homemade dog treats

dog treats header

Last weekend I promised to help my mom with a bake sale at a fundraising event her rescue does every year in Mississauga. It’s always hugely successful and pretty adorable so it seemed only fair to contribute to their first year introducing a bake sale element. I decided to make some little cupcakes with sugar cookie dog bone toppers, sugar cookie wiener dogs, and dog treats. Pause to reflect on the fact I individually packaged these things:

wiener dog treats

The moment I finished the doggies biscuits I knew I was on to something. Justin and I are always super careful about the ingredients we give Tucker (which is so neurotic and pointless, he eats dirt like really who are we kidding) in his food and treats, but ultimately you can never be 100% about what goes into the snacks you give your fur babies (or slip them casually at all times because you spoil your dog and it’s awful and he’s going to be fat and your brother and boyfriend make fun of you and you’re an enabler but anyways). That is, unless of course you make them yourself at home, with easy ingredients, at batch quantities you would be spending a fortune on at the pet store.

I did a little digging and found this recipe for dog treats that contains all good ingredients that are generally (you can’t please everybody!) agreed to be healthy and delicious for dogs and had to share.

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 2 & 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • *bonus item: a dog bone shaped cookie cutter (I got mine in the 100 piece set I got and Home Outfitters but they sell them at Bulk Barn for like $0.69)

dog treats materials

Some of the more culinary-orineted may have this stuff lying around the house. I didn’t even know what pumpkin puree was so I’m going to offer you a bonus round called “where can I find this stuff”? I got the dry ingredients (like whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and flax seed) at Bulk Barn. They had all of it and I was able to buy just what I needed, which meant no weird bags of unidentified powders in the spice cupboard 6 months later (we’ve all been there). I found the applesauce and pumpkin puree at Target (but any grocery store would work, I just happened to be at a Target). Make sure it’s all natural straight up from-the-apple sauce, not the school snack variety because there’s a lot of extra in that. Where is that mysterious pumpkin puree you ask? It is not, as Justin helpfully suggested, in the can food section. I guess because those are canned “meals”, and if you eat pumpkin puree straight out of the can you’re weird, because that stuff smells gross. It’s in the pie section. Which is in the baking aisle. Presumably because the number one use for pumpkin puree is, shockingly, PIE!

I don’t think you need advice on the other stuff, those were just the biggies.

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350º
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, and flax seed.
  3. In another bowl, combine the honey, eggs, oil, water, applesauce and pumpkin puree until everything is blended. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients bowl and stir until you have a consistent “batter”.
  4. Note: This batter is STICKY. You’re going to feel like you can’t possibly roll it out. It reminded me of the champagne cookies we made. You’re going to want a LOT of flour on your counter, and keep it at hand. There may be a way to adjust the recipe to avoid that, but this was my first time. I’ll keep you posted. I tried adding more flour to the mixture but it didn’t make much difference. Rolling it out on a well floured surface works fine though!
  5. Roll it out and use your cookie cutter to cut out bone shapes (or whatever you prefer!) You could also go old school and just do little balls like cookies. At this point you’re basically going for the same technique you use for sugar cookies. Keep the dough rolled out about 1/4″ thick, and use a spatula to pick it up. If your counter isn’t floured enough, the dough won’t want to come up, so keep it dry!
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until they’re very dark and hard. This is where the opposite technique of cookies comes into play.
  7. I don’t think I should have to mention this, but the original recipe did so now I’m worried. Wait until these are cool before you offer them to your dog. OBVIOUSLY.

dog treats process

They actually are delicious though. Obviously I can’t say that with authority but I’m assuming they’re delicious because the recipe made about 3 dozen and Tucker is on a binge to destroy them all. Lucky dog.

These maybe won’t keep your party guests satisfied, but they’d be great as little favours for your pet-loving friends, or as a gift for that health-conscious pet owner friend you have (you can only buy them so many smoothie machines before it gets weird). Or, if you’re like Victoria, you could use them at a dog party (she’s obsessed).

Let us know what you think and if you have some time give it a try! Even your fur babies deserve some celebrating after all.

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