dog biscuits

Dog Biscuits: Best Ingredients and How You Can Make Your Own

What do all dogs love? Well, besides food, naps, play, and pats. Treats! Nothing gets a pup’s tail wagging more than a tasty snack or some dog biscuits. 

They’re also the best training tool. Want your dog to sit, roll over, or fetch? A treat gets them to do all that — believe me, my puppy just went through dog training, and now I can’t leave home without my treat pouch! I can confidently say that treats are a dog’s number one motivator.

As a pet parent, I’m sure you wonder what’s inside all those treats and biscuits you’re feeding your pup. And with the constant stream of pet food recalls and lawsuits, I don’t blame you for double-checking the ingredients on everything you buy. Every bag claims to be organic, natural, GMO-free, etc., but how do you really know what’s inside? By baking your own dog biscuits, of course!

What Are Dog Biscuits?

Dog biscuits have been around since the 19th century. They were initially made as a dietary supplement to provide hunting dogs with additional nutrition and were sometimes marketed as a dog food replacement. Typically, dog biscuits differ from dog treats in their hard and dry texture. This rough texture helps cleans the dog’s teeth while they chew.

The classic dog bone-shaped biscuit was invented by…you guessed it, Milk-Bone! The brand changed its biscuit’s shape in 1907, and the modern dog biscuit was born. When making your own dog biscuits, you can pretty much use any shaped cookie cutter (dinosaur-shaped dog biscuits, perhaps?), but you have to give credit where credit is due, and the dog bone-shaped biscuit is THE iconic biscuit. 

small scottish terrier and dog biscuit treats

Are All Dog Biscuits the Same?

No, not all dog biscuits are the same. Nowadays, there are more options than ever, so you have to know what you’re looking for. Organic, natural, grain-free, filler-free, baked — these are all important, but let’s break down what they mean:

  • Organic: Made from certified organic ingredients, which are typically higher quality and grown/produced according to specified organic standards.
  • Natural: Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives — only the good stuff!
  • Filler-free: Every ingredient is essential and nutritional.
  • Grain-free: Made without wheat, corn, rice, or other grains. This is only important if your dog is sensitive or allergic to certain grains.
  • Baked: This means it’s got that fresh-baked crunch that dogs love!

It’s also important to consider the main ingredients in dog treats, whether it’s protein, fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, or something else. Some dogs are picky in their food choices. For example, a pooch may prefer peanut butter over pumpkin, so you would favor peanut butter flavored treats. Other dogs (like mine) eat anything and everything, and in these cases, you can focus more on benefits rather than flavor.



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If your dog is older or has health conditions, you may want to consider CBD dog treats or our CBD calming chews! They do not get your dog high and are wonderful for soothing aches and calming anxious dogs. CBD dog treats are simply dog treats with added CBD oil baked in, so you don’t have to sacrifice any nutritional benefits that regular dog treats offer.   

What is the Main Ingredient in Dog Biscuits?

Dog biscuits are made primarily of a carbohydrate, which in most cases is flour. The flour can be made of corn, wheat, or rice. Flour allows the biscuit to be easily shaped and baked — pretty much like a cookie!

Another critical ingredient is protein, such as beef or chicken. You can even use peanut butter as the protein, especially considering mots dogs can’t get enough of it!

Healthy Ingredients to Look for in Dog Biscuits

Healthy ingredients for dogs are similar to those for humans. If you wouldn’t eat it, it might be best if your dog doesn’t, either. Here are some things to remember when shopping for dog biscuits:

  • Look for simple whole ingredients, like chicken, beef, or sweet potatoes. 
  • Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are also great, but only if they sit well with your furry friend. If you’re unsure, have your dog try a small amount of the treat to see how they react to it. 
  • If you want dog biscuits that do a little bit more than just getting them to sit, look for CBD oil-infused treats. CBD oil is safe and natural, and it does wonders for joint discomfort and nervousness. 

Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Biscuits 

Here’s a little insight on what to avoid when you’re looking at those confusing ingredient lists:

  • Anything synthetic or unnatural, such as artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. 
  • Meat by-products such as “meal.” These are made from the less desirable parts of the animal or factory leftovers that aren’t fit for human consumption.
  • Cornmeal and other grain meals; these are known as “fillers” (used to increase the weight of a food product) and do not have as much nutritional value as whole grains. 
  • In general, avoid anything with salt, sugar, syrup, and molasses.

