How to Make Homemade Chicken and Rice Dog Treats

Updated on August 14, 2017
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Our shih tzu, Gobi, was a treasured member of our family. For almost 14 years she happily went where we went and brought joy to all she met.

Gobi
Gobi | Source

Tired of spending too much money for your dog’s treats? Ever wonder where they are made and what exactly is in them? Have you ever considered making your own treats for your special pooch?

The final straw for us came recently, when the pet supply store that we frequent informed us that the chicken and rice treats that we had been buying for our eleven-year-old Shih Tzu were made in China and were being recalled. This particular brand was responsible for making some dogs sick due to the fact the treats were irradiated.

Now why on earth would they irradiate dog treats? Apparently it's to kill any bacteria that might be present in the ingredients, and it also prolongs the shelf life of the product. Well, we can tell you that this was the last time our Gobi was going to be eating these treats.

Gobi
Gobi | Source

A little background information on Gobi. She is our eleven-year-old Shih Tzu who is still fairly active and loves to play. She loves to be around people and has a wonderful disposition. To us, she is a member of our family.

So what to do about those treats? Well, my wife wanted to take a shot at making our own dog treats. For years we have been making homemade food for our dog so why not treats? When Gobi was just a puppy, she had digestive problems and we really couldn't find a brand of food that she liked and that liked her back. Our veterinarian suggested a combination of sirloin, white rice, and pumpkin to help settle her digestive system. Well, ten years later she is still eating this mixture and still loves it.

White Rice
White Rice | Source

In deciding what type of treats to make, we quickly narrowed the choice to a few of her favorite things. Gobi’s favorite flavored treats are chicken and salmon. Yes, she eats better than we do, but there are worse things in life? Anyway, we decided to try to duplicate the chicken and rice treats that we had been buying her for years.

This was really a very simple process. We took four split chicken breasts, trimmed away any fat and froze them. When we were ready to make the treats, we partially defrosted the chicken so that we could cut it into slices, allowing it to better fit into the food processor. Next, we just grind up the chicken in the food processor. You can also use ground chicken, which seems to be readily available in most supermarkets.

We also boiled about two cups of white rice. Chicken and rice are the only two ingredients so like I said, "It’s pretty simple". If your dog prefers beef you can substitute hamburger for the chicken.

Chicken mixed with white rice
Chicken mixed with white rice | Source

Take the ground-up chicken and mix it with the cooked white rice. The mixture makes for a very sticky concoction. Then just roll a bit into whatever shape you want. You can make them into a small ball or roll them into little ovals, which is what we did. With the amount of chicken and rice that we prepared we were able to make about 150 small chicken-rice treats.

Source

Prepare the cookie sheet by spraying a little olive oil on it or use parchment paper, this will prevent the treats from sticking to the cookie sheet.

Place your treats on the cookie sheet and bake them for about fifteen minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then roll them over and cook for another fifteen minutes or until they start to turn a golden brown.

When done, let them cool to room temperature and then freeze them in a zip lock freezer bag. You can defrost them as necessary.

Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven | Source

As this was the first time we made homemade treats, we had to test them out on Gobi to make sure that they would be agreeable to her. It was a pretty good bet that she would love them and she did not disappoint.

The great thing is that they are perfectly edible for humans as well, as the only ingredients are chicken and white rice. What better than to share a few snacks with your favorite four-legged friend?

Source
Freeze them and you are all set!
Freeze them and you are all set! | Source

So was this worth the effort? Well, the old treats that we were buying were costing us $10 for a bag that contained about 50 treats. So, to buy 150 of these treats was costing us about $30.

The cost to make the treats ourselves ran us about $12 for the four chicken breasts and probably no more than .25 to .50 cents for the two cups of rice. So, for a total of about $12.50 we were able to make 150 treats and saved ourselves $17.50 over the cost of buying them.

Store bought on the left, homemade on the right
Store bought on the left, homemade on the right | Source

The time we spent making them was probably about the same amount of time it would have taken us to drive to the pet supply store and purchase them so that’s pretty much awash. And the best part of this is that we now know exactly what we are giving her.

So, our little experiment seems to be working just fine. Gobi loves her new treats and we are just as happy to be saving a few bucks. In the future we may experiment with a few other combinations. We may also use brown rice next time we make them which is healthier than white rice.

