Making easy homemade dog treats this holiday season is a great way to get the whole family involved in holiday baking.
Plus, they’re a lovely homemade holiday gift for anyone you know who has a dog – teachers, coworkers, relatives, and friends.
And of course, your pooch will thank you every time you give her a yummy dog biscuit.
Making hypoallergenic dog treats
I’ve included tips to make this recipe into:
● gluten free dog treats
● grain free dog treats
● wheat free dog treats
● dairy free dog biscuits
● peanut butter free dog treats
● nut free dog biscuits
That way you can work around any food allergies your dogs or other family members may have.
Why other family members? Cross contamination from handling treats – or getting licked by the dog after eating a treat – can be an issue.
Peanut butter free dog treats
Allergies are the reason why I made this dog treat without peanut butter and used sunflower butter instead.
My daughter, Lucie, has a nut allergy, so we don’t let our dog have any treats made with peanut butter . That’s because my daughter shouldn’t touch anything made with peanuts.
You see, since our dog, Nellie, loves licking people, if she licked Lucie after snacking on a dog treat made with peanut butter , Lucie would probably break out in hives. Not something I want to happen during the busy holiday season!
However, if there aren’t any peanut allergies in your family, go ahead and make up a batch of homemade treats with your favorite natural or homemade peanut butter brand.
You can also use almond butter. The only nut butter dogs should stay away from is any made with macadamia nuts.
Grain free dog treats
Grain free dog treat recipes are super popular now. That’s because many people are switching their dogs to a grain free diet after discovering their dogs have food allergies.
We’re pretty lucky in that our beagle, Nellie seems not to have any allergies, but she’s on a grain free dog food anyway.
She’s always done well on Natural Balance brand foods. I just switched her over to the senior dog version of their dry kibble, which happens to be grain free. She loves it!
Grain free flours: You can use chickpea flour or coconut flour to make grain free dog biscuits.
Coconut flour is gluten free and high in fiber. You can buy coconut flour online, or at the grocery or health food store.
However, it does require a higher ratio of liquids when baking, so add more coconut milk to the recipe if needed.
You can buy chickpea flour online, or at grocery or health foods store. You can also find it at an Indian grocery store where it may be called besan or chana besan flour.
Gluten free dog biscuits
You can use gluten free flour to make these wheat free dog treats.
My favorite GF flour is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. It bakes up great and I use it just like regular flour for all sorts of gluten free dog treat recipes.
It contains sweet white rice flour, whole grain brown rice flour, potato starch, whole grain sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum. All are OK to give to your dog, even xanthan gum.
How to measure flour
Believe it or not, you shouldn’t scoop any type of flour directly out of the bag with a measuring cup.
It packs down the flour and you end up with a bit too much in your cup. Too much flour means your treats may come out too dry. Yuck.
Instead, spoon the flour from the bag (or the container you keep your flour in) into your measuring cup. Then use the back of a spatula or knife to level off the top of the cup.
That way the flour is given a mini-sift and isn’t packed down.
Dairy free dog treats
Keep treats dairy free: I also wanted to keep this healthy dog treat recipe dairy free, so I used coconut milk instead of cow’s milk.
Use full fat (not lite) if you’re using canned coconut milk. Make sure the coconut milk is unsweetened if you buy it by the carton.
You could also use other alternative milks if you wish, such as oatmeal.
(Oatmeal is a grain. So you might not want to use oatmeal milk if your dog is on a grain free diet.)
Again, use an unsweetened variety to avoid added sugar. And check the label for anything your dog might be allergic to.
Making sure ingredients are dog safe
Before making these treats, I checked to make sure that all the ingredients are OK for most dogs to have.
However, make sure you check the ingredients labels on anything you’re using to make sure your four-legged friend isn’t allergic to a specific ingredient.
Sunflower butter: This is OK for dogs to have – and my dog Nellie is CRAZY about it.
However, check the label of the sunflower butter brand you buy to make sure everything else in it is OK for your dog.