Can You Give a Dog Too Many Dog Biscuits? 

Ah, the age-old question of “can you have too much of a good thing?” Sadly, as usual, the answer is yes: it is possible to give your furry friend too many dog biscuits.

When it comes down to it, dog treats are snacks, and they should not replace meals. Giving your dog too many biscuits is like replacing all your meals with snacks. Even if the snacks are nutritious, they shouldn’t get in the way of full meals. Dog treats are not designed to provide a complete range of essential nutrients, so if you feed your dog too many treats, they can become nutritionally unbalanced. This can lead to numerous health issues, including obesity.   

Also, remember how I mentioned that dog treats are the best training tool? They are, but sometimes they’re so effective that dogs can quickly scarf down a day’s worth of treats in a single training session. Rewarding your pup is essential, but keep an eye on how many biscuits you offer, even during training. Too many goodies can result in the treats becoming an ineffective training tool.

Here’s a tip: to maximize your treats’ effectiveness, offer a variety. For example, if you’ve been feeding beef treats to Fido but he still won’t sit, try chicken or peanut butter. If you offer multiple types of treats and make a point to avoid overfeeding, your dog will get the best training of its life!

Can You Make Dog Biscuits from Scratch?

Absolutely! In fact, we recommend it. By making dog biscuits from scratch, you control the ingredients and know exactly what goes into each treat. Also, they’re easy to make; if you can bake cookies, you can bake dog biscuits!

As an added bonus, making dog biscuits from scratch saves money. The ingredients are relatively cheap, so that you can make 100 or just 10. If you really want to channel your inner Rachel Ray, you can adjust some ingredients to suit your dog’s taste. 

With all that build-up, you didn’t think we would leave you without giving you some recipes, did you? There are many easy ways to make your own homemade dog biscuits, and the following are a few of our favorites.

The Best Dog Biscuit Recipes

If there are two things I know dogs love, it’s peanut butter and chicken. These are two recipes to get you started on your biscuit baking journey — one a plant protein, one a meat protein. Your four-legged friend will love at least one of these, and most likely both! 

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
    • substitute with rice or coconut flour if you want to go grain-free
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (no additives)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and egg in a large bowl.
  3. Add peanut butter, water, and honey to the bowl. Stir with a spatula until dough firms up and becomes sticky. You may need to use your hands or a mixer.
  4. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough should be around 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Use your favorite cookie cutters to make fun shapes. 
  6. Arrange biscuits on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until cookies are golden brown. 
  7. Let cool and give a few to your pup! Store the rest in an airtight container.

Chicken Flavored Dog Biscuits

Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour 
    • substitute with rice or coconut flour if you want to go grain-free
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Combine flour, chicken broth, and coconut oil in a large bowl.
  3. Stir with a spatula until dough firms up. You can add additional chicken broth if needed.
  4. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough should be around 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Use your favorite cookie cutters to make fun shapes. 
  6. Arrange biscuits on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until cookies are golden brown. 
  7. Let cool and give a few to your pup! Store the rest in an airtight container.

large golden pup balancing a treat on its nose

The Best CBD Dog Biscuit Recipe

Curious about CBD dog treats? You’re in luck! We have a lovely article on the benefits of CBD oil and our very own CBD dog treat recipe. An easy recipe is included if you want to test your hand at CBD treats. They’re slightly more complicated than a regular dog treat recipe since you have to control the dosage of CBD. Though, if you can master the normal recipes, it’ll be a walk in the (dog) park.

Final Thoughts – Dog Biscuits

Dog biscuits have a long history. Ever since the first Romans threw their bread scraps at hounds, we’ve been perfecting the art of the dog biscuit. Okay, scraps of bread are not technically dog biscuits, but you get my point. Nowadays, dog treats and biscuits are everywhere. If you stroll down the aisle of your local pet store, you’re bombarded with promises of healthy, organic, delicious, and so on! 

It’s easy to be deceived by sleek packaging. But if you look for simple, whole ingredients and avoid artificial ingredients, meat by-products, and “meal,” the choices become much easier. Or even better, bake your own dog biscuits! They may not be something to bring to the next family get-together, but the dogs certainly won’t complain.



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