As I mentioned earlier, other than chicken her other favorite food is salmon. At the moment we have a very good source for freeze-dried homemade salmon treats that Gobi really loves so we won’t mess with that just yet.

If you’re inclined, give this a try. It’s actually a fun thing to do and the benefits are twofold; a healthy treat for your dog without worrying about the ingredients, and you just might save a few dollars along the way.

Nothing left but the crumbs
Nothing left but the crumbs | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Bill De Giulio

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      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 10 months ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Kendall. Hmmm. We have used ground beef on occasion but never had them completely fall apart. Usually the sticky white rice is enough to hold them together until they are cooked. Maybe a little more rice and a little less ground beef?

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        Kendall Smith 10 months ago

        I tried making these treats with ground beef and when I went to roll them over after 15 minutes they completely fell apart. Do you have any suggestions?

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 16 months ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Heather. The cooked rice when mixed with the ground chicken should form a very sticky mixture. The ground chicken is naturally very sticky and should help to bind the treats together. At this point the chicken is uncooked but the rice has been boiled. The chicken will get cooked when the treats are baked. Good luck.

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        Heather 16 months ago

        I have try making the treats having hard time getting the rice stickie enough to make balls after I'm done they just fall apart what am I doing wrong

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 17 months ago from Massachusetts

        Crispy on the outside but soft and chewy inside. It will depend on how long you bake them. With just rice and ground chicken it will be difficult to get them crispy all the way through without overlooking them. Good luck.

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        Rotweillermommy 17 months ago

        Are these suppose to be a soft chewy treat?

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Tonya. Thanks for stopping by. We are very picky also, which led us to making the treats ourselves. Now we know exactly what is in them. And our shih tzu loves them :)

      • Tonya Chamberlain profile image

        Tonya Chamberlain 3 years ago from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

        Can't wait to try this recipe. I'm very picky about the food my dogs eat, especially the treats. I've been making my own for awhile now but have yet to do anything with chicken, which my babies go crazy over. Certainly can't go wrong with chicken and rice! I'll probably have to set some mix aside for a dinner time treat as well :)

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Linda. Yep. Whatever your shih tzu loves use that. We've made the treats with chicken and hamburger. You could even use both if you think she'll like them. Our shih tzu goes nuts for chicken so we've been using that for the most part lately but any ground up meat that they like will do.

        Good luck and thanks for stopping by.

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        Linda 3 years ago

        So I can use Hamburger meat instead, my shih Tzu loves beef especially deer meat Hamburger, so I try that and chicken! Thanks

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Robyn. We have recently started using ground chicken, I just haven't had a chance to update the article. They come out exactly the same and you don't have the mess to clean up in the food processor. Thanks for stopping by, great idea.

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        Robyn 3 years ago

        Why not use ground chicken?

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi bmaggie. After they cool from the oven we actually freeze them and use them from the freezer as needed. We'll throw them in the microwave for 8 to 10 seconds to defrost them. In the freezer they'll stay for a very long time. Good luck and thanks for stopping by.

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        bmaggie 3 years ago

        Hi, I plan in making these for my shih tzu, hes 1 1/2 and he just loves treats but we buy them quite often because of how much he likes them, I was just wondering how long do you keep them in the fridge for? Or how long are they good for? Thankyou

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Lisa, glad your doggies love them. It's just so simple and you know exactly what's in them. We just made another batch, which should last 5 or 6 weeks. Our Shih Tzu absolutely loves them also. Thanks for stopping by. Happy New Year.

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        Lisa 4 years ago

        Hi thanks so much for this recipe. I totally agree that home made treats are better for our doggie companions. Just tried making this and my 2 maltese love it!!! these are now my high-value treats, going to use them for obedience training :)

        Thanks for sharing.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi FA. Thanks. She is a cutie. And she still goes nuts for these treats. We're still making batches of them every couple of months and freezing them. Many thanks for the vote, pin, etc..

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

        Gobi is so cute and if pictures are worth a thousand words, she's giving your recipe a "paws up." Voted up and more, pinning.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

        Thank Angelo. It's simple and no chemicals or preservatives and we know exactly where they are made, in our kitchen. ANd, our dog absolutely goes nuts for them so it's a win-win. Thanks so much for stopping by and the vote, share, fb,etc. Have a great day.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Jared. Thanks and welcome to hubpages. Let me know if your dogs like them. If they like chicken I suspect they'll enjoy these. We just got tired of reading all the reports on dogs getting sick and how they radiate the treats to kill bacteria. Just doesn't sound too good so we decided to make our own.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Ramona. Thank you and welcome to hubpages. That is why we decided to make our own treats, so we would know exactly what's in them. It's pretty simple, chicken and rice, and she absolutely loves them.

