Amazing Homemade Dog Training Treats | High-protein, Low-fat Dog Training Treat Recipes!

Amazing Homemade Dog Training Treats |  High-protein, Low-fat Dog Training Treat Recipes!
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I often focus on talking about training treats for dogs in this blog. I do this for a couple reasons. We use a lot of training treats here! Maui is my service dog and every day we review some commands just to keep them fresh in her memory. Training can mean a lot of extra food and calories so I like treats that are small, healthy, and low in calories. Training treats fit this bill.

Another reason I talk about training treats a lot is that dogs don’t need a large treat to be happy. Maui is often just happy to get something; she doesn’t need a huge biscuit to be happy.

Training treats are also great if you have a smaller dog. Calories can add up fast and if you have a smaller dog and treats can take up a good portion of their calorie intake for the day rather quickly if you are not careful.

Lately, I had been wanting to make some homemade dog training treats for Maui. So, we tried a couple super easy recipes to make some delicious, inexpensive, high protein homemade dog training treats. Now, we are excited to share them here with you!

 

The Hoopla

When you head out to the store there are a lot of dog training treats available. The sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get persuaded by the attractive packaging; the cute dog on the front of the bag; or the little proclamations on the bag declaring their excellence.

Sometimes I go to the store with the best intention of purchasing only limited ingredient, wholesome treats with natural ingredients but I too get pulled into the marketing hootenanny and sometimes end up purchasing a bag of treats for the sole reason that the dog looks happy on the front of the package. I get home and realize I fell victim to clever marketing and purchased something I didn’t really want.

 

The Cure

Pick Me I'm cool voice bubbleEverything you see for sale in the store is strategically packaged, marketed, and placed to attract your attention and get you to buy it. Marketing draws you in, making you want to purchase their products because you remember the talking Golden retriever that wants bacon or maybe the dog running across the floor supposedly saying Kibbles ‘n Bits, ‘n Bits, ‘n Bits.

A great way to not get caught up in the marketing strategies that are out to get you is to stay home and make your own great homemade dog training treats. This way you know exactly what ingredients are in those treats; where the ingredients came from; the cleanliness of the kitchen and cooks; how the treats were made, and you choose ingredients that are safe and your dog will love!

 

The Benefits

A great benefit to making homemade dog training treats is that (as I mentioned above) you know and are in control of exactly what ingredients are in those treats. If you decide you want to make a peanut butter treat for your dog you control if you want your dog to have organic, natural, chunky, creamy, Skippy, etc.

Making treats at home from scratch also means there are no added preservatives. While some preservatives are naturally occurring and not bad for your dog, some preservatives are NOT good for any living animal. Making your dog’s treats at home means you can eliminate preservatives altogether.

If your dog has a special condition such as food allergies, diabetes, sensitive stomach, skin irritations, being overweight, etc. you get to be in control of selecting ingredients appropriate for your dog’s situation.

It’s cheaper! Most of the time you’re going to find it is much less expensive to make your own dog training treats at home rather than purchasing them at the store.

It’s fun! Especially if you get the kids to help!

 

How to Decide

You browse the Internet for recipes to make your own dog treats and there are a ton of them out there and most of them look amazing! I’m going to fess up and admit that when it comes to baking and cooking I am pretty darn lazy. Some of the treat recipes I found contained multiple ingredients, some of which I don’t keep around the house or they just take more finesse than I feel a dog treat needs. I mean really, does a dog care if the treat is in the shape of a little bone or has fake frosting on it? I don’t think so.

I opt for recipes that are incredibly simple and have few ingredients, all of which I likely have at home already and don’t need to make a run to the store for. Here are a couple awesome high protein, low-fat recipes I found that Maui loves.

 

 

Lean Jerky Bits

Ingredient

  • Meat (Preferably a lower fat meat)

Instructions

  1. I find it much easier to cut meat when it is still partially frozen so I recommend taking it out of the freezer and letting it thaw a bit until it is still firm but no longer hard as a rock.
  2. Preheat oven to 175°F.
  3. Cut off and discard excess fat.
  4. Cut meat into small equal sized pieces. Keep in mind these are training treats and the meat will shrink when cooked. The size you choose certainly can depend on the size of your dog but I chose to cut the beef shown in this picture to approximately half inch pieces. I happened to have a pack of stir-fry beef in the freezer which worked out nicely as they were already cut up into fairly small pieces with some only needing to be cut in half.
  5. Allow the meat to thaw completely.
  6. Pat the meat dry with paper towels after it thaws.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper and distribute the pieces of meat evenly.
  8. Dry the meat in the oven for 4-5 hours or until it becomes dry and leathery. Rotate the sheet occasionally throughout the baking time.
  9. Take the jerky bits out of the oven when they appear to be completely dry. Actual drying time will depend on the size and type of meat used.
  10. Blot off any oil that may remain and let it cool completely before sharing it with your dog!
  11. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate to extend shelf life.

I cooked Maui’s jerky too long so they are more like beef crunchies than beef jerky, but Maui absolutely GOES CRAZY for these! You can see the absolute joy on her face!!

