27 Homemade Dog Treats That Pets Love

Written by Katarina Betterton
Published: September 28, 2023
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Good puppies deserve good treats — and sometimes, the store-bought ones just don’t cut it. Perhaps your dog has an allergy to a certain ingredient, or maybe you’re all out of treats and won’t get to the store again soon. Whatever the reason is, your dog(s) will thank you if you choose to make dog treats from home!

Because dogs have significantly fewer taste buds than humans, flavors don’t need to “pop” as much. Many homemade dog treats only require a few simple, kitchen staple ingredients for a lip-smacking woof of approval from your pet.

Keep reading to discover 27 delicious homemade dog treats that your pets will love.

Toxic Ingredients for Dogs

chocolate bars and pralines with sprinkle cocoa powder

Did you know it’s a specific ingredient in chocolate that makes dogs so sick?

©mathefoto/Shutterstock.com

Dogs don’t process every protein, compound, and chemical the same way humans do. In fact, some of them can cause terrible reactions that lead to death. While you might love chocolate, garlic, or nutmeg, save those for your own baking. Including even a small amount of them homemade dog treats may put your pup’s health at risk. 

Dr. Cheri Honnas, Veterinary Advisor to Bone Voyage Dog Rescue, told A-Z Animals that humans must be aware of the common pitfalls of making homemade dog treats. “Not everything we eat is safe for our dogs. Chocolate, grapes, onions — they’re a big no-no. And if ever you see any abrupt change in their eating habits or reactions post-treat time, it’s probably a cue to have a chat with your vet.”

Some of the most toxic ingredients to avoid when making dog treats at home include:

  • Chocolate. While a bar of chocolate itself isn’t the issue, one of the main ingredients in cocoa powder and baking chocolate is. Methylxanthines can cause a litany of bad reactions, including death.
  • Citrus. The essential oil citric acid can cause nervous system depression if eaten in a large amount. 
  • Grapes and/or raisins. Vets don’t know what the toxic substances in grapes and raisins are, but they can (and do!) cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Onions and garlic. If enough is consumed, dogs face gastrointestinal irritation that can lead to anemia.
  • Xylitol. This compound causes insulin release which leads to liver failure. 

27 Homemade Dog Treats that Pets Love

Browse through a list of 27 easy-to-bake dog treats, broken down by flavor profile, that will make any dog salivate.

Peanut Butter Homemade Dog Treats

Jar with peanut butter on peanut background, close up

These peanut butter-based recipes will have your dog’s lips smacking!

©AtlasStudio/Shutterstock.com

Break out the peanut butter jar for seven unique recipes, using a dog’s infamously favorite flavor as the base. When you buy peanut butter, make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol.

Peanut Butter Bones

These quick and easy bone-shaped treats use a few staple ingredients and take less than an hour, from prep to clean up.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Flour, whole wheat or all-purpose (2 cups).
  • Peanut butter (½ cup).
  • Eggs (2).
  • Water (¼ cup).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine flour, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you can form a dough ball that sticks together by itself.
  4. Roll it out.
  5. Cut into shapes with a bone-shaped cookie cutter.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Savory Peanut Butter Treats

For a bit of savory flavor mixed in with the sweetness — and some added moisture — consider trying this recipe that uses stock instead of water.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Flour, whole wheat or all-purpose (1 cup).
  • Peanut butter (½ cup).
  • Unsweetened applesauce (¼ cup).
  • Stock, vegetable, chicken, or beef (¼ cup).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all your ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Make the dough into a ball and roll it out.
  4. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters or a drinking glass.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes.

PB-Coconut Oil Hearts

These tiny treats are perfect for reinforcing training or an after-dinner snack.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Coconut oil (1 cup).
  • Peanut butter (1 cup).
  • Cinnamon (1 teaspoon).

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and melt them together.
  2. Mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the mixture into a mini-heart silicone mold.
  4. Freeze until set (about three hours).

No Bake Honey Oat Peanut Butter Bombs

If you’re really short on time, this one-bowl, no-bake option yields a ton of treats without waiting on an oven.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Oats (1 cup).
  • Peanut butter (½ cup).
  • Honey (⅓ cup).
  • Peanuts (⅓ cup).

Steps:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
  3. Scoop mixture into small balls.
  4. Store in your fridge!

Peanut Butter Applesauce Cookies

Applesauce and oats make your kitchen smell like fall when baking these cookies for your pup.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Whole wheat flour (3 cups).
  • Quick-cook oats (2 cups).
  • Peanut butter (1 cup).
  • Unsweetened applesauce (1 cup)
  • Baking powder (1 teaspoon).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Combine all ingredients in one bowl.
  3. If your dough is too crumbly, add ¼ cup of olive or melted coconut oil.
  4. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and cut shapes.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.

