In the season of decadent food, your dog also deserves quality treats. Give them a tasty reward for being a good dog this year — lovingly made by you! 

Simple homemade dog treats avoid the expense of commercial options. It’s often hard to tell how processed store-bought products really are, or if they use nutrient-dense whole foods. Some can even be deadly

And treats like rawhides can be damaging to your dog’s health. Chewing rawhides have been linked to choking, obstruction, blockages, and fatal complications in dogs. 

Skip the risk by making healthy homemade dog treats this holiday season. Frozen, raw, and baked treats can give your pet the licking, texture, or chewing fix they need.  

Homemade dog treats are easy to make, fast to assemble, and last for a long time. Most recipes are flexible, so you can add any number of custom ingredients based on what your dog likes, what they need, and what you have on hand. 

You’ll love how fast these healthy dog treat recipes are to make — and your dog will love having a smorgasbord of new flavors to enjoy. 

Foods to Never Give Your Dog 

First things first: while most people know that chocolate, grapes, and raisins are dangerous and toxic for dogs, there are other ingredients to exclude: 

  • Avoid adding onions or garlic to your treats. They can be tough on doggy digestion. Avocados can also cause bloating and diarrhea. 
  • Don’t include macadamia nuts, which can cause tremors, muscle weakness, and vomiting. 
  • Most importantly, watch out for xylitol. This sugar alcohol sweetener is a low-calorie alternative to cane sugar, so it’s become a staple in everyday foods like peanut butter. In dogs, xylitol can cause lethargy, loss of coordination, and a severe and dangerous drop in blood sugar level.  
  • Always check labels before feeding your dog. 

Learn more about these toxic foods for your dog >  

Easy Homemade Dog Recipe Basics 

The best things in life are simple. Your homemade dog treats should be, too.  

As a rule of thumb, stick with 3-5 ingredients. All the dog treat recipes below follow the same rules: First, choose a wet base and/or a dry base for your treat. Then, add some mix-ins and supplements for flavor and a nutrient boost.  

Here are some core ingredients all recipes can use: 

  • Dry base: meat or fish, oatmeal, whole wheat flour 
  • Wet base: pumpkin, sweet potato, yogurt, peanut butter 
  • Mix-Ins: eggs, pureed veggies, apples, bananas, strawberries, carrots, cheese, bacon, peanuts, unsweetened coconut flakes 
  • Bonus: Fish oil, coconut oil, CBD, turmeric, glucosamine, probiotics 

Mix it all together by hand or in a blender. Last, freeze or bake your bounty, then store!

1. Blueberry-Banana Pupsicles

Dogs are just like us: they love ice cream! 

Spoil your favorite friend with a frozen treat. Jen at Peel With Zeal has this simple recipe to get you started. 

Pupsicles are quick and easy homemade dog treats: just throw ingredients in a blender, pour into a mold, and freeze.  

While Jen’s recipe uses yogurt, blueberries, and bananas, you can blend in anything your dog will like (or other healthy additions they ordinarily wouldn’t eat). Consider blending in spinach, kale, broccoli, or beets for a boost of natural vitamins and minerals. 

Once smooth, pour the mix into popsicle molds or ice cube trays. Don’t forget to add in a few extra ingredients for flavor—like bacon or diced turkey—before you freeze them. 

Pupsicles are also the perfect vehicle for sneaking in those extra supplements. Add fish oil to help with cognition and arthritis in older dogs, or CBD to calm your dog’s nervous system, decrease pain, and increase activity. 

What You’ll Need: 

  • ¾ cup blueberries 
  • ¾ cup yogurt 
  • ½ of 1 banana 
  • Blender 
  • Ice cube tray or popsicle mold 

How to Make It:  

  1. Add all ingredients to blender. 
  1. Blend until mix is smooth. 
  1. Pour mixture into mold. 
  1. Mix in any last ingredients. 
  1. Wait 2 hours. 
  1. Repackage frozen treats into bulk bag for storage.  
  1. Serve up to 2 weeks. 

After 1-2 hours, simply pop the treats out of their mold and store in a sealable bag. We recommend silicone ice cube trays for easy treat removal.

2. Raw Oat Balls 

It’s cookie dough…but for dogs! 

These one-step raw oat balls from the folks at are the fastest-to-make recipe on this list. 

Raw oat balls call for oats, peanut butter, bananas, and honey, but there are infinite variations. Choose a dry base, a wet base, and two mix-ins, then combine in a large bowl, and that’s it! 
Try out a blend of unsweetened coconut flakes, whole wheat flour, peanut butter, diced apples and cheddar. Another option is sweet potato puree, shredded chicken, oats and turmeric powder. Try out new combinations to sniff out what your dog likes. 

Because these are not baked, this is the perfect recipe to add probiotics to. Probiotics can help alleviate the symptoms of canine GI diseases like IBD, and can be mixed in as a powder or a liquid. 

