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Making Homemade Dog Treats (With My Dog)

Earlier this year, my family adopted a silver lab puppy named Kiva, and I am fully obsessed with him (as most dog owners are with their dogs). When my family got together to cook for Thanksgiving this year, I thought that Kiva deserved to be spoiled with some special treats, too. 

Dog treats are surprisingly easy to make, especially because most of the key ingredients can be found in your pantry. Chances are if you have some peanut butter, flour, and pumpkin on hand, you can whip up something that your dog is sure to love.


Kiva and I tried out two different treat recipes together, and I gave them a score based on how easy they were for me to make and how much Kiva enjoyed them (which was the easy part, because this dog will eat anything). Enjoy!

things to keep in mind

The most important thing to know when making your own dog treats is what foods are toxic to dogs. We know the obvious ones, like chocolate and grapes, but there are some foods that you may not know could harm your furry friend. Make sure you avoid using garlic, macadamia nuts, avocados, and the rest of the items on the above list to keep your pet healthy and happy when they enjoy their treats.

On the other hand, there are some human foods that are good for dogs, too! Feeding your pup fish, honey, peanut butter, or yogurt can provide them with some healthy vitamins. However, every dog is different, so make sure you do your research for your specific breed. And when in doubt, check in with your vet to make sure your dog is getting enough nutrition in their food and treats.

Both of the recipes listed in this article are safe for human consumption–although I don’t know if I’d recommend it!

pumpkin and peanut butter dog treats

These pumpkin and peanut butter treats looked so cute, and since it’s fall, the pumpkin was in season and easy to find at the grocery store. Plus, pumpkin is actually very nutritious for dogs!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup natural peanut butter (with NO Xylitol or sugar substitutes)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, and peanut butter. Stir until combined.
  3. Add in flour.
  4. Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out dough to ¼ inch.
  5. Cut out shapes of dough using a cookie cutter or knife and place on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20-40 minutes.
  7. Remove treats from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for one month, or in the freezer for six months.

My rating: 8/10 – this treat was pretty easy to make! The only thing that was hard was mixing the flour with the wet ingredients, but if you stick with it, it only takes a couple minutes.

Kiva’s rating: 10/10 – he loves peanut butter and tried to eat it out of the can while I was baking!

Overall score: 9/10 – highly recommend.

honey oat peanut butter no-bake treats

These treats looked super easy to make, and required no oven and very little of your time. No-bake treats are also perfect if you live in a college dorm or other place with no oven–all you need is a refrigerator!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of oats
  • ½ cup of peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup of honey
  • ⅓ cup of peanuts

Instructions:

  1. Stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, then chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  2. Roll into one-inch balls and store in the refrigerator.

My rating: 10/10 – super quick and easy to put together! All I had to do was combine all of the ingredients.

Kiva’s rating: 10/10 – loved the peanut butter. My (human) sister also loved these treats!

Overall score: 10/10 – would make again.

comparison

Overall, I would say that the honey oat treats were our favorite of the two recipes. It was super easy to make and only took a few minutes to put together, plus they are apparently good for both dogs and humans. However, the peanut butter pumpkin treats weren’t too hard either, and they made my kitchen smell SO good when they were baking! Kiva doesn’t really have a preference; he enjoyed both of the treats and would eat absolutely anything he could find.

I had so much fun making these treats and spoiling my dog with them this week! I hope you and your dog enjoy these recipes as much as we did!

Jordyn is a junior at CU Boulder double-majoring in music and psychology. When she isn't writing her next article, you can probably find her reading, exploring restaurants around Boulder, or hanging out with her silver lab puppy.
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