Looking for dog treats to give to your pets but want a healthier and more natural approach? The great news is that now you won’t have to run to the store and pore through (oftentimes limited) pet treats options. There are actually hundreds of healthy dog treat recipes out there that you can try with ingredients that most households have in their refrigerators and pantries. In this article, we’ve compiled some of the best and healthiest ones that your pets will surely enjoy.

What Are Dog Treats For?

Before we get into the recipes, let’s first talk about how you can incorporate dog treats into your pet’s daily life. Dog treats are very versatile – they can be used as part of a reward system during your dog’s training or as a supplement to their daily diet. To give you a better image, here are the different purposes that dog treats have for your pet:

  1. Rewards for good behavior – One of the top uses of dog treats is for positive reinforcement during training or during socialization. With tasty treats, you can easily help your dog associate new commands or experiences with positive emotions and memories. These can help you easily curb bad behavior and motivate them to learn.
  2. Stimulation and entertainment – Looking to stimulate your dog and help them solve their boredom? Treats are great for keeping them busy during the day or while they’re waiting for you to get off work or school. Pair dog treats with interactive toys, and you won’t have to worry about your dog getting bored.
  3. Mid-day snacks – If your dog is big on pleading with you for another meal in-between his usual meal times, giving them treats can help them sate their hunger or boredom. Give them a few pieces in-between meals for mid-day snacks!
  4. Diet supplements and additional vitamin sources – Not sure if your dogs are getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals they need? Why not boost their nutrient intake in the most enjoyable way possible with treats? Homemade dog treats offer a wide range of nutrients and you can easily change them up according to your pet’s needs.
  5. Dental hygiene – Some dog treats are specifically designed to help your dogs get rid of plaque that may build up on their teeth or freshen their breath. Fortunately, there are a handful of recipes out there for homemade dental doggy treats that you can make on your own – including mint bites and homemade “greenies.”

Three Healthy Dog Treats to Try at Home

 Now that you know you can use dog treats, it’s now time to choose the best and healthiest dog treats to make for your pets. Here are three of the healthiest and tastiest dog treats that will surely be irresistible for your pets:

Pumpkin and Turmeric Dog Cookies

 Pumpkin and turmeric contain a wealth of nutrition, from vitamin A, B, C and useful antioxidants. These make them great ingredients for dog treats to not only give your pets enjoyable snacks but to also offer them better vitamin levels. Here’s how you can make them, according to Samantha Randall!


  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree or boiled pumpkin
  • 75 to 100 mg per 5 pounds of body weight
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup ground flax seeds


 Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Combine your ingredients in a large bowl, mixing until all ingredients are well-blended.
  2. Flatten the “dough” evenly on a wax sheet, and cut out about 45 treats using a cookie cutter.
  3. Arrange the shapes on your sheet pan and bake for three hours.
  4. Let cool, and give your pets one treat per day.

Chicken and Parsley Dog Treats

 Boost your pet’s protein intake with these tasty chicken and parsley dog treats. With their savory taste and crunchy texture, these chicken treats will surely keep your dog wanting more. Here’s how you can make them with Pine River’s recipe:


  • 2 ½ cups wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine your chicken broth, wheat flour, salt, egg and parsley.
  3. Sprinkle flour on your kitchen counter and carefully roll out your dough until it’s about ¼ inch thick.
  4. Cut out dog treats with a cookie cutter.
  5. Arrange your dough on a cookie sheet. Make sure to use parchment paper to stop your cookies from sticking.
  6. Bake your cookies for 30 to 35 minutes.
  7. Let cookies cool, and throw your dogs a piece!

Sardine Swirls

Are your dogs big fans of seafood? This sardine swirl treat may be the best choice for you. Made with sardines and sunflower seeds, these treats are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin E – all useful nutrients for your pet’s cognitive health and bone strength. These are especially great for some breeds, including French bulldogs, who are predisposed to skeletal conditions. Here’s a great recipe from Seddon Neudorfer:


  • 2 cups of strong white flour
  • 1 sachet of easy bake dried yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 240 grams of sardines


  1. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and sunflower seeds.
  2. Mix the ingredients together, gradually adding warm water while mixing the dough.
  3. Knead the dough on a flour-dusted surface for about 10 minutes – adding more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  4. Divide the dough into two and roll out each one into a rectangle.
  5. Mash the sardines with a fork and spread this “filling” evenly on both rectangle doughs.
  6. Roll the dough up to form a sausage shape, making sure to cover the sardine filling.
  7. Cut the slices into rounded discs, approximately 2 cm thick.
  8. Arrange them onto your greased sheet pan, and leave them in a warm place to proof for 15 minutes.
  9. Bake the pieces for about 30 minutes.
  10. Switch the oven off, and let cool.


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