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Homemade Dog Biscuit Recipe

Written by J.B. Shepard, professional pet photographer and founder of the Puptrait Studio.

This homemade treat recipe is absolutely loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein and other nutritious goodies aimed to help your dog stay healthy and tail waggingly happy. Dogs absolutely go nuts for these dog biscuits. Best of all, these dog treats are fairly cheap to make and this dog biscuit recipe only uses common ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen or can be found easily on Amazon (we’ve included links for your convenience).

Easy to follow recipe for homemade dog biscuits

Before we go any further, I just want to take a second to stress how easy this recipe is to follow.

I am by no means a baker or a chef. I can barely make cookies and even then, only with a recipe. But dog biscuits are a different story. It is extremely difficult to screw this recipe up. And not for nothing, dogs by and large are generally not that picky of eaters. So, even if your biscuits do not come out perfect, your pups will still be thankful that you made them treats.

Even if you have never baked anything else before in your life, I strongly encourage you to give this recipe a shot. It is very easy to follow and takes minimal effort to complete. And, once you get in the habit of making your own biscuits it can help you save a ton of money on treats.

These biscuits are what I feed my own pups as treats

A lot of people ask me how I keep George’s coat so shiny and thick. Undoubtedly his rock solid mystery mutt pound puppy pedigree has a lot to do with it, but I think his diet also helps. I’m a strong believer in treatment through nutrition, the crazy idea that your dog can avoid a lot of health issues simply by eating the right diet. Now I’m no veterinarian, so obviously take anything I say with a grain of salt. But I think a lot of this is simple common sense.

Can you even imagine what your health would be like if you ate nothing but the same processed meal every day? For most dogs, that is their life. And, I think most dog owners would agree their pet’s deserve better.

Diet diversity is and important facet of canine nutrition

That’s a big part of why I developed this recipe. It’s not the simplest dog biscuit recipe. But by introducing just a few additional easy-to-find ingredients, we are able to provide a little extra nutrition and diet diversity to our dogs.

No supplements needed

You’ll notice in the recipe that it does not call for grinding up vitamins or adding concentrated supplements. And, while you probably wouldn’t want to eat these biscuits, as the flavor is specifically tailored to the refined palate of a dog, these dog treats are safe for human consumption as they are basically just really crunchy, very smelly granola bars.

people safe dog treat ingredients

Made from 100% people safe & common ingredients

You’ll notice that all of the ingredients included below are people safe and relatively common to find in most kitchens. You should be able to find most of the ingredients listed here at your local grocer or you can click on the referral links below to find the ingredients on Amazon.

Homemade Dog Biscuit Ingredients:

For best resultsI recommend following this recipe to the letter. But if you’re missing an ingredient or two, there is no need to fret. In all honesty, all it takes to make basic dog biscuits is flour, oil, and water. Most of the other ingredients in this recipe are included simply to add a bit of additional flavor and nutritional diversity to the treats. So, you if you want to skip or substitute an ingredient or two, your pups probably wont notice.

2 Cups PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter This powdered peanut butter is made from only 3 ingredients – crushed peanuts, sugar and salt. PB2 is lower in fat, has less calories than normal peanut butter – and unlike some other “healthy” brands, does not contain the deadly to dogs sugar substitute Xylitol. It blends easily into flour, making mixing a breeze. But you can substitute equal amounts of regular peanut butter in a pinch.

2 Cups  Whole Wheat Flour – Do not use baking flour or include any form of baking powder or yeast. Rising doughs is suspected to be linked to bloat in dogs, a serious disease that can be deadly if not treated quickly. Bleached and multi purpose flour will also work in a pinch.

2 Cups Rolled Oats – Oats are whole grain and provide a fantastic base. We will also be using the oats to make our work space less sticky when rolling.

1 TBSP Sunflower Oil Sunflower Oil is my go to when cooking in the kitchen. It has an exceptionally high smoke point, which makes it great for frying or grilling. It is trans fat free and loaded with linoleic acid and Vitamin E. Coconut Oil is another great option with similarly fantastic health benefits. But lard or vegetable oil could be substituted in a pinch.

