Valentine's Day isn't just for humans to show love and appreciation for one another. It's also a perfect opportunity for us to pamper our beloved furry friends with some homemade treats.
We all know that dogs, much like humans, enjoy a special treat from time to time (or – in many cases, all the time). Quick and tasty snacks are the perfect way to show our love, reward our dogs for being good, or even teach them tricks!
Here, we’ll share five delightful homemade treat recipes that will surely make your dog's day extra special! From refreshing berry pupsicles to adorable apple and peanut butter dog treats, there's something every single pup can sink their teeth into.
Greek Yogurt and Berry Pupsicles
If you want to shower your canine companion with a little extra love, these Greek yogurt and berry pupsicles offer a delightful and healthy way to enjoy a delicious treat. This recipe combines the creamy texture of plain Greek yogurt with the sweet tanginess of fresh berries and bananas, creating a frozen delight that's not only tasty but also packed with loads of nutrients for your dog.
Greek yogurt is a fantastic source of calcium and probiotics, which can help support your dog's digestive health. But make sure the yogurt you use is plain and free from any sweeteners or artificial flavors, as these can be harmful to dogs.
Here's how to make them.
- 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/2 cup whole blueberries
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 banana, thinly sliced
- Prepare your fruit by washing it thoroughly. Chop the strawberries into small, bite-sized pieces. Make sure to slice the banana thinly.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped strawberries, whole blueberries, sliced banana, and plain Greek yogurt.
- Once you’ve combined the mixture, it's time to assemble the pupsicles. Spoon the mixture into silicone molds (or ice cube trays, depending on what you have available.) Silicone molds come in various shapes and sizes, allowing you to create fun shapes that your dog will love. For Valentine’s Day, we recommend hearts!
- Place the molds in the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours or until the pupsicles feel nice and solid. Keep in mind that the freezing time may vary depending on the size of your molds and the temperature of your freezer.
- Once frozen, pop the pupsicles out of the molds and let your dog enjoy this cool and refreshing treat. It's best to serve these outside or on an easy-to-clean surface, as they can get a bit messy once they start to melt.
Celebrate the spirit of Valentine's Day by baking a batch of cranberry hearts for your furry friend. These delightful treats blend the nutty richness of almond flour with the tart sweetness of dried cranberries, all bound together with wholesome eggs and a touch of coconut oil. The result is a tasty and nutritious snack that's perfectly themed for the season of love!
Cranberries are packed full of antioxidants that have a whole range of health benefits for your furry friend.
- 2 eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups almond flour
- 3-4 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Before you get started, don’t forget to preheat your oven to 165°C (329°F).
- Crack the two eggs into a bowl and beat them together.
- In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients (the almond flour, coconut oil, and dried cranberries) together.
- Mix the beaten eggs into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until everything forms a batter.
- Gradually add the coconut flour. Make sure not to add it all at once! Your mixture should turn into a dough that’s not too sticky.
- Roll out the dough until it’s flat, and use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out the treats. You can also use another type of cookie cutter if you don’t have hearts!
- Bake the treats on a lined baking tray for 15-18 minutes. Ensure you’ve left them for plenty of time to cool down before giving them to your dog.
Strawberry Love Hearts
This frozen treat combines the sweetness of strawberries with the creaminess of Greek yogurt to create a Valentine's Day delight your dog will fall in love with. These treats are not only packed with flavor but also offer a healthy snack option for your pet. Not to mention, they’re easy to prepare and irresistibly delicious, making them a fantastic way to show your furry friend just how much you love them.
But the best thing about this method? All you need is two ingredients! They’re a great alternative to the first recipe we mentioned.
- 32g Greek yogurt
- 3-4 large strawberries
- Finely chop up your strawberries with a sharp knife. This is so they’ll fit nicely in the silicone molds, no matter which shape you’re using.
- Add the now-chopped strawberries to your silicone molds or an ice cube tray. (Although we’ve chosen hearts to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit, they don’t have to be!)
- Pour the Greek yogurt into the molds and over the chopped strawberries, filling them up to the edges.
- Freeze the mixture for 3-4 hours until they’re frozen – or overnight.
- Once your treats are frozen, take them out of the molds. Congratulations, they’re ready to serve your dog! If you don’t want to use all of them, pop them in a sandwich bag and put them back in the freezer for another day.
Apple and Peanut Butter Dog Treats
If you’re looking for a canine-approved twist on a classic flavor combination, try these apple and peanut butter dog treats this Valentine's Day. These wholesome snacks feature a delicious blend of ripe bananas, crunchy apples, and creamy, xylitol-free peanut butter, offering a mouthwatering and nutritious snack for your dog.
