Treat your favorite pup to a batch of homemade biscuits, recipe courtesy of Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist®, Martha Cline! These Pumpkin Dog Treats with Apples and Oats are easy to make and “Toby-Approved.” Four enthusiastic paws up!
Pets’ dietary needs may vary. Please consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.
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Of all of the rooms in the house, Toby’s favorite place is the kitchen. I cook and bake constantly for the blog, and the little guy seems to have appointed himself Striped Spatula’s official crumb hunter!
I’ve thought about making homemade dog treats for him many times over the years, but had so many lingering questions. I wondered what ingredients and proportions would be healthy for him and what nutritional profile his treats should have.
When we decided to explore a home cooked diet for Toby last year, we connected with Dr. Martha Cline at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. We love knowing that we have the option to make our little guy healthy, nutritionally-balanced recipes, with quality-sourced ingredients, in our home kitchen.
Dr. Cline’s Pumpkin Dog Treats with Apples and Oats are low in protein, fat, phosphorous, and sodium. They’re a great recipe to share a taste of the fall season with your pooch (though, I’m sure Toby will be expecting these year-round!).
Homemade dog treats are also a great holiday gift for pet parents and the four-legged family members on your list. Package them in a cute dog biscuit canister, add a ribbon, and you’re set!
How to Make Pumpkin Dog Treats
For this recipe, you’ll need whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur), canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling; I use organic), apples, rolled oats, canola or safflower oil, water, and a little ground cinnamon.
Making the treats is easy–just mix the dough, roll it out, and cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. You can make larger treats for larger dogs, or mini-sized treats for more petite pups. I love my Ann Clark 5-piece Dog Bone Cookie Cutter Set, which has an option to suit every pooch.
Since these biscuits don’t contain preservatives and are made with fresh fruit, they’ll have a shorter shelf life than store bought. Storage notes can be found in the recipe card below.
Have extra pumpkin puree left in the can after making these biscuits? Use it to make my Pumpkin Granola with Maple and Pecans (not safe for pet consumption). You can snack on your granola while your pooch is enjoying his pumpkin treats!
Amanda’s Recipe Tips
- I’ve been using Gala apples that I picked up at the orchard, but any variety will work well. Finely chop the apple (remove the core and leave the skin on). Large pieces will make the dough difficult to cut cleanly. I tested grating the apple, but found that it released too much juice and made the dough too wet.
- Baking time will depend on the size of the cookie cutters you’ve used. My mini treats took about 20 minutes. The largest cutters took 35-40 minutes. When ready, the biscuits should be dry to the touch and lightly-browned.
- Whether I’m making cookies for people or dog treats, I like to lightly dip the cookie cutter into flour before each cut. This will minimize the dough sticking to the cutter for a cleaner shape.
Q&A with Dr. Cline
Q. How many treats or snacks should my dog eat per day?
A. Calories from treats or snacks should not make up more than 10% of a dog’s total caloric intake. Calories on pet food labels are generally listed as kcals (1 kcal = 1 Calorie).
Q. What are some of the foods or ingredients that could be dangerous for my dog?
A. Toxic foods for dogs include grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol, coffee, macadamia nuts, xylitol (used as a sweetener in foods like gum or peanut butter), and raw yeast dough.
Q. What services does a Veterinary Nutritionist offer and when might a pet parent want to get a nutritional consultation?
A. A Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist® is able to consult on the diet of both healthy pets to optimize health and wellbeing and those with disease(s) that can be managed with diet.
Some conditions which can be managed in part with diet include (but are not limited to) obesity, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, gastrointestinal diseases, and osteoarthritis. Pets with multiple disease conditions requiring nutritional intervention can benefit from a nutrition consultation to identify an appropriate dietary strategy.
To learn more about Dr. Cline and the nutrition services offered at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, visit their Clinical Nutrition Department page. To find a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist® near you, visit the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.
Pumpkin Dog Treats
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling; 122 g)
- 1 cup finely-chopped apple (cored, skin on; 125 g)
- ¼ cup water , room temperature
- 1-½ tablespoon canola oil or safflower oil (21 g)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (1.3 g)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (240 g)
- ½ cup rolled oats (40 g)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, apple, water, oil, and cinnamon. Gradually add whole wheat flour and oats, stirring until fully combined.
- Roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness on a lightly-floured surface. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, re-rolling and cutting scraps as needed.
- Bake on an ungreased, parchment-lined baking sheet for 20-40 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie cutter you've used.* The treats should be lightly browned and dry to the touch.
- Cool treats completely on a wire rack before feeding or storing in an airtight container.**