Healthy Dog Biscuits
'For Happier and Healthier Dogs'

Finding healthy dog biscuits is not always easy, especially when you're not sure what you should be looking for and avoiding. Here's the basics, when searching for healthy dog biscuits you want to look for a biscuit that contains limited and natural ingredients. Many dog biscuits can include human foods such as carrots, pumpkin, green beans, broccoli and much more -  These type of ingredients are great as they are low in calories. Homemade dog biscuits are especially beneficial if your dog has allergies, diabetes or other issues that affects their diet. Also, DIY dog treats can save you some money on what you spend on your dog in the long run.

Dog waiting for a tasty treat

What To Look For In Healthy Dog Biscuits

Animal Protein Named At The Top Of The Ingredients List

If you're buying dog biscuits from a store, checking the ingredients is very important. Dog biscuits containing meat protein (such as chicken, lamb, beef, etc) should list it as one of the first ingredients. If it say's "meat by-product" this will mean it contains low-quality protein probably from a dubious origin. Many commercial dog biscuits can be high in fat and sugar, often with unnecessary fillers, preservative and artificial flavors. Click here for more information on how to read the ingredients that are on the back of your dog treats.

Fruit, Vegetables And Grains

Unprocessed fruit, vegetables, and grains keep their vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants intact which is very beneficial for your dogs health. Don't be too concerned if you see 'rice' listed within the ingredients - as long as it is listed low in the ingredients, it is safe. Unless your dog has a reaction to grains, if so stay clear!

No Added Sugar Or Salt 

There is no reason why sugar should be in any dog treat, it's completely unnecessary for your dog's diet and nutritional needs. Look carefully at the ingredient list for sugar, bearing in mind that sugar may be listed under a different name such as; sweetener, sucrose, caramel, or corn syrup. Dogs that eat sugar on a regular basis are susceptible to tooth decay, allergies, arthritis, and obesity. 

Salt is a required nutrient, but just like us human, an excess intake of salt can cause health problems to develop. Humans and dogs can develop the same problems due to an excess of salt such as; an increase in water intake, dry mucous membranes, restlessness, and heart problems. Salt can be listed within the ingredients as; sodium chloride, iodized salt or sea salt.

No Artificial Flavors, Colors or Preservatives  

Many dog biscuits contain artificial flavors or colors which are totally unnecessary.  Manufacturers add them to low quality foods to make them more appealing to dogs (and us)!  For a healthy dog biscuit to be truly healthy, it should be devoid of all artificial colors and flavorings.  The most common ones to avoid are propylene glycol, corn syrup, and  monosodium glutamate MSG

Preservatives extend the shelf-life of dog biscuits but again, there are healthy preservatives and ones to avoid.  I would steer clear of anything that contains BHA, BHT, sodium nitrite and nitrate.  Healthy options are vitamin C, vitamin E (mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols), rosemary extract, ascorbic acid, citric acid, cinnamon, sage, rosemary, cloves and honey.

Treats found in a refrigerator of a store have a shorter shelf-life but are usually healthier as they are usually free of harmful preservatives.

Made in the USA

When you see the USA logo or 'Made in the USA' displayed on a pack of store purchased dog biscuits, you at least know where they came from.  Not that it means that its healthier but at least you know the country of origin.  You should ALWAYS stay away from any treats that have been made in China. 

Delicious Homemade Healthy Dog Biscuits

Unlike us humans, most dogs don't have a sweet tooth. Dogs are more motivated and driven to fragrant treats, such as liver treats or peanut butter treats. Fragrant treats have a stronger scent to them - sometimes the stronger the better! Making your own healthy dog biscuits allows you to get creative with the flavors and smells! Knowing the ingredients you put into your dog's treat, allows you to give your dog a healthy boost and you some peace of mind. 

Parmesan and Parsley Crunchy Cheese Snaps

These treats are so simple and quick to bake. They are especially great for people too, try serving these with a dip instead of tortilla chips. It's a treat that you and your dog can share. Me and my dog 'Lady' regular share these on the sofa - She's addicted! 

*DO NOT GIVE THIS TO YOUR DOG IF THEY HAVE TROUBLE DIGESTING LACTOSE*

A treat that you and your dog can eat together - Parmesan and Parsley Cheese Snaps."Parmesan and Parsley Cheese Snaps"

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of Parsley Flakes (optional) - Helps treat bad breath and is also works as an anti-inflammatory. 

