Homemade Grain Free Dog Treats

If you have a dog, you know how expensive dog biscuits can be. And if your dog is on a grain free diet, well then you might as well double that budget. Lucky for me, my two big kids don’t mind eating carrots or other vegetables as treats… In fact, every time a bring a bag of carrots home, I can barely get through the front door before they try to rip into the bag.  I decided to take a shot at making my own homemade grain free dog treats and had no luck finding recipes on the web.  In fact, most recipes that claimed to be ‘grain free’ actually contained grain… rice flour being the main culprit.

When people find out my dogs are on a grain free diet, I usually get harassed by people saying, “Oh sure, you have Paleo dogs too.”  This isn’t exactly the case. We found out very early on that Andi actually has a grain allergy. Blue Buffalo states that grain (especially corn) is used as a primary filler in many dog foods. It is very hard for dogs to digest and in some cases (such as Andi) they can’t digest it at all. And she was on a corn free food…

So there in lies the problem. I need grain free dog treats that don’t cost a fortune, aren’t full of fillers, and are truly grain free. So I took a shot in the dark at making my own.  I decided just to use basic ingredients that I know are good for them and they like. The cooking part is still a little tricky. They still come out a little soft but I think if you turn down the temperature a little and cook them longer, they will harden up quite nice. Let me know if you can figure it out. This recipe is sticky too before you cook it. I didn’t want to use a lot of coconut flour (because I wanted the peanut butter to be the main flavor and it could get expensive), so I decided I’d just deal with the stickiness. But I think if you doubled (+) the coconut flour, you can eliminate the pre-bake stickiness.


Sweet Potato: Great for dogs because high source of fiber to keep you pet from getting constipated and full of needed nutrients.

Egg: Just like for humans, these are a great source of protein for dogs without added carbs.  They won’t put weight on your pet, which is a problem for most dogs.

Coconut Milk / Flour: When fed regularly to pets, coconut has proven to provide many benefits including clearing up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy skin.  It also makes their coat sleek and glossy, deodorizes odor, reduces bad breath and regulates and balanced insulin and thyroid levels.  And finally it has shown to help with arthritis and ligament problems.

Peanut Butter: Peanuts don’t appear to cause allergies in dogs like they do in humans. It’s another great source of protein and is a healthy fat for your doggie.  Dogs need a proper amount of healthy fats in their diets just like we do. Just be careful not to feed too much peanut butter to your dogs, especially if they are already overweight as the calorie content is pretty high.

Flax: A good source of omega-3 fatty acids which is good for their skin and coat. Flax is also another great source of fiber.


The Good Stuff:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons flax (plus 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (you can try increasing the amount to make the batter thicker)

The How To:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the flax and water in a bowl and let it sit so that the flax makes a paste.
  • Cut up the sweet potato and boil until soft. Let cool, remove skins and mash.
  • Combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix well.
  • Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Drop batter onto paper in the size that you prefer.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and take a wooden spoon and lightly press down on each cookie to flatten out any sharp areas. (If the cookies have sharp areas, they could scrape the top of your doggies mouth.)
  • Bake another 20 – 25 minutes. Pull out and let cool.
  • Store chilled in the fridge. I’m sure they would last a couple days on the counter but they will last a lot longer inside the fridge.

My dogs LOVE these treats. Of course, I have to non-food discriminating dogs!

Boil and mash the sweet potato.

Mix all ingredients together and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

The dogs definitely were begging for more.

Apparently they were so good that even Vaughan liked them.

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71 Responses to Homemade Grain Free Dog Treats

  1. Liz August 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    Can I use applesauce instead of peanut butter? Just found out my 20 month old Great Pyrenees has food allergies and he cannot have PB or any meat proteins..

    • AngelaVieux August 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      That’s a tough one… It’s hard having dogs with food allergies. You may have some consistency problems since the peanut butter is so tacky and helps hold the mixture. I say try it but I would recommend adjusting some ingredients. Instead of 1/2 cup of applesauce, I would probably try 1/4 cup and increase the coconut flour a little bit. Worse case scenario if you find that it is still too runny before cooking, you can toss in another egg. Eggs bind everything together. You could even try baking them in mini muffin cups. Let me know if you try and how it turns out. Just make sure you get apple sauce that doesn’t have any sugar added.

    • Belle April 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      You can use other nut butters like cashews if he isn’t allergic to those or sun butter which is from sunflower seeds. Can’t find it in a store? then just toss the seed or nuts in a blender until they for butter then refrigerate what you don’t use.

      • Jb June 21, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

        Avoid almond butter bc almonds can be harmful to dogs.

    • Diane June 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      how about almond, cashew, sunflower or one of those other “butters”?

      • Susan October 6, 2014 at 9:20 am #

        I found soy butter as my dog had an allergic reaction to peanut butter, going to try this in the recipe and let you know how it turns out.