Some sunflower butters contain sugar cane. Some brands come with low or no sugar.
Molasses in dog treats? Many people use molasses in homemade treats recipes since it’s a dog-safe sweetener.
You can use real maple syrup instead, which is also a dog-safe sweetener.
Making dog bone sunflower butter dog treats
The trick to making cute treats is finding dog boned shaped fun cookie cutters.
To cut the treats, I used the dog bone the Dog, Bone and Paw Print Cookie Cutter Set, but you can use any cutters you like!
Buy a few more to give to dog moms and dads who love to bake along with a copy of this recipe!
Makes a cute stocking stuffer or inexpensive holiday gift for a coworker or your child’s teacher along with some sunflower butter dog treats for their furry friend.
How to make sunflower butter dog treats
1. First, preheat your oven and line the baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, stir the flour and the baking soda until combined. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix the sunflower butter, coconut milk, and molasses.
4. Then add the flour mixture to the sunflower butter mixture. Stir until you have a nice dough.
5. Turn out the sunflower butter dog treat dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough is smooth.
6. Coat your rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
7. Cut the rolled dough with dog boned shaped or other fun cookie cutters. (You can also use other shapes if you like when making this dog biscuit recipe.)
8. Place the treats 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
9. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-20 minutes until lightly brown. (Check treats after 10 minutes and 15 minutes to make sure they don’t get overcooked.)
The bake time will depend on the size and thickness of your dog treat.
10. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cool the dog treats on wire racks.
11. Store the dog treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Refrigerated treats can last for up to 2 months.
Can I freeze dog treats?
This recipe makes quite a big batch of biscuits - up to 40 treats! So you may want to freeze some of the homemade treats for your fur baby for later.
If frozen, allow the treat to thaw for 10-20 minutes prior to serving to your dog so it’s easier on their teeth.
Treats can last for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Treat recipe variations
If you'd like to experiment, you can add some of the following to this recipe:
- pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree)
- plain yogurt if you’re not making this dairy free – or use a dairy free coconut yogurt
- beef broth
- sweet potato puree
- apple sauce
- veggie broth
Since these are all “moist” ingredients, cut back on the coconut milk so the dough doesn’t get too sticky and hard to roll out and cut.
TIP: Substitutions may affect baking time, so keep an eye on the treats when they’re cooking in the oven.
Dog treat gift wrapping ideas
I packaged my dairy free dog treats several ways. I put some in a Santa mug, so while your doggie is having her treat, mom or dad can have a nice cup of tea.
I also put these dog biscuits in a cute holiday cellophane bag with a holiday gift tag – all store bought.
Packaging and decorating these easy homemade gifts is another activity you can get the kids involved in without spending too much money.
For example, if you have a supply of large canning jars, have the kids carefully place a handful or two of the treats in a jar.
Or you can use plastic cold cut tubs or just a plain Ziploc bag. Decorate the doggie gift package with a bow, holiday stickers, or ribbon, and a homemade gift tag.
Don't forget to include ingredient info on the tag so everyone knows this homemade treats recipe is dog and allergy friendly.
- 2 cups whole wheat or gluten free flour (plus more for dusting)
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 cup sunflower butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup coconut milk (full fat, unsweetened)
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, stir together whole wheat flour and baking soda until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together sunflower butter, coconut milk, and molasses. Add the flour mixture and stir until thoroughly combined into a dough.
- Turn out dog treat dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
- Coat your rolling pin with whole wheat flour and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Cut rolled dough with dog boned shaped cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-20 minutes until lightly brown. (Check treats after 10 minutes and 15 minutes to make sure they don’t get overcooked. Cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your dog treat.)
- Remove baking sheets from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Then place treats to cool on wire racks.
- Store your homemade treats in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator or freezer. If frozen, allow the treat to thaw for 10-20 minutes prior to serving to your dog. Treats can last for up to 2 months in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Serving Size:1 treat
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 96Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.
Originally published on November 14, 2016 and November 28, 2017. Updated with new pictures and information.