Homemade Dog Treats

By Ann Fulton

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Homemade Dog Treats are easy to make and will delight your furry friends-with ingredients you approve of!


Many years ago, when my then-two-year-old son was recovering from a tonsillectomy, our dog Angus got sick. Really sick.

I vividly remember walking my older son to the bus stop one cold winter morning. My husband had just left for an extended business trip, my house smelled like a very ill dog, and my younger son—who refused to eat, drink, or sleep–was flopped over my shoulder. I couldn’t leave him alone, and my older son was too young to stand at the bus stop unattended. I literally burst into tears at the sight of my friend Judy.

She immediately asked if there were complications from the surgery and if there was anything she could do. I managed a little laugh and said that I thought I had everything under control—until the dog got sick. That curveball tested my limits.

Angus, our beloved springer spaniel, was on and off IV fluids for several days and for many weeks I fed him a vet-recommended diet of rice and boiled meat. When a friend shared her timesaving trick of mixing jarred baby food beef into the cooked rice, it was a breath of fresh air. As I played nurse to son and dog, any timesaving shortcut was a welcome lifeline.

Homemade Dog Treats are easy to make and will delight your furry friends--with ingredients you approve of!

That was the first time I cooked specifically for Angus. We had always stuck to dog food and a few safe treats, as the occasional scraps from our plates never sat well. So later, when I decided to bake homemade dog bones, I did some research as to the ingredients that are generally considered safe for our furry friends.

Some dogs develop skin issues from wheat, so these wholesome bones rely on rice flour. A whole can of pumpkin (I sometimes use canned sweet potato as an alternative) supplies fiber and beta-carotene, and protein-rich eggs are an easily digestible source of riboflavin and selenium. Though your dog will likely want more than one or two of these treats at a time, portion control is always advisable.

Homemade Dog Treats are easy to make and will delight your furry friends--with ingredients you approve of!

Every pet is different, but Angus tolerates these treats quite well and gets incredibly excited when he sees or smells one. If you’re the kind of cook who appreciates positive feedback from those who benefit from your time in the kitchen (who doesn’t?), these homemade treats will likely accomplish that!


An important note: Dogs tend to adore peanut butter and can smell it a mile away. Most dogs tolerate peanut butter, and it’s a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. It is critical, however, to avoid any peanut butter that contains xylitol. Some manufacturers have started using this product because its level of sweetness is similar to sucrose, but with approximately one-third less calories. According to VCA Hospitals xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs. I use Jif for these treats, but always check your label because ingredients may change over time.

Homemade Dog Treats are easy to make and will delight your furry friends--with ingredients you approve of!

 People foods that your pets shouldn’t eat:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine
  • Citrus
  • Coconut and Coconut Oil
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk and Dairy
  • Nuts (peanuts are a legume but see note about xylitol)
  • Onions, Garlic and Chives
  • Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
  • Salt and Salty Snack Foods
  • Xylitol (check peanut butter labels as it is sometimes used in place of sugar)
  • Yeast Dough

For more information as to why these foods are harmful, use this link: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets. (Source: ASPCA; following recipe adapted from Betty Crocker)

There is also literature that puts bacon, shrimp, pomegranate, peaches, plums, sugary foods, and people medicine in the off-limits-for-your-pet box.

Homemade Dog Treats are easy to make and will delight your furry friends--with ingredients you approve of!

Homemade Dog Treats
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Total Time: 40 min
Yield: 34 cookies (when using a 3-inch long bone-shaped cookie cutter and shaping the last of the scraps into rounds)
These are sure to please your four-legged friends—and they make thoughtful holiday gifts for their owners!
  • 3 cups (480 grams) brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (64 grams) peanut butter (I use Jif—make sure your brand does not contain xylitol)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (15-ounce) pumpkin or sweet potato puree (not the sweetened pie mix)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In large bowl stir all of the ingredients until a soft dough forms. (I find it easier to start with a spoon and then to use my hands.)

Divide the dough in half. Using brown-rice-floured rolling pin (or between two pieces of parchment paper*), roll each dough half to a 1/2-inch thickness on a rice-floured surface. Cut into desired shape with a cookie cutter, and then place the cutouts an inch apart on a lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Reroll any scraps.**

Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until dry and golden brown. Cool for 1-2 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Store the treats in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week, or refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.