    • Renee January 13, 2016 at 9:45 am #

      read label on PB, some have terrible preservatives which will seem the dog has allergies- ( VET may be unaware!) the cheaper PB usually have XILITOL (deadly for dogs) & other very bad preservatives in it- CULPRIT- PALM OIL,Palm Kernel or Palm Olein, XANATHAN, Carrageenan- SMUCKERS is the only one- without these, they will make me sick too, terrible stomach problems, terrible, bet that’s what the problem is with your dog- those darned preservatives- MUST read all food labels!

    • Julie Sanders January 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

      We have a great white pyrenees too. I am about to make these treats. I plan to use sunflower seed butter. I’m not sure about the protein levels in it, tho.

  2. Erika January 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Great Idea! Do they have to refrigerated? How long do they keep if not? Thanks!

    • AngelaVieux January 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

      I kept mine refrigerated because of the cooked egg. I always venture to stay on the safe side.

  3. Mary May 6, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Just had an allergy test done on our dog. He is borderline allergic to sweet potatoes…any other suggestions to replace them in this recipe.

    • AngelaVieux May 23, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      Possibly regular potatoes? Don’t know is he would have the same allergies?? Regular potatoes would still provide the same binding effect. I just always like to use sweet potatoes because they are nutrient dense.

    • Kelly May 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

      How about pumpkin?

    • Misty July 7, 2013 at 4:32 am #

      My first thought was maybe carrots? Same color family, maybe some of the same nutrients.

    • doretta March 17, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      I used can pumpkin they loved them.

    • Chrissy February 9, 2015 at 11:34 am #

      Try pureed pumpkin in place of potato.

    • V December 18, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

      Have you tried garbanzo beans?

      • AngelaVieux March 23, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

        I have not but that may be a good option.

    • Julie Sanders January 22, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

      You can use a regular potato. Just be sure it isn’t green as the green ones are considered toxic. White potatoes are one of the ingredients to a home made liver cleanse diet.

  4. tina May 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    I’d like to try this, but where does one buy FLAX?

    • AngelaVieux June 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

      I purchase mine at Whole Foods in the bulk foods section. You can purchase ground flax or whole. Your best bet is going to be in the baking section of your grocery store.

  5. Missy May 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Thanks for this great recipe!! I played with it a little as I never have eggs in the house (allergy) I used carrot juice instead of the water in the ground flax and also added some shredded coconut and a can of pumpkin! Smelled great as I was cooking them and the dogs love them! Thanks again

  6. Jennie July 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    When you say flax, do you mean flax seed oil or flax seeds? This is a all new to me 🙂

    • AngelaVieux July 9, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Flax seed. It acts like a binder and adds beneficial fats.

  7. Georgie August 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    Husband and pup both love these. a rescue dog with grain issues.

    • AngelaVieux August 13, 2013 at 6:06 am #

      I’m so glad. Rescue dogs are the BEST!

  8. Jordan August 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Perfect. My dogs love them, but it’s cuter to use cookie cutters and you also don’t have to flatten them out to get rid of the sharp edges, because they are already shaped.

  9. Andria August 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    What can I substitute for the flax as flax should never be heated as it oxidizes the fats(makes it rancid)and I don’t want that in my dog’s treats

  10. clarissa September 12, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Can you use almond flour instead of coconut flour?

    • AngelaVieux November 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Probably but I would use a little more since coconut flour is denser.

    • Jb June 21, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

      Do not give a dog almond or almond products. It is harmful to dogs.

  11. christina October 8, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    im going to try to make these for my dog she also is a rescue and has allergies to grains and dairy so had to switch her dog food and now she has lost weight 🙁 since I had to cut all treats out of her diet .. they don’t sell any treats in a store she can have.

  12. Pina October 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Awesome!! I cut the flax doubled the flour n added 1 Tbs of honey. No stickiness rolled into balls n pressed prior to putting on nonstick cookie sheet. Baked 20 min at 350 then flipped n baked another 20. Lil soft but my 2 pyrs n Shepard sat infront of the oven in anticipation from the aroma. Noah, Arcadia and Haney give u 6 paws up!! Oh my husband thought they were for him…….so let’s just say they are a hit at the Helsel house! Thank u

    • AngelaVieux November 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      So glad to hear everyone liked them!!!

  13. pixelfizz November 22, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Any suggestions for an egg substitute?

    • jojo January 7, 2014 at 11:04 am #


      Check this site out for egg substitutes – http://www.dogtreatkitchen.com/dog-treat-recipe-without-eggs.html

      • Patty February 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

        Are they soft or crunchy? If soft, do you have ideas on how to make them crunchy?

        • AngelaVieux February 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

          They are semi-soft and unfortunately no. I’m still trying to come up with hard “cookies.” I’ll keep you posted.

          • Mandee June 9, 2014 at 1:34 am #

            The best way I found to make my treats crunchy is to leave them in the oven with it turned off over night. It will dry them out and harden them. Or, leave out on cookie sheet on counter over night with a piece of wax or parchment paper over them.

