With an ever-increasing movement toward humans eating more whole, healthy foods, many dog owners are turning to their pets and thinking about how they should revamp their food.
Fillers, preservatives, and meat byproducts are all harmful items that many processed dog treats include. So, I’ll give you the low-down on how to make homemade dog treats with rolled oats that are tasty and free of these cancer-inducing substances.
Best of all, you can enjoy these human-grade treats with your dog!
Are Rolled Oats Safe for Dogs?
Rolled oats are safe for dogs, and they provide nutrition to boot.
By feeding your pooch homemade dog treats with rolled oats, they’ll receive fiber, protein, iron, and vitamin B6.
But as the saying goes, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. So, feed your dog the treats below in moderation; if they become just 10% overweight, they run the risk of decreasing their lifespan by a third.
Option 1: Apple-Based Rolled Oat Dog Treats
If your dog is like mine, these apple and rolled oat treats will have them begging for more. They’re an excellent fit for busy dog owners, given that you’ll get a massive 90 treats from this recipe with only 15 minutes of prep time.
The ingredients you need to make apple rolled oat dog treats are as follows:
- 5 ½ cups of rolled oats
- 1 cup of apple sauce
- 2 eggs
When selecting apple sauce, choose a variety that doesn’t have sugar, cinnamon, or other added ingredients.
Below are the steps you’ll need to follow to whip up a big batch of these delicious goodies.
Step 1: Grind the Oats
You’ll want to turn the oats into a fine powder but not so fine that there aren’t any small pieces of oat remaining. To do so, grind the oats in a food processor.
Pro tip: Grind a handful of oats before the measured about and keep them off to the side for when you go to ration the batter with a cookie cutter.
Step 2: Add Remaining Ingredients
Keep the oats in your food processor, then add the two eggs and one cup of applesauce. Turn on your food processor again and let it run for a couple of minutes.
It’ll take some time to work the liquid into the oats. But once you do, the batter will have a sticky texture.
Step 3: Shape the Dough
The fun part has begun! Use any small, fun-shaped cookie cutter to make these treats look fancy. You’ll want to roll the dough until it’s about ⅛-inch thick.
Alternatively, roll the dough into small balls and use a fork to press them down, creating a checkerboard shape. Now is the time to use some extra ground oat flour, as the batter is sometimes too sticky.
Step 4: Bake the Treats
Preheat your oven to 350°F and pop your tray of dog treats into it. They’ll be cooked through and take on a firm (but not rock hard) texture at the 18 to 20-minute mark.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Let the treats cool, then have you and your dog give them a taste test.
If you live in a cool, climate-controlled house, leaving these oat treats on your countertop for up to one week is usually safe. Just make sure Fido can’t reach them. Otherwise, I recommend tossing them in the fridge, where they’ll stay good for around two weeks.
Option 2: Apple and Peanut Butter-based Rolled Oat Dog Treats
If you want to kick your homemade rolled oat dog treats up a notch, especially if your dog (or you) loves peanut butter, these next treats are a must-try.
As with the first recipe, you can expect the prep time for these treats only to take around 15 minutes. They make less—about 30 treats—but they should still last a while (as long as you can keep human hands out of the treat jar!).
You’ll need to gather the following ingredients to make these apple and peanut butter rolled oat treats:
- ⅔ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1.5 cups freeze-dried apples
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 2 eggs
You already know to purchase additive-free applesauce. Similarly, you should buy peanut butter without sugar or other additives. I find that smoother peanut butter is best for this recipe, although you could experiment with the crunchy variety.
The great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t call for a food processor. So, grab a bowl and spoon and get ready to make some tasty treats.
Step 1: Prepare the Apples
You’ll need to chop the freeze-dried apples with a knife. These apples will be difficult for your dog to chew if the pieces are too large. But you don’t need to go overboard with cutting them into super tiny pieces.
Step 2: Mix Wet Ingredients
Place the applesauce, peanut butter, and eggs into a large bowl and mix them together. A hand mixer is best if you own one. Otherwise, you can get the job done by putting some muscle into blending these ingredients well.
Step 3: Add Remaining Ingredients
Pour the rolled oats and freeze-dried apples into the bowl. I find it’s easiest to stir (and less ends up on the floor) by gradually adding these ingredients.
Step 4: Cut Treat Shapes
These apple peanut butter treats are thicker than the other treats I showed you, so you’ll want to roll out the dough until it’s ¼ or ½-inch thick. Then, take a cookie cutter or use the ball and fork method I described above to shape these dog treats.
Step 5: Bake and Enjoy
Set the dog treats on a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a little grease and place them in an oven preheated to 350°F. Set your timer for 15 minutes and check them up until 20 minutes, waiting until they’re firm and browning.
Tips for Making Homemade Rolled Oat Dog Treats
Below are some items to keep in mind as you spoil your dog with homemade rolled oat treats:
- Store treats in the fridge for freshness.
- Purchase a dog bone cookie cutter.
- Tailor the ingredients to dog allergies.
- Cut the recipe in half if you wish.
- Freeze treats you can’t use within two weeks.
You can also freeze your rolled oat dog treats and give them to your dog on a hot summer day to cool off. My dogs love it when I do this.
An Overview of the Ingredients
We’ve already established that rolled oats are safe for dogs. But if you’re skeptical about the other ingredients I discussed here, below is a run-down on their safety for dogs.
Of course, never use any ingredient you know your dog is allergic to, and if you sense your dog is having an allergic reaction to the treat you make, take them to the vet immediately.
Eggs are safe and an excellent protein supplement for dogs. They contain lots of nutritional value, such as:
- Fatty acids
When selecting eggs for your homemade dog treats, choose those from pasture-raised chickens. That way, you know the chicken didn’t consume the sometimes allergy-inducing ingredients of foods like corn and wheat.
As a warning, never let your dog lick the raw remainder of liquid after you crack the eggs for their treats. As with humans, dogs can contract salmonella from eating raw eggs.
Apples are one of the many fruits safe for dogs as long as you remove the seeds and core. Some of the most exceptional nutritional values that apples provide include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Since apples are low-fat and low-protein, they make an excellent ingredient in dog treats for senior dogs, given that older dogs require less of these macronutrients.
If you’re the type of person that loves experimenting with recipes, you’re welcome to try adding fruit other than freeze-dried apples or applesauce to the batter. Some other fruits that are safe for dogs to eat include bananas, blueberries, and mango.
Natural peanut butter is perfectly safe for dogs to eat. Both creamy and chunky peanut butter is fine for them.
The issue with peanut butter is if it contains added ingredients, particularly xylitol. Xylitol is a manufactured sugar that’s toxic to dogs. It can cause low blood sugar, diarrhea, and, in extreme cases, liver failure.
If you accidentally fed homemade dog treats to your dog with peanut butter containing xylitol, call your veterinarian. Depending on your dog’s state, they may recommend monitoring them for xylitol poisoning symptoms or encourage you to bring them in for a visit right away.
Are You Ready to Spoil Your Dog?
I’m not about to tell you that your dog would choose homemade dog treats with rolled oats over a juicy steak. But my dog loves both recipes I shared, and I think your dog will (or will grow to love them) too.