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. 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.

ALL ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS:

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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35 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.

  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.

  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.

  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?

  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!

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