Dog Treats – Why You Should Make Your Own

Dog treats are purchased by dog owners to give as rewards or treats. We love our dogs and want what’s best for them. But are shop bought treats best for them? How easy are they to make yourself?

Frankie and Lily

Frankie (our Newfoundland, above) is classed as an ‘adolescent’ as she is 12 months old. Consequently we are getting through a lot of treats at the moment! We use them for training. In contrast, our other dog, Lily, only has a few treats each day – again to reward good behaviour and as a small snack before bed.

Why You Should Make Your Own Dog Treat


A report in 2018 revealed that pet owners are spending an average of £34 per month on dog treats. Given that there are 8.5 million dogs in the UK (RSPCA) that’s a lucrative business! Although I have two large dogs I certainly don’t spend that amount of money on treats.


An article by the dog listener warns that some of the treats we buy could have a serious detrimental effect on our pets.


One Bonio contains 78 calories, approximately 7% of an adult Labrador’s daily allowance! Research carried out by Direct Line Pet Insurance revealed that Bonio dog biscuit, at 323 calories per 100g, contain around 53% more calories than a McDonalds Big Mac Burger.

Gravy Bones

These contain 343 calories per 100g and are deemed to have one of the largest caloric uptakes of all dog treats.


I used to give my Labrador these on a regular basis. I thought these were good for her and helping her dental health. How wrong I was! It’s frightening what’s in this product.


This has been described as the most dangerous pet chew ever. There are so many horror stories circulating on social media about these chews. Rawhide chews have been found to contain Lead, Arsenic, Chromium Salts, Mercury and other highly toxic chemicals. In addition, they pose a serious choking hazard and high probability of intestinal obstruction because they are simply indigestible. They are, after all, a by product of leather. Suffice to say I would never give my dogs rawhide.

Control over Ingredients

It would help if all shop bought dog treats were clearly labelled with ingredients, additives, E numbers and calorie content – but they aren’t. By making your own treats you have control over what your dog eats. If your dog has any allergies or health concerns, you can tailor make the treats to suit your dog.

High Value Dog Treats

Home made dog treats tend to be tastier and therefore make training easier. Try walking past dogs with Livercake in your pocket and you’ll see what I mean!

Dog Treats Are So Easy To Make

There are plenty of recipes on the internet for home made dog treats. You can easily make a safe and healthy alternative to shop bought treats. Here are a few recipes I’ve tried –


liver cake dog treats
A popular and high value reward for dogs. Ideal as a training treat, but should only be given in small quantities.

Sweet Potato Treats

sweet potato dog treats
A healthy treat that’s easy to make and that dogs enjoy.

Tuna Bakes

Tuna Bake dog treats
Simple to make and a favourite. Cuts easily into small bite size treats.

Stuffed Peanut Butter & Yogurt Kongs

Peanut Butter and Yogurt Kongs for Dogs

These are simple to make. Just plug each end of the kong with peanut butter (*) and fill the centre with organic yogurt – and then freeze. They last a lot longer than the other dog treats, but please supervise your dog while he/she is eating this.

*Vitally Important – make sure the peanut butter does not contain XYLITOL* More recently, manufacturers have been adding xylitol to peanut butter & it can prove FATAL to dogs.

There are some foods that are harmful to dogs but not to people. Most people know that chocolate is dangerous for dogs to consume, but there are others that are not so well known. For example, grapes and raisins & corn on the cob. Please ensure that the ingredients you use in your homemade treats are safe for your dog to consume.

I am not an expert in dog nutrition, but I hope you will agree that there are healthier, safer and cheaper alternatives to shop bought dog treats. I would add that there are an increasing number of businesses that make healthy treats, but these are likely to cost more than if you make them yourself.

Let me know how you get on.

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