If good dogs deserve a treat, and every dog is a good dog, then it behooves doggie parents to provide a tasty morsel or two every day. Creating homemade dog treats can be a great option to consider, and we have a few easy options.
Apple Breakfast Muffins
With this simple recipe, your sweet pooch can enjoy a breakfast muffin at the same time you enjoy your own breakfast. Line a muffin tin with muffin cups. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine two and a half cups of oatmeal with 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce and two eggs. Fill each muffin cup about halfway and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
Easy Peanut Butter Balls
Dogs love peanut butter dog treats, but make sure you use unsweetened natural peanut butter for these simple no-bake homemade treats. Mix ½ cup of peanut butter with one cup of oats and add a couple of tablespoons of water. Form into small treat-size balls and then let these rest in the fridge for a few hours. We’ve seen variations on this recipe across the internet, some include bits of strawberry or perhaps some mashed banana.
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Treats
Here’s an easy recipe from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (a fun vegan website with human recipes, too). Mix one cup of oats with 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree (make sure it’s 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling) and ¼ peanut butter. Grind the oats in your food processor and then add the pumpkin and peanut butter and blend again. (You also probably could use oat flour for this recipe)
Once that’s completely blended roll it out on a floured surface and use cookie cutters to create fun shapes, such as a tiny paw cookie cutter. Bake these on a parchment-lined cookie sheet in a preheated 300-degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes.
Fresh Fruit & Veggie Treat Options
One of the easiest “homemade” dog treats you can provide is a tiny piece of fruit or some veggies. Dogs can enjoy a plump blueberry, a nib of frozen watermelon (ideal for a hot day) or perhaps a smidge of carrot or a bit of cooked sweet potato.
Other options include pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew melon and, of course, pumpkin, and a bit of unsweetened canned pumpkin can help alleviate an upset tummy for many dogs.
Dogs also can eat treats such as apple, peaches and pears. However, it is important to ensure that they don’t eat the seeds or pits as these contain cyanide.
Homemade Dog Treats: Ingredients to Avoid
While there are quite a few healthy nibbles and ingredients that your dog can enjoy, there are also options that can upset their stomach or worse, can cause serious health issues, such as kidney failure.
It is always best to talk with your veterinarian about foods and treats, but, in general, you should never feed your dog the following foods, which can be toxic to dogs:
• Grapes (and raisins)
• Onions (and garlic)
• Chocolate (especially dark chocolate)
• Some Nuts
• Sugary Foods & Food w/Xylitol
When it comes to foods such as nuts, some of these are toxic, such as macadamia nuts and some can be choking hazards. Additionally, nuts often have a high fat content, which can cause upset tummies. Nuts also are not recommended for dogs with pancreatitis.
If you feed your dog any type of peanut butter or nut butter, we also recommend opting for natural butters as these contain no sugar or xylitol. Xylitol is very dangerous for dogs and can even cause liver failure.
How Many Calories Should Your Dog Eat?
It’s important to factor in the number of calories in each treat you provide for your dog. Treats should only provide about 10% of their total daily caloric intake. The total number of calories your dog needs is based on their current weight, but their age and activity level also factor into the equation.
For instance, a 20-pound dog needs about 500 calories per day if they are at their ideal weight. This means only about 50 calories should come from treats. So, not only should you provide the healthiest possible treats, but these also should be fairly low in calories. If your dog is very active, it might be necessary to feed them more than 500 calories, and if they are overweight and sedentary, you probably should reduce the calories based on your veterinarian’s recommendations.
Our Homemade Dog Treats
If the idea of hefting the stand mixer out of the cupboard or collecting a myriad of mixing bowls and ingredients, sounds a bit too daunting or you simply want to treat your furry friend to some gourmet organic dog treats, Naked Dog Bistro is here to help.
We fresh bake homemade dog treats each day in the Naked Dog Bistro kitchen, and all of our dog treats are gluten-free, grain-free and free of all artificial colors and flavors. Our daily selection includes an assortment of dog cookies as well as specialty items such as doggie donuts, dog sushi and our popular doggie French fries.
If you need something for a special occasion, we are a full-service dog bakery. We can provide you with custom dog cakes and cupcakes. As with our homemade dog treats, all of our dog cakes and cupcakes are created with natural, wholesome organic ingredients and we offer an assortment of tasty flavors, including peanut butter, carrot, carob chip, pumpkin, cheese and more.
We also create small-batch fresh dog food in several flavors, and all of our organic dog food is gluten and grain-free and preservative-free. If you’ve been searching for homemade dog food, grain-free dog food or gluten-free dog food, consider giving our fresh dog food a try.
At Naked Dog Bistro, we also offer free local dog food delivery anywhere in Laguna Beach, and if you live outside of Laguna, drive on over and we will have your food ready to go as soon as you arrive.
Visit Naked Bistro & Bring Your Furry Friend!
Whether you want to grab some of our homemade dog treats, order a dog cake or browse through our pet boutique, we look forward to meeting you and your furry companions soon. We are located in downtown Laguna Beach at 424 Forest Avenue, next to Lumberyard.