Easy healthy dog treats are both low-cal and low-fat. Because they are homemade, you control all the ingredients. Just mix, cut, and bake. Much healthier than commercial treats—any veterinarian would approve.
Time to get the pups something special and healthier than most other dog biscuits. This recipe relies on pumpkin puree, peanut butter, eggs, and flour. Some cinnamon is added to make us humans feel it is tasty.
Bonus is a lot cheaper than any store-bought dog treats, especially the pet boutique's gourmet ones. And you know what is in them.
If your dog needs gluten-free dog treats, you can switch to gluten-free flour. Don't need low-fat, then use the whole egg.
Our first golden Jake had issues. Due to these, he lacked exercise, and some people (us) felt sorry for him; he became 25 pounds overweight and desperately needed a diet—food blogger to the rescue. Time for healthier Jake bones.
So we counted doggie calories. His big Milkbones were 120 calories each. These dog treats are 30 calories, and he loved them.
After reviewing many homemade dog treat recipes for inspiration, I'm using Allrecipes recipe for Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats. I increased the pumpkin and got rid of whole eggs for egg whites to decrease the calories a bit.
I decrease the cooking time slightly to keep them softer for Jake's senior teeth.
Give that fur baby something special.
Jake's Rating: 5 Paws way up—well, four paws and a tail. He loves homemade dog biscuits.
🐕What Makes Dog Treats Healthy?
There seems to be as much confusion about dog diets as human diets. While these dog treats are delicious to any dog, let's discuss "healthy."
Healthy will mean different things depending on your pet's needs. These biscuits are low in calories and fat. Both are good things for our Jake but may not be what you need for your puppies. They also have high-quality protein and fats, good for all dogs.
You should discuss your dog's dietary needs with their veterinarian, do not rely on the internet. This recipe can be easily adapted to most dietary needs of your dog.
- Pumpkin Puree: Use real puree, not pumpkin pie mix 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 mostly in "lower caloric" but READ THE LABEL. Also, many types of nuts are toxic to dogs so be careful about other nuts or nut butters.
- Flour: Almost any flour will do. I tend to use whole wheat but all purpose flour is fine. Or use alternative flour like soy, rice, or oat flour which are gluten-free if that is what you need. Coconut flour and other nut flours should be avoided unless you are sure they are safe.
- Eggs: The eggs will help hold everything together. I substitued two egg whites for each whole egg to get rid of 10 grams of fat (90 calories) but spread over the entire recipe, a few calories per treat. Use the whole eggs if you want.
- Cinnamon: Fido needs a little taste in the cookie. A small amount is safe.
👨🍳Making Dog Treats
This recipe is as simple as mixing, cutting, and baking. But some issues can come up.
A good stand mixer earns its keep with this recipe. But you can use a food processor or just 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 type 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 a veryday 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.
The shape doesn't matter to the dog. But we humans like the bone or holiday shapes. I generally roll the dough into logs and then cut it into disks ¼ to ½ inch thick.
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.
A large baking sheet covered 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.
The suggested 40 minutes at 375° is generally correct. It will produce a nice dry dog cookie, especially if ¼ inch thick.
But, I needed softer for an older dog, so I 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.
❄️Storage of Homemade Dog Treats
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. You can dehydrate the treats to store them longer, but that is beyond this recipe.
Only a few days.
A good choice is to store in the refrigerator in a ziplock for about 4-5 days.
Storing in a freezer sealed airtight for 3-4 months.
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.
Add ½ of a 14 oz can of pumpkin to 4 egg white (or 2 whole eggs), ¼ cup water, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Turn on the mixer until combined.
Use the dough hook, and it took a couple of minutes. Now slowly add 3 cups of whole wheat flour with the mixer on 2. You will need to add a little more water to incorporate all the flour. For me, it was another ¼ cup. You want about the consistency of pie dough.
Place the dough on a cutting surface cut it into manageable pieces.
You can roll out the dough on a floured surface ¼ inch thick and use bone-shaped or other cookie cutters. I rolled it into logs of 1-inch diameter. Cut into ¼ to ½ inch pieces.
Prep 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and distribute the biscuits evenly. Bake for 30 minutes for semi-hard.
Healthy Homemade Dog Treats
- 7 oz can pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 4 egg whites - or 2 whole eggs
- 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.
- Add ½ of a 14 oz can of pumpkin to 4 egg white (or 2 whole eggs), ¼ cup water, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Turn on the mixer and combine until well mixed. I used the dough hook, and it took a couple of minutes. Now slowly add 3 cups of whole wheat flour with the mixer on 2. You will need to add a little more water to incorporate all the flour. For me, it was another ¼ cup. You want about the consistency of pie dough.
- Now slowly add 3 cups of whole wheat flour with the mixer on 2. You will need to add a little more water to get all the flour incorporated. For me, it was another ¼ cup. This is a very dry dough.
- Place the dough on a cutting surface cut it into manageable pieces.
- You can roll out the dough on a floured surface ¼ inch thick and use bone-shaped or other cookie cutters. I rolled it into logs of 1-inch diameter. Cut into ¼ to ½ inch pieces.
- Prep 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and distribute the biscuits evenly. Bake for 30 minutes for semi-hard.
My Private Notes
- This dough is dry, and a stand mixer helps a lot. You can do it by hand or use a food processor.
- 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 soy, rice, or oat flour.
- Lower calorie peanut butter that 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.