Did you know that parsley is a key ingredient in homemade dog treats to combat bad breath? A zesty way to add some spice to your dog’s diet is to make homemade biscuits as a healthy and affordable alternative to store-bought treats. Apart from learning about interesting ingredients that boost wellness, there are other wonderful advantages, too.

Here is one of my favorite recipes, taken from the blog My Baking Addiction:

Peanut butter pumpkin dog treats
Yield: About 24 small treats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes

1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1/2 cup oats (option if your dog is on a grain-free diet, substitute an extra 1/4 cup grain-free flour)
2 cups whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, or gluten-free flour
3 Tbsp all natural peanut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, and cinnamon. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, and peanut butter until combined. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.

Pour onto a floured surface and roll the dough until it is 1/2" thick. Cut out the biscuits using a cookie cutter. The dough will be a little sticky; a dusting of flour on your hands and the rolling pin will help! Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.

Place on cooling racks and let cool thoroughly. The biscuits will harden as they cool.

* 1/2 tsp of salt can be added to these treats to help extend the shelf life, but it is optional.
* Cinnamon is fine to use in recipes for dogs; however, do not use a pumpkin spice blend or anything that could contain nutmeg. It is toxic to dogs and, even in small amounts, can make them sick.

Perhaps your dog is suffering from weight issues or poor dental hygiene. Homemade dog treats are a great way to incorporate special ingredients that can help to optimize your dog’s health. Although your dog’s furrowed eyebrows, cocked head, and wagging tail may seduce you into feeding him more treats than is necessary, be sure not to overdo it. Your dog needs a nutritionally balanced diet and your delicious treats should be included in the overall calorie count to prevent obesity.  

You have complete control over the ingredients. Leave out the additives, preservatives, and fillers that have no nutritional value. If you know your dog is crazy about certain foods, have at it! Or, if there are particular flavors he’s not a fan of, leave those out. Feel at ease knowing you’re feeding your dog something healthy with wholesome ingredients. Best of all, if your dog has sensitivities to certain ingredients or is on a special diet, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on specialty items when you can simply make it at home. 

Making your own dog treats is typically quite cost-effective. Especially if you already have many of the ingredients on hand—perhaps you have parsley growing in your garden. Necessary ingredients that you do have to buy can often be found in the bulk section of your grocery store, and if the cost seems expensive up front, remember that you will likely be able to make many batches from your one purchase.

Size of your dog
When you make homemade treats, the control is in your hands, so you can make them an appropriate size for your dog. A Rhodesian ridgeback and a Yorkshire terrier certainly do not need the same size biscuit. The choices available online are ample for buying fun dog biscuit cookie cutters in different shapes and sizes.   

Foster your relationship
What better way to say “I love you” to your dog than by making him something special to eat?

The Internet provides countless recipes for homemade dog treats. Be cautious, though— not all of them are advantageous to canine health. Check with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist if you are unsure about certain ingredients.

Interested in making treats that will combat bad breath? Check out thekitchn.com and fresh-eggs-daily.com.

Bekka Burton is a cat lover, freelance writer, ESL teacher, and intrepid traveler from upstate New York. 

Comments (8) -

MBTUnited States
1/13/2015 6:47:52 AM #

Thanks Bekka, this is such a great idea and looks pretty easy too!

Dogs I Love
Dogs I LoveUnited States
1/25/2015 8:39:32 AM #

Looks like its very easy to prepare, i'll be making this one for my dog. Thanks for the recipe!


Linda Allison
Linda AllisonUnited States
1/30/2015 5:32:45 AM #

Where's the parsley in the above recipe?

BrigitteUnited States
1/30/2015 6:24:50 AM #

What a wonderful idea and I know my dogs will love them. Thank you,

GCUnited States
1/30/2015 9:10:58 AM #

We have a board for vegan dogs and have many vegan dog biscuit recipes - I printed your post telling people to use egg substitutes  but  that I is a little problematic although I think they are all safe for dogs .  See vegan treats here:  www.pinterest.com/gconsciousness/vegan-dogs/

Theresa Abrams
Theresa AbramsUnited States
1/30/2015 10:36:25 AM #

Thank you for posting this article.  I have been making my dogs treats at home for the past year.  Aside from the health aspect, with all the recalls of products made in China it is scary.  This way I know what my dogs are getting and it is fresh.  I have a several recipes that give them a little variety.   I make a couple large batches, divide them in ziplock sandwich bags and freeze them until needed.  Summer time they are great!

AprilUnited States
1/31/2015 9:16:58 AM #

My Nutmeg is allergic to milk, eggs, wheat, oats, barley, and both fish and poultry mixes. So basically what is found in most dog food a treats. I can be very frustrating when reading labels for items we pick or that are gifts. This recipe is a great starting point. Thanks @GC for the egg substitute idea and sharing vegan recipes on Pinterest!

2/4/2015 3:52:47 PM #

sounds delish. My dog will sure love this!


SusanUnited States
2/17/2015 11:13:12 AM #

What about adding some peas and shredded carrots?

ClaudiaUnited States
2/23/2015 9:01:22 AM #

I'm going to try this!

Funny coincidence: My previous dog loved pureed pumpkin; and her name was Beka!

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