Peanut Butter Banana Shortbread

These one-bowl cookies are light on dishes and calories from fat.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Peanut butter (½ cup).
  • Banana (1, large).
  • Uncooked oats (1 ½ cups).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Blend oats in a food processor until they achieve a powder consistency.
  3. Throw the banana and peanut butter in the processor and mix until combined. The dough should stick together on its own.
  4. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and cut shapes.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

Peanut Butter Joint Jellies

A sweet, savory twist on the regular peanut butter cookie — these gelatin chews support your dog’s joint health while rewarding their good behavior. 

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chicken broth (1 cup).
  • Gelatin (2 packets)
  • Peanut butter (¼ cup).

Steps:

  1. Divide the chicken broth in half.
  2. In one half, pour the gelatin packet in and let it cure for five minutes.
  3. In the other half, combine the peanut butter and broth, microwaving in 15-second intervals. Put side once fully combined.
  4. Pour the peanut butter and broth mixture into the gelatin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
  5. Pour the homogenous mixture into silicon molds and let cool on the counter for 15 minutes.
  6. Move the mold to the fridge and let the treats harden for three to five hours.

Pumpkin Homemade Dog Treats

pumpkins growing in field. Four large, round orange pumpkins are visible growing in a pumpkin patch. Other pumpkins are visible with in the tangle of green pumpkin vines. Oe free pumpkin is visible in the right frame.

Make sure to use the right pumpkin puree — it shouldn’t have sugary additives.

©Loren L. Masseth/Shutterstock.com

For the fall-loving pup (and their parents), these five pumpkin-based homemade dog treat recipes are sensational seasonal picks.

Fall-Flavored Pumpkin Biscuits

When the leaves begin to change, get your pup in the pumpkin spice mood with these tasty treats.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Pumpkin puree (1 cup).
  • Eggs (2).
  • Peanut butter (3 tablespoons).
  • Oat flour (2 1/2 to 4 cups).
  • Cinnamon (½ teaspoon).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk peanut butter, pumpkin, and eggs together.
  3. Fold in 2 ½ cups of flour and cinnamon. 
  4. Add more flour until the dough isn’t sticky anymore.
  5. Roll out dough and cut shapes.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.

Three-Ingredient Pumpkin Squares

With just three ingredients, this easy-to-make treat takes a few minutes out of your day for your dog’s maximum treat enjoyment.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Pumpkin, freshly cooked or unsweetened canned (1 cup).
  • Whole wheat flour (2 cups).
  • Egg (1).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk the egg in a large bowl.
  3. Add pumpkin and combine.
  4. Add in flour to create a dough; knead with your hands until fully mixed.
  5. Roll out dough and cut into ¾ inch squares.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Dog Donuts

If you’re craving a fall-inspired donut with coffee, here’s an easy recipe for your dog to enjoy right along with you!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Brown rice flour (1 cup).
  • Chopped fresh strawberries (¼ cup).
  • Canned unsweetened pumpkin (¾ cup).
  • Water (¼ cup).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine flour and pumpkin in a large bowl.
  3. Fold in strawberries.
  4. Fill the donut mold with dough.
  5. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes.

Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Oat Balls

These simple pumpkin treats bake in just 10 minutes!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Old-fashioned oats (1 cup).
  • Egg (1).
  • Pumpkin puree (½ cup).
  • Natural peanut butter (3 tablespoons).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined well.
  3. Scoop out by tablespoons onto a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Bones

With only three ingredients, this is a quick, easy, and tasty treat recipe your dogs will beg for over and over.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Peanut butter (½ cup).
  • Canned pumpkin puree (½ cup).
  • Oat flour (¾ cup).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix pumpkin and peanut butter together in a large bowl.
  3. Fold in oat flour and knead with your hands.
  4. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick.
  5. Cut into the desired shape.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.

Sweet Potato Homemade Dog Treats

The nutrients in sweet potatoes make it a healthy additive to any homemade dog treat.

©iStock.com/Koval Nadiya

Sweet potatoes and yams have Vitamin A, which helps support the health of dogs’ skin, coat, eyes, nerves, and muscles.

Three-Ingredient Sweet Potato Biscuits

These quick and easy bone-shaped treats use a few staple ingredients and take less than an hour, from prep to clean up.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Flour, whole wheat or all-purpose (2 cups).
  • Peanut butter (½ cup).
  • Eggs (2).
  • Water (¼ cup).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine flour, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you can form a dough ball that sticks together by itself.
  4. Roll it out.
  5. Cut into shapes with a bone-shaped cookie cutter.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Sweet Potato Chews

This low-cost, high-yield treat is perfect for busy pet parents.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Sweet potato (as many as you want to make).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash the sweet potato thoroughly.
  3. Cut down the middle, and then cut each half into ⅓ inch-wide pieces.
  4. Bake for three hours.

