When it comes to training your pup, the right treats can make all the difference. We asked our friend John Woods, founder of All Things Dogs, if he could share with us some healthy dog snacks that you can make right in your own home. According to John, while looking through your local pet store you may be surprised at all the additives that some dog treat companies use in their products. When you make your treats at home you can rest easy knowing exactly what is in them.

    The first treat on John's list is Peanut Butter Biscuits.

    He writes, "Peanut butter is a firm favorite with many dogs. Just check the ingredients before you feed it to your pooch. Some peanut butters contain the sweetener xylitol which is actually toxic to dogs!"

    Ingredients:

    • 2/3 cup pumpkin purée
    • ¼ cup peanut butter
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3 cups flour

    Instructions:

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Mix the pumpkin purée, peanut butter, and eggs in a bowl. Once mixed, slowly add ½ cup of flour at a time to the mixture until it’s no longer sticky. You may need more flour than the original 3 cups. Remove the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface for 3-4 minutes. Roll the dough out and cut them into cookie shapes, placing on the baking tray as you go. Place these into the oven and cook until golden brown, usually 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before you feed to Fido! 

    Next up are these Apple and Carrot Biscuits.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 ½ cups of flour
    • ½ oats
    • 1 TBSP apple sauce
    • 1 apple cored and grated
    • ½ cup carrot peeled and grated
    • 1 egg
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 

    Instructions:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. In one bowl mix the flour and oats. In another bowl, mix the apple sauce, apple, carrot, oil and egg. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Roll out the dough and cut into desired cookie shapes. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until biscuits are firm. Allow them to cool completely before you feed to your four-legged friend.

    Another favorite with many pooches are these Cheesy Biscuits.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups flour
    • ½ cup oats
    • 2/3 cup apple sauce
    • 2/3 grated cheese
    • 2 TBSP olive oil

    Instructions:

    In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients. The mixture will be a little wet. Pat into a flat disc, cover with food wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out between the wrap to around ¼ inch thickness. Cut into desired cookie shapes. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until brown and firm. These will store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

    Chicken Treats are a great way to use leftover rotisserie chicken you may end up with.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
    • 2 cups flour
    • 15.3 ounce container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
    • 2/4 cup water
    • 1 egg

    Instructions:

    Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix fully. Batter will be sticky and thick. Using a spoon, scoop the batter into dollops on the baking tray. Use the back of the spoon to flatten as you go. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Allow them to cool completely before you feed to Fido. Freeze any that you don’t think you will use – defrost fully before feeding next time.

    Last but not least are these Liver Treats.

    John states, "A perfect addition to your training routine, these liver treats are super easy to make and they only have one ingredient.  Liver. Source some raw liver. Chop into small blocks, any size that suits your breed of dog."

    Instructions:

    Lay the liver on a baking tray and place into an oven, on a low heat for 2-3 hours. Take them out and allow to cool. You'll have some high value treats to head out on your walk or training session. They will last a good 3-4 days in the fridge, or if you want to cook a large batch, you can freeze some ready for another week.

    According to John, "Making your own treats at home can often be cheaper than shop bought – not only that but you know exactly what’s going into them. They don’t last as long as shop bought, but that’s because you’re not adding any preservatives. Store them in airtight containers and freeze where possible. These 5 ideas are our favorites, but you may find once you start baking, you find your own creations. Check the ingredients are safe for Fido and figure out how any treats fit into their daily nutritional requirements. Happy Baking!"

    We couldn't agree more, John!

    Topics: Dog Training