*If using parchment paper, the dough will begin to stick after repeated rolling. You can either dust it lightly with brown rice flour or use fresh parchment as the dough beings to stick.

**In lieu of using a cookie cutter, you may roll the dough into balls and then flatten the balls into 1/2-inch thick circles.

A few more thoughts… I recently shared the recipe with a friend who said she rolled the dough into a cylinder, chilled, and then sliced before baking. I haven’t tried this myself, but mention it as a possibility. Another friend said she saw a recipe for dog treats that included fish oil and mashed sardines—and warned that they should be baked with the windows open!


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  1. Jessica

    Coconut oil is good for dogs. It kills parasites in their intestines. And makes their oat shiny.

  2. Becky Roberson

    I had to tweak the recipe a bit to account for my pups allergies

    I used 3 c brown rice four, 1/2 Smuckers Natural peanut butter, 3 mashed bananas, and 1 individual cup of cinnamon applesauce. I rolled into 1” balls, flattened, and cooked for 30 min. At 325°. My pups couldn’t wait to get some!
    By the way, I made my own brown rice flour. It’s so easy- pour rice into blender and set the speed to crushed ice. Let it run for about 2 minutes. A 32 oz bag of rice makes a little over 5 c of flour.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Becky, I’m delighted your dogs loved these, and I appreciate your positive review along with your helpful hints!

    2. Terrie

      THANK YOU BECKY!! I love you for this!! I tried doing it in my food processor and dulled the blades immediately. My hubby isn’t keen on paying $15 for a bag of brown rice flour. You definitely just sold my problem ❤️

  3. Em

    When you say lightly grease … what is the best grease to use ? And if I don’t need hat many can I just half the recipe ?? Thanks

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Em, You can use a spray or an oil like olive or canola…even shortening. And the recipe can definitely be cut in half.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Mollie, I have kept them a week or so at room temperature, although they will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks and may be frozen for several months.

  4. Annette riggsbee

    My Grand dog loved these goodies!
    I am now making them on a regular basis for her!! Thanks so much for everything you share!!

    1. Ann Post author

      They aren’t soft per se, although they aren’t nearly as hard to chew as many dog treats. I would think your dog could handle them with back teeth only. If you try, I hope he (she?) enjoys them.

  5. Pamela Odom

    My dog is only allowed boiled rice with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Even with that she loose stools. I would like to give her a treat that would agree with Vet food restriction. Will this recipe be ok?

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Pamela, Given your dog’s restrictive diet, I’d check with your vet to make sure. It would be so nice to find a treat that agrees with her.

      1. Ann Post author

        I’m so glad your dog is a fan, Ashley! I haven’t frozen the dough but am relatively confident it would freeze well if wrapped airtight. I have frozen the baked treats, and they hold up very well.

  6. Jenn

    The AKC claims that coconut (milk or the flesh) is good for dogs in moderate amounts. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but I have also read that in several other articles. Just wanted to put it out there! Please let me know if my completely mistaken haha

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Jenn, I wasn’t sure so myself, so I did some quick research and found that when it comes to drinking coconut milk or coconut water or eating the flesh, the AKC, as you mention, as well as the ASPCA, both say they are safe for dogs in small amounts. I read a caution to keep pets away from the coconut shell because it’s rough and can get lodged in their throat. Of course, I’ve learned from experience that some dogs naturally have stronger stomachs than others!

  7. Alicelynne

    My dogs and I love these treats! They smell good! (They taste good!) They are not too hard for their teeth! The recipe is easy to prepare and I love knowing exactly what ingredients going are going into the treats.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks so much for your sweet feedback, Alicelynne. I’m delighted that you and your puppies are fans!

  8. Deb Greider

    Where do you get brown rice flour? Is there something I could substitute? I have spelt flour in my freezer. Would that do?

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Deb, Brown rice flour is usually with the other alternative flours like almond flour, oat flour, etc. That said, I think you could substitute a variety of flours, and your spelt flour would likely work well.

      1. Debra Greider

        Thank you, I might try that if I can’t find Brown rice flour. I want to make these for my sister’s dog and I would like to stay away from gluten just to be safe. Thanks again, Deb