These homemade dog treats are easy to make, sugar free and your dog will love them! The not-so-secret ingredient that will make your dogs go mad for these treats is aniseed – it’s like catnip to a dog!
I hope I don’t disappoint you by bringing a non-human treat today, but since I made cat treats before I had to make something yummy for the canines in your lives too! After all, our furry family members enjoy a nice treat every now and then too! And boy will your dogs LOVE these. Ours have been going mad over them, after I did the photoshoot for these the little critters followed me everywhere wanting more! Before we go any further, now is when I’ll warn you this will be a pretty photo heavy post – but it’s with lots of cute, happy doggies so you can’t be mad about that!
These homemade dog treats are full of all natural, all good ingredients and absolutely no added sugar or ingredients you can’t pronounce. I know you want to feed your kids only the best stuff, it should be the same for our furry children too! The three main ingredients are all things dogs love, and put them together and you have a very popular treat! Dogs love sweet potato, you’ll find lots of dog treat recipes with a sweet potato base for that very reason – it’s probably the same reason we love them, the sweetness! The next ingredient is peanut butter, now I don’t know if you’ve ever tried giving your dogs pills before but if you have your vet has probably recommended smothering it in peanut butter first – your dogs will love the peanut butter in these. Plus it’s a nice source of protein and fat. The third ingredient is what pushes these treats from great to phenomenal in your puppy’s eyes – aniseed! It sounds weird, I know, it’s such a strong flavour – but aniseed is like catnip to dogs. I don’t know why, but they just go mad for it!
And when I say go mad for it, I really mean it! They don’t just love the treats, the aniseed makes them go a bit wacky – just like catnip does for cats! Don’t worry, they’re not going to start painting the garden fence at 2am or order 10,000 different things from infomercials – they just might be a little hyperactive for an hour after having them. It’s hard to tell the difference with dogs sometimes though! Bear in mind though that, just like cats and catnip, not all dogs will be affected by aniseed – they’ll enjoy the scrummyness of the treats either way though, don’t worry!
I’m not really a big dog person myself. Before you plan to hunt me down and burn me at the stake, let me tell you that I don’t hate dogs – I’m just more of a cat person and I don’t think I would ever own a dog myself. The dogs enjoying these treats are my mums, well three of them are – the other is my younger sisters, we dogsit him quite a lot. I always had dogs growing up though – my two childhood dogs were Elsa and Disney. Elsa was a golden retriever (named after the lion cub from Born Free) and she was just the best dog, we lost her when I was 15 or 16. Disney was a Dalmatian and she only passed away a few years ago, she lived to be about 15 which is very old for a Dalmatian so we were lucky to have her for so long. Now mum has a long haired Dachshund (Lucy), a miniature Dachshund (Missy) and a Whippet/Lakeland Terrier/Bedlington Terrier cross (Kimi), we like to refer to her as a “bearded whippet” though and I’m sure you can see why from the photos! Milo is my sister’s dog, he’s a Chihuahua/Dachshund/Yorkshire Terrier cross.
Because of the lovely experience I had with Elsa growing up (fun fact: we now have a cat called Elsa) I’ve always said that if I ever did get a dog it would be a Golden Retriever. And the experiences I’ve had with my mum’s dogs are why I would never, ever get a dachshund! They’re cute dogs and my mum’s two are lovely, but boy are dachshunds stubborn as hell! If they don’t wanna do something, they won’t do it! Missy is a real mama’s girl too – if my mum isn’t there she basically has a massive strop until she returns, this includes not eating her dinner! Lucy is just very lazy too, bless her heart she’s a bit overweight (not as much as she used to be at least) and she doesn’t like to move much – and when she does move it’s at a snails pace! And what can I say about Kimi? She’s not as stubborn as the dachshunds but she’s very, very mischievous! Don’t turn your back on your food when she’s around, it’ll be in her stomach before you realise she’s even there! I’d love to hear about your dogs in the comments!
These homemade dog treats are really easy to make too, you can’t go wrong! Just mix everything together, roll out the dough, cut out your cookie shapes and bake! As they’re dog treats, if you have a bone shaped cookie cutter that would obviously be perfect – a star shaped was the best I had! The fun shapes are just for our enjoyment anyway, the dogs don’t care what shape they come in as long as they get to eat them! You don’t even have to cut out shapes if you don’t want, just roll into balls and flatten out (to make sure they bake evenly) – easy peasy!
- 1 medium sweet potato (about 160g cooked sweet potato)
- 70g creamy peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- 375g whole wheat flour (plus extra for dusting surface)
- 1 tbsp whole aniseed, roughly crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Prick the sweet potato all over and cook in microwave until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Leave to cool and scoop out flesh, discard skin.
- Beat the sweet potato, peanut butter and eggs on a medium speed (using your stand mixer or handheld mixer) until combined.
- Turn mixer down to low and gradually add the flour until the dough is no longer sticky, you may not need the whole 375g.Mix in the aniseed.
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball. Roll out 1/4" thick and cut out your shapes, place on baking sheet - they won't spread so you can place them close together.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden. How long you need to bake them depends on how big they are, so check after 20 minutes.
- Please talk to your Vet if you are unsure about your dog's allergy status - treats contain peanuts, gluten and aniseed.
- Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days
And your dogs will thank you for going to the very little effort of making them a yummy homemade treat! We all know dogs will eat almost anything (let’s not talk about the things I’ve witnessed these dogs try and eat!), but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy delicious and made just for them treats, just like we do!
So, are you going to try your hand at making homemade dog treats? If you do, please take photos and share them with me – you can tweet me @GiraffesCanBake and tag me on Facebook or Instagram, I’d love to see your pups enjoying them! In fact I’d love to see your pups full stop, so go ahead and share your pics with me!
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