Homemade Dog Treats

3 Posted by - March 21, 2014 - Food & Drink

(Alternate title: She Eats Poop, But Her Treats Should Totally Be Organic)

I understand that people love their pets. Really, I do. I have been known to defend my dog when she is accused of doing doggie things like shitting in the house (“She would never!”) or slobbering on people (“She’s just giving you sweet kisses.”).

But I’ve always had trouble understanding homemade dog treats. I don’t make homemade people treats as a general rule, and I love my dog, but I don’t love much of anyone enough to bake for them, dog included. Still, I am your intrepid Pintester, and there are things that must be tested, homemade dog treats among them.

This is Sydney, sweet doggie and taste-tester:


There is a veritable plethora of dog treat recipes available online, so I, naturally, was drawn to the ones that had flavors I like, because—like any good pet owner—I assume that my dog is just a furry version of me. I found one recipe with bananas…

banana dog treats ingredients

And then I found a very similar recipe that used canned pumpkin instead of banana. I think banana and pumpkin are both excellent flavors, so, as with most things in my life, I decided combining two good things would make one great thing. (This theory only works about 50 percent of the time, but I continue to trust it as fact.)

dog treat ingredients

Both recipes are based on oatmeal held together with sticky things, so I figured I’d just halve the sticky things and then combine them. Ah, math. Ah, sticky things.

Plus, using only half a banana meant I got to eat the other half.

mixing sticky things

One of the source recipes called for parsley, which supposedly helps make your dog’s breath smell better. I’m all for this, as Sydney’s breath smells like the zombie apocalypse. (Ok, I don’t really know what zombie apocalypse smells like, but I have an imagination and so do you, and I think we’re on the same page here. It ain’t roses.)

You know what made me not-so-keen on it, though? Who has fucking half a cup of dried parsley that they’re willing to put in dog treats? Guys, that shit is not cheap. And if I add half a cup of dried parsley to my dog’s treats, we have officially entered into the weird domain of feeding the dog better than myself. Oh hell, let’s be honest here: I would not waste half a cup of dried parsley on food for me. But I actually considered it for Sydney.

In the end, I came up with a solution. Instead of using my parsley, I went digging through my spice drawer and found that I had two spice bottles of dried sage, one labeled with “old,” presumably so that I would know to use that one first.

old sage

Except it doesn’t always happen that way because I live with a rude roommate who has food expiration date issues. (He is also my husband.) So I had about half a bottle of old sage and half a bottle of new sage. I decided to donate the old sage to the cause.

When it was time to add peanut butter, the dog got interested in the proceedings.

I have to pause here to take a little side-track. In Sydney’s old age, she began to get a little incontinent, but, luckily, the vet prescribed magical pills that completely alleviate the problem. Unluckily, Sydney hates the pills.

It used to be that I could get her to take a pill by wrapping it in cheese, but eventually she figured it out, and now she will not take cheese without inspecting it for a pill first. She has also been known to eat the cheese and leave the pill, a feat I was convinced could not be achieved without the use of opposable thumbs, but she proved me wrong.

So, next I tried putting it in tiny doggie-sized peanut butter sandwiches. That worked for a while, too, until she figured it out and refused to take doggie-sized peanut butter sandwiches at all. I tricked her a grand total of maybe twice by making a peanut butter sandwich for me and hiding the pill in the last corner and then sighing mightily and saying, “Fine, I guess you can have the last bite because you are my sweet doggie and I ruve roo so mooch.”

Anyway, now she is highly suspicious of peanut butter in general, but she still likes it, so when she smelled it, she came racing into the kitchen to figure out what was going on. When I offered her some, she ran away, throwing a wounded, accusatory stare over her shoulder. (Furry version of me, remember?)

accusing doggie

Owing to this, I maybe should have left the peanut butter out of these things, but whatever.

sage and peanut butter

At this point, the whole thing smelled overwhelmingly like grass, not peanut butter, and Sydney likes grass and I have never tried to hide a pill in grass (although that’s not a bad idea, come to think of it), so I figured she’d be fine.

Next I added the pumpkin.

added pumpkin

And then the eggs.

added eggs

And then it was time to mix it all together. I did run into some trouble in that my banana was a little too fresh and would not mash with only a whisk as a tool.

We once took Sydney to the beach and she ate a whole bunch of sand and the next day she made a turd composed entirely of beach sand and it looked a little like this:

sand turd mix

A potato masher fixed that right up, though. (The banana, not the sandy turd. The sandy turd sort of just took care of itself.)

mixed dog treat batter

This mixture (I hesitate to call it dough, because, really, does it look like dough?) was pretty sticky and gross, so I stuck it in the refrigerator for a few minutes while I cleaned up and preheated the oven.