      • Angelo52 profile image

        Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

        This sounds great. Plus you avoid all the additives that most dog treats have like salts, sugars and chemicals. Thumbs up, facebooked and shared.

      • Jared Miles profile image

        Jared Miles 4 years ago from Australia

        I love the quality of this Hub, Bill. Thank you very much for some inspirational and informative work.

        Great accompanying photography too by the way, you've really the set the bar high for me.

        I'm going to have to try your recipe with my two dogs! I'll let you know if they approve ;)

      • bydojo profile image

        Ramona Jar 4 years ago from Romania

        Love the dog, really really cute ;)

        The most important thing is that you prepared a HEALTHY and NATURAL meal for the dog. No 'chemicals', no radiation. Just good meat/rice and a bit of time to cook it.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

        Thanks rajan. It's pretty simple and our Shih Tzu does love them. I've been known to sneak one from time to time also :) Thanks for stopping by and thank you for the vote, share, pin, etc.

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        What a beautiful treat, Bill and I'm saving this recipe so that I can make them for my dog. Does seem good enough for us as well. Thanks for sharing.

        Voted up, useful and interesting. Shared and pinned.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Sharkye11. Thanks for stopping by. Out Gobi goes nuts over these so we know she loves them. They do make pretty good treats for us also :) Many thanks for the vote, have a great weekend.

      • Sharkye11 profile image

        Jayme Kinsey 5 years ago from Oklahoma

        Wonderful hub! Love the idea of saving a little money by making home-made pet treats. These look like pretty yummy human treats too. These would make a great gift for a pet lover. Thanks for sharing the knowledge! Voting up!

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Linda. Gobi hit the jackpot when she picked us. She's smarter than the average Shih Tzu and has me well trained, Thanks for stopping by.

      • Sunshine625 profile image

        Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

        Gobi is adorable and very photogenic! She's a lucky dog to have homemade treats baked especially for her! :)

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Sheila. Thank you, she is wonderful. Gobi is the queen of this house. She is named after the Gobi Desert! We are on our second batch of these chicken and rice treats and she still loves them. We will be making a new batch soon. Thanks as always for stopping by, the comments, vote,etc... much appreciated.

      • sgbrown profile image

        Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

        Gobi is adorable and I love the name! This is the easiest dog treat recipe I have seen. I am about to run out of those "expensive" treats I have been buying, so this will get tried out very soon! Great hub, up and useful! :)

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Suzie. We just got tired of reading about how some of these dog treats are made in China and how pets were getting sick. So we decided to try and make our own and I thought it would make a good hub. Hopefully Coco enjoys them. If he likes chicken you will be all set. Thanks again for the support, vote, share, etc.....

      • Suzie HQ profile image

        Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

        Hi Bill,

        What an interesting idea and one I will definitely think of for our black lab Coco. It is so difficult to know what is good for your dog and what to avoid I find, A girl in a pet store told us garlic was good and then I read no, not to use it. Thanks a million for doing this it certainly seems to be the business for lovely cute Gobi! Voted up, Useful, Interesting, Shared . . .

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Amber. Hopefully your pooch loves them. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.

      • profile image

        alwaysamber 5 years ago

        This is great! I'll have to try them out. My maltese loves treats!

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Carter. Thank you. We just got very turned off with what was in the stuff we were buying. Now at least we know exactly what we are giving her. Thanks so much for stopping by and the vote. Have a great day.

      • carter06 profile image

        Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

        Can you believe what was in the dog food?? This is a great idea Bill, better for them and cost effective too. Will give these a go as my little guy loves both chicken & rice. Thanks for sharing this...votes for this one!!

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Mary. The Shih Tzu breed is just wonderful. Gobi is a part of our family and she is just the sweetest dog. She goes everywhere with us. Thanks so much for stopping by and the vote and share. Have a great day.

      • mary615 profile image

        Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

        The Shih Tzu is my favorite breed for many reasons! Your Gobi is just adorable. I'm going to try and make these for sure. My little gal will love them, I'll bet.

