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Don’t Put These In Homemade Dog Treats

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Many dog owners love making their pooch special homemade dog treats. Because unlike store bought goodies, you know what is in the treats. And just like humans prefer homemade food, so do our dogs.

What we like about making our dogs treats at home is we can tailor the recipes to suit our dogs’ preferences. And we also know the ingredients and nutritional values of the treats.

Homemade Dog Treats, Frozen Dog Ice Cream Cupcakes With Banana And Peanut Butter
RoJo Images / Shutterstock.com

However, some of the recipes available online include certain content we never want to feed our dog. So, before following a recipe you discover online, do a bit of research to ensure that the ingredients are safe for your furry friend.

Want to make safe and delicious goodies for your pooch? Continue reading below to find ingredients you should avoid at all costs when making homemade dog treats.

5 Ingredients To Avoid When Making Homemade Dog Treats

Without further ado, here are five ingredients you must not include in your pooch’s homemade treats.

1. Onion

Full Frame Shot Of Purple Onions
Melica / Shutterstock.com

For those who are not aware of the fact that onions are a terrible food for canines, this is your heads up. Never feed any dog raw or cooked onions, and never include them in any of the homemade dog treats you make.

Onions contains N-propyl disulfide, a toxic substance that can cause anemia in dogs. It also contains thiosulphate, a substance that dogs cannot properly digest. And if ingested in large amounts, can even result in death, especially to small dogs.

And while fresh onions are toxic to dogs, onion powder is more dangerous. So always check, not only homemade dog treat ingredients, but also human food you feed your dog.

2. Garlic

Garlic Bulbs On Black Background, Close-Up
Ekaterina Bondaretc / Shutterstock.com

Garlic is another ingredient to avoid. It is considered a gastrointestinal irritant and when consumed by dogs, can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Much like onions, this herb has the potential to cause serious digestive issues, and will also result in the death of a dog that consumes garlic in large amounts. And in powder form, is much more dangerous than its fresh counterpart.

According to Pet MD, garlic found in small doses on manufactured dog food and treats, but tested by pet food manufacturers, is okay.

However, if you are making the treats at home, this is not recommended. As store bought dog food/treats with small doses of garlic are, again, tested by professionals.

3. Chocolate

Little Terrier Dog With Chocolate Lying On The Floor
Sonja Rachbauer / Shutterstock.com

Here is a big one: chocolate, in any form, is NEVER to be fed to a dog. This is because it contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that our furry friends can not metabolize as well as humans do.

While chocolate is rarely fatal, it can result in serious health problems. I know a lady who has fed her dogs Oreo cookies for many years and every one of these dogs has died at an early age, and had many health problems before passing away.

Furthermore, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, dogs who have ingested chocolate can experience vomiting, diarrhea, panting, restlessness, increased thirst and a racing heart rate. And in rare and severe cases, chocolate can cause muscle tremors, seizures and worse, heart failure.

4. Raisins & Grapes

Woman Picking Grapes In A Vineyard With A Dog
Ramon Alberich / Shutterstock.com

Raisins and grapes must also be avoided when making homemade dog treats. While many of the homemade goodies fur parents make are in cookie form, raisins and/or grapes should not be added as dog cookie ingredients.

And you might think, “what harm will a few grapes/raisins do?” More than you think! Consuming even one grape and/or raisin can be fatal to dogs. This is because raisins and grapes contains tartaric acid, which attacks the kidney, causing renal failure in dogs, regardless of size.

5. Xylitol

Sugar Substitute Xylitol, Scoop With Birch Sugar, Liefs And Wood
nadisja / Shutterstock.com

Xylitol is a sugar substitute used by humans because unlike sugar, it doesn’t cause tooth decay and has lower calories.

Furthermore, it is found in other human foods that we usually feed our dogs such as baked goods, “sugar-free” desserts, skinny ice cream, and more.

However, xylitol is toxic to dogs. FDA even issued a warning back in 2021 and talked about its dangers to our furry friends.

So, if you’re planning to make homemade dog treats using a sugar alternative, Xylitol should be off the table, literally and figuratively.

Ingredients To Add To Homemade Dog Treats

If you’re wondering what you can add to your homemade dog treats so your pooch will love them, here’s a few safe and delicious ingredients:

  • Pumpkin
  • Strawberry
  • Blueberry
  • Banana
  • Peach
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Cucumber
  • Peanut Butter (xylitol-free, of course)
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale


Dog Wants Homemade Dog Biscuits On Oven Grill
Michael Ebardt / Shutterstock.com

Making homemade dog treats can be a fun and fulfilling experience. But it is always important to do your due diligence when grabbing homemade dog treats recipes off the Internet.

