How to Make Grain-Free Dog Treats


There is a big push to move away from too many grains in dog food. Many dogs are allergic to ingredients, such as grains and soy, typically found in commercial dog treats. Fortunately, there are healthy alternatives that can be easily made at home.

Dehydrated Treats

A simple alternative to commercial dog treats is dehydrating human-grade ingredients to preserve treats for your dogs. You can dehydrate meat such as chicken, beef or turkey, and you can even use organ meat to provide extra nutrients for your dog. First boil the meat for five minutes and then put it on a cookie sheet and cook on the lowest setting for two to four hours until it is hard and crunchy. You can also dehydrate fruits, such as strawberries, apples and bananas, or vegetables, such as squash or zucchini. For a fun twist, roll thinly sliced bananas in peanut butter and dehydrate overnight.

Use Your Food Processor

You can also create dog treats by grinding meat with other delicious ingredients and cooking in your oven. Take a protein, such as chicken or turkey, grind with potato flakes, an egg and chicken or beef broth. Again, organ meat makes a great choice here. Spread into a brownie or cake pan and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes or until cooked in the middle. Cut into yummy treats. Make sure to size portions based on the size of your dog. Account for additional caloric intake when adding treats to your dog's diet. Don't give too many! This will depend on your dog's size and activity level. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions.

Grain Substitutions

In many cases, making treats grain-free can be as simple as substituting whole-wheat flour with alternatives such as coconut flour. A sample biscuit includes one boiled sweet potato, one egg, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons flax and 1/2 cup coconut flour (more to thicken). Drop the batter on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Store these in your refrigerator. Use a teaspoon for small dog treats and tablespoon for a larger dog.

Frozen Treats

For a special treat on a hot day, make frozen pops by scooping a couple tablespoons of plain yogurt in a cup and freezing it for an hour. Stick a thin, hard treat, like a bully stick in the yogurt to serve as the stick for the pop. Mix another 2 tablespoons of yogurt and 2 tablespoons of meat paste, like liver paste or grain-free canned food, and add that. Freeze for another hour. Mix crushed liver treats and another 2 tablespoons of meat paste and add that. Freeze again for layered frozen treats.

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