“The way a dog’s heart is through its stomach.”
Making your own dog treats can be an extremely rewarding experience for both you and your dogs. Even though you’re not actively doing it with your dogs, it’s a great relationship-building activity. My dogs get excited when they realize I’m making treats for them. The looks on Willow’s face here says it all.
The benefits of making your own treats are almost endless:
- Variety – if your dog is anything like ours, they appreciate a little variety. You don’t want to eat the exact same thing every single day. Why would your dog?
- Cost-effective – my favourite treats, pyramid pan treats, are super cost-effective. Yes, they are tiny, but I can give them lots without worrying that I am giving them too much and even when I “spoil” them by giving them a ton of treats, it only cost me pennies. The cost is basically just the meat, assuming you have the egg and flour on hand!
- Portion control – this is key for us. Sienna is a bit of a chunky monkey. I can still feel her ribs, but there is a good layer of fat on there and she also has a chubby little belly. Like a typical lab mix, she LOVES her food. She DANCES for food, even after having her hip surgery. She will do almost anything for food! I need to be able to reward them frequently without adding to her weight. And I don’t want to spend a ton of time breaking or cutting commercial treats into tiny pieces
- Ingredients – it goes without saying, but by baking your own treats you control what goes into them and can feel good about what you’re giving them. You could go grain-free, gluten-free, vegan or even organic if you wanted to, but even just using human-grade ingredients is a huge step up from most commercial treats
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Supplies for Homemade Dog Treats
The supplies you will need will depend on the treats you want to make. You probably have most of what you need in your kitchen already. Below I will list and describe some of the products I have found particularly useful for being able to make a variety of treats.
- Mixing bowl(s)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Liquid measuring cup(s)
- Baking / cookie sheet
- A stand mixer or hand mixer
- Rolling pin
- Airtight containers and/or Ziplock bags for storage
Optional / advanced supplies
- Molds – if you want to freeze treats, make gummies/gelatin treats or make any of the batter recipes, molds are necessary. For some recipes, like gummies or frozen treats, you could use an ice cube tray. For me, an ice cube tray would be too big. You can find some very cost-effective molds on Amazon.
- Try these recipes: Frozen Pumpkin Blueberry Dog Treats, Beef Pumpkin Gummies for dogs, Frozen Cranberry Coconut Dog Treats
- Pyramid pan – only necessary if you want to make pyramid pan treats. Personally, this is my favourite method because it’s easy to make the batter, they’re quick and the recipes make a ton of treats. I usually get about 1200-1500 per batch! You could use almost any batter recipe in silicone molds, however, I find other molds tedious to unmold. When baked appropriately in a pyramid pan the treats literally fall out
- Try these recipes: Pyramid Pan Turkey Carrot Dog Treats, Pyramid Pan Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats
- Cooling rack – when you take your treats out of the oven, you’ll want to move them over to a cooling rack so that you can start on the next round!
- A blender and/or food processor – for battered treats, I love my stick blender. It’s so much easier to clean the blade than it is to clean an entire blender. If you’re doing things like grinding up oats or almonds to make flour, you may want to use a stand-up blender or even a food processor. I have been very happy with my NutriBullet.
- Cookie cutters – you likely already have some of these on hand. In a pinch, you could even use a narrow glass. Your dogs don’t care about the shape, trust me! But if you’re making a lot of treats or treats as gifts or to sell, you may want to invest in some dog-themed cutters.
- Decorative rolling pin – if you want to get really fancy with rolled treats, a decorative rolling pin is the way to go! These pins will leave a patterned impression on your cookies before you cut them out
- Decorative stamp – this is an alternative to the decorative rolling pin. A stamp is used to leave an impression on a treat
- Parchment paper or baking mat – these are super handy to keep your cookie sheets clean, avoid extra oil (no need to oil the cookie sheet when you use parchment or a mat!) and transfer cookies quickly after baking
- Dehydrator – with a dehydrator you can dry out your treats for a longer shelf life or make dehydrated meat or veggie treats
- Decorating kit – if you plan to add dog-safe icing, you may also need a decorating kit to add decorative details to your dog treats!
Many of the ingredients you will likely already have in your home. I rarely purchase items specifically to make dog treats. If you don’t have something on hand, chances are you can easily substitute it. For example, if the recipe calls for beets but you only have carrots, or if the recipe calls for chickpea flour but you only have regular flour, go ahead and use it! Most dogs are not going to be that picky. They will love almost anything you make for them!
These are a few of the items I don’t normally buy that I will buy for dog treats. Because the recipes tend to take a smaller amount, I freeze the rest and pull it out as I need it. If it’s a recipe my dogs’ love, I will sometimes even portion it out in the amounts needed for that recipe prior to freezing. Make sure you read the labels to make sure there are no ingredients that may harm your pup (e.g. xylitol)
- Pumpkin puree
- Coconut oil
- Frozen butternut squash
- Canned meats
- Unflavoured gelatin
- Carob chips
- Yogurt chips
Most of the supplies you need to get started you probably already have in your kitchen. Remember that your dogs do not care what the cookies you make them look like! Unless you’re planning on gifting homemade dog treats, starting a treat business or just want to push yourself to be more creative, you do not need many fancy tools and gadgets. All you need is a good recipe, some patience, and love!
However, if you’re anything like me, you will WANT them, even if you don’t NEED them. I have built up my collection slowly over time, making small purchases here and there. I do not sell treats, but I do gift them occasionally and it also makes me feel good to make treats that look good. When I feel good, my dogs feel good!
The most important thing when making your own dog treats is that they are safe for your dog, edible and that you’ve had fun doing it! So please, take the time to bake, and remember to enjoy!
Looking for recipes to start making your own homemade dog treats? Check out our ever-expanding recipes in the Homemade Dog Treats section!
One response to “Dog Treat Baking Supplies”
[…] Enjoy these? Be sure to check out our other pyramid pan recipes like Pyramid Pan Turkey Carrot Dog Treats or Pyramid Pan Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats! Also, check out our article on Dog Treat Baking Supplies. […]