I decided on trying to roll it out and cut shapes. Really, it would have been best if I’d had bone-shaped cookie cutters. But I did have another shape of cookie cutter, sent to me by an adoring fan. Not exactly bone-shaped…

penis cookie cutters

But boner-shaped is close enough, right? (Rimshot.)

Anyway, even refrigerated, the dough-ish substance in no way looked like it could be rolled out. My mom tried to teach me to bake when I was little. She failed, but I do remember that flour is very important when you are rolling things, so I got some fucking flour, man. Go big or go home.

treat dough

I’d like to tell you that it helped and I successfully rolled out a beautiful round of dough. I cannot tell a lie, though.

sticky mess

Still, it was more-or-less flat, so I attempted a few cookie cutter shapes. I made three-ish before I gave up.

boner bones

After that I just rolled them into balls and then squished them flat.

prebaked dog treats

Into the oven they went, and I attempted to clean up the kitchen in the meantime, as it was covered with sticky-whatever. The dog, who had been avoiding me since the whole peanut butter scandal, came trotting back into the kitchen to inspect the garbage.

garbage sniffer

Yes, my dog is excited by the prospect of eating whatever is in that bag of three-day-old kitchen garbage, and yet I am making her homemade dog treats. The irony does not escape me.

Forty-five minutes later, grass-smelling lumps of crunch-turds came out of the oven.

crunch turds

This time, Sydney was willing to sample them, probably because she couldn’t smell the peanut butter over the overwhelming stench of old sage.

dog taste tester

She was a little cautious about the first one, but then she began performing all of her tricks one after the other without commands in order to earn more.

So I’d say we have a dog-rated success on our hands.

she likes it

But I can’t just leave well enough alone and assume that these treats are a success just because my dog likes them. Who cares what the dog thinks anyway? Her palate is not exactly discerning. She eats trash and poop and drinks out of mud puddles, guys.

You know where this is going, right? I decided to try these myself. Here’s how that went:

taste test 1

taste test 2

taste test 3

taste test 4

And then I stopped taking pictures because I had to run and go spit it out. Let me just say that these dog treats are not fit for human consumption. And let me also add that now I know why it does not bother my dog to lick her own anus, because I imagine dog anus probably tastes better than these dog treats.

Will I be attempting this again? No. Hell no. I mean, yes, the dog likes them, but they were a lot of work, I don’t have any more old sage, and I can’t eat them in a pinch, which seems important. Sorry, Sydney. You’ll have to put up with Milkbones, I guess.

Homemade Dog Treats
Article Name
Homemade Dog Treats
This heart-wrenching saga of the search for the perfect dog treat ends in tragedy... and gagging.


  • Mindy Stever March 21, 2014 - 6:45 pm Reply

    Good lord, its amazing the things you are willing to attempt. Find one for hiding veggies in normal food for me! Have a one year old who won’t touch anything not meat, potatoes or carbs!

  • Kart March 21, 2014 - 7:47 pm Reply

    You are wonderful. I laughed so hard I cried. And I don’t even have a dog.

  • Debra Yoo March 21, 2014 - 7:48 pm Reply

    love it! more sydney posts, please!

    baking dog treats is an awesome way to get rid of leftovers. some oats and some flour, then toss in whatever the dog eats (leftover baked potatoes, old grated carrots, questionably moldy cheese), mash it all up and bake it. better than going in the trash!

  • Faith Luna Stencel March 21, 2014 - 8:45 pm Reply

    omfg–so dang funny!!! You made me laugh, quite the feat after the craptastic day i had today.

  • Rachel R. March 21, 2014 - 8:50 pm Reply

    Have you tried Pill Pockets to give your dog meds? We had a dog that we had to give pills to three times a day, and they were literally the only thing that worked. You can find them at any pet store, but we usually found they were cheaper online – we usually got them here: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=19072.

    • ChickieD March 27, 2014 - 2:23 pm Reply

      I tried that shit with my cat and she total picked the pill out of that. 🙁

  • Starsx7 March 22, 2014 - 12:01 am Reply

    My dogs love the recipe with peanut butter, banana and yogurt…. specially in the summer. I think they are called frosty paws or puppy Popsicles

  • RPC March 22, 2014 - 9:37 am Reply

    When I had a mixed breed Labrador based mutt we needed to give him pills. He hated to take his pills. Hated it. But he loved to catch food. We would underhand lob food to him and he thought it was play time to catch the food and eat it.