Sweet Potato Dog Mint Biscuits

This recipe from Rachael Ray freshens dogs’ breath with a bit of added parsley.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Coconut flour (1 ½ cups).
  • Cooked sweet potato puree (1 ¼ cups).
  • Peanut butter (½ cup).
  • Eggs (4).
  • Olive oil (½ cup).
  • Shredded carrots (⅓ cup).
  • Dried parsley (1 tablespoon).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients.
  3. Press the dough into 1-inch deep oven-safe dog bone molds. 
  4. Bake for 27 minutes.

Crispy Sweet Potato Rounds

Just like the sweet potato chews above, this one-ingredient dehydrating cook makes a healthy and easy-to-prepare treat for your pup.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Sweet potato (however many you’d like). 

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash the sweet potato(s) thoroughly.
  3. Cut the sweet potato into coin-shaped rounds.
  4. Bake for one and a half hours.
  5. Flip the rounds.
  6. Bake for another hour and a half.

Sweet Potato and Apple Twists

Treat your pup like the royalty they are: these look just like a fancy restaurant’s breadsticks.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Sweet potatoes (3).
  • Gala apple, shredded (1).
  • Whole wheat flour (3 cups).
  • Eggs (2).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Half your potatoes and bake them for 40 minutes.
  3. Scoop out the cooked insides of the potato and mash in a bowl until you have three cups worth.
  4. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  5. Combine apples, sweet potato, flour, and eggs in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  6. Roll the dough to create two logs.
  7. Cut smaller pieces off of each and twist them together.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes.

Cheese Homemade Dog Treats

Piece of Belgian Limburger cheese on a cheese board

Dogs should only consume cheese in moderation because of its fat content.

©Picture Partners/Shutterstock.com

When consumed in moderation, cheese can help dogs take pills, build their protein stores, obtain fatty acids, and support their B-complex vitamins.

Carrot and Cheese Snacks

For a midday pick-me-up for your pup, try these unique carrot and cheese biscuit snacks.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Whole wheat flour (2 ¾ cups).
  • Shredded carrots (1 cup).
  • Shredded cheese (1 cup).
  • Bran cereal, but not Raisin Bran (2 cups).
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons).
  • Baking powder (2 teaspoons).
  • Water (1 ½ cups).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine carrots, cheese, and oil in a large bowl.
  3. Combine other ingredients into a smaller bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the large bowl and begin to add water.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Use a spoon to scoop chunks of dough out and place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.

Cheesy Pupsicles

On the hottest summer days, give your pup a savory treat to cool down and enjoy a lazy afternoon.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Shredded cheese (1 cup).
  • Broth, vegetable, beef, or chicken (1 box).

Steps:

  1. Find an ice mold or ice tray.
  2. Pour broth in spaces.
  3. Sprinkle each space with cheese.
  4. Freeze until set.

Cottage Cheese Biscuits

High in protein and low in fat, these cheesy biscuits form smooth snacks for your dog to enjoy.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Cottage cheese (⅔ cup).
  • Milk (6 teaspoons).
  • Flaxseed (6 teaspoons).
  • Egg yolk (1).
  • Oatmeal (2 cups).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Roll dough into small balls.
  4. Place on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

Spinach-Ricotta Pup Cookies

With a striking green color, these are fitting treats for a St. Patty’s Day puppy party.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Oat flour (3 ½ cups).
  • Ricotta cheese (1 cup).
  • Thawed, drained frozen spinach (½ cup).
  • Egg (1).
  • Fat-free milk or water (1 cup).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Mix egg, spinach, and milk/water in a food processor until combined.
  3. Add ricotta and blend.
  4. In a large bowl, add processed ingredients to flour and knead.
  5. Roll dough out ½ inch thick.
  6. Cut into desired shapes.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes. 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pupcakes

Combine two great flavors into one festive dessert for your dog.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Whole wheat flour (2 ½ cups).
  • Rolled oats (½ cup).
  • Egg (1).
  • Water (1 cup).
  • All-natural crunchy peanut butter (1 cup).
  • Pureed pumpkin (½ cup).
  • Cream cheese, softened (16 ounces).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Combine flour and oats.
  3. Slowly add the egg, peanut butter, and water until a firm dough forms.
  4. Place the dough in a mini muffin pan’s spaces.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Combine pumpkin puree and cream cheese until blended.
  7. Place in a piping bag and fill the baked cups.

Meat Homemade Dog Treats

Beef cubed steaks

Include beef in your homemade dog treats for extra flavor and protein.

©BWFolsom/iStock via Getty Images

Dogs love savory, meaty flavors — it’s one of the easiest for them to taste. The next time you want to make treats, consider meat-based treats to augment their nutrient-rich meals.

