How to Make Homemade Oatmeal Dog Treats
Looking to make your own homemade Oatmeal Dog Treats and stay away from the expensive ones from the store? This is a simple recipe that your pups will love!
Homemade Oatmeal Dog Treats
Our pets become part of our families, and, naturally, we want to give them the very best! Does your dog enjoy the occasional doggy treat? Of course! What dog doesn’t? Today I’m going to teach you two ways to make simple and nutritious dog treats right in your kitchen with 6 basic ingredients!
Here on the ranch, I have a small pack of six (you read that right: SIX!) German Shepherd Dogs who are most definitely quite spoiled in the food department! We feed them high-quality dog food, beef bones from our home-raised Angus steers we have processed and treats!
Why Should I Feed My Dog Treats?
Dog treats are especially useful in training young dogs. Most puppies/dogs are very food-motivated when it comes to learning new obedience skills and tricks. While there is a wide variety of dog treats for sale in the stores, it can actually be quite overwhelming to know which ones to try!
If your dogs are anything like mine, they are also quite picky when it comes to dog treats. There’s nothing more frustrating than buying an expensive bag of dog treats to get home and have your pup turn up his nose. I cannot tell you how many bags of treats have been wasted before I created these simple biscuits!
What Is Wrong With Dog Treats from the Store?
Actually, it can be quite comical when I take a dog out in public with me. Bank drive-throughs, farm stores, etc. oftentimes will offer my dogs a popular biscuit-shaped cookie for dogs. My dogs are quite polite, and usually will carefully accept the treat from the employee’s hand, and then drop it on the floor and look at them as if to say, “Nice try. But, no thank you.”
I can’t say that I blame them, really. Many conventional dog treats contain preservatives such as sodium metabisulfite and dyes like Yellow 6 and Blue 1. Moreover, some only use artificial flavorings instead of actual food products (like real peanut butter!).
A lot of dog treats also contain wheat and wheat products, which is fine unless your dog has a gluten intolerance, in which case you will need to find a treat that is rice or oat-based, such as the recipe I am going to share with you. Oats are more easily digested and are an excellent source of fiber.
How Often Should I Give My Dog Treats?
Of course, as with all treats, we should remember that treats are just that: TREATS. I remember a conversation with somebody years ago, upon seeing the pile of Milk Bones she would give her dog daily. “You do know they’re called ‘treats’ and not ‘food’, right?!
Look at them as cookies, not meals. You wouldn’t give your kids 12 cookies a day…your dog doesn’t need it, either!
Ingredients in Oatmeal Dog Treats
Let’s look at the breakdown of ingredients in these simple homemade dog biscuits:
- Oats and Oat Flour. Oats are inexpensive, readily available and easy to store. According to akc.org, “Oatmeal is high in fiber and contains a plethora of nutrients, minerals and antioxidants… it contains vitamin B, which helps maintain a healthy coat, and linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid.” In my recipes, I used the oats in-tact as old-fashioned rolled oats, and I also ground some in my food processor into oat flour. You don’t have to buy oat flour, you can make it by grinding oats into a powder in your blender or food processer like I did.
- Peanut Butter. For many dogs, peanut butter is like the holy grail on a spoon. Once, I boarded a couple of dogs for a friend at my house, and they were rather timid at first. So, on day two, I went outside with a spoonful of peanut butter, and suddenly Lewis and I were best buds! The way to a man’s heart really is through food… man or dog, apparently! But, I digress… Peanut butter is an excellent natural binding agent for your homemade dog biscuits, and it packs a flavor punch that dogs love! Be careful when choosing your peanut butter, though! Most contain inflammatory oils such as palm oil, and surprisingly high amounts of sugar. Simple is best for peanut butter, so check your ingredients and find the jar containing only peanuts, peanuts, and salt. I used creamy peanut butter in my recipe, but if all you can find is chunky, that would also work fine.
- Fat or Oil. You can have fun with this ingredient and swap it out with what you have on hand. I’ve made this recipe with both bacon grease I saved from cooking and coconut oil which is excellent for a dog’s skin and coat health. Be aware that using bacon grease may make your treats spoil more quickly, so you will want to refrigerate them for storage; coconut oil is shelf-stable and you can leave the treats in an air-tight container on your counter. You could also play around with this and try using beef tallow or chicken fat, but remember that animal fats will go rancid, so refrigeration will be required for storage.
- Salt. Salt is an essential element and a simple flavor enhancer.
- Egg. I used egg in the baked dog-treat version as a binding agent and also for a little bit of added protein! I actually give my dogs a raw egg daily for coat health, but it’s also great in treats!
- Ground Flax. This is an optional ingredient in my easy no-bake dog treats. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed equals one egg and is a simple substitute swap for dogs (and humans!) with poultry or egg allergies.
Common ingredients in other homemade dog treats are banana, applesauce, pumpkin puree, whole wheat flour, and chicken broth. All of these will give the treats different flavors. If your dog doesn’t like the recipes I’ve listed below, you might try swapping out one or more of the ingredients for these.
Need to print these recipes for your Recipe Binder? Grab it below!
Easy Baked Oatmeal Dog Treats
- 1 cup oat flour or old-fashioned rolled oats, pulsed in a food processor until it becomes a flour-like texture
- 1/2 cup all-natural PB
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 cup coconut oil melted
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Lightly dust your work surface with oat flour, and roll your dough out 1/4” thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut your dough into shapes, or use small cookie cutters.
Carefully transfer your dog treats to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake in a 250* oven for about 45 minutes. The treats will not brown, but will dry out. Transfer to wax paper and cool completely. Store in an airtight container on your counter for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Note: You can also knead in 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese to your biscuit dough for extra flavor! The melted cheese holds these tender biscuits together a little better, and your pup will love you for the added cheese!
The recipe for Baked Oatmeal Dog treats is great if you are looking for something crunchy and healthy.
If you are looking for something quick that you don’t have to turn on your oven for, check out the no-bake dog treats recipe below!
Easy No-Bake Oatmeal Dog Treats
- 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
Combine peanut butter, salt, and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add in oats, oat flour, and ground flax seed.
Drop by tablespoons scoop on wax paper or parchment paper and allow to cool completely. They’re like the classic no-bake cookies, only for dogs! Store in an airtight container on your counter for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Note: These make soft cookies, so I suggest keeping them in the fridge. Because they are soft, they make excellent pill-pockets if your dog takes a daily medication or multivitamin!
How to Store Homemade Dog Treats
These dog treat recipes can be stored in an airtight container on your countertop for 1 week or can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks. You could also freeze any extras that you know you may not use during that time.
More Homestead Animal Articles
- Thrifty Pet Ideas for Frugal Living
- How to Make Horse Treats
- Why You Should Raise Goats
- Guide to the Best Egg Laying Chickens for the Backyard
- DIY Animal Mineral Feeder
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Do you think your dogs would enjoy homemade Oatmeal Dog Treats?
This recipe for Homemade Oatmeal Dog Treats recipe was originally posted on Little House Living in February 2023.