10 Easy Wheat-Free Dog Treat Recipes
Top 10 Wheat-Free Dog Treats
There is a small percentage of unfortunate dogs that are allergic to ingredients like wheat, sugar, meat byproducts, chemicals, preservatives, and artificial coloring that are usually found in commercially-made treats. You might find wheat-free dog biscuits at the store, but they're usually quite expensive since wheat is a cheap filler ingredient.
Ever since I wrote Top 10 Homemade Dog Treat Recipes, many dog owners whose dogs are allergic to wheat emailed to ask if I'd write another. So I compiled this list of 10 recipes for treats that are gluten free, made with only natural and healthy ingredients!
Making wheat-free dog treats is as easy as mixing a few carefully selected ingredients together and baking. These 10 recipes are easy, healthy, and much cheaper than the specialized gourmet dog treats you might find at the store.
Healthy Dog Treats Don't Need Salt, Sugar, or Preservatives!
Please keep in mind that dogs need food for survival, not pleasure. I know, my pit bull might disagree with that sentence and argue that his life depends on peanut butter and anything cheesy. In fact, he once "accidentally" scarfed down almost half a box of peanut butter cookies from Trader Joe's, and afterward, even he knew he'd stepped over the line.
The point is, dogs don't really need all the extra sugar, salt, artificial coloring, or preservatives in their food. There may be thousands of recipes for homemade dog treats out there that contain all the extra additions and flavorings, but our dog's taste buds are not like humans', so leave those ingredients out!
And yes, dogs can get diabetes too. My brother-in-law's dog is currently getting shots every day for his diabetes. Very sad. Please don't add sugar or salt to any dog treats. All dogs need is real dog food filled with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Pumpkin Is Good for Dogs
1. Pumpkin Dog Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
- 2 tbsp flax seed
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not the spiced kind used for pies)
- 1/4 cup cold water or enough to make the dough stick
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine brown rice flour and flax meal in a large bowl. Mix eggs and pumpkin together in a separate bowl until smooth. Add half of the pumpkin mixture to the brown rice mixture, stir, then add the rest and stir again with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add water slowly, as needed. Use your hands to knead the dough together.
- Roll dough out between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper to desired thickness (about 1/4" thick). Remove top piece of paper, flip dough onto a counter coated with brown rice flour, remove wax paper, and then cut biscuits using a knife or cookie cutter. Re-roll and cut scraps until you’ve used every possible bit of dough.
- Place biscuits on parchment-lined baking sheets (or sheets lightly greased with oil). Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the top of the biscuit has dried out completely. Let biscuits cool on wire racks, then store in an airtight container.
(Makes 36 large dog biscuits.)
Note: For the rest of the recipes, use the same cooking technique described above, unless noted otherwise.
Ingredients for Dog Ailments
- Flax seed meal is basically ground flax seed. It is recommended by vets to help with dry, flaky skin. Ground flax seed also provides fiber, antioxidants, and omega 3's.
- Pumpkin is a good remedy for upset tummies.
- Brown rice flour is an excellent option for dogs that don’t tolerate wheat.
Serving Suggestions for Homemade Dog Treats
Dog treats are not substitutions for healthy dog food. We humans shouldn't go overboard with desserts and likewise, we shouldn't over-treat our dogs, even if the treats are healthy. The suggested amount is 1-2 treats a day. You might give more or less depending on how active your dog is and how big the treats are.
2. Frozen Banana Dog Treats
These frozen dog treats are perfect during the hot summer months!
- 2 ripe mashed bananas
- 3 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 24 oz. lowfat vanilla yogurt
- Optional: 2 tbsp applesauce
Microwave the peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl until soft. Blend all the ingredients together thoroughly then freeze in ice cube trays. Pop treats out of tray for your pet's enjoyment!
Bonus Frozen Treat: Yogurt and Carrot Chillers
- 2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
- 2 grated carrots
- 1 tsp apple sauce
Combine ingredients and place in ice cube tray and freeze for at least 3 hours.
Frozen Treats for Hot Dogs
3. Veggie Yam Yum
- 1 medium cooked yam (or sweet potato)
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup cooking liquid from yam
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- Cut yam into 1/2 inch pieces and simmer, in enough water to cover, until soft. Reserve cooking liquid and set aside.
- In large bowl, mash the yam. Add 1/2 cup liquid back to the yam along with the peanut butter.
- In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder with the flour then add to the yam mixture, mixing thoroughly.
- Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick on a lightly rice flour-dusted surface. Cut into small shapes with a knife or cookie cutter. Place on cookie sheets and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until medium golden brown. Cookies will crisp up as they cool.
Makes about 4 dozen small dog treats.
Sweet Potatoes vs. Potatoes for Dogs
- Sweet potatoes and yams are healthier alternatives to white potatoes. They contain more vitamins and nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and beta carotene.
- White potatoes produces acrylamide when heated, which is a carcinogenic compound.
- Sweet potatoes are also easily digestible and cheap, especially in the summer season. I can get a 2 pound bag at the farmers market for $1.50!
4. Minty Fresh Dog Biscuits
Most dog treats in the market claim that they freshen your dog's breath, but they may only work temporarily.
I have a lot of mint and parsley plants growing during the summer months, so why not use them to freshen Oakley's breath? This recipe is perfect for keeping your dog's teeth clean and refreshed.
