5 Christmas Dog Treat Recipes to Celebrate the Howlidays

Published September 7, 2022
Happy family with golden retriever puppy making xmas cookies at home

The holidays are a time to break out the baking sheets and indulge in festive cookies. Why not include your canine friend in the fun with a batch of homemade snacks specifically for them? Whip up some Christmas dog treats for your own pooch or as gifts for the dog lovers in your life. You could even make some to donate to your local animal shelter if you feel called. Whatever your intention, these five easy and healthy dog cookie recipes are sure to put you on Santa's nice list.

Christmas Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Have some leftover sweet potatoes from your holiday food prep? Use them to make some sweet cookies for your sweet pooch! This dog treat recipe calls for only four ingredients and is highly adaptable. You can substitute the sweet potato for yam, pumpkin, or whatever cooked squash you have on hand. Just avoid using ingredients cooked with spices or oil in order to keep your pup safe.

Homemade dog biscuits stamped with I Love My Dog

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1/3 cup cooked sweet potato cubes
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Stir the flour and oats together.
  • Roughly mash the sweet potato, then add in the egg.
  • Add the sweet potato and egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  • Add additional flour or small amounts of water as needed to form a dough.
  • Roll out onto a floured surface and cut into cookies using your favorite holiday cookie cutter.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Gently transfer cookies to a wire rack until entirely cool.
  • Store in an airtight container for 5 to 7 days.
  • Makes about 12 cookies

Cranberry Oat Dog Christmas Cookie Recipe

Cranberries are a holiday must-have, and they're safe for your pup too (in moderation). This recipe calls for dried cranberries to give your homemade Christmas dog treats a festive feel. You can also substitute them for fresh berries or even blueberries, though most dogs aren't crazy about the tartness of fresh cranberries.

Baking oat and cranberry dog cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, without any added ingredients, including sugar or Xylitol

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  • Stir together the flour and oats.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and apple sauce.
  • Add mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  • Fold in the dried cranberries.
  • Add flour or water as needed to form a dough, then roll out onto a floured surface.
  • Cut out treats using your favorite Christmas or pet cookie cutters.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Place on a wire rack until entirely cool, then serve.
  • Store in a sealed container for up to 5 to 7 days.
  • Makes about 12 cookies, depending on size.

Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats

It's no secret dogs love peanut butter, so incorporating this ingredient into your homemade holiday treats will surely be a hit. Just make sure you use a natural peanut butter that doesn't contain harmful ingredients, such as grape jelly or Xylitol.

Box of dog shaped dog cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup peanut butter, without any added ingredients such as Xylitol
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix peanut butter, egg, and apple sauce together.
  • Add the wet mixture to flour and mix until incorporated.
  • Add flour or water as needed to form a dough, then roll out onto a floured surface.
  • Use your favorite cookie cutter shape to cut the treats.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Place on a wire rack until entirely cool, then serve.
  • Store in an airtight bag or container for 5 to 7 days.
  • Makes around 12 cookies

Mini Bacon and Banana Holiday Pupcake Recipe

Some dogs aren't into crunchy treats, which is why these mini muffins, or "pupcakes," are a great alternative. These Christmas dog treats are soft, tasty, and use limited ingredients. Just keep in mind they'll come out slightly dense because the recipe doesn't call for baking soda or powder. Unfortunately, these leavening ingredients can upset your dog's stomach, so it's best to leave them out. But these pupcakes don't skimp on flavor because, well, bacon (need we say more?).

Holiday Pupcake

Ingredients:

  • 1 & ½ cups flour
  • 2 large bananas
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mash the bananas, then combine them with the eggs and yogurt.
  • Stir in the flour and mix until incorporated.
  • Fold in the crumbled bacon.
  • Scoop into a mini muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until the top springs back when touched.
  • Remove from the pan and onto a cooling rack.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 to 10 days.
  • Makes about 24 mini muffins

Dog-Approved Dried Apple Treats

Not up for baking cookies or muffins? Try these easy one-ingredient apple chips instead. Apples are a low-calorie treat rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Drying them allows you to easily tote these snacks around with you, or you can wrap them up and gift them to your pup's best dog buddies. If you have a dehydrator, you can use that instead of the oven.

Homemade dried apples or apple chips in a wooden bowl

Ingredients:

  • 3 apples

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  • Core apples and cut them into very thin slices.
  • Arrange as a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until curled and crisp.
  • Allow to cool, then serve or store in a sealed container for 5 to 7 days.

Ingredients to Avoid in Your Homemade Christmas Dog Treats

Not all baking ingredients are safe for dogs. If you decide to divert from these recipes, avoid including any of these toxic or harmful ingredients in your Christmas dog treats.

The Most Important Ingredient Is Love

Baking homemade holiday treats for your pup can be a fun and fulfilling experience. However, if your dog has any ongoing health conditions such as diabetes, pancreatitis, or obesity, check with your veterinarian to make sure the ingredients used are safe for your dog. Treats should only make up approximately 10 percent of a dog's daily caloric intake, so always feed in moderation. With the right balance, you and your canine companion can enjoy a tasty and safe holiday.

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5 Christmas Dog Treat Recipes to Celebrate the Howlidays