These homemade dog treats made with rolled oats are quick and easy to whip up anytime.  Even better, these are Leo’s favourite treats by far. I hate recipes that begin with the rambling preamble so I’ll save that for the end. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or ground large-flake oats) *see Notes on Ingredients below
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter (omit if you have someone with allergies in the house)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Water
All you need for awesome homemade dog treats (clockwise from top left): smooth natural peanut butter, old-fashioned rolled oats, salt, egg, and pumpkin puree.

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.

2. Add your flour or ground oats to a large bowl.  Add the pumpkin puree, peanut butter (if using), and salt and mix with a large wooden spoon until evenly combined.  I like to use my fingers to break down the last of the lumps.  You could also do this in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

3. Add the egg and mix until evenly combined and smooth.  Add water, a little at a time if needed, and mix well until a smooth dough forms.  I find that it’s easier to use my hands at this point. If the dough gets too wet, add some large flake oats until it gets to a good consistency that is not too sticky.

4. Roll or pat out the dough until it is 1/2 inch thick and cut out shapes.

That dough looks so good it actually makes me excited.

5. Place on an un-greased baking sheet and bake until cookies are dry.  Cooking time will vary based on the size of the treats but for 1 inch round cookies, bake for about 40 minutes.

6.  Let cool and try to resist the begging eyes.

I love to cook and bake so I am always looking at recipes. I hate when you read a recipe and there’s page after page about how awesome this recipe is and how it changed their life and rebuilt relationships and got them the promotion and it’ll change your life and blah blah blah.  Then when you try to hit the “Jump to Recipe” button, well it doesn’t. 

The problem with being an avid baker is that if I’m not going to be at work for a few days, I have to eat it; all of it.  So by making treats for the dogs, I get the urge to bake out of my system, they are happy, and I don’t have a mountain of cookies to plough through.  The best part, is that these are ingredients that I always have on hand, so making a batch anytime is a snap.

As much as Leo is a little piggie, he is soooooo picky when it comes to treats.  He’ll politely take a cookie, then spit it out and look at you with a look of almost disgust.  And don’t you even think of trying to give him a common MilkBone; he’ll just glare at you accusingly with that eye.  So I started tinkering around with some ingredients and after much trial and error, I think we nailed it.  I was thrilled that Leo not only liked this version, but he will not let me go into the kitchen without standing near the cookie jar and whining while he does the little toe tap. The drool drips on the floor tells me how King feels: he approves.

Notes on Ingredients

I almost never have whole wheat flour on hand so I whirl some large flake rolled oats (think old-fashioned oats) in a food processor until ground.  I decide when to stop grinding which means that I can give the cookies a bit more texture.  I have tried making these with all-purpose flour and found that the dough was more finicky than using ground oats.  You may need a handful or two of rolled oats stirred in after the water help get the right consistency.

Before and after. I’ve found that’s the best consistency for these treats.

Make sure that you use all-natural peanut butter as many brands are sweetened with things like xylitol which can be really bad for dogs.  If you don’t want to use peanut butter, the cookies will still be yummy without it.

You can make your cookies as large or as small as you like but round shapes will keep them from developing overcooked, sharp corners.  For the small one-inch cookies that I make, they are nicely baked in about 40 minutes.  I start testing them after 35 minutes by touching the tops of a few of the cookies: if they are really pillowy, I leave them for a bit longer.  When they are firm to pressure, take one out and break it open.  You want them to be cooked all the way through but not so cooked that they are dried out.  Although if you overcook them, I’m sure your pup will be happy to help you get rid of them so you can try again.  Practice makes perfect right?

Let me know what you think of the recipe.  Did you make any changes?  Do you have any recipes for dog treats that you love?

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