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Homemade Treats for Dogs and Cats

Imagine your favorite edible treat, like Hershey’s. Now imagine someone treats you to this as a luxury, twice a week, for as long as you can remember, and it’s never varied. It'd get pretty boring, right? This is how your cat or dog must feel if all they’ve ever had as a treat is the standard pet store kind.
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However, there are some treats you can rustle up in the comfort of your kitchen that are both tasty and healthy for cats and dogs. So whether you want to treat your dog to a doggy dessert, or your cat to a catty crumble at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, or whenever the mood strikes you, you have plenty of options to try. Check out the scrumptious recipes below for inspiration.

  • Cat treats

    • Homemade tuna crackers for cats

      kitty-crackers

      Recipe and photo from Must Love Cats

      Ingredients:

      • 6 oz undrained tuna
      • 1 cup cornmeal
      • 1 cup flour
      • 1/3 cup water

      Directions:

      1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. 
      2. Measure all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.
      3. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness and cut into treat sized pieces. 
      4. Place on a greased cookie sheet. 
      5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

    • Kitty bruschetta

      Recipe by LoveToKnow Cats

      Ingredients:

      • Fish oil
      • Bread (1 piece)
      • Dried fish flakes

      Directions:

      1. Lightly toast one piece of bread in the toaster.
      2. Cut the toast into one-inch cubes.
      3. Brush the tops of the cubes with a little fresh fish oil.
      4. Lightly sprinkle the cubes with dried fish flakes.
      5. Bake in an oven or toaster oven at 350° F until the cubes are a rich, golden brown.
      6. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm.

    • Kitty heaven sardine surprise

      Recipe by Simply Pets

      Ingredients:

      • 2 flat cans of sardines in oil, do not drain
      • 2/3 cup cooked rice
      • 1 tbsp pureed liver or canned liver cat food
      • ¼ cup chopped parsley

      Directions:

      1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. 
      2. Shape into balls of a desired size or simply spoon into cat's dish and serve. 
      3. These treats may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, and may also be frozen.

    • Holiday cheese ball treats

      Recipe by LoveToKnow Cats

      Yield: approximately 12 balls

      Ingredients:

      • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
      • ½ cup grated cheddar or cheddar jack cheese
      • 1 large egg white
      • ½ cup whole wheat flour
      • 1 tsp of fresh chopped catnip or ½ tsp of dried catnip

      Directions:

      1. Mix the margarine, cheese, and egg until well blended.
      2. In a separate bowl, combine flour and catnip. 
      3. Add the flour slowly to the mixture of margarine, cheese, and egg, mixing until a soft dough ball is formed. 
      4. Separate into ½ inch pieces and roll by hand into small balls. 
      5. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 300° F for approximately 25 minutes.
      6. Cool completely before serving.

    • Chicken biscuits

      Recipe by PetPlace

      Ingredients:

      • 1½ cups shredded, cooked chicken
      • ½ cup chicken broth
      • 1 cup whole wheat flour
      • 1/3 cup cornmeal
      • 1 tbsp soft margarine

      Directions:

      1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
      2. Combine chicken, broth, and margarine then blend well. 
      3. Add flour and cornmeal. Knead dough into a ball and roll to ¼ inch.
      4. Cut into one-inch sized pieces and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
      5. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. 

      Makes 18 cookies.

  • Dog treats

    • Peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats

      pbpumpkindogtreats

      Recipe and photo from Allrecipes.com

      Prep time: 15 minutes

      Cook time: 40 minutes

      Ingredients:

      • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
      • ½ cup canned pumpkin
      • ½ tsp salt
      • 2 egg
      • 2 tbsp peanut butter
      • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
      2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon.
      3. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but not too much as the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a ½-inch-thick roll. Cut into ½-inch pieces.
      4. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.
    • Carrot cake dog cupcakes with cream cheese icing

      dog_cake_recipes_with_carrots

      Recipe and photo from Dog Treat Kitchen

      Ingredients:

      • 2 cups shredded carrots
      • 3 eggs
      • ½ cup apple sauce, unsweetened
      • 2 tsp cinnamon
      • ½ cup rolled oats
      • 3 cups whole wheat flour

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
      2. Lightly grease the cups of muffin pan.
      3. In a large bowl, stir together the carrots, eggs, and applesauce. Set aside.
      4. In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, oats, and flour.
      5. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir until well blended.
      6. Spoon mixture into muffin tin. The dough will be thick, so you may need to wet your fingers to press the dough into place.
      7. The cupcakes won’t rise very much, so don’t worry about over-filling the muffin pan.
      8. Bake for 25 minutes.
      9. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting or serving.

