Introduction: Dog Treats

Picture of Dog Treats

Dogs are man's best friend. They are loyal, playful, always happy to see you, and do anything they can to please you. So what do you do in return? You throw them a chalky, gross, plain dog treat that you have always been giving your poor dog since they were a puppy. Give them something they really want, something they'll beg for and at the same time is healthy.
In this instructable, I will go through basic tips and ideas on how to make dog treats, as well as share a recipe that my dog gobbles up!

Step 1: What Not to Feed Your Dog

Picture of What Not to Feed Your Dog

Despite what most people believe, home made dog treats are healthy for your dog if you use the right ingredients. Many home made dog treats are just as healthy, and if not, healthier then the treats at the store. Here are some ingredients that you should never feed your dog or include in their treats:

-Alcoholic drinks and beverages
-Apple Seeds
-Apricot (pit can be fatal)
-Avocado leaves, stems, pits, and skin
-Castor Bean
-Cherry Pits
-Chocolate or Cocoa
-Fruit pits
-Garlic (raw)
-Meats ( that are raw and may contain viruses)
-Onions (raw; can be fatal to Akita and Shiba breeds)
-Potato Leaves and Stems
-Rhubarb leaves
-Sugar (excessive amounts can cause diabetes)
-Tea Tree
-Tomato Leaves and stems

Also note that some other ingredients such as dairy products, corn products, and garlic are common dog allergies and you should know how your dog reacts to these ingredients before feeding them excessive amounts of it. If you feed your dog foods that they are allergic to, they may vomit and become sick.

Step 2: What You Can Feed Your Dog

Picture of What You Can Feed Your Dog

Here are some ingrediens that are safe to feed your dog and include in your treats:

-All Purpose Flour
-Baking Soda
-Baking Powder
-Bisquick or Biscuit Mix
-Brewer's Yeast
-Buckwheat Flour
-Bulgur Wheat
-Corn-Muffin Mix (if your dog tolerates corn)
-Cracked Wheat
-Desiccated Beef Liver
-Garlic Powder (if your dog can tolerate garlic)
-Graham Flour
-Kelp Powder
-Kibble Dog Food
-Oat Bran
-Oatmeal and Rolled Oats
-Pumpkin Seeds (hulls removed)
-Rice Flour
-Rye Flour
-Sesame Seeds
-Soy Flour
-Sunflower seeds (hulls removed)
-Textured Vegetable Protein
-Turbinado Sugar
-Wheat Bran
-Wheat Flakes
-Wheat Germ
-White Corn Flour
-Whole-Wheat Flour
-Yellow Cornmeal (If tollerable)
-Cheddar Cheese
-Cottage Cheese
-Milk (if tollerable)
-Goat Milk (Cow milk substitute)
-Nonfat Dry Milk
-Parmesan Cheese
-Canola Oil
-Corn Oil
-Meat Baby Food (Without MSG)
-Peanut Butter
-Vegetable Shortening
-Beef and Chicken Bullion

Step 3: Making Some Treats

Picture of Making Some Treats

Now that you know what ingredients you can include in your dog's treats, it's time to develop a recipe.
-You're recipe should contain only the things that are on the list that your dog can eat
-You should make sure that there is some desireable flavors for your dog in the treat (such as meat and other flavor)
-Make sure your treats aren't too salty. Never add salt to recipes as it is unnecessary in almost all recipes
-You can make breads, cookies, biscuits and even frozen treats for your dog
-The recipe you develop should contain at least some starch, (Flour or oats) a liquid (Such as water, milk, broth, or even meat baby food! (MSG free!) and sometimes a "glue." (like eggs)
-Try incorperating ingredients that you already know your dog loves like peanut butter and meat
-Don't be afraid to try some "funky" combinations such as molasses and beef broth, cottage cheese and chicken broth, or tuna and milk!

Step 4: The Recipe

Picture of The Recipe

By using the ingredients on the list of foods that your dog can eat, I developed a recipe using very simple, common, and relatively cheap ingredients. You can easily double the recipe so that you can have endless treats for your dog! Anyway, here is what I came up with:

-8.5-ounce box of corn muffin mix
-dash of garlic powder
-4 tbsp. cooked crumbled bacon (you can by in the grocery store pre-crumbled)
-1/4 cup oats
-1/2 of a beef bullion cube (MSG free)
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/4-1/2 cup all-purpose flour

