a fussy dog, he or she won't be able to resist chowing down on these tasty treats! These recipes are also edible for humans too, if you really feel like it!

Remember that dogs come in various shapes and sizes and so do their tummies! Be sure to choose the size of your dog treats which suits your dog. Small dogs will only need small treats while a big pooch will be happy with something bigger!

Feel free to use different shaped cookie cutters - perhaps you could make themed cookie cutters to suit a holiday, season or event! Try gingerbread men for Christmas, hearts on Valentines day to show your pooch some love and pumpkins for Thanksgiving or Halloween!

Foods Dogs Can't Eat

Once you start baking for your dog you can try adding in different ingredients and using different flavours, but it's important to know what dogs can't eat!

  • Chocolate
    This is the food most know is toxic to dogs. The reason why chocolate is bad for dogs is due to the theobromine it contains. Eating chocolate, even small amounts, can cause abnormal heart rhythm, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, tremors, seizures and even death.
  • Avocado
    You may be surprised to find out, but dogs can't eat avocado. This is because they contain a substance called persin. Persin is found in the leaves, seed, bark and the avocado itself and can be toxic to dogs if too much is ingested.
  • Alcohol
    This is most likely an obvious one but something you need to remember! Alcohol has the same damaging effects to a dog's brain and liver as it does to humans, however, it takes a much smaller amount to cause serious damage. Just a small amount of alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coordination problems, central nervous system damage, difficulty breathing, coma and even death. If you have a small dog, these effects would be even greater.
  • Garlic and Onion
    It doesn't matter what type of garlic or onion - raw, cooked, powdered, dehydrated - they can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. An occaisonal small dose may be okay, but consuming a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning in your dog.
  • Grapes, Raisins and Sultanas
    It's not a good idea to give dogs grapes or raisins as they have been known to cause kidney failure in dogs. Even a small amount can make a dog sick. The signs of kidney failure include repeated vomiting and lethargy. Your dog might be able to eat oatmeal doggy treats, but please - skip the raisins!
  • Caffeine - Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Cocoa etc.
    Caffeine in large amounts can be fatal for a dog and there is no way of treating a dog who has consumed too much. Caffeine poisoning in dogs can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, fits, muscle tremors, heart palpitations and bleeding.
  • Macadamia Nuts
    Macadamia nuts can poison dogs and it only takes a small amount to make them seriously ill. Symptoms of poising include weakness, paralysis of the back legs, vomiting, fever, muscle tremors and rapid heart rate.
  • Dairy Products
    Dairy is a common issue for many dogs. Dairy products can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues in your pooch and can also set up food allergies which often cause extreme itching.
  • Xylitol
    Xylitol will cause an increase in the insulin in your dog's body - this will cause blood sugar levels to drop and can cause liver failure. Initial symptoms can include vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination and seizures.
  • Bones
    While it might seem natural to give a dog a bone, it's easy for them to choke on it. When a dog chews on a bone, it can cause it to splinter which will also cause an obstruction in the bowel or intestines and cause lacerations of your dog's intestinal system.
  • Fat Trimmings
    While you might want to feed your dog table scraps that contain meat fat, they are extremely dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat (both cooked and uncooked) can cause pancreatis in dogs.
  • Raw Egg
    Raw eggs can give your dogs food poisoning from bacteria such as Salmonella and E Coli and the enzyme in the eggs can also interfere with the absorption of particular B vitamins in dogs. This impaired absorption can cause skin problems and problems with your dogs coat if they eat raw eggs for a long time.
  • Raw Meat and Fish
    Raw meat and raw fish, can contain bacteria that causes food poisoning. Some types of fish can also contain a parasite which causes "fish disease" or "salmon poisoning disease" which, if not treated, can be fatal within two weeks. Symptoms of this poisining include fever, vomiting and enlarged lymph nodes. These bacterias are killed off when the fish is cooked properly.
  • Salt
    Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination in your dog, leading to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of sodium ion poisoning include, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, depression, seizures, tremors and can even cause death.
  • Sugary Foods
    Just like with humans, eating too much sugar can lead to obesity, dental problems and diabetes.
  • Unbaked Yeast
    Thing about when you have a loaf of yeasted bread - the dough rises. The dough will do the same to your dog's stomach if it were to eat it. This swelling of the dough will stretch the dog's stomach and cause severe pain. The yeast fermentation that causes to make the dough rise produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda
    While it may seem natural to add baking powder and baking soda to your homemade dog treats, both are highly toxic to dogs. Make sure to leave them out to protect your dog from serious food-related illness.

Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats
Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats | Source

Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats

These are my two dogs, favourite homemade treats. Even though Chanel is an incredibly fussy eater, she can never pass these up!


  • 1 cup Oat Flour, made by grinding oats in a food processor of blender
  • 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 2/3 cup Boiling Water


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F.
  2. Combine oats and flour.
  3. Mix in the peanut butter and boiling water. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour or if the dough won't come together, add more water.
  4. Knead the dough and roll out onto a floured board to 1/4" thickness.
  5. Cut dough into shapes and place onto baking sheets lined with baking paper.
  6. Bake for around 40 minutes or until the edges have browned.
  7. Leave the dog treats to cool before giving them to your pup.
The homemade dog treats get the lick of approval!
The homemade dog treats get the lick of approval! | Source

Homemade Cheesy Dog Treats


  • 1/2C grated cheese
  • 3/4C oat flour/wholemeal flour
  • 2 tbsp oil


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F
  2. Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl
  3. Add enough water or stock to the ingredients to form a dough.
  4. Roll out and cut dough into shapes
  5. Place treats on a baking sheet and bake for ~15 minutes or until edges are browned
  6. Leave to cool before giving the treats to your pup.

To store: place into an airtight container and use within a week or freeze in ziplock bags and use within 6 months.

Have you ever made homemade treats for your pet?

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    • kissayer profile image

      Kristy Sayer 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thank you both :) I didn't know a lot of the things dogs couldn't eat either! Things that you think would be harmless can do serious damage, so it's good to be informed!

    • jennzie profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I know my dog would love these recipes! It's also great that you listed the foods that dogs shouldn't eat- I didn't even know about some of them.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I didn't know about the avocado or baking powder and soda! It's amazing how many homemade dog treat recipes call for garlic. I wouldn't take a chance. Your treats sound healthy and yummy! (for the dog, I mean). Voted up and shared.

    • kissayer profile image

      Kristy Sayer 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thanks Sarah! I think it's great to cook for your pets, after all, our pets are often just another member of our family!

    • kissayer profile image

      Kristy Sayer 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      You're welcome! Thanks for reading :)

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Great hub. Thanks for the great recipes. My dogs will appreciate the work you put into this. Bow Wow!!!!

    • kissayer profile image

      Kristy Sayer 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I was surprised at some of the foods that dogs can't eat, so I definitely learnt a lesson or two writing them all out!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 5 years ago from United States

      My dog would love these! Thanks for the great list of what not to feed them.