Whether you're worried about the ingredients in commercial treats or you just want to do something special for your favorite four-legged companion, here are some simple recipes to make great tasting dog treats!

We'll start with a favorite - yummy peanut butter treats! Make them as-is or switch out the milk and peanut butter for a cup or 2 of pureed pumpkin. Or try switching rice flour for the wheat flour. Then see which one your dog likes best!

Yummy Peanut Butter Treats

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 cups flour, whole wheat
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together the eggs, milk and peanut butter in a large bowl.

Gradually add flour, baking powder and cinnamon, using your hands as necessary, until the dough is stiff.

Sprinkle some flour on a work surface and roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 1/2-inch squares or dress it up with a bone-shaped cookie cutter. You don't want your family to mistake them for people cookies!

Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes. Turn over and bake for 15 minutes more.

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

If your dog suffers from allergies, here's a recipe that he can enjoy without having to scratch. Instead of flour or oatmeal, it's made with black beans.

Because of their soft texture, these cookies are also good for dogs that have trouble chewing the harder biscuits.

Anti-Itch Doggie Cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed well and drained
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

DIRECTIONS

Mash black beans using a fork or food processor. Add peanut butter, banana and applesauce. Stir until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Drop by rounded teaspoon onto nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove sheet and flatten using the back of a spoon.

Return to the over and bake for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over and continue baking 15 more minutes.

Cool completely then store in an airtight container or freeze.

For a slightly different flavor, try substituting lentils for the black beans.

If it's too hot or you just don't feel like firing up the oven, you'll love these easy-to-make treats!

Coconut Blueberry Frosty Treats

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup coconut oil in solid form
Frozen blueberries

DIRECTIONS

Put a blueberry into each heart in the silicone mold. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil until it liquefies.
Allow coconut oil to cool for a few minutes, then carefully pour oil into the heart mold.

Carefully place mold into the fridge to solidify.
When coconut oil treats are solid, pop them out of the mold.

Store coconut oil treats in a baggie in the freezer.

You can get a silicone mode to make heart-shaped treats here. Or pull out those old plastic ice cube trays, just don't try to use a metal one because it needs to flex to remove the treats.

Here's a simple grain-free recipe your dog will love!

Banana Almond Bites

INGREDIENTS

1 large egg
1/2 cup almond butter
1 banana, over ripe
1 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Using a fork, mash the banana in a large size bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix together with a fork until blended. The batter should be thick and gooey.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place teaspoon-size dollops well-separated on the sheet.

Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the pan and bake for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool. Be sure to refrigerate!

Here are some other ideas for treats:

  • Baby carrots
  • Sweet potatoes, sliced
  • Apples, sliced
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon, seedless
  • Banana, peeled
  • Eggs
  • Sardines
  • Cottage cheese
  • Unflavored yogurt
  • Chicken liver
  • Chicken gizzards
  • Broccoli, sliced
  • Cauliflower, sliced

You might be surprised at what your dog likes. Most of my dogs love broccoli and cauliflower, but don't like bananas! Go figure!

If you don't have time to make your own treats, check out this post for quality store-bought dog treats.

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