When they’re rolled out and cut into adorable heart shapes, these baked treats are a perfect way to celebrate the special bond you share with your pet. Since they’re so perfect for celebrating love, we’re sure they’ll be a hit with your four-legged friend!
- 1 ripe banana
- 150g whole wheat flour
- 40g peanut butter (ensure it's xylitol-free)
- 1 egg
- 30g apple sauce (unsweetened and unflavored)
- 50g finely sliced apple
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / gas 4. Prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment paper.
- While you’re waiting, chop the apple into small pieces to make it easy for your dog to gobble down.
- Mash the banana into a bowl to form a paste.
- Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix them together until they form a dough. The dough shouldn’t be too sticky, so if that’s the case, add a little bit of flour until the stickiness has gone.
- Roll out the dough until it’s flat. Then, cut out heart-shaped treats. If you don’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, you can use any you like!
- Bake the treats for 20 minutes. Once they’re done, leave them to cool, and then you can feed them to your dog.
Peanut Butter and Banana Hearts
Peanut butter and banana hearts are a simple yet delightful way to treat your dog this Valentine's Day. Combining the creamy richness of natural peanut butter with the sweet flavor of ripe bananas, these treats are a healthy, homemade alternative to store-bought snacks.
They’re not just easy to make and irresistibly tasty – they also symbolize the love and care you have for your furry companion. Bake a batch of these wholesome treats and watch your dog enjoy every single bite.
- 2 cups oats
- 2 medium ripe bananas
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / gas 4 and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
- Blend the oats into a fine powder.
- Then, add the bananas and peanut butter and blend to form a sticky dough.
- Place the dough on a floured surface (to stop it from sticking). Roll out the dough, and cut out the shapes with a cookie cutter or by hand.
- Bake the treats for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Once they’ve cooled down, serve them to your dog!
Baking For Dogs: What You Need to Know
What Dog Treats Do Dogs Love the Most?
Dogs have varied tastes, but some universally loved treats include those made with peanut butter (as long as it's xylitol-free), chicken, beef, and sweet potato. Many dogs also enjoy fruits like apples without seeds, bananas, and carrots, which can all be used in tasty homemade dog treats.
The key to a dog's heart through treats often lies in the freshness and quality of the ingredients. Treats that combine their favorite flavors, like peanut butter with banana or chicken with sweet potato, will surely be a hit.
However, just like with us humans, individual preferences can vary widely. Don your apron and try experimenting with a huge range of different flavors to see which one your dog enjoys the most.
Are Valentine’s Day Treats Safe for Dogs?
Valentine's Day treats specifically made for dogs, using safe and suitable ingredients, are absolutely safe for our furry friends. The recipes provided here use dog-friendly ingredients and avoid harmful elements.
However, it's still important to be mindful of the ingredients used in any treat. Valentine's Day treats intended for humans, especially those containing chocolate, xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free products), or other harmful ingredients, should never be given to dogs. Always ensure that any treat, homemade or store-bought, is free from these and other toxic substances to dogs.
If you’re reading an online recipe that claims to be safe for dogs, but your gut is telling you something else, listen to it! It’s always worth double-checking the ingredients just to make sure.
What Ingredients Are Harmful to Dogs?
Several ingredients commonly found in human foods can be harmful, or even deadly, to dogs. It's important to avoid these when making homemade dog treats or feeding your dog any human food.
- Chocolate - Although this ingredient is delicious to us, it contains theobromine and caffeine, which are both toxic to dogs.
- Xylitol – This sugar substitute is found in many sugar-free products, but it’s highly toxic and can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure, and even death in dogs. So make sure to check this, especially when you’re feeding your dog scraps of human food.
- Grapes and raisins – These ingredients can actually cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Onions and garlic – Although delicious to us, onions and garlic can lead to oxidative damage to red blood cells and cause anemia.
- Avocado – This superfood contains persin, which can be toxic in large amounts.
- Alcohol – Even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous to dogs, leading to various health issues.
- Macadamia nuts – This type of nut can cause vomiting, ataxia, weakness, and hyperthermia in dogs.
- Caffeine – Found in coffee, tea, and certain soft drinks and energy drinks, caffeine can be fatal to dogs.
It’s important to always exercise caution and consult with a veterinarian if you're unsure about feeding your dog a new food or treat.
It's better to stick to ingredients known to be safe for dogs and to keep any treats, especially those made for Valentine's Day, both sweet and safe for your furry friend.
If your dog ingests any of the harmful ingredients above or anything else they’re not supposed to, take them to a vet immediately to get them checked out, even if they seem okay. Remember – it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your furry friend’s health.
These tasty Valentine’s Day treats are the perfect way to show your furry friends how much you love them. Just always make sure you’re using safe ingredients, and if you’re not sure about something, double-check with your vet to put your mind at ease.