Anybody here got a good dog biscuit recipe?

Regular readers know it’s been many years since the Lair saw a loaf of storebought bread. My bread is infinitely cheaper and tastes a great deal better than storebought, and the ingredients are easily available, and it’s not like I’m pressed for time. It took years to finally get it right since I’m not a trained or talented baker, but now I can’t imagine not baking my own bread.

But I am a victim of tunnel vision, which fact sometimes kneecaps me in the oddest ways. Little Bear goes through a box of dog biscuits every couple of weeks and would cheerfully double that if I let him. I was just now lamenting that to myself when it finally sank in that dog biscuits are baked goods – and presumably don’t consist of unobtainium. If clueless old Uncle Joel can bake his own bread, cookies and biscuits, why not doggie treats? LB will cheerfully accept anything baked if I call it a treat – or even if I don’t – and if he doesn’t suspect I’ve hidden a pill in it*.

So I typed “dog biscuit recipe” into a search engine and surprise! There’s like a million of them. Looks like I’ll be needing a cookie cutter…


*LB isn’t the