    So, we wrapped the pill in liverwurst, because it was soft, but held together when you molded it around the pill. And we would toss a couple of wust balls at old King, and then eventually we’d toss him a pill ball and he’d just snatch it out of the air and never know the difference.

    If you tried to let him eat it off of your hand, he’d sniff that shit out and give you the Doggie Stink Eye.

  • Gloria Steiger March 22, 2014 - 11:45 am Reply

    ‘Crunch-turds’. You are killing me this morning! Hilarious post and a win for Sydney the sand eater. Well, a short lived win, anyway. And good for you in trying that mess. I’d have just lived my life never knowing what they tasted like. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve eaten my fair share of dog jerky and carob drops. Man, I miss those carob drops….
    Have a great weekend!

  • Ivana at Good Dogs & Co. March 22, 2014 - 12:42 pm Reply

    Hi Sonja! I love your Pintester posts, and since this dog treat recipe didn’t go too well, I invite you to test one of our pins for pup treats instead! I promise we’re lazy as fuck, so they won’t be this complicated. Also, they won’t smell like garbage. Also, your dog will still absolutely prefer the garbage, naturally.

  • sweetling March 22, 2014 - 5:26 pm Reply

    This reminds me of when I used to work at an animal hospital…we had a few crazy-ass ladies who would board their pet birds for a few days, and they would cook these elaborate 3-course meals that we were supposed to give to the birds each day. We had several clients who would do this, and they were all bird owners. And these were some fancy-ass gourmet meals.

    On a semi-related note, am I the only one who finds those freshly baked dog cookies they sell at pet stores to be way too delicious-smelling to give to dogs?

  • Tara March 24, 2014 - 9:49 am Reply

    Not to be debbie downer but I am 90% sure that sage is really bad for dogs…

  • Kasey@DebtPerception March 28, 2014 - 7:31 am Reply

    I met your twin today at a Pampered Chef party! She looked exactly like you and even sounded like you. I swear the only difference is she seemed shorter than what I imagine your height is and she was pregnant.

  • Anna M April 1, 2014 - 8:28 pm Reply

    I just about died when you whipped out the boner cookie cutters!! First time on your site and I am just going post to post laughing!

  • Carol April 7, 2014 - 10:59 pm Reply

    I’m laughing so hard the dog wants to know whats going on and i’m totally making her boner treats and taking them to obedience!

  • Bobby April 19, 2014 - 3:03 pm Reply

    I’d totally crush up her pills and put one crushed up pill into each squished pile of goo and bake them….if the pill wasn’t actually a discernible PILL, I wonder if she’d notice?

  • EMily May 2, 2014 - 1:31 pm Reply

    I made the mistake of reading this during lecture. busted out laughing then choking trying to stifle my laugh. haha

  • Eileen M. Mitsui May 2, 2014 - 7:02 pm Reply

    You would have been ok with the pumpkin but you lost it with the sage. Dogs eat by smell, so peanut butter / pumpkin / banana = yummy. The parsley is supposed to be fresh if it truly is for their breath, Chinese grocery to the rescue where fresh parsley is super cheap. You can leave it out all together or swap for fresh mint, not super cheap anywhere. My dogs love my breath mint cookies, even Sir Pickypants aka my 7yo standard poodle Cooper.
    Meds solution: spoon dough into 30 balls. Make fingerprint in each. Open capsule into fingerprint (or crushed pill) and cover powder with dough. 1 cookie/ day. 1batch/ month. Just leave them in a marked box so no noshing humans accidentally ingest da dope!

  • kim May 6, 2014 - 3:09 am Reply

    OMG, I’m in tears! You are the best blogger on the planet, I don’t care what anyone else says!

  • Christina May 6, 2014 - 10:20 am Reply

    This is funny as well dog crap, but not when you get it on your shoe. Lol I actually make homemade dog treats but my dog is allergic to everything from wheat and chicken to peanut butter. All are prevalent in manufactured dog treats and buying special treats is just expensive. I’ve had some similar experiences and cam related minus the boner cookie cutter, now I thin my mmixtures and pipe them out of an icing bag. This was completely entertaining and your dog is adorable.

  • Susan May 9, 2014 - 5:24 pm Reply

    Turd composed entirely of beach sand! You are TOO funny. First time visiting your blog, and I’ll be back soon.

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