-Large Bowl
-measuring cups
-measuring spoons
-cookie sheet
-cutting board

Step 5: The Recipe

Picture of The Recipe

Preheat your oven to 350F

1) In a large bowl, combine the muffin mix, dash of garlic powder, rolled oats, and baking soda.
2) Chop the bacon until there is no more huge chunks of it (if you bought pre crumbled bacon, don't worry about this step)
3) Add the bacon to your dry mixture, and stir until it is all incorperated. Set bowl aside. (pic. 4)
4)Measure 1/2 cup of water. Heat in microwave until nearly boiling. After the water is heated, dissolve the 1/2 of the bullion cube into the water.
5)Now, add the bullion and water to your dry mixure. Stir until it it completely mixed.
6)Add in flour, a little at a time to thicken your dough. When the dough reaches a sticky cookie dough consistency, it doesn't need any more flour.
7)On a good cookie sheet, spoon out dough by about the rounded teaspoon. The smaller the dough balls, the more treats you will yeild. This recipe yeilds 1 pound of cookies. For me, this made 68 treats.
8)Put the cookies in the oven and set your timer for about 10-14 minutes, depending on the cookie size or until the cookis start to turn "golden brown" on top
9)When the cookies are done, allow them to cool completely.

Step 6: You're Not Done Yet!

Picture of You're Not Done Yet!

Ok so now that your dog's treats are cooked, feed them one. If they like the treat, good job! You just made a tasty batch of dog treats!

Now I bet that after you let the treats cool, you picked one up, broke it and thought "hey, these are supposed to be hard and crunchy!"

Well your right, they do need to be hard and crunchy, not soft and chewey... So what do you do?

The best method to harden ANY dog cookie/biscuit is to place all of the cooled treats on a single cookie tray, and return them to the cooling oven, being sure that you turned the oven off. Leave them undesturbed for at least 8 hours. No opening the door to take out a treat for your dog!

If you did this correctly, your treats should be hard and dry after 8 hours. By doing this, you have taken out all moisture in the treat, making the "shelf life" of the treats be weeks or even months!

Step 7: Other Information

If you have any questions about the instructable, or need help developing a recipe, leave me a comment and I will be happy to answer it.

I hope that this instructable was useful to you, and I hope your dog will love these treats just as much as my dog does! Thank you for reading my instructable.



Braza Rayquaza11 (author)2015-09-19

Really helpful and cool! And I like your dog!

JakeThief (author)2015-09-14

Thanks for the wonderful guide! Sorry if I missed it but, by "cooling oven" do you mean the oven is still hot but cooling down? Or do you put them in the oven after it has completely cooled down? Thanks!

boone288 (author)2015-09-07

If I use tuna instead of bacon can I still leave the treats out or should I keep in frig. I already made one batch dogs loved them but I kept stored in the frig

JulianAzz (author)2015-08-13

garlic is unhealthy for dogs! but good ingredients

Genius2409 (author)2015-06-28

Chocolate is toxic to dogs!!! Use carob instead

hello213 (author)2015-06-22

thank you for giving us info

svermule (author)2015-05-23

Dogs can't have garlic... NO GARLIC POWDER!!!

fmichaeler made it! (author)2015-02-13

I made them by using rice, tuna and eggs.

The result was great, our dog loves them and to be honest, from the last batch I ate nearly half of them myself :-)

It is also a great food for taking along for hiking.

crank_girl (author)2014-06-07

Don't use white flour - it can result in diabetes, same as for humans.

christinajay3 (author)2009-03-17

I just had a question about corn. We are getting a new lab puppy in April and thought this would be good for training treats. We were told that corn is hard for dogs to digest but a lot of the dog foods have corn in them. Would it be better to use something else in your recipe instead of the corn mix? I am excited about trying your recipe. Thank you for the list of foods.

DeeRilee (author)christinajay32014-05-01

Corn can be hard for them to digest. Better quality dog foods DON'T have corn in them. I usually use rice flour in the doggie treats I make.

majjck (author)christinajay32009-03-18

Labs are awesome. My dog Majjck (magic) is half lab, and half beagle! Thanks for the question christinajay3. Sure, you can substitute ingrediens for the corn muffin mix. Though it will be less sweet tasting to your dog (due to no sweet-ness from the corn) you can use whole-wheat flour which is what i would do. It will still taste great to your dog, dont worry. It gives your treats more nutrients, and it gives your treats a brownish tint. You should also add an egg to the recipe to prevent the treats from crumbling. So just add about 9 oz of whole wheat flour and an egg, and it should work fine in your treats just as the corn muffin mix would. Otherwise, follow the recipe the same way. Good luck with your lab and i hope he/she likes the treats. Also, if you are using these for training treats, i would make them smaller in size.

sir_h_c (author)2009-12-15

I like to use chicken trimmings. When I trim up some chicken breasts or thighs and cut off all the extra bits of skin, cartilage, fat etc I'll put it all in a baggie in the freezer until I have enough.  The (pureed) chix supplies the flavor, oil and protein.  Add some flour or oatmeal and maybe a little water or milk and we have a happy Scout!

