My Canine Liver Treats are the bomb. But I keep getting asked to make crunchy biscuits for dogs. I’ve done the research and practice, so you don’t have to; you can make these at home for a fraction of the cost of posh treats. Drying the vegetables is necessary, so start the night before.
Several veg & herb/spice suggestions are in the footnotes, as well as an option to add meat or fish.
Makes: 30+ treats depending on size
- 1 medium carrot (scrubbed, but no need to peel): roughly grated (approx 100g)
- 1/2 medium-sized sweet potato (scrubbed, but no need to peel): roughly grated (approx 200g)
- 175g plain flour, plus additional for rolling/cutting
- 50g porridge oats (use the cheapest ones; no need to splash out on whole rolled oats)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons dried herbs (optional: see Herb/Spice Footnote)
- 2 large eggs (62-69g each when weighed in the shell)
- 2 tablespoons or so of tepid water, as needed
- 1 small egg, beaten in a small bowl
- 2 baking trays
- Baking/parchment paper to line trays
- A vegetable grater
- A chopping board and sharp knife
- 1 large mixing bowl, plus 1 small bowl for beaten egg
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutter
- Pastry brush
- Cooling rack
- Preheat the oven to 150 C (130 C fan-assisted) and line your baking trays with paper.
- Spread the grated carrot and sweet potato evenly over one tray, and put in the oven. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the tray in (door ajar) for 2 hours – or overnight – for the veg to dry out.
- Re-heat your oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted).
- Put the dried grated veg into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, oats, spices & herbs (if using), and 2 eggs, and mix with a fork until well combined. If the mixture seems too terribly dry, add tepid water a tablespoon at a time and keep mixing until you can form a ball. Knead lightly in the bowl.
- Flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Roll out the dough 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick. Flour your your cookie cutter and create shapes. Re-roll the dough as necessary and re-cut to use it all.
- Lay all biscuits on the prepared trays and brush with the additional beaten egg.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Turn over each biscuit, and brush with the remaining beaten egg. Turn the trays and bake for another 10 minutes or so, depending on size.
- Remove from the oven and let the biscuits cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes, before removing to a cooling rack. If you have additional biscuits, load up the tray(s) and bake.
- These biscuits should last in an airtight container on the counter for 2 weeks, or in the fridge for over 3 weeks (although chilled this way they’ll lose their crunch). You can also store them in the freezer for up to 2 months – and frozen treats are excellent on hot summer days.
A variety of fresh vegetables is always a good thing for any dog’s diet. Use courgettes (zucchini), capiscums (bell peppers), peas, green beans, fennel, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and/or whatever you have in your larder. Onions (& garlic; in general, all alliums) are known to cause issues with some dogs, though, so don’t use those.
With leafy greens or peas/beans, don’t bother grating but do lightly chop them and always dry them out, otherwise the biscuit mixture will be too wet.
50g of smoked salmon, very finely diced, would be excellent. Or, you can add 50g of any pre-cooked beef, chicken, lamb, fish, etc (trim all fat first). Adjust your spicing and herbs to match your meat.
Contrary to myth, dogs do taste their food and don’t just ‘wolf’ it down. You can add any dried herbs and/or spices – basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, sage, mint, pepper, cinnamon, garam masala, etc. If you like the combination of spice/herb, then your dog is sure to do so as well.
I’d hold back on adding salt, though, because it’s not necessary to add salt to a dog’s diet.