4.375 Oz Whole Sardines in Water, no salt added, drained – Both the skin and bones are edible, and supply a wealth of vitamins, as well as protein and calcium.

1 x Packet Knox Unflavored Gelatin Our primary bonding and hardening agent in the recipe. The glucosamine in the gelatin lends a number of great health benefits and can help maintain a dog’s joints, fur and nails. You can substitute for 1 egg in a pinch.

3 TBSP Tiparos Fish Sauce Supplies both vitamins and aroma. My personal go to brand is Tiparos. But there a number of other great brands out there and whatever you have on hand it likely fine. It lacks the nutritional benefit, but you can substitute for Beef Bouillon in a pinch or if you finds the odor offensive.

2 TBSP  Pure Maple Syrup, Grade B Maple syrup provides a healthy dose of sweetness, as well as zinc and manganese.  And, I know what you’re thinking, don’t you mean Grade A? When it comes to cooking you want Grade B maple syrup. Trust me on this one – my sister and brother in-law are maple syrup farmers and this information comes straight from them. Save Grade A for your waffles. Grade B is better to cook with, as it is one of the darker and sweeter varieties of maple syrup (and it tends to be cheaper to buy in bulk). 

dog treats ready for the oven

Homemade Dog Biscuit Instructions:

    • Heat oven to 350 F
    • Grind oats in food processor for 2 minutes. Put a pinch or two of the ground oats aside.
    • Stir in 4 TBSP of water into 1 x  Packet of Gelatin. Use a small glass. Put aside.
    • Add Peanut Butter, Gelatin mixture, Oil, Fish Sauce, Sardines and Maple Syrup to Ground Oats in food processor. Pulse a dozen times.
    • Add Flour to food processor. Pulse a dozen times.
    • Add 1 Cup of Water to food processor. Pulse a dozen times.
    • Sprinkle work surface with ground oats and let dough rest for 5 minutes. Taking just a few moments will help with the stickiness and make the dough much easier to work with.
    • Roll dough by hand into 1/4” balls.
      • I recommend experimenting with different shapes and sizes
          • Roll out a ½ sheet and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.
        • For dogs who are active chewers try rolling long, thin, snake like strips (my dogs absolutely love these little puppy taquitos).
    • Bake for 25 minutes on parchment-paper lined pan, until lightly brown.
  • Leave in oven overnight to harden. The slower your biscuits cool, the harder they will get.

These homemade dog biscuits can be safely stored in an airtight container for 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.

Bonus step! Tips for making extra stinky dog treats

dog treats ready for basting

I picked up this trick from the brilliant Alton Brown, who you might be pleasantly surprised to learn, also happens to be a dog lover. He set out to develop a recipe for his own terribly terrific dog biscuits to really make them attractive to his own dog (read – extra stinky). WARNING: the technique works as advertised and my dogs absolutely loved this extra touch, but it made my house smell like a fish market for a few days.

The idea is simple. Take some fish sauce and brush it on the biscuits while they are still warm.

I found that combining trays and stacking all the biscuits in a haphazard pile made basting much easier. Once properly stankified, insert the biscuits back into the oven to cool. Leave them in overnight to let them harden further.

Are you a dog owner in the Baltimore or Washington D.C. area?

If you’re interested in photos of your favorite pup, you can view our pet photographer availability below. We have a dog friendly studio space in Baltimore and we are also available to photograph dogs in homes and on locations throughout all of Maryland, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia.

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The Puptrait Studio may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

Pro pet photographer, J.B. Shepard, featured here with a rescue dog from Bella's Bully Buddies along the Baltimore Harbor waterfront in Canton.

About the author: J.B. Shepard, is a professional pet photographer, dog advocate, and founder of the Puptrait Studio. J.B. lives in Hampden, with his wife and two rescue dogs — George (a Boggle – Beagle / Boxer mix) and Lucky (a Jack Russell Terrier).

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