Low Fat Homemade Dog Treats are the perfect low-calorie treat for your dog. With only five ingredients, your dog will love the peanut butter and pumpkin taste. Much healthier than commercial treats—any veterinarian would approve.
🐾Why you should make these dog treats
- Time to get the pups something special and healthier than most other dog biscuits. Your dog will love them, and you won't feel as guilty. Four paws way up for this one.
- It is easy to adjust the ingredients. If your vet recommends specific diets, like a low-fat diet for pancreatitis or weight loss. Or you can make them gluten-free for wheat sensitivity by changing the flour.
- Much lower in calories for overweight dogs—only about 30 calories per dog biscuit vs. the 120 we were using.
- Uses 4 simple healthy ingredients: pumpkin puree, peanut butter, eggs, salt, and flour. Some cinnamon may be added to make us humans feel it is tasty.
- A bonus is they are a lot cheaper than store-bought dog treats, especially the pet boutique's gourmet ones.
- DISCLAIMER—You must discuss your dog's health with and follow your veterinarian's recommendations for your dog's diet and health needs—not the internet. These occasional treats should not be a significant portion of your pet's diet.
Our first golden Jake had issues. He was getting older, was 25 pounds overweight, and eventually became blind and had a torn ACL. He had multiple surgeries—he deserved treats but needed a healthy diet, too.
Based on Allrecipes Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats. I increased the pumpkin and provided low-fat and gluten-free options. And decrease the cooking time slightly to keep them softer for Jake's senior teeth.
- Pumpkin Puree—Use real puree, not pumpkin pie filler, which may have harmful spices like nutmeg. You could use squash or sweet potato instead.
- Peanut Butter—Dogs love peanut butter, and it has excellent protein and healthy fats, but DO NOT use any brand that has Xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs. It is found mainly in lower-caloric peanut butter, but READ THE LABEL. Also, many types of nuts are toxic to dogs, so be careful about other nuts or nut butter.
- Flour—Almost any flour will do. I tend to use whole wheat, but all-purpose flour is fine. Or use alternative flour like rice or oat flour, which are gluten-free if that is what you need. Soy flour will work well, but some dogs and owners have problems with it. Coconut flour and other nut flours should be avoided unless you are sure they are safe.
- Eggs—The eggs will help hold everything together. Use two whole eggs or four egg whites to eliminate 10 grams of fat and 115 calories for the entire recipe, Only about 2 calories and a fraction of a gram of fat per treat.
- Cinnamon—Optional. It is primarily for you—skip it if you want. A small amount is safe.
👨🍳How to Make Healthy Low-Fat Homemade Dog Treats
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, water, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon.
- Slowly add 3 cups of whole wheat flour and more water as needed to get to about the consistency of pie dough.
- You can roll out ¼ inch thick and cut with cookie cutters or form into a 1-inch diameter and cut into ¼ to ½ inch disks.
- Bake on trays with parchment paper for about 30 minutes for softer or 40 minutes for firmer.
🐕Tips to make them right every time
- Mixing tips
- A good stand mixer earns its keep with this recipe. But you can use a food processor or hand mix in a large bowl.
- The amount of water will vary a lot depending on the flour used. You are trying to get to a pie crust consistency. Add a bit more water or flour to get there. The dough should not be very sticky.
- You can blend in other dog-safe ingredients like rolled oats or wheat germ. Just be sure you are using safe additives.
- Here are some everyday things toxic to dogs: Grapes/raisins, chocolate, onion, garlic, chives, avocados, citrus, and many more things can have issues. So before using a product, be sure it is safe and read all labels.
- Cutting tips
- The shape doesn't matter to the dog. But we humans like bone or holiday shapes. I generally roll the dough into logs and cut it into ¼ to ½ inch thick disks.
- If you want to cut shapes, roll the dough onto a floured surface about ¼ inch thick and use a cookie cutter to make what you what.
- Baking tips
- A large baking sheet with a non-stick covering like parchment paper or a silicone baking mat is suggested. A coat of PAM on bare metal is not enough—they stick.