  14. Cristina February 25, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    What a great recipe! My dog likes his treats on the crunchier side so I decided to follow your directions and after baking them, I put them in a food dehydrator until they got crispy and dry. Worked like a charm…I wonder if it will extend the shelf life a little bit? (do you think I still need to keep them in the fridge if they are thoroughly dehydrated?)

    • AngelaVieux February 25, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

      If they’re completely dry then they should be shelf stable and I don’t think you’ll have any problems with them. Great idea. Glad you like them!

  15. Marcie April 18, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    Thank you for sharing! I’m going to try these for my rescued Terrier mixed puppy and my big goofy Boxer. I’m going to be adding more flax since my son (two-legged kind!) has egg allergies and flax is what we use as an egg replacer when I cook for him. I don’t want any of my children, 2 or 4 legged, to have an reaction. I love sweet potatoes so I may have to try one too!

    • AngelaVieux April 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Thank you for being a dog rescuer! Let me know how they turn out. Our puppies can’t get enough of them.

  16. Tara May 26, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    Try Garbanzo Bean Flour instead of coconut flour… different ratio of course. it’s not ‘paleo’ but it is grain free. they get nice and crunchy cooked long and low.. you sort of have to “dehydrate” them to get them crunchy.

  17. Jen July 29, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    My dog is allergic to Flax, what else should I use?

  18. Susan Colavecchio October 6, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    Made this recipe one of my dogs waited at the mixer the entire time. I had to omit the egg and peanut butter but substituted the egg with half a banana and substituted the peanut butter for soy butter. The dogs Even tasted the batter before baking they loved it! Waiting for baking result.

  19. Carli October 11, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    Having just changed to a grain free and paying a fortune for GF treats I thought I would give this a try so I have just made a double batch for my two pups and they love them!! Thank you for the recipe xx

  20. Penny November 14, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Coconut milk ? Canned or refrigerator type

  21. Cristina December 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    Still making these cookies on a regular basis and they’re the only treats I give my dog. They’re awesome!!! I’ve made many batches and I have given the recipe to a number of friends who also love them!!!

  22. Melanie December 12, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Hi , I was wondering.. I want to take some of the dog teats I make with me but I won’t have access to a refridgerator ..how long is ok to keep them out of the refridgerator … Are they basically the same as any regular cookies we would keep out

    • AngelaVieux December 16, 2014 at 11:08 am #

      Yes, more or less. You will want to keep them in an airtight container and the more you can dry them out, the longer they will last.

  23. Susan Ball December 19, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    Hi, I am very happy with your recipe. I have made them twice. I did tweak it a little and wondered if you are interested in hearing my take on your recipe? Ingredients stayed the same, technique a little different. Thanks for providing such a great recipe. My lab loves them, in fact yesterday when I started mixing them, he would leave my space. He knew from the smell it was his. Love it!

  24. mandy December 22, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Is there any sub of the coconut milk?! Just do not have any on hand right now. I have almond milk or coconut water 🙂

  25. shelly March 15, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    These are awesome!! I’m actually dog sitting and all 4 dogs love them. My dog is obsessed with them!! I’m going to add nutritional yeast next time – I tried another homemade grain-free dog treat and these are so simple. Thanks for a great recipe!

  26. littlepawsboutique March 29, 2015 at 1:08 am #

    Those sound really good. I do follow a Paleo plan for myself so this will be a good way to use up the extra sweet potatoes as it’s hard to just cook enough for only 1 person. I will try them with almond butter instead of peanut butter as I don’t keep PB in the house anymore.

  27. Cherie June 11, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    These are grrrreeaaattt!

  28. PWDWUFF August 19, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    I am wondering if we even really have to cook these… Maybe leave them raw in small batches in fridge or freezer to use as needed (thaw first in fridge). Dogs eat raw (eggs meat) and it’s healthier. The baking appeal extends I think I will replace the potato with a ground carrot and greens mixture (I put all through my juicer, then mix the pulp back with the juice to right consistency), then I will roll them into balls, and store in fridge and/or freezer. Let’s face it, peanut butter drives them nuts, so they may as well be getting more alkaline in diet by adding the greens/carrots/coconut.

  29. Cee Jay Kay September 10, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve had more than one dog with skin issues that benefited from a grain free diet, and all three dogs were different breeds. Predominately white dogs seem to have more skin allergies. My most recently fur friend is Sophia the greyhound. She came to us with dandruff. Four weeks on a grain free diet, and her dandruff completely cleared up. Corn is a huge factor in dog food, but so is wheat, and chicken. I’m curious what I can do to this recipe to make the shelf life longer. I’d like to sell them.

  30. Jr September 24, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    I’ve made these a lot. Pugs love them and I know exactly what’s in them.
    I also use a dehydrator to make them shelf safe, say about 4/5 hours of drying. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Julie Sanders January 22, 2016 at 11:51 pm #

    Both my dogs enjoyed this recipe. I used sunflower seed butter.


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