Making your own puppy food or treats is all the rage at the moment. Are you thinking about making some homemade puppy treats or homemade puppy food? Is there such a thing as healthy puppy treats?
Trying to decide which biscuits, meat or treats to give your pup can be a bit overwhelming, but don’t fear, Zigzag is here with all the homemade puppy food and treats recipe ideas, just for you!
In this article, we’ll be talking you through
- What ingredients you need for homemade puppy treats
- What the best homemade puppy treats to bake are
- What recipes you can follow to make your own puppy homemade food and treats
- How much homemade puppy food is safe for your puppy to eat
If you’re not sure what food you should be feeding your puppy or how much, we have a handy food calculator built into the Zigzag puppy training app, and a team of puppy coaches ready to help you figure out any worries you have with your puppy. You can contact them 7 days a week, so they’re always there whenever you need them.
What ingredients do I need for homemade puppy treats?
If you’re planning on making your own homemade puppy treats, there are a few basic items that are commonly found and used in recipes.
We should say there is a lot written about what is and isn’t healthy for dogs to eat. While we would never give our dogs something that might poison them, we take a common sense and balanced approach to puppy nutrition.
For healthy puppy treats you’ll typically find some of these ingredients listed in recipes
- Ground Flax Seed – a great source of Omega 3s, which keep your puppy’s coat and skin healthy
- Pumpkin – A great source of fibre and beta-carotene
- Sweet Potato – Good source of Fibre, Vitamin A and Antioxidants
- Wholemeal flour – Fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals
- Oats – typically used in place of flour, they can be whizzed up in a blender to make oat flour
- Apple – Fibre and a source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and antioxidants
- Olive Oil – Great source of healthy fats
- Peanut butter – but just make sure it does not contain xylitol
Homemade puppy food can be given as a complementary food and as a nice treat, maybe you want to home cook a couple of meals a week, or shock horror you’ve run out of your regular puppy food and need to improvise.
If you’re going to solely home cook for your puppy, then you need to be aware that they have different energy requirements and need a different ratio of proteins – fats – carbohydrates than adult dogs. We recommend you seek out the help of a canine nutritionist for this, or follow vet formulated recipes to ensure your puppy gets the right nutrients for growth.
You’ll tend to see the following ingredients when following a homemade puppy food recipe
- Protein – turkey or ground beef mince are common ingredients
- Fruits and vegetables – blueberries, leafy greens, carrots, peas and apples. Dogs do not tend to like anything citrusy, and poisonous fruit such as grapes and cherries are to be avoided.
- Starchy or fibre-rich carbs – pumpkin, sweet potato or butternut squash are good for these and super tasty for puppies too!
- Fats – animal fats or oils, including olive oil and flaxseed
- Vitamins and minerals – these are usually a supplement. Puppies need calcium for healthy bone growth.
Best homemade puppy treats to bake
So I expect you’ll want to know what our favourite homemade puppy treats to bake are? We’ve got a couple for you, and we hope your puppy likes them!
Peanut butter and banana homemade puppy treats
300g of wholemeal/wholewheat flour
100g of rolled oats
2 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon of honey
250g peanut butter (without artificial sweeteners)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (170°F fan).
- In a mixing bowl, mash the peeled bananas with a fork then mix in the eggs, peanut butter, and honey. (You can also just stick it all in a blender/food processor if you have one!)
- Combine the flour and oats in a separate bowl, then add it to the wet mixture
- Combine the ingredients with a spoon or your hands until they form a dough
- Flour your work surface and lay out the dough to about 1cm thickness. Cut biscuits from the dough with a cookie cutter – yes we like bone shapes, so why not grab a bone-shaped cookie cutter and have some fun with this?
- Place the biscuits on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden brown
- Allow to cool and then let your puppy have a try!
Sardine baked homemade puppy treats
If you’re looking for a delicious homemade puppy treat that you can also use for training then look no further. Sardine cake is a delicious training treat and most puppies love it!
Cut up and freeze what you don’t need so you always have treats to hand when you need them.
2 large tins of sardines in tomato sauce
225g self-raising flour or wholemeal flour
225g porridge oats
2 – 3 cloves of garlic (I have always used this in my dog’s treats but you can leave it out if you’d rather not feed it)
1 tablespoon oil
- Crack the eggs into a large measuring bowl. Finely chop the garlic, and add to the eggs along with the tin of sardines. Blend to a smooth consistency with a fork – or in a food processor if you have one
- Mix in the flour then add the porridge. The mixture should be a reasonably firm consistency. Add more flour if necessary
- Pour contents into a well greased loaf tin and spread evenly. Silicon pans work really well for this as they won’t stick
- Bake at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until springy when pressed and when stabbed with a knife, the knife comes out clean. Allow to completely cool before removing
- Divide into portions and freeze
- For training, chop the sardine cake into ½ cm sized squares
- Alternatively, you can use one of these pyramid pans, they are excellent at making small dog treats as you just push them out after. Reduce the cooking time if you’re using these so they don’t burn
What recipes for puppy homemade food and treats can I follow?
There are so many recipes for homemade puppy treats online, that you’ll probably be spoilt for choice in trying to choose between them. Here are a few things to think about when trying to pick a healthy or homemade treat recipe for your puppy.
Choose a puppy treat recipe that has easy to buy ingredients
It’s no good finding an amazing healthy puppy treat recipe then not actually being able to buy the ingredients is it? A good example of this is canned pumpkin, it’s really quite hard to find in UK supermarkets, so might be one you avoid.
Puppy treat recipes should have safe ingredients
While not so common in the UK, peanut butter sold in other countries often has Xylitol in it, this is known to be dangerous for dogs to eat. Also avoid chocolate, grapes and anything else which would be dangerous for your puppy to eat.
Avoid homemade puppy treat recipes with lots of salt
Puppies don’t need salt in their diet, so avoid recipes which contain large amounts of it, whether added to the recipe (unlikely) or in ingredients such as cheese.
Keep an eye on your puppy after they have homemade puppy treats
Some homemade puppy treats might be a bit errr rich for your puppy’s digestion. I’m sure you know what we mean. Similarly, lots have cheese or dairy in them, and while dogs tend to love homemade dog treats made with cheese, not all puppies or dogs process dairy very well.
How much homemade puppy food should I feed my pet?
When working out how much homemade puppy food to feed your pup it’s a good idea to work out how many calories they should have for their age and weight.
In the Zigzag puppy training app, we have a food calculator that will tell you how much commercial food to feed, and in a homemade puppy diet, you’ll have to do a little bit more of the maths in working it out.
If you use a veterinary formulated homemade puppy food, they will probably have the calories and amount you should feed listed, then you can use our puppy feeding chart to work it out.
We hope you’ve found some useful information about making your own homemade puppy treats, and that this article has given you food for thought about trying out homemade puppy food.
While you’re here, why not read our article on bones and rawhide chews for puppies?
Find out more or download a trial of the Zigzag puppy training app and get started on your puppy’s journey today. We also have a team of fully qualified trainers and behaviourists on hand for all of your queries and questions. Reach out to us on whatsapp, email or phone, 7 days a week we’re here for you.