I’ve always been an animal person. I begged for years to get my first dog, Holly, when I was five. We named her Holly because she was born right before Christmas and she was the best Christmas present ever!
Holly passed away years ago, but now I get to watch my own children enjoy our Golden Pyrenees (a yellow lab/great Pyrenees mix). Daisy faithfully watches over the children when they play in the yard and lets the one-year-old sit on her and “pet” her.
One day, my older kids asked if we could make “cookies for Daisy” with ingredients she would like. I’d been mulling over the idea of a dog treat recipe for a while, and that was my motivation to finally try some easy, homemade treats.
Homemade Dog Treats with Coconut Oil
We already give Daisy (and our cats Penelope & Tiger) coconut oil daily but I wanted to figure out a way to incorporate it into this easy recipe.
I stuck to vet-approved ingredients for dogs: sweet potato, coconut oil/coconut, eggs, coconut flour, and gelatin.
Really, any combination of those ingredients would work, but we found a particular ratio that Daisy seems to love. We also figured out a cat treat recipe for Penelope and Tiger.
My favorite part of this DIY recipe is that it is a convenient way to give Daisy her daily coconut oil and a fun treat for her. I also know exactly what is going into her dog biscuits.
Why Coconut Oil?
Many homemade treat recipes contain peanut butter, rice flour, all-purpose flour, or whole wheat flour. After we talked to our vet, we decided we wanted our biscuits to be grain-free and nut-free, but packed with healthy fats and veggies.
I built my recipe around coconut oil. According to the American Kennel Club, coconut oil is beneficial to dogs. It is over 90% saturated fat and is an antioxidant that helps with mineral absorption. It has Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs), which can provide energy and help create a glossy coat for your pet.
MCFAs also contain lauric acid, which has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. While coconut oil is full of health benefits for dogs (and dog lovers too!), consult with your vet before using large quantities especially if your pet has specific health problems.
One caution: Too much coconut oil can cause doggie diarrhea or an upset stomach. We found that one treat a day was the perfect amount.
Homemade Dog Treats
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients and mix until well incorporated. If needed, add a little extra coconut flour to get a dough that is slightly thinner than Play Dough.
- Form into 1-inch balls and flatten with hand.
- We made “paw print” shapes with our fingers to make them cute (totally optional). You can also use a rolling pin to flatten the doggie dough to create a cutout shape with a cookie cutter if you have extra prep time.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until slightly browned on the edges.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing.
Tips for Keeping Dog Treats Fresh
The last thing you want to see after spending time creating healthy snacks for your fur baby is mold growing on your yummy treats.
Since these treats are homemade, they do not contain preservatives. They will need to be stored in a cool, dry place to avoid spoiling or encouraging mold growth.
Here are some tips to keep treats dry, fresh, and ready to go:
- Serve or store these doggie treats immediately after they cool. Give your pup a sample and then put the rest of them away.
- I prefer to store a handful in a mason jar in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for up to two weeks, but they usually don’t last that long!
- I stack the majority of these biscuits in an air-tight container, with a little natural parchment paper in between layers, and store them in the freezer. They will keep in the freezer for several months. I avoid plastic containers and prefer to use glass, silicone, or metal options.
We give our dog one of these per day and she seems to approve!
If you are short on time and are looking for a pet treat that is natural and an easy alternative to homemade, we’ve given Chippin to our dog as a treat.
Do you have any pets? What do you give them for treats?