Healthy Dog Treat Recipes.


This Holidays4Dogs article will provide recipes for healthy dog treats you can offer your dog, rather than commercially prepared ones. These are often full of additives which some dogs find difficult to digest. Commercial dog treats also often have the effect of producing excess wind! Read on for for super healthy dog treat recipes.

Treats are a great way to interact with your dog and facilitate training, by motivating your dog to learn good behaviour. Some of these recipes are great for making training treats. Others can be stuffed into a Kong, or given to your dog when he has to be left alone for a while. However, not all commercial dog treats are healthy for your dog.

The dangers of rawhide dog chews.

Top of the list for treats to avoid are rawhide chews of any description. This remains a popular dog chew. It’s made from the inner layer of cattle carcasses. However, before it is made into attractive shapes for dogs, it is treated with chemicals to clean and preserve it. These chemicals can be particularly bad for dogs.  Rawhide also presents a major choking danger, so all in all, best avoided as a treat at all costs.

Additives, fillers and other ingredients.

Dog treats often come in packaging that make the contents appear healthy and natural. Read the label closely, however, and you will find they are anything but.

Many dog treats contain salt, sugar and preservatives – none of which are good for a dog’s health.

You might read the ingredients label and find the treat contains something like – hydrolysed protein. This is chemically treated food. While it is allegedly used, with success, to treat dogs with food intolerance, it can cause tummy upsets and other digestive disorders.

Lots of dog treats, like other dog food products, often have ‘fillers’ which generally means grains. These make up a higher percentage of the food in order to ‘bulk out’ more expensive ingredients. Fillers are usually, but not exclusively, made of fibre from grains and they serve no nutritional value.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know what’s good and bad. If you see a listed ingredient that seems vague – such as, ‘meat product’ – or long lists of additives, they are probably best avoided.

There is evidence to suggest that certain types of foods can impact on a dog’s behaviour, as well as their health, it pays to think carefully about a dog’s diet. Its worth scrutinising labels and consider choosing an alternative, if you don’t recognise any ingredients.

So – If you fancy a healthy canine cook up one afternoon, here are some ideas to get you started.

Sweet potato chips.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fibre and contain Vit B6, Vit C and beta carotene.  Most dogs relish the sweetness of these chewy treats and you couldn’t get a healthier dog treat totally free from harmful additives.

• Preheat oven to 250° F.
• Scrub the sweet potato or yam. No need to peel.
• Cut it into thin slices (the thinner the slice the shorter the cooking time) and place on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
• Bake in oven at 250° F for about 3 hours for slightly chewy treats or slightly longer if your dog prefers them crunchier. Note: timing will vary according to the thickness of your slices; just keep an eye on them.


If your dog will eat leafy greens you could try different sorts of lettuce, cabbage, kale, cucumber etc.  It is a good idea not to give your dog too many of these foods, as they cause runny tummies.

Carrots are a great alternative to usual dog chews and treats. As with sweet potatoes, you can slice them roast in the oven to make a crunchier treat. 

Cooked liver treats.

Dogs will do anything for liver treats!  They are a great choice for people teaching their dog new things – (if using as training rewards you’ll need to cut up into tiny pieces).

For a 1lb of beef liver;

  • Preheat oven to 200° F
  • Line a sheet pan with grease proof paper.
  • Cut liver into strips about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Space pieces of liver on a baking tray so they are not touching.

Bake in the oven for 2 hours and turning after 1 hour.

Let them cool down on a wire rack.

Liver treats can be kept for about two weeks in the fridge.

Turkey meatloaf. 

You can use any turkey (or chicken) for this dish, but as an added healthy bonus you could use organic turkey or chicken. A good recipe for a canine Christmas feast.

You will need;

  • 1 lb of minced turkey
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup of grated carrot
  • Tsp of oregano and basil
  • Sprig of fresh parsley
  • ½ cup of tomato sauce (NO ADDED SALT and preferably organic) – you could also try using mashed tinned tomatoes or an egg to bind the mixture together.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl combining thoroughly.  You may find it easier to knead it together with your hands. Place the mixture into a baking loaf tin and cook for 50 minutes.  Allow to cool and cut into treat size pieces.

Barbecue chicken dog biscuits.

No need to leave Rover out of the barbecue fun; this recipe will provide your dog with his very own tasty barbecue treat!

You will need;

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour.
  • 1 cup rolled oats.
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup of rye flour.