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp + natural peanut butter
- 1 tsp baking powder
See recipe #1 for details. Bake for 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees on a greased sheet in the middle rack of the oven.
Makes 24 cookies.
Parsley and mint leaves are natural and safe for dogs.
Mint is a natural herb that has been used for ages to freshen stinky breath. It has also been proven to ease canine nausea and even flatulence.
5. Ginger Snap Cookie
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried ginger powder
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
See recipe #1 for details. Bake at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes. After turning the oven off, leave biscuits in oven to cool and dry for extra crunchiness.
6. Cheese Pops for Dogs
Dogs. Love. Cheese.
Perfect for training treats!
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp applesauce
- 1/2 cup vegetables, chopped (carrots or peas)
- 1 cup brown rice flour (or oat flour)
- Add just enough milk to bring all the ingredients together.
Add all the ingredients until a sticky ball forms. Cover and chill for an hour, then roll into bite-sized balls or roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Dogs Like Oats
Oats are an inexpensive, healthy addition to your pet’s meals–high in protein, fiber, iron, zinc, and vitamin B.
7. Fruity Softie Treats for Dogs
- 1 apple
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp cinnamon (or ginger powder)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the lemon juice and water in a small bowl and set aside. Peel, core, and slice the apple: the more uniform the pieces, the better. Place the apple slices in the lemon bath and let them soak for 8 minutes, gently stirring once or twice to coat evenly. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon or ginger.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the apple slices continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Note: Be sure to remove the core and seeds, as they're poisonous to dogs.
Another note: You can also use a dehydrator to make a large batch.
My Dog's Best Friend: The Dehydrator
If you don't have a dehydrator, it is well worth the investment. They actually use less energy compared to leaving your oven on for hours. You can find a reliable dehydrator for about $50-70 online. In addition, you can dry other types of food including fruits, veggies, and homemade fruit roll ups.
8. Meat and Potatoes
- 1 lb ground meat (lamb, beef, chicken, turkey, or liver)*
- 1 large sweet potato (cooked and mashed)
- 1 large egg
- 5 tbsp large flake rolled oats or 4 tbsp ground flax seed meal
- chicken or vegetable broth
*Note: Chicken and turkey are lower in fat and might be a better choice for an overweight dog.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Add the ground meat with the rest of ingredients.
- Add the broth as needed to soften the mixture. The consistency should be very thick.
- Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. You can also break it apart with your hands.
9. Salmon Dog Treats
- 15 oz can of salmon
- 2 1/2 cups of brown rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dill
- 3 eggs
Follow the same directions as the meat and potatoes recipe #8 above.
10. "OMG" Chicken Jerky for Dogs
Saving the best for last! If my dogs could talk, they would say "OMG" every time I give them this homemade dog jerky. I have not met a dog that refused a yummy slice of this stuff. Chicken jerky is nothing more than dehydrated meat so they are very easy to make and will cost you far less money than store bought treats in the long run.
- 1 lb boneless chicken breast (optional: turkey, salmon, or venison)
- I find it much easier to slice if the meat is a bit frozen, so put it in the freezer for about 1 hour until it's slightly frozen, then slice it about 1/8" to 1/4" inch.
- Place it in a dehydrator at 145 degrees for about 4-5 hours, or until the chicken is dry. If you don't have a dehydrator, bake it on a rack over a cookie sheet for 2-3 hours at 200 degrees or until it's dried.
- I doubt you will need to store this jerky long since your dog and neighbor's dog will devour these. But, if you do store them, make sure that you leave them in a tight jar or canister.
Some Useful Tips:
- Depending on your oven temperature and thinness of the chicken, it may take longer to dry out completely. Your chicken jerky should be hard, dry, and crunchy.
- The thinner you slice the meat, the faster it will take to dry. Slice with the grain and not against the grain of the chicken. This will make it easier for them to digest. You can ask your friendly butcher at the supermarket to run a block of chicken breast through their slicer. Go to your regular market and come back in 15 minutes and they'll have your meat all sliced up and ready to go.
- Buy ground meat if it's available. It's much easier and faster to work with since you don't have to slice it. Use a jerky gun to improve the texture of the ground meat.
Storing Dog Treats
In general, you should store dog treats the same way you would homemade people cookies. Your treats may mold or spoil much faster in humid or very hot climates.
Since the dog treats have no preservatives, it is important to make sure the cookies are crisp and dry. Store your homemade dog biscuits in a tight canister, tight zip lock bag, or in the refrigerator.
- If left outside in a cool environment, they can last up to 2 weeks.
- If left in the refrigerator, they will last up to 3 months.
- If it will take some time for your dog(s) to eat all these up it is a good idea to freeze any that will not be eaten within a reasonably short time.
Did you know that dogs can't eat guacamole? Web Md has a comprehensive list of ingredients that can harm your dog!
I believe that a healthy dog's nutritional requirements can be fulfilled with three main essentials: good food, sunlight, and belly rubs, and I wrote How to Make Homemade Dog Food to help you with the first item on this list.
And, for anyone who doesn't have time to make their own dog food, I've compiled a list of Top 5 Hypoallergenic Dog Foods to help you choose the best, healthiest dog food for dogs with allergies.
What do you think?
Have you tried my homemade dog treat recipes?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Can I use buckwheat flour instead of brown rice flour when making wheat-free dog treats?