Dog bone and heart-shaped cookie cutters placed in batter.

When it comes to treats, it can be hard to resist the big eyes and pleading stares of a hungry pet. Some creative pets will even whine, howl, or paw you to get you to hand over a mouth-watering snack.

You might feel just as good as your pet when he gets a tasty treat, but many store-bought options are bad for animals. Instead of feeding your pet some unknown ingredients, try some of these delicious DIY pet treat recipes to keep them happy and healthy.

Flavorful Morsels

If you choose pet treats that add nutritional value to your pet’s diet instead of inflating it with empty calories, they can be a helpful addition to a well-rounded nutrition plan. Making your own treats gives you complete control over the ingredients so you can ensure they have both flavor and nutritional value. What more could you want for your furry friend?

DIY Pet Treats that Melt In the Mouth

Dogs go crazy for peanut butter, which makes it a prime ingredient for some DIY treats. This recipe is easy to make and will be doggone delicious for your favorite canine:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup smooth natural or organic peanut butter
  • 1 cup hot water or 1 cup skim milk
  • Optional: 1 egg 

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Mix together the flour and baking powder in a big bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the peanut butter and hot water or skim milk until smooth. Slowly add the dry mixture and mix well. Add a little more water or milk if the dough is too dry, or flour if it’s too wet.

4. Place onto your counter and roll to 1/4″ thickness.

5. Cut with a cookie cutter and place on a cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool and serve to your delighted dog.

Another popular ingredient for dogs is pumpkin. Not only is it tasty, but it also a great source of fiber. Give this pumpkin ball recipe a try to see how your dog reacts to it:  

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 tbsp molasses
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, and water together in a bowl
  3. Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixture and stir until dough softens
  4. Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough and roll into balls on your hands (wet hands work best)
  5. Set the balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork
  6. Bake approximately 25 minutes until dough is hardened

Cats Love DIY Treats Too

If you are trying to find some flavorful DIY treats that are nutritious for your favorite feline, you want to look at options that have ingredients like fish, chicken, or liver. Give these sardine treats a try:

  • 2 flat cans of sardines in oil (Do not drain)
  • 2/3 cup cooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon pureed liver
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Shape into balls of the desired size or simply spoon into the cat’s dish and serve. You can leave these treats in the fridge for three days. You might also want to freeze them so your cat can enjoy them at a later time.

Healthy Treats Lead to Healthy and Happy Pets

The right kinds of treats can keep your pets trim and happy while also adding some additional nutritional value to their diets. If you want to learn more about pet nutrition, give the team at Godspeed Animal Care a call at (757) 253-0656.