DeeRilee (author)sir_h_c2014-05-01

If you include animal fat of any type you will want to refrigerate, or freeze for long-term storage, animal fats go rancid fairly quickly.

Sam I Am (author)2011-11-21

cool! But my dog is big and would probably choke on one.

DeeRilee (author)Sam I Am2014-05-01

Just make them bigger.....the cooking, and definitely the drying, time will take longer though. =)

DeeRilee (author)2014-05-01

I've made similar treats....used finely ground, totally lean venison, rice flour, shredded cheddar cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, egg, a bit of dried parsley, and just enough water to make a 'dough'.

I made mine in a food dehydrator instead of an oven. They were delicious (yes, I tried one).....tasted like a cheeseburger! =)

angelmarie60 (author)2013-12-18

Thank you for putting this recipe on the site I have been looking for a good recipe for a long time for my loving four-legged babies I will let you know how they turn out and if they like them or not. I do have a question though can chicken bouillon cubes be added instead of the beef? Just to give it a different taste is all. Once again thank you very much.

the duck tape queen (author)2010-01-02

i made these for my dog and he loved them. but instead of turkey i used ham and instead of wheat flour i used white because i diddnt have any wheat kind.and i learned if you add a crunched um grahm cracker to the oats it adds more flavor.and i kinda forgot to read after i baked them and i just left mine soft my dog likes them anyway. great instructable.:)

Glad he/she enjoyed them!

akufelicia (author)2011-02-05

My dog love bacon and seaweed, is seaweed ok for dogs? usually i make something from milk, bacon, seaweed, creamcheese, canned tuna, flour and few honey then bake them, my dog love them

Civbert (author)2010-06-08

Yikes! I first thought that was the ingredients list for a dog treat recipe. Too complicated! :o ;)

gustavo.leal (author)2010-04-15

Any problem in giving sausages for my dog?

emericanskater (author)2010-04-12

my dogs vet told me i can give him those frozen fruit pops or peanut butter on a spoon(gives him bad gas tho. great for unwanted guest). i also just give my dog icecubes but ill have to give this a try it looks excellent thanks for posting

Pompom (author)2009-10-22

I do believe my dog will and can eat and digest anything.  And sometimes en-mass, and still be healthy as a horse, especially for 15 years (though gosh, when she dragged home that rotten ham out of some neighbor's garbage, she had some terrible breath and gas for days, but she loves those kind of smells and didn't seem to mind except for the fact that we didn't want her to be around us all that much at that time).  She's a large dog, so there's that larger stomach benefit.  Not saying go ahead and try and see if your dog will survive eating a lb of chocolate or a bag of makeup, markers, wild grapes and vines, paper plates and such, but I guess I just wanted to give a shout-out for all those doggies who are proud to be themselves and pick their own foods and toys, get super excited and wild with playing, chewing, and in the end pooping out paper milk cartons, and who prefer Dad's brand food over any other brands along with organic brands she's been provided.  Only problem's been hip-diplacia and arthritis in these later years, but that's inevitable for her and just gotta give her exercise in moderation and supplement with aspirin when she complains.  Sorry, like to talk about my doggy too much sometimes.  Congrats to the author on being a Winner of an Instructable all the same. :-)  These treats sound very yummy, and I'm sure Twyla (my dog) would adore them as well.

majjck (author)Pompom2009-12-05

Tanks. I appreciate you checking out this instructable and giving some input

meejenbea (author)2009-10-09

my doggy says"I can has home made dogg cookies?" and "NOMNOMNOM!"

reusesave (author)meejenbea2009-10-17

my dog does that too

junits15 (author)2009-10-07

i have never heard that peaches were bad for dogs, just the pitts

mszkimmii (author)2009-08-29

my vet told me corn was bad for dogs :(

mszkimmii (author)mszkimmii2009-08-29

makes it hard for them to poop :D

scubabeaver (author)2009-08-20

We are always told NOT to feed dogs pork or pork products. A good indication is if it is not included in packet/tinned dog food by reputibale food manufacturers do not feed it at home.