Most of these recipes will be fine, but doing your own research and educating yourself about safe ingredients is a must.

Do you make homemade treats for your doggy? Comment any tips and advice for other fur parents below!

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  1. Avatar Of Ty Buchanan

    Ty Buchanan


    Dogs are predators like Dingoes. They never eat vegetables so neither should pet dogs be fed vegetables of any sort at any time. Dogs do eat grass that they select to help their digestive system, but they never raid your veggie patch.

  2. Avatar Of Cheryl Condrey

    Cheryl Condrey


    I used to order pizza & give my dogs the crust part. Now I order soft cheesy bread that had garlic salt on it. Is that OK? They love cheesy bread & when they hear me say the word on the phone they start right away watching for the delivery guy.

  3. Avatar Of Debra Debra says:

    I started in the homemade treat business after making my own pup homemade treats with safe ingredients. As of right now, I make one treat variety, which is made with apples, rolled oats and peanut butter (the peanut butter’s only ingredient is peanuts which are grown exclusively in the US, as are all of our ingredients). We are currently working on new flavors, including ones with pear and honey, buckwheat (which is not a grain, but a fruit seed), and a pumpkin/oat treat. I think pet nutrition is integral to our companions’ health and I encourage everyone to take the time to research what is good for your own four-footed friend!

  4. Avatar Of Charlie



    Every other day (depending on my work schedule) my 60lb. 16 month old Sophie gets 1/2 chicken thigh, that was boiled with organic brown rice, poured over chopped baby spinach and bait of her Canidae kibble. She always leaves a few spinach leaves (ha!) to let me know she’d rather have all chicken. That is my idea of a “treat”.

  5. Avatar Of Judy



    I make turkey dog bones. 2 eggs, 1 cup turkey cut unto small pieces,
    2 tbsp. of pure pumpkin, 1 tsp.crushed flax seed or oil, 1 cup of oatmeal.
    1/2 cup of brown rice flour. mix all wet ingredients together, includng
    turkey, in a blender or whisk, add dry ingredients, mic well with your hands.
    sprinkle some flour on you counter top, roll out the dough as thick as
    you want and either use a biscuit cutter or roll into small balls and flatten
    them about to make round cookies. 350 degrees for 45 minutes. turn oven off and
    leave them in the oven for another 45 minutes to crisp them up.

    • Avatar Of Ann



      Do these have to be stored in the fridge? I’ve been starting to experiment with making my own treats, but want them to be “shelf-stable”.

  6. Avatar Of Ellen



    Does anyone have good recipes for grain-free treats?

    • Avatar Of Roberta



      I make lots of different recipes using rice flour instead of wheat flour, or oatment, barley flour. Wheat & corn are the two main ones to avoid.

  7. Avatar Of Gail



    I make “Woofies” Only five ingredients. Pumpkin, peanut butter, whole wheat flour, cinnamon and eggs. Very easy to make and he loves them! I made them for my friend’s dogs for Christmas and they were a huge hit.

    WOOFIES Dog Treats
    2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
    2 eggs
    1 cup canned pumpkin
    2 tablespoons peanut butter
    ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    In a stand mixer or Cuisinart, mix together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, salt and cinnamon
    Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and still
    Roll the dough into a ½ inch thick roll. Cut into ½ inch pieces (Jake note: My Mom rolls these out like cookies and uses a cookie cutter)
    Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes. Less time if rolled and cut.

  8. Avatar Of Dody



    I use baby food and rice flour. Mix 1/2 cup baby food, any flavor, with about 2 cups rice or wheat flour. Roll out, cut and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. I then turn the oven off and let it cool with them in there, it makes them more crunchy and my pup likes her some crunch. Easy and she loves them. Other than Blue Buffalo dog food, and the occasional chew bone, I don’t buy anything from the store.

    • Avatar Of Dee



      many baby foods contain onion powder as a natural sweetener, be careful with all baby food, including dessert flavors!

  9. Avatar Of Lesli



    I found something very easy – 1 overripe banana and 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal. Mash together. Bake @ 350 about 15 minutes. Store leftovers in fridge and only keep a few days.

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