      Icing ingredients:

      • 8 oz low fat cream cheese, softened
      • ¼ cup applesauce, unsweetened

      Directions:

      1. Blend the cream cheese and applesauce with a hand mixer until well mixed.
      2. Spoon into a pastry bag for easy decorating.
      3. Decorate the tops of your cupcakes.

      These dog cupcakes will keep fresh in your refrigerator for two weeks and you can freeze them for up to two months. If you plan to freeze them, don’t frost the cupcakes until they thaw out completely.


    • Canine casserole

      Recipe by Dog Training Central

      Prep time: 15 minutes

      Ingredients:

      • 1 cup cooked chicken or turkey
      • ½ cup steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, squash, spinach, sweet potato)
      • ½ cup prepared brown rice
      • 4 tbsp no-sodium broth

      Directions:

      1. Combine all ingredients and serve.

      This can be a good meal replacement if you've run out of dog food, or if your pup is a picky eater.

    • Frozen meatballs

      dog-treat-recipes-meatball

      Recipe and photo from Dog Treat Kitchen

      Ingredients:

      • 1½ cups dry dog food, ground coarse
      • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
      • 1 lb lean ground beef
      • ¼ cup honey
      • 1/8 cup applesauce, unsweetened

      Directions:

      1. Cook the ground beef and break it into very small pieces. Once cooked through, pour off the grease.
      2. Put the dog food into a food processor or blender, and grind to a coarse flour.
      3. Whisk together the coarse dog food and bread crumbs in a medium-sized bowl.
      4. Stir together the meat, honey, and applesauce in a separate small bowl.
      5. Stir the meat mixture into the dry mixture until thoroughly mixed.
      6. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
      7. Using your hand, fill a small scooper or melon baller with dough. Press firmly to get as much in as you can, then place on the prepared sheet.
      8. Place in your freezer until frozen, approximately 2 hours.

      This treat, like many homemade dog treat recipes, needs to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer. Keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.

      Using a one-inch cookie scooper, you will have about 40 meatballs in total. Plenty of treats for your dog and their friends!

    • Peanut butter dog treats

      peanut butter dog treats

      Ingredients:

      • 1 cup flour (or whole wheat flour)
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • ½ cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth, doesn’t matter)
      • ½ cup milk

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
      2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients, stir.
      3. When it gets thick, knead the dough with your hands on a floured surface.
      4. Roll out the dough to ¼ to ½ inch thickness and cut into shapes.
      5. Bake on a cookie sheet for 15 - 17 minutes until golden brown.

    • Salmon cakes for dogs

      salmon_dog_treats_02

      Recipe and photo from Dog Treat Kitchen

      Ingredients:

      • 1 - 14.75oz can of salmon
      • 2 egg whites
      • ¼ cup sour cream, low or fat free
      • 2 tsp dried parsley
      • ½ cup carrot, shredded
      • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
      • 1 tsp dried dill 

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
      2. Drain liquid from the salmon. Remove bones and skin, if any.
      3. In a medium bowl, mix together salmon, egg whites, sour cream, parsley, and carrot.
      4. In a separate shallow dish, stir together the plain bread crumbs and dill.
      5. Using a small scooper or melon baller, scoop one ball and lightly flatten into a patty form.
      6. Thoroughly coat the patty in the bread crumb mixture.
      7. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
      8. Repeat until there is no more salmon mixture left.
      9. Bake for 12 minutes. Then flip and bake for 12 more minutes.
      10. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

      Any dog treat recipe with meat should be served quickly (max one week in the refrigerator). You can freeze these salmon cakes for up to two months. If you use a one-inch cookie scoop, this recipe should make two dozen salmon dog treats.

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