Gunnar120 (author)2009-06-11

Thank you so much! My dog is lactose intolerant, and most treats contain butter or milk. (he gets the poops... badly.) So this is perfect! (I have mainly just been looking for a list of foods he can eat)

dodo91 (author)2009-06-09

my dogs love raw eggs! it make there coats shinny! yum yum!

dodo91 (author)2009-04-22

dogs can eat raw meat. unlike our stomaches, theres can take more. i give my dog raw egg, and that makes her coat shiny. raw eggs for a human can be very bad. do you see where i'm going with this? our dogs have better stomaches. like tony said, there in the wolf family. wolves hunt and eat raw meat. as for chocolate, this is fatal. DO NOT GIVE ANY DOG CHOCOLATE! too much chocolate will kill a dog.

Yerboogieman (author)dodo912009-06-06

Too much will. A little won't, Xylitol even one stick of gum will make them very sick and a very good chance of death.

Yerboogieman (author)2009-06-06

During really hot days we would give my dog vanilla ice cream bars, he would even get excited when he heard the ice cream man song.

cree888 (author)2009-04-02

Oops. I can spell; but typing I am not so sure of. "Over" was mean to be oven.

cree888 (author)2009-04-02

Great Instructable. Great recipe. Very similar to mine which every dog in the neighborhood loves. (at least none have died.) However, mine are hardened shortly after being removed from the over. My dog gives treats away to his doggy neighbors on Valentine's day---heart-shaped of course.

bcclear10 (author)2009-03-20

my dog loves cheese;-)i gotta try the peanut butter thanks for the tips

majjck (author)bcclear102009-03-21

You're welcome thanks for the comment.

Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)2009-03-18

loyal,faithful,trustworthy,Hmmmmmmmmmm.................(you clearly not met my dog.

NachoMahma (author)2009-03-17

. Great job.
. I don't understand "Meats ( that are raw and may contain viruses)" under the What Not to Feed Your Dog section. Dogs are made to eat raw meat. From teeth to tail, they're meat-eaters. BARF

ericgrau (author)NachoMahma2009-03-17

No, raw meats and eggs are a horrible idea to feed to dogs. You're risking serious health problems: short term food poisoning, long term parasites (causing poor health even though you might not know what to blame it on), or both. You can blame the sick, cramped animals in the meat industry for that. Anything except sashimi grade meat or meat you raise yourself is tainted and *must* be cooked. You can try it and hope your pet can fight it off but I wouldn't. At least not with supermarket meat.

NachoMahma (author)ericgrau2009-03-18

. Just take the same normal precautions that one should take with any raw food. No need to get carried away. Many ppl smarter than I think cooked meat is a bad idea -

lemonie (author)2009-03-16

The list of "don'ts" is worth including, but I am curious about some of them: -Apple Seeds -Apricot (pit can be fatal) -Avocado leaves, stems, pits, and skin -Cherry Pits -Fruit pits -Potato Leaves and Stems -Rhubarb leaves -Tomato Leaves and stems Do people feed these to their dogs? Short of making Amaretti/o I wouldn't feed these to anyone / thing? (Nicely done Instructable) L

ericgrau (author)lemonie2009-03-17

Don't worry about fruit pits, that's a myth. I have a bag of apricot pits I like to munch on in fact and a trail mix that includes them too. They contain negligible amounts of cyanide but the thought of "omg cyanide?" got people all uppity about them. You'd need pits from a bushel of fruit, eaten all at once, to poison someone. Cyanide inhibits some enzymes and leaves the body completely, so eating tiny amounts over time does no damage at all. It does not accumulate, it does not eat away at anything. Some natural compounds like vitamin B12 include cyanide. The whole apricot-pit scare started in the 70's (60's?) when someone discovered that the trace amounts of laetrile from apricot pits helps prevent cancer. The laetrile molecule is bonded to cyanide. Needless to say that gave opponents easy fuel to start a real ruckus. Tomatoes and potatoes are part of the nightshade family. I don't know why anyone would eat them, but nightshade leaves and stems really are poisonous and famous for it. That's the real reason why people thought tomatoes were poisonous for so long. I mean eating nightshade fruit would be like telling us to eat hemlock fruit; people were too afraid to try.

lemonie (author)ericgrau2009-03-17

I'm not worrying about pits. Notice I mentioned Amaretti? L

ericgrau (author)lemonie2009-03-17

Ah I had to look up Amaretti. Well I doubt it's any more dangerous to dogs. But at least you know why they even bother putting silly things like safe pits and nightshade parts people wouldn't eat anyway on there: past public scare.

ericgrau (author)ericgrau2009-03-17

Oh yeah, sorry, I didn't get to the point. The reason such odd things - and not a thousand other random poisonous items - would get used in such lists and now re-used in this list is because they are the product of public scare.

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