- The suggested 40 minutes at 375° is generally correct. It will produce a nice dry dog cookie, especially if ¼ inch thick.
- Baking time will vary by size and thickness, so watch to color and get to at least 165°. Longer is OK to crisp them more.
- If you need softer for an older dog, undercooked (30 minutes total) to leave more moisture. They still need to reach 165° due to the eggs. But softer means more moisture, which means spoiling (molding) faster. Just be aware of the issues.
How to Store Homemade Dog Treats
Generally, you can store these dog treats for 5 to 7 days at room temperature, but it may be shorter if you make them softer. Keep them in an airtight container. Refrigerating will extend the storage time to 1 to 2 weeks.
They will freeze well when stored airtight for up to 3 months.
Like other homemade baked products—these do not have the preservatives you will find in store-bought treats. So mold will come faster than you think.
I generally use whole wheat or AP flour. Oat or rice flour work well. Soy flour and almond flour are usually safe, but many dogs will be sensitive to soy or almond products.
Coconut flour and other nut flours should be avoided unless you are sure they are safe for your dog. Consult your veterinarian if unsure.
You can blend in other dog-safe ingredients like rolled oats or wheat germ. Just be sure you are using safe additives. If in doubt, get your vet's advice.
Here are everyday things toxic to dogs: Grapes/raisins, chocolate, onion, garlic, chives, avocados, citrus, and many more things can have issues. So before using a product, be sure it is safe and read all labels.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat oven to 350° convection or 375° conventional.
Combine ½ of a 14 oz can of pumpkin puree with 2 eggs, ¼ cup water, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. With a stand mixer dough hook on two or by hand, slowly mix in 3 cups of whole wheat or other flour. You may need more water—you want the consistency of pie dough. If mixing by hand, do as well as you can in the bowl, then move to a floured area to finish combining.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it in half for easier handling.
Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick and use bone-shaped or other cookie cutters. Or roll into logs of 1-inch diameter. Cut into ¼ to ½ inch pieces.
Prep two large baking sheets with parchment paper and distribute the biscuits evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes for semi-hard or longer for harder bones. The bones must reach 165° internal temperature for food safety due to the eggs.
Low-Fat Homemade Dog Treats—Healthy & Delicious
- 7 oz can pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 egg - or 4 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ to ½ cup water - as needed
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 350° convection or 375° conventional.
- Combine ½ of a 14 oz can of pumpkin puree with 2 eggs, ¼ cup water, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
- With a stand mixer dough hook on two or by hand, slowly mix in 3 cups of whole wheat or other flour. You may need more water—you want the consistency of pie dough. If mixing by hand, do as well as you can in the bowl, then move to a floured area to finish combining.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it in half for easier handling.
- Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick and use bone-shaped or other cookie cutters. Or roll into logs of 1-inch diameter. Cut into ¼ to ½ inch pieces.
- Prep two large baking sheets with parchment paper and distribute the biscuits evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes for semi-hard or longer for harder bones. The bones must reach 165° internal temperature for food safety due to the eggs.
Your Own Private Notes
- This dough is dry, and a stand mixer helps a lot. You can do it by hand or use a food processor.
- Using 4 egg whites vs. 2 whole eggs will save 10 gms of fat and 115 calories over the entire recipe. So, about 2 calories and a fraction of a gram of fat per treat.
- If the dough is too dry, add a bit of water. If sticky, then more flour. You are aiming for non-sticky pie crust consistency.
- To make gluten-free, substitute with rice or oat flour.
- Lower-calorie peanut butter frequently is made with xylitol. Xylitol is quite toxic for dogs and can be deadly to them.
- CHECK ALL LABELS for toxic ingredients.
- 40 minutes is recommended, but if you want softer than 30 minutes.
- These do not have the preservatives you will find in store-bought treats. They can be at room temperature for a few days. Refrigerated for about 5 days or frozen for 3-4 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally Published May 6, 2012. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.