The challenge is to make sure the “batter” isn’t too dry or too wet, so you might need to adjust ingredients to get the right consistency. 

What You’ll Need: 

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats 
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter 
  • ¼ cup mashed banana 
  • ½ cup freeze-dried strawberries 
  • 2 tablespoons honey¾ cup blueberries 
  • ¾ cup yogurt 
  • Mixing bowl 
  • Baking sheet 
  • Parchment paper 

How to Make It:  

  1. Mix peanut butter, banana, and honey in a bowl. 
  1. Add oats and dried strawberries. 
  1. If it’s too dry, add banana. If it’s too wet, add oats. 
  1. Use your hands to roll mixture into bite size balls. 
  1. Place treats on tray. 
  1. Cool and store in fridge. 
  1. Serve for up to 2 weeks. 

3. Chicken “Jerky”

For dogs that love to chew, these chicken chews from Amanda at will be a hit. 

This low-and-slow cooking method turns turkey, fish, beef, or chicken into chewy, dry, drool-worthy dog treats. 

Rawhides take a long time for your dog to chew through, but they pose serious health hazards for your pup. Homemade “jerky” recipes are healthier, tastier, and safer. 

You can elevate your dog’s jerky by marinading the meat in apple cider vinegar or unsweetened pineapple juice, or seasoning it with ginger powder and turmeric. Avoid adding anything that might upset dog digestion like sugar, salt, or anything spicy. 

What You’ll Need: 

  • 2 lbs of meat 
  • Knife 
  • Cutting board 
  • Baking sheet 
  • Parchment paper 

How to Make It:  

  1. Preheat oven to 275*. 
  1. Slice meat into thin ¼ to ½ inch slices. 
  1. Place slices on wire racks or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  1. Bake for 2 hours. 
  1. Remove and store in fridge up to 2 weeks. 

Jerky is a great training tool because it stores and travels easily, and can be sliced into smaller pieces for rewards. 

4. Apple Cheddar Biscuits 

If you’re ready to get creative with dog treats, Martha Stewart’s dog biscuit recipe is an excellent place to start. 

Biscuits are a great way to try out different, unique dog treat recipes. Because they’re so simple, basically any dog-friendly mix-in can be added.  

Martha uses cheddar and applesauce, but you could swap out cheddar for almost any cheese, and the applesauce for sweet potato or pumpkin puree. Consider adding diced apples or blueberries for flavor, shaved carrot for crunch and moisture, or peanuts and coconut flakes for crunch.       

What You’ll Need: 

  • 2 cups barley flour 
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal 
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • Mixing bowl 
  • Parchment paper 
  • Baking sheet 

How to Make It:  

1. Heat oven to 350*. 

2. Line baking sheet with parchment. 

3. Mix all ingredients with 3 tablespoons of water. 

4. Use plastic wrap to roll dough to ¼ to ½ inch thick. 

5. Cut biscuits using cookie cutter or knife. 

6. Bake for 30 minutes. 

7. Serve warm. 

8. Store up to 2 weeks in fridge.

5. Baked Salmon Swirls 

These are the holiday hors d’oeuvres of your dog’s dreams. 

Check out these scrumptious baked salmon swirls from the team at These are the ultimate fancy 3-ingredient dog treats.

Salmon swirls are an ideal recipe for adding supplements. Consider mixing in coconut oil, which may slow the signs of aging in older dogs. You can also add glucosamine as a supplement to food or a treat. Glucosamine is derived from shellfish, and has been shown in studies to strengthen joints and alleviate the pain associated with arthritis

Or, just serve them exactly as they are. Either way, after trying these your dog will likely linger and hope you get the hint — one treat is not enough! 

What You’ll Need: 

  • 1 can salmon or tuna (with juice) 
  • 2 cups oat flour or whole wheat flour 
  • 2 eggs 
  • Blender or food processor 
  • Pastry bag (or a Ziploc with a corner cut off) 
  • Baking sheets 
  • Parchment paper 

How to Make It:  

  • Preheat oven to 350*. 
  • Add flour and full can of fish to blender / food processor. 
  • Add eggs, blend until smooth. 
  • Add water if too dry. Add flour if too wet. 
  • Scoop mixture into piping bag (or Ziploc with a corner cut off). 
  • Pipe dough onto parchment paper on baking sheet. 
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until crispy. 
  • Store in fridge up to 2 weeks. 

Taking Care of Your Dog Starts at Home 

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s never too early to start spoiling the real king of the house: your dog. 

Taking time to make Fido’s treats yourself will guarantee your BFF is getting all the nutrients, minerals, supplements, and love they deserve. 

It’s important to take care of our pets in other ways, too, like staying current on canine vaccinations and taking dogs to the vet regularly. 

Another way to help keep your dog healthy and safe is to make sure you are protecting them against ticks and other pests. Learn how by clicking the link below. 

Prepare your dog for tick season >

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