Homemade dog biscuits are a fun and easy treat to make for your furry canine friends. Plus, they have the added benefit of being made with simple ingredients that you know are healthy and good for them. (Skip to recipe.)
Cooking with Eric
Eric and I had fun making these tasty biscuits; we made a batch for Pippa and one for his little white dog, Piper. The dough is soft, pliable, and easy to work with. It's loaded with natural, healthy ingredients to nourish your furry friends. When baked, it turns into hard crunchy biscuits that are helpful for cleaning your dog's teeth and are a sweet little reward for good doggy behaviour.
We make that extra effort to feed ourselves and our family nutritious food; why not do the same for man's best friend?
Thanks to a reader for requesting a recipe for homemade dog biscuits, I've been working on batches of this dough for Pippa. She's been a most willing taste tester; though I must admit, she's not very discriminating (considering she's a dog that'll eat anything - from compost pail scraps to cat poop). Pippa goes crazy for these treats, no matter which flavour I make or which healthy add-ins I use. Eric and I did taste-test these biscuits ourselves (the things you do in the name of research!) and declared them to be 'not too bad'.
Feel Good About Feeding Your Pet Healthy Treats
I've loaded these homemade dog biscuits up with some great good-for-dogs ingredients:
- The base is made from brown rice flour (or use whole wheat flour if you wish). This contains important vitamins for dogs and provides fiber for a healthy digestion.
- Add in your choice of mashed pumpkin, banana, carrots, or applesauce. All of these fruits are good for dogs.
- Dogs love the taste of peanut butter, plus it adds protein and healthy fats. Just make sure it contains no xylitol or artificial sweeteners - natural is best. (Xylitol is toxic to dogs.)
- Seeds are good for dogs., and this recipe contains a mix of pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
- You can add in your choice of optional ingredients which promote the health of your furry friend.
- Turmeric is really good for dogs. It is anti-inflammatory, helps with joint pain, allergies, cardiovascular health, bowel health, and cancer. Adding a bit of black pepper makes the curcumin in turmeric much more bio-available, as does consuming it in the presence of small amount of healthy fat (as found in the peanut butter).
- There are a lot of common herbs for dogs that you can add in to increase the health benefits of your doggy treats. Just make sure to stick to the recommended ones, as there are also dangerous garden plants for dogs.
Easy to Make - Homemade Dog Biscuits
First you measure out the ingredients, then stir up the dough. When it gets too hard to stir, start mixing with your hands until it's like play dough.
Roll out the dough until it's as thick as a pencil, then cut it out.
You can cut out bone-shaped biscuits, simple rectangles, or roll balls of dough into little doggy dental sticks. You can even go crazy and cut any fun shapes you want - your dog will love them all.
Lay them onto a baking sheet and bake them until they're hard and crispy.
We were very lucky to get Pippa to sit still long enough to snap photos of her - she ended up devouring a whole bunch of the treats in my efforts to get even a couple decent shots. When there's food around, there's no such thing as good manners!
These homemade dog biscuits are definitely a winner in her books, and make me happy with how healthy they are and how easy they are to whip up.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: You can make the basic recipe for dog biscuits without any add-ins, or toss in some of the healthy additions I've listed in the recipe below.
Cut the biscuits in the best size to fit for your dog. I've made some smaller ones to use as training treats.
If you're making the treats for older dogs with sensitive teeth, bake the biscuits for less time so that they're a bit soft and still chewy. For extra crunch and to help in teeth cleaning, leave the dog biscuits in the oven after you turn it off, until it cools, to dry them out completely. Or store the biscuits in a paper bag so they dry fully.
- 1 cup (240ml) pumpkin purée, mashed banana, cooked mashed carrots, or unsweetened applesauce
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (60ml) natural peanut butter (no xylitol or artificial sweeteners)
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (or use 2 tablespoons of either flax seeds or chia seeds instead of 1 tablespoon of each)
- 3 cups (400gms) brown rice flour or whole wheat flour, plus more for rolling out the biscuits
*optional add-ins (add one or more of these into the basic biscuit dough):
- 1 teaspoon turmeric + ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, rosemary, basil, peppermint, or parsley
- 1 tablespoon fish oil or cod liver oil, or 16 fish oil capsules, emptied
Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C).
In a large bowl, whisk together the puréed fruit or vegetable of your choice with the eggs, peanut butter, and any optional add-ins you choose to use. (If using fish oil gel capsules, poke them with a pin or the tip of a sharp knife and squeeze the oil into the dough; discard the empty capsules.)
Grind the pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds together in a blender, coffee or spice grinder, or food processor. Stir them into the wet mixture.
Add the flour and mix the dough with a spoon until it is in shaggy crumbles, then get in there with your hands and mix it until it makes a firm, sticky dough. If you find it is too soft to roll, work in a bit more flour, one tablespoon at a time. Divide the dough into two balls.
Sprinkle the work surface lightly with whichever flour you used for the dough, and roll out one ball of dough to the thickness of a pencil (a bit more than ¼ inch/about .75 cm).
Cut out dog treat shapes or other favourite shapes with a cookie cutter, or just use a kitchen knife to cut the rolled-out dough into rectangles the size that would be best for your dog. You can also make doggie biscuit sticks - roll the dough into walnut-sized balls, then roll each ball into a cylinder about 3 to 3½ inches long. Re-roll the scraps, and cut more biscuits until all the dough is used up.
Lay the homemade dog biscuits onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes; until the biscuits are dry and firm (they will crisp up even more as they cool). Small biscuits will only need 30 minutes; larger biscuits will need up to 40 minutes. Allow to cool.
If you want the biscuits to be completely hard and crunchy, leave them in the oven to dry out after the oven is turned off, or out on a rack, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, until they are dried out.
Store the homemade dog biscuits in an airtight container or bag at room temperature for up to a month, or freeze them for up to 6 months.
Makes ~1¼ lbs/550gms of homemade dog biscuits (number will vary according to the size of the biscuits/about 45 biscuits 3½inches/8.5cm long).
(That means 'Guten Appetit!' in doggie language.)
For more fun cooking projects to make with kids, see the ‘Cooking With Kids’ series here.
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