Looking for healthy, homemade dog treats that contain good-for-your-dog ingredients? I’ve got you with these pumpkin peanut butter treats. A fun, gluten free baking activity for you, your kids, and especially your dogs.
We are currently sheltering in the time of Corona (COVID-19). That means most of us are confined to our homes and cautioned against making frivolous trips to the store. I had a bunch of leftover pumpkin from a crustless pumpkin pie and a pumpkin spice loaf I made on account of Baking in the Time of Corona. And I was out of dog treats. SO, I decided to invent a homemade pumpkin peanut butter dog treat as a way to use up the pumpkin, delight the dogs, and prevent a trip to the store. These homemade dog treats are gluten free and actually do have some canine health benefits.
First off, let’s meet our testers.
Shaia, above, is a 12 year old labradoodle (first generation lab and standard poodle mix) who enjoys popcorn, swimming, belly rubs, and curling up on the couch. Enthusiastic eater of treats. She is sampling the pumpkin peanut butter treat dough in this pic.
Chewy is a ten year old (roughly, who knows?) lab hound mix who enjoys chasing and occasionally eating squirrels, swimming, and alone time. He is not particularly food motivated, so the fact that he really liked these treats speaks volumes about their palatability. I tried them myself, and they’re good! Dog treats should be very lightly sweetened if at all, so in general they don’t have much flavor to humans, but you could certainly share them with your dog.
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Homemade Dog Treats (Gluten Free)
First off, a look at the ingredients and their benefits. I don’t feed my dog any wheat or white flour ingredients because of her sensitive digestion and because white flour is highly refined and not good for you or your pets!
To Make the Peanut Butter Pumpkin Treats You’ll need
- Pumpkin. Canned is fine. Pumpkin is really good for dog’s digestive tract and regularity. It can resolve diarrhea (read here how to get rid of your dog’s squirts in a day) or constipation. Contains beneficial fiber but isn’t irritating.
- Peanut Butter: doesn’t have any amazing health benefits for dogs, but they sure do love it. IMPORTANT to never purchase peanut butter that contains xylitol if you intend to feed it to your dogs. Xylitol is extremely poisonous to dogs, and it doesn’t take much to kill them. I recommend a creamy, sugar free natural peanut butter.
- Coconut oil: excellent for dog’s skin and coat, and may have beneficial effects for metabolism, as it does in humans.
- Oats: good fiber source which can be especially beneficial to older dogs with hard stool, constipation, or bowel irregularity issues. Also also a great alternate to wheat.
- Eggs: great digestible protein source for dogs.
- Honey: safe for dogs in small quantities. Better than sugar.
You’ll also need cinnamon and baking powder.
- 3 cups oats made into flour in your food processor
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup pumpkin pureé
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment.
- Make oat flour from the oats by adding the 3 cups to your food processor and pulverizing until a flour forms. It can still be a little coarse.
- Add the melted coconut oil, peanut butter, pumpkin, eggs, honey, cinnamon, and baking powder to the food processor and process til smooth.
- Drop spoonfuls or cut outs onto baking sheet.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until a little brown on the edges.
- Cool on a rack and store in the fridge. Can freeze also.
You need to:
First, make oat flour from the oats by adding the 3 cups to your food processor and pulverizing until a flour forms. It can still be a little coarse. Then add the melted coconut oil, peanut butter, pumpkin, eggs, honey, cinnamon, and baking powder to the food processor and process til smooth. It’ll look like this.
Preheat your oven to 375, and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can just drop small spoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheet and bake. If you are lucky enough to have a cute little doggy bone cookie cutter like this, you can dust 2 sheets of wax or parchment paper with flour, then put the dough between the sheets and roll it out with a rolling pin. Then use your cookie cutter to cut the dough into shapes. Drop em on the baking sheet.
Someone is very interested in this project.
Bake them for about 15 minutes or until they’re set and a little brown around the edges, like this.
When finished, let them cool completely on a rack, then store them in the fridge in an airtight container. They’ll also freeze, or you can halve the recipe if you don’t want 3-4 dozen dog treats at a time.
If you make them, let me know how they turn out!
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.