3 DIY Recipes for Natural Pet Treats, Plus 4 Tips for Creating Your Own Treats
If you’re like us, you love it when you get the opportunity to give your pet treats. The pure joy on their faces is enough to put a smile on ours as well.
As pet parents, we try to continuously strike a balance between giving our pets their deserved affection and treating our pets too much, which can cause unwanted behavioral and health issues. That’s why we love the idea of natural, healthy—and especially homemade—pet treats. With homemade pet treats, you can control every aspect, from ingredient quality to the total quantity you make. And thanks to like-minded pet parents on the Internet, you can find many natural treat recipes on your favorite pet parent site.
So without further ado, here are our favorite recipes for natural pet treats from around the web, plus a few tips on how to come up with your own treats:
3 DIY Natural Pet Treat Recipes:
Homemade Cat Treats by Mess for Less
- 1 can tuna in oil, drained
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups of flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 cup water
- dash of parsley
- bottle cap for cutting out treats
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a food processor mix tuna, egg, flour, water and parsley until a dough forms. If the dough looks too sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Dust a surface with flour and roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick.
- Use a bottle cap to cut out treats from the dough.
- Bake for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Let cool and serve to your cat.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
- 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
Preheat your oven to 170ºF.
- Remove any excess fat or bits of bone from the chicken breasts and pat dry.
- Mix together the peanut butter and soy sauce, which creates the marinade for the jerky. Stir and thin with up to 1 tablespoon of additional water to create a smooth paste. Coat the chicken with the peanut butter mixture, and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Slightly freezing the chicken makes it easier to thinly slice.
- Remove the chicken from the freezer, and cut as thinly as possible.
- Cover a sheet tray with parchment paper, and arrange the thin slices in a single layer. Place in the oven, set the timer for 2 hours, and hang out with your pup while the jerky cooks.
- Your jerky is ready! Once cool, cut with scissors into smaller bits, or leave as is for big mouthfuls of chewiness. Store in a sealable container, and your homemade chicken jerky is good for up to 30 days — if it lasts that long. And the jerky is totally human-tasty, too. It’s low in fat and sodium while being a high-in-protein pick-me-up.
3 Ingredient Salmon Cat Treats from The Cookie Rookie
- 10 oz canned salmon (undrained)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- Heat oven to 350°. Pulse 10 oz canned salmon (undrained) in a food processor and chop as finely as possible.
- In a stand mixer, combine salmon, 1 egg (beaten) and 2 cups whole wheat flour until dough forms. If dough is too dry, add up to 1/3 cup water. If dough is too wet or sticky, add a bit more flour. Dough should be tacky but not sticky.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 3/4-inch cookie cutter in the shape of your choice to create your treats.
- Place treats on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. When they’re slightly browned and crunchy, they’re done.
- Allow to cool before serving.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Tips for Creating Your Own Pet Treats:
- Know what foods are toxic to your pet. We’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth mentioning again. Some “natural” people foods aren’t healthy for dogs or cats. Check out toxic foods for dogs here and for cats here.
- Make just enough. Our vets recommend that no more than 5% of your pet’s daily calories come from treats, and you shouldn’t be adding shelf life-increasing preservatives since they aren’t healthy, so factor in how many treats you’ll be able to use before they spoil. Then just make that many.
- Use organic ingredients whenever possible. Less is more when it comes to food, both for pets and for people.
- Bake the treats. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that all pet food undergo a process to eliminate pathogens from the food before giving it to your pet. The same goes for pet treats. So we suggest you choose recipes for baked over raw treats any day.