The Easiest Homemade Dog Treats: Dog Treat Recipes Using Ingredients You Already Have + Food Substitutions For Dogs

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When I first started making homemade dog treats in my kitchen, I always thought I had to follow others’ dog treat recipes to a tee.

But you don’t have to do that.

To make homemade dog treats, you simply need:

#1 – A base (to give the dog treat some substance)

#2 – Some liquid (to give the dog treat added flavor)

#3 – One or more tasty ingredients (that are safe for dogs to eat)

At least one of the above ingredients must contain something sticky (like an egg, honey, molasses, peanut butter) to hold everything together during baking.


DIY Dog Treat Recipe Ingredients

The only reason that this simple formula works is because dogs aren’t as picky as humans when it comes to:

  • Look – how things look, in terms of color and texture; and
  • Taste – many dogs are happy to ingest anything they’re given to snack on.

Whenever I want to make my own dog treat recipe using ingredients that I already have on hand, I generally follow Amy Jorgensen’s example for making homemade dog treats:

Ingredients You Need: Although different recipes exist for homemade dog mints, all of them start with a base of flour, oatmeal or cornmeal. You can use whichever you have around the house. You’ll need 3½ cups of whichever you choose. Moisten the dry ingredient with 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil. If you do not want to use that much oil, supplement with water, but use at least half of the recommended vegetable oil. For added flavor, use three-quarters of a cup to 1 cup of chicken broth. You can add some cheddar cheese if your dog likes that flavor. You will need one egg to hold all of the ingredients together for baking.

Baking Instructions: When you start combining ingredients, start preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Combine everything except your base (the flour, cornmeal or oatmeal) and your egg in a food processor. You can also blend with a hand mixer in a pinch. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, mix it into your base ingredient. Then beat the egg and mix it into the ingredients. Knead the combination and form a ball of dough. If you need more water or broth, you can add a little bit more, as long as the dough remains sticky and a little grainy. Roll out the dough, cut out designs using cookie cutters or the rim of a cup, and bake for up to 20 minutes.


Dog Recipes Using Ingredients You Already Have

Based on all of the homemade dog treat recipes I’ve tried, following are some of the best dog-friendly ingredients you can use to make your very own custom homemade dog treat recipes.

The theory here is similar to the online tools that help you find recipes that use ingredients you already have on hand.

Remember the formula:  Base Ingredient + Liquid Ingredient + Tasty Ingredient(s)



  • Flour (wheat flour, oat flour, rice flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour)
  • Cornmeal
  • Oatmeal (oats, rolled oats, or old-fashioned oatmeal)

Here are some great tips for flour substitutions and how much of each type of flour to use.



  • Water
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Maple syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Chicken broth
  • Beef broth
  • Vegetable stock

Here’s what you need to know before giving your dog milk and dairy products.



  • Applesauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Bananas
  • Bacon
  • Liver
  • Cheese
  • Pumpkin

Here’s the ultimate list of human food ingredients that are safe for dogs… and which ones are NOT!


The Takeaway:

If you find a recipe for homemade dog treats that you like, but you’re an ingredient or 2 short, just use the above list to find a substitute!

That way, you truly can turn any dog treat recipe into one that is based on ingredients that you actually have on hand.

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I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner -- currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I've always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians -- whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started... and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what's 'normal' and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog -- how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I'm not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've written over 600 articles for dog owners on this site! Many of them have upwards of 200K shares.

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