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Have you ever found yourself looking at pet treat labels and wondering what some of the ingredients are? Maybe you even thought “I can make something better or cheaper at home.” I know I did, several times! I finally made the decision to try making homemade gluten free pumpkin dog treat.
Before I knew it I was down the rabbit hole researching a) which ingredients are safe for cats and dogs, b) which ingredients are ok for certain health conditions, and c) how do I naturally preserve dog treats and cat treats?
The good news is I answer all of this for you and included a flour conversion tip! You will have several ingredient options for the homemade cat treat recipe and the 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. Use an airtight container or these Ziplock alternative reusable bags (30% off certain styles ends soon) to store your cookies. Finally, you may want to store them 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 or spices such as rosemary and cinnamon, c) Honey helps to preserve your treats and is a pet-safe replacement for sugar, and 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.
Tips for making homemade pumpkin dog treats or cat treats with gluten-free flour
If you want to make cat 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 Pumpkin cat treat recipe
The original recipe can be found on Feline Wellness
Cat treats are Egg-free, Dairy-free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
I picked this recipe because it gave me the option to choose from several ingredients.
I made 2 different versions of handmade 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 treat 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 & 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. The cats I gave these treats to prefer crunchy cat treats.
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 cat treat recipe, you could make something like apple cinnamon coconut dog treats.
1) 1 cup coconut flour
2) 1 cup applesauce*
3) 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or non-vegans and beegans can use 2 Tbsp honey)
4) 2 Tbsp. coconut oil softened
5) 1/2 cup water (or coconut water)
*if you swap the applesauce for Pumpkin you can make Gluten Free pumpkin dog treats. You can also swap the applesauce to make sweet potato dog treats, or coconut banana dog treats.
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.
6. Cool completely, then store in a reusable bag or container (10% off with code: TRAILSNTAILS). Optional: 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 eat his Vegan dog cookie in a few seconds.
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.
Benefits of Pumpkin for dog and cats
Pure pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree is packed with 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.