        I voted this UP, etc. and will share.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Thelma. Thank you. Hopefully Angus will love them. Gobi really loves chicken also so she goes nuts over these. Good luck and thanks for the vote.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Naomi. Thanks for stopping by. We store them in the freezer, After they are cooked and have cooled we place them in a zip lock freezer bag and freeze them. We thaw them in the fridge as needed. They will need to be kept in the fridge as there are no preservatives in them. Thanks sos much for reading and your question.

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

        Angus will love this, too. Chicken and rice are his favorite. Thanks for sharing this to us bdegiulio. I´ll make this recipe this week. Voted up and useful. Have a great day! BTW, you have a lovely dog.

      • Naomi's Banner profile image

        Naomi's Banner 5 years ago from United States

        My chihuahua's will love these. They are chicken lovers!i will definitely give this a shot. My question is how and where do you store them? Great information, thanks!

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Gus. Like I said, they are just as edible for us as for our four-legged friends :) We tried to keep it very simple and healthy. Hopefully your "War Dog" enjoys them as much as Gobi. Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Peggy. We thaw them a little so that they are not frozen. You can put them in the fridge to thaw them and keep a bunch handy. Hopefully Skippy enjoys them as much as Gobi. Thanks so much for the comments, vote and share.

      • GusTheRedneck profile image

        Gustave Kilthau 5 years ago from USA

        Howdy Bill - Looking at those treats you made, and knowing what went into them, almost makes a person want to swap places with your little dog. That's right, its all good human kind of chow. thanks for this fine article and the doggie recipe. Our little "War Dog" thanks you as well.

        Gus :-)))

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Bill,

        I know that our Pomeranian Skippy would love these. One question...do you give them to Gobi when they are thawed or partially frozen? If thawed, I imagine that you could thaw several at a time and keep them in the refrigerator until ready for use. Putting this on my list of things to do. Thanks for the recipe. Your little Gobi is such a cutie! Up and useful votes and SHARING so that other doggies can be treated to such healthy snacks.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Mary. Thanks. This whole thing started out as a way to replace Gobi's treats that were being recalled. Unfortunately she really liked them but we just couldn't give them to her anymore. My wife had the idea to try and make them ourselves. Wanting to keep it simple we decided to use just the chicken and the rice, can't get much simpler than that. It all worked out as she loves them. Thought it would make an interesting Hub? Anyway, thanks for the support, very much appreciated.

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

        BD, not only a great idea but so easy to make. Dog lovers everywhere will be trying your treats...no preservatives, no additives, no allergens, it's a win, win situation. Thanks for the great recipe and directions. My dog, Buzz, thanks you from the bottom of his stomach!

        Voted up and useful.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Pam. Thanks for stopping by. We had some fun doing this and Gobi seems to love them so it was a win-win. And yes, she is beautiful, thank you. She is also spoiled, but she is what she is! Have a great day.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

        Making your own dog treats is a great idea. You dog is adorable also. The treats look good and nourishing too. The cost is great also. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        I noticed your hub on homemade dog treats, will be heading over there shortly to read. It amazes me how active our 11 year old Shih Tzu still is. She is spoiled however, and has a very determined personality to her.

      • lhale profile image

        lhale 5 years ago from Georgia

        I have an old Maltese so I know about those active older dogs! I have a few hubs about homemade dog treats, so if I write another I'll be sure to reference your recipe.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Kim. Oh yeah, she is one spoiled Shih Tzu. Thanks for the visit.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi lhale. She certainly is. Thank You.

      • KA Pederson profile image

        Kim Anne 5 years ago from Texas

        cute spoiled doggy! Sounds like a great idea!

      • lhale profile image

        lhale 5 years ago from Georgia

        Adorable dog!

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Bill. I have to admit that I tried them before I gave them to Gobi. They really were quite good. They're only rice and chicken so they are perfectly safe and edible for us to eat, although I think I'll save them for Gobi. As always, many thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend.

      • bdegiulio profile image
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        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi Carol. What prompted us to try this was our pet supply store telling us the news about some dog treats being irradiated and being harmful to dogs. We thought it would be a fun thing to try and make our own, which it certainly was. Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        They look good enough for me to eat; not sure I would share with our dogs. LOL Thanks for a great idea, and have a great weekend, Bill.

      • carol7777 profile image

        carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

        They sound good, but somehow mentioningdog treats may be a turn off for real people. I have a darling dog living next door..and I think I will have to try this..Any for cats?????

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