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Grain Free Dog Treats

Make your dog’s day with these grain free dog treats! They are made with simple pantry ingredients and take no time at all.

Treats in between dog paws.

You’ve probably seen grain-free treats, grain-free food, grain free everything for pets in the stores. It is a huge diet trend for dogs and cats alike. They usually have super simple ingredients that you can pronounce, which is always a win!

Grain-free treats are also usually expensive. The good news is that they are super easy to make at home! And while we do not recommend a completely grain-free diet for dogs(more on this later), these treats are a great snack to have on hand for the occasional treat that also uses up those random pantry items.

These treats only take three ingredients to make and 10 minutes of prep time, so let’s get to it!

Square cut up grain free treats.

Ingredients for Grain Free Dog Treats

If you bought a bag of grain-free flour and haven’t used it since Christmas, here’s your chance! With a little pumpkin and peanut butter, these treats couldn’t be simpler.

  • Grain Free Flour: These are pretty common in the grocery store, but try to use one that is only one ingredient (not a blend). This could be chickpea, almond, or coconut flour.
  • Pumpkin Puree: Be sure to use unsweetened 100% pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, which has a similar looking can). Pumpkin has tons of great fiber that aids dog’s digestion.
  • Peanut Butter: Any natural peanut butter can be used, just make absolutely sure there is no xylitol in it as it is poisonous to dogs.
A bowl with peanut butter, pumpkin, and grain free flour.

How to Make Grain-Free Dog Biscuits

With only 10 minutes of prep, these treats will be ready in no time! Just be sure to let them cool before serving (I know the hardest part).

Step 1: Prep
Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until evenly combined.

Treat dough mixed together in a bowl.

Step 2: Spread
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the dough all over the sheet – it should be about ½ inch thick. I like to do this with a wetted silicon spatula or offset spatula to keep the dough from sticking.

Grain free treat dough spread out onto a parchment lined baking tray.

Step 3: Bake
Bake until dry to the touch, about 40 to 45 minutes. Keep an eye on them at the end so they do not burn.

Step 4: Cut
Allow to cool slightly, then cut into 1-inch-sized squares. Let cool completely before serving.

Treats on a cutting board half cut into bite size pieces.
Treats cut into bite size pieces on a cutting board.
Orange grain free treats cut into squares and piled on a board.

Is Grain Free Good For Dogs?

Not as a meal replacement but for the occasional treat, yes. When the grain-free dog diet trend became popular recently, some young animals were suddenly showing signs of heart failure (which is typical in older dogs, not young). Vets were perplexed until they discovered they were all eating grain-free food, exclusively. They eventually determined that grain free food lacks necessary nutrients that lead to an increased risk of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

So why do dogs needs grains if dogs came from wolves and wolves are carnivores? Well as they evolved and became domesticate, it was crucial for their survival that they be able to eat the grains that humans were eating at the time.

As time progressed and dogs began eating more grains, they developed the same changes in their genomes that allow humans to digest gluten. The major difference between wolves and dogs gene sequences being in the genes that tell the body the steps to digest starch. This change seems to be a result of dogs having multiple copies of the gene for an enzyme that is the first step to digestion of starch. For comparison, dogs have up to 30 copies while wolves have only 2 copies.

This all came about when a team of Swedish researches compared the evolution of wolves and dogs to try to narrow in on why dogs and wolves are really no longer the same. Obviously some dogs (like wolf-dogs or huskies) will have more tolerance to a grain free diet, but in general it is recommended to feed dogs a simple diet with basic grains to ensure proper nutrients.

Rhubarb, who thinks she is a wolf, enjoys a wide variety of grains.

Dog being handed a treat from a hand.

Recipe Tips

Storage: Keep these stored loosely covered in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer, sealed for long-term storage.

Ingredient Swaps: This recipe is incredibly versatile for whatever you have in the kitchen! The pumpkin can be replaced with mashed sweet potato or butternut squash. The flour can be replaced with any type of whole grain, like whole grain flour, cooked rice, or even quinoa. And the nut butter can be any variety you have on hand!

Nutrition Boosters: Want to throw in a few nutrition boosters to amp up these healthy dog treats? Try adding a squirt of fish oil, a splash of kefir or goat’s milk, or a sprinkle of chia seeds or flaxseed!

More Paw-fect Treats

If you need more at home dog treats besides this grain free treat recipe, then check out any of these!

Dog looking at grain free treats between their paws.

Grain Free Dog Treats

Grain Free Dog Treats

Yield: 50 treats
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Make your dog's day with these grain free dog treats! They're made with simple pantry staples and take no time at all.

Materials

  • 1 ½ cups grain free flour*
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (make sure it does not contain xylitol)

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until evenly combined.
  2. Spread: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread dough all over the sheet - it should be about ½ inch thick.
  3. Bake: Bake until dry to the touch, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Cut: Allow to cool slightly, then cut into 1-inch sized squares. Let cool completely before serving.

Notes

*Flour: Options include chickpea, almond, or coconut flour.

Store loosely covered in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for longterm storage.

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