Tuna Bits

This one comes to me by way of Ken Steepe at McCann Dogs. He uses these homemade dog training treats at his dog obedience school routinely and dogs love it! I love that they are high protein and low in fat. You can make them even lower in fat if you eliminate the cheese but then watch your cooking time. Cheese adds moisture and grease so without it the treats may bake quicker.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of albacore tuna in water (do not drain)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ¼ cup of cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
  3. Spread combined ingredients evenly in an 8 x 8 lightly sprayed cooking pan.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Turn oven down to 275°F.
  6. Use a spatula to remove the entire sheet from the pan and turn it over onto a cutting board.
  7. Using a pizza cutter or knife cut treats into thumbnail (or smaller) pieces.
  8. Place pieces back into the cooking pan.
  9. Bake for an additional 40-60 minutes. Start checking treats at 40 minutes for crispness.
  10. Once crisp, remove from oven.
  11. Break treats into even smaller bits and store in baggies in the fridge.

 

 

Remember

When cooking the jerky bits remember that the cooking time may vary depending on how big the pieces are and what type of meat you are using. It’s also a good idea to just keep an eye on things when you bake as baking times may vary depending on your oven.

If you won’t use up the treats in a fairly short amount of time, you can freeze these for later use. This will extend their freshness and shelf life considerably.

 

Nom nom,

Lynne and Maui

 

If you make these delicious treats please let Maui know how it went and if your dog likes them!

Do you have a favorite dog treat recipe?

You can leave a comment for her here!

 

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14 thoughts on “Amazing Homemade Dog Training Treats | High-protein, Low-fat Dog Training Treat Recipes!”

  • I made mini meatballs with peanut butter. Be careful that you do not use peanut butter that has Xylitol as an ingredient. I mixed two tablespoons of peanut butter with 1 pound of ground beef. I formed mini meatballs and baked at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.

    • Hi Cyndy, Yes those artificial sweeteners are really bad for dogs! Those many meatballs sound amazing. How small or large did you make meatballs? Great idea and thank you so much for sharing!

  • Hi Lynne. This is amazing and thank you for taking the time and sharing this. My dog loves chicken and eats it all the time (not cooled but boiled) but I needed something to change his diet and these recipes you highlighted are a godsend, my dog eats a lot of things except chocolate so I’m putting this out there you never give a dog chocolate. to a human, it is like swallowing sulfuric acid. I just had to highlight that. anyway, brilliant ideas which I keep in mind. I come back to this and for more updates. Thanks again.

    • Hi Michael, I’m glad you found the post useful and hope you give the recipes a try! If you do, please stop back and let us know how you did making them and how much your dog enjoys them 🙂 Definitely a huge no-no to give dogs chocolate! Here’s a nice post put out by the ASPCA that lists other foods that are toxic to dogs http://bit.ly/DontFeedThisToYourDog. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you stick around! Lots of good info to come.

  • I really like that you included recipes for healthy treats. I have no idea what is in some of these dog foods. They are full of fillers that dogs don’t need. Meat is a good treat for dogs. Like you said, they don’t need a lot, so cutting it up and making jerky is a good idea.

    • Hi Melinda, Since my dog is a service dog and we can go through a lot of treat some days, I am always looking for some healthier, lower calorie treats to give her. What’s better than a no-frills yummy little tidbit of beef jerky! High in protein, low in calories, low in fat! I completely agree about the fillers! Thanks for stopping by and we hope you come back around again 🙂

  • Oh I LOVE the lean jerky bits. I have two dogs, one is continually on a diet and the other I need to fatten up. So these are great for my little butterball, and great for both of them! I only feed my dogs top quality grain-free food and they don’t get many treats, unless they are super healthy which can get expensive. So this is wonderful! So glad I found this post!

    • Hi! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! We really hope you give these recipes a try. You really can’t go wrong with beef and tuna for a dog! Please let us know your dogs like them!

  • Hi Lynne, you’ve got some great ideas here for healthy dog treats. Some of the dog treats I buy are so expensive. My dog’s favourite is dried liver. Ewww. Whilst I won’t be making that at home I’ll definitely give the lean jerky bits a go – I’ll think she’ll love those. Thanks for the tips. Your Maui is delightful 🙂

    • Hi Melissa, Dog treats really can get expensive, that’s why I love the idea of making them at home. Admittedly I am pretty lazy so detailed recipes don’t fit with me very well. These couple recipes are so easy that even I can do it! Trust me, your dog will absolutely go nuts for the jerky bits! Stop back and let us know how your dog likes them!

  • Hi Lynne! I really enjoyed watching how to make Tuna Bits. I will have to try that with my four dogs. It really is costly to buy treats, but I do it for my babies. I have saved your website and look forward to more posts. I will also look at your social media sites. God Bless!

  • I love this article! I would have never thought to make doggy treats. My dog is spoiled and lived flavor. I think I’m going to try the beef jerky bits. Thanks for the wonderful ideas!

    • Hi Davonna, The beef jerky bits are so incredibly simple and Maui absolutely goes crazy for them! Please stop by and let us know how you did making them and how much your dog enjoys them! We love to hear your feedback.

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