METHOD: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. 
  3. If you're including the parsley flakes, then mix these in with the cheese now.
  4. Pile approx 1 teaspoon of the cheese onto the parchment paper, allowing at least 2" between each pile.
  5. Bake these in the middle of oven for 5 minutes.
  6. Let the cheese chips cool down completely before giving them to your dog. These treats can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Grain Free Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Biscuits

Pumpkin is great for dogs that have an upset stomach. It also helps improves your dog's coat and immune system. So if you dog suffers from a sensitive stomach, this recipe would be safe and perfect for them.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons of organic unsweetened creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 3/4 cups of chickpea flour (If your dog has no problems with wheat, you can substitute for whole-wheat flour or all purpose flour)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the canned pumpkin, peanut butter, egg and flour. 
  3. Flour the surface and turn the dough onto the floured surface and knead. Roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness. 
  4. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into cookies (or you can slice with a pizza cutter) and place on the parchment paper. 
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 
  6. Let the biscuits cool down completely before serving or refrigerating. These biscuits can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 months. 

Strawberry, Oats and Flaxseed Biscuits

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 1/2 cups of oat flour
  • 1/4 frozen blackberries (you can use blueberries or strawberries)
  • 1/3 cup of ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of honey  

Blackberries: These are packed with antioxidants to fight free radicals in your dog, and they also have plenty of fiber, vitamins and omega-3.

Strawberries: These are packed with antioxidants. They boast high in fiber and provide a lot in vitamin C. Strawberries contain enzyme's that can help whiten your dog's teeth. Do not feed your dog large amounts of strawberries, even though the sugar in natural, too much can be bad news.

Blueberries: These are packed with antioxidants; fiber and phytochemical blueberries boast provide the same benefits for your dog's body that they give yours.

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour and flaxseed. Then add in the non-fat yogurt and honey and mix well. 
  4. Then mix in the strawberries.
  5. Knead the dough, and then roll to 1/4-inch thickness.
  6. Use cookie cutters to make the shapes or you can use a pizza cutter.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the biscuits cool in the oven.

Doggie Delicious Baby Cookies

These dog delicious cookies are made with baby food and are healthy and very simple to bake! No matter what flavor your dog loves, you can adapt these cookies to suit your dog's taste buds. If you're not sure where to begin with flavors, try sweet potato and chicken. With so many varieties of baby food available, it is simple to create lots of different flavors for your dog. Avoid baby food that contains artificial preservatives, onions or onion powder.

These homemade dog cookies are made from whole wheat flour and organic baby food."Only 2 Simple Ingredients"
A great dog treat that you can make using only 2 simple ingredients. Sweet Potatoes, Corn and Carrot Cookies."Sweet Potatoes, Corn and Carrot Cookies"

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 cups of organic whole wheat flour
  • 2 4oz. jars of organic pureed baby food  (I used sweet potatoes, corn and carrot)

OR

  • 2 cups of organic whole wheat flour
  • 8oz of pureed carrots, sweet potato or pumpkin

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees
  2. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, and then add baby food. Using your hands form a stiff dough - If it seems too sticky add a little more flour or if it seems too stiff add a little cold water.
  3. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough. Then use cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. if you don't have cookie cutters you can use a pizza cutter.
  4. Place parchment paper onto a baking tray and place the cookies on top. 
  5. Then put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. 

Store Brought Healthy Dog Biscuits

Not everyone has time to make their own healthy dog biscuits, which I can understand. When buying dog biscuits from a store, ensure you check the ingredients and keep in mind the ingredients you want to avoid. Dog biscuits that contains protein such as chicken, lamb etc., ensure it's listed as one of the first ingredients.

Make sure you always check that the "best before" date is at least six months away. This means that the dog treat biscuits were made recently. Biscuits that contain BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin are likely to have a "best before" date that is as much as two years past the manufacture date.

Many dog biscuits can contain additives and nasty meat byproducts, which can contribute to your dog suffering from obesity, diabetes, and many other illnesses and diseases related to an unhealthy diet. For more information, please check out my Healthy Treats Page.

To Sum Up Healthy Dog Biscuits

There any many recipes which allows you to make healthy dog biscuits for your dog, and the best part about making them at home - you know what ingredients are going into the biscuit. If you have a dog that suffers from allergies or digestive problems, this is extremely important! An added bonus is that it's inexpensive to make healthy dog biscuits in the comfort of your own home. Feel free to try any of my recipes, I can ensure you that the ingredients you will need to make these treats at home are already in your cupboard.

Alternatively, if you would rather buy some already made, we show you the healthy options and what to avoid in store bought brands to ensure you are getting a high quality healthy dog biscuit for your dog. 


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ABOUT ME

Hello, I’m Sarah, the owner of Pure Dog Treats! I started my website in 2016 when myself, my husband and our border collie ‘Lady’ moved to the US from the UK.

My passion is making a variety of wholesome, natural, tasty dog treats in the comfort of my own home. I provide a range of homemade recipes and recommendations for healthy, diabetic, homemade, organic,  vegetarian dog treats and much more. I have learnt that it can be confusing and challenging to find healthy dog treats, and would like to pass on my knowledge and passion onto other dog lovers.

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