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Have you ever found yourself looking at pet treat labels and wonder what some of the ingredients are? Maybe you even thought “I can make a better dog treat or cat treat at home.” I know I did, several times.
I finally made the decision to try making homemade dog treats and cat treats. I looked at a lot of recipes and before I knew it I was “down the rabbit hole.” I researched safe ingredients for cats and dogs, including which ingredients are ok for certain health conditions. Also, pet-friendly natural preservatives for dog treats and cat treats.
The good news is I answer all of this for you! Bonus: No gluten-free flour? No problem, you can use the flour conversion tip.
Finally, I will share a homemade cat treat recipe with several ingredient options and a Grain-free dog treat recipe.
How to make cat and dog treats with natural preservatives
There are several ways to naturally preserve your dog treats or cat treats.
1. Moisture is the enemy. A dry or hard crunchy treat is your best defense against mold.
2. Storing homemade treats properly will help extend the life of your cat treat or dog treats. Allow the treats to cool completely before storing them. Use an airtight container, store in the refrigerator or freezer. *Treats can last several months in the freezer although after a few months the flavor could change.
3. Natural preservatives include:
a. Vitamins: Organic Vitamin E (is best or it could be GMO) and Vitamin C.
b. Herbs and/or spices such as rosemary and cinnamon.
c. Honey helps to preserve your treats and is a pet-safe replacement for sugar.
d. Milk: If your recipe calls for milk, use powdered milk instead.
It is a combination of these methods that will determine how long your treats will last.
Making dog treats and cat treats with gluten-free flour
If you want to make cats treats or dog treats with coconut flour or another gluten-free flour, you will need to find the conversion of wheat to coconut flour. Wheat to coconut flour conversion is generally 1/4 cup coconut flour for 1 cup of wheat flour.
Egg free homemade catnip treat recipe
The original recipe can be found on Feline Wellness
I picked this recipe because it gave me the option to choose from several ingredients.
I made 2 different versions of these DIY cat treats before they were a hit. Watch Bailey approve her homemade pumpkin catnip treats. The final version will hopefully work for her as a hairball cat treats as well.
1) Two cups whole flour: You have flour options such as oat, hemp, potato, rice, tapioca, coconut flour or a combination of two flours. *Flour conversion required
2) 1/2 cup veggies or fruit or protein: For vegetables try sweet potato or pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling). For fruit, several options are organic applesauce, bananas, or blueberries. For protein, choose from hormone and antibiotic-free protein sources such as bison, duck, or rabbit.
3) Sweet and savory accent: 1 tsp cinnamon or 1/2 tablespoon of catnip, or a combination of catnip and parsley.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix ingredients together in a bowl.
3. Line your baking pan with parchment paper (to prevent non-stick coating or metal from leaching into your treats).
4. Scoop dough and flatten balls to make a dime size cat cookie or you could try to roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter.
5. Place cookies in the oven and cook at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, and then turn down the temperature to 175 degrees and cook for 45 minutes. *For crunchy treats, I cooked them at 175° in my Telfon free oven until the treats snapped apart easily since the cats I gave these treats to prefer crunchy cat treats.
6. Allow the treats to cool completely.
7. Store in an airtight container.
Did you know catnip has a different effect if it is eaten vs. it is inhaled?
5 ingredient vegan dog treat recipe
Dog treats are Egg-free, Dairy-free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
Recipe by Barb Emmett, Pet Nutritionist
This dog treat recipe allows you to make Grain-Free and Gluten-free dog treats.
You could also go oil-free. Why oil-free? Cutting down on your fat intake is a tip I recommend in my dog liver detox blog.
Please note: This 5 ingredient coconut apple dog treat recipe does not require a flour conversion whereas the above cat recipe does.
Want a 3 ingredient dog treat recipe? Following the above cat treat recipe, you could make something like coconut cinnamon apple dog treats.
1) 1 cup coconut flour
2) 1 cup applesauce
3) 2 tablespoons raw honey
4) 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
5) 1/2 cup water (or coconut water)
Other options for this dog cookie is you can make coconut pumpkin dog treats, coconut sweet potato dog treat, or coconut banana dog treats simply by swapping the applesauce.
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients.
3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (to prevent metal or non-stick coating from leaching into your treats).
4. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough and place it on the parchment paper.
5. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely, then store in the refrigerator.
I ate several soft-baked dog treats and they were delicious! I had to test them before giving them to my client’s pets right?! I’m not the only one who liked them, watch Kirby gobble down his Vegan dog cookie in a few seconds.
For pet owners who follow Medical Medium, I think he would approve these dog treats. For other Medical Medium pet health tips, you can look at my recent posts to see how I implemented his information to naturally get rid of dog lipomas and how I eliminated toxins found in my bedding and his pet bed.
Coconut benefits for cats and dogs
Coconut flour contains protein since the flour is made from coconut meat and is high in fiber. Coconut flour is grain-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, and low carb. Several websites such as Feline Wellness say coconut oil can be helpful for hairballs. Coconut water is hydrating, packed with vitamins and minerals, helps with digestion, supports kidney health, and it may help reduce blood pressure.
Pumpkin benefits for dogs and cats
Pure pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree is packed antioxidants and vitamins. Pumpkin helps with hairballs, constipation, diarrhea and may help with eyesight.
I would love to hear which recipe combination you used and how your pets like their homemade treats.