Beef and Cheddar Biscuits

Without using raw meat, give your pup the savory taste they love in biscuit form.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Rolled oats (1 cup).
  • Unsalted butter, in pieces (⅓ cup).
  • Boiling water (1 cup).
  • Cornmeal (¾ cup). 
  • Granulated sugar (2 teaspoons).
  • Beef bouillon (2 teaspoons).
  • Milk (½ cup).
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (1 cup).
  • Egg, beaten (1).
  • Whole wheat flour (3 cups).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pour boiling water on the oats and butter in a large bowl.
  3. Add all other ingredients besides the flour and mix until well-combined.
  4. Add the flour, one cup at a time.
  5. Roll out to ½ inch thick and cut into desired shapes.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.

Beefy Jerky Treats

Just one ingredient — ground beef — makes this healthy snack a hardy treat for your dog.

Ingredients you’ll need:

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place ground beef on parchment paper and flatter to ⅛ inch thick.
  3. Score the meat into squares.
  4. Bake for eight hours.
  5. Drain the fat into the sink.
  6. Break the meat along your score lines.
  7. Bake for an additional five hours.

Beefy Dog Treats

Shaped as bones, they may make your pup think they’re gnawing on the real thing!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Coconut oil, melted (¼ cup).
  • Egg (1).
  • Unsalted beef broth (½ cup).
  • Peanut butter (½ cup).
  • Oat flour (2 cups).
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats (¼ cup).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix coconut oil, egg, broth, and peanut butter in a large bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients and knead until a dough forms.
  4. Roll out flat, about ½ inch in thickness.
  5. Cut out treats in your desired shape.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.

Salmon Jerky

Dogs go crazy for salmon flavor, so consider making this fishy treat on special occasions.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Salmon filet (however much you want to make).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Check for bones.
  3. Slice thinly to cut down on dehydrating time.
  4. Place sliced meats into the oven.
  5. Check after three hours for doneness. 

Peanut Butter Applesauce Cookies

Applesauce and oats make your kitchen smell like fall when baking these cookies for your pup.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Ground beef (1 pound).
  • Eggs (2).
  • Rolled oats (1 cup).
  • All-purpose flour (1 cup).
  • Water (1 cup).

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Combine ground beef and eggs in a food processor.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats and flour with the processed ingredients until it forms a dough.
  4. Add water and beat until smooth.
  5. Roll dough out to ¼ inch thick.
  6. Cut into desired shapes.
  7. Bake for one hour.

Considerations for Making Dog Treats at Home

Cook Holding Raw Pork

Cooking for your dog can save money and invest you in their health.

©casanisa/Shutterstock.com

Did you know that dogs don’t have as many taste buds as humans? Dr. Honas says, “While we humans are relishing the myriad of flavors with our impressive 9,000 taste buds, our furry pals have just about 1,700. But hey, it doesn’t mean they’re missing out. Dogs can still pick up a bouquet of flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and my personal favorite, umami.”

Dogs also, very interestingly, have taste buds in the back of their throats! So if your dog seems to inhale their food without tasting it, they actually taste it while the food travels through their mouth and down their throats!

Dr. Honnas continued explaining dog taste and smell. “Ever noticed your dog smacking its lips after a sip of water? That’s because they have these unique taste buds right on the tip of their tongues that are all about the flavor of water. Nature’s neat way of ensuring they stay hydrated.

“Also, their sense of smell deeply impacts how they perceive food. If it smells heavenly, they’re diving in! But if it smells off? Nah, they’d probably turn their noses up. This is something I often tell pet owners when they’re trying to introduce new foods.”

So, if you want to make something your dog will enjoy with their 1,700 taste buds, keep in mind a few different considerations:

  • Go light on the sodium. 
  • Be mindful of calories and allergies.
  • Use treats to train and reward or as a meal supplement.
  • Avoid unnecessary seasonings.
  • Use clean, fresh ingredients.

Cooking for Fido: Cost Effective, Safe, and Delicious

Making homemade dog treats at home affords owners many benefits. It’s more economical than buying a large bag of treats at the store, it can get rid of dinner leftovers, and it can suit your dog’s taste to their favorite foods. Plus, it allows you to have an eager sous chef as you bake!

As long as you stay away from the toxic ingredients to dogs’ stomachs — and keep your dog’s treat intake around 10% of their daily calories — your homemade dog treats might become your dog’s new favorite thing.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/:OLGA RYAZANTSEVA


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About the Author

Katarina is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on dogs, travel, and unique aspects about towns, cities, and countries in the world. Katarina has been writing professionally for eight years. She secured two Bachelors degrees — in PR and Advertising — in 2017 from Rowan University and is currently working toward a Master's degree in creative writing. Katarina also volunteers for her local animal shelter and plans vacations across the globe for her friend group. A resident of Ohio, Katarina enjoys writing fiction novels, gardening, and working to train her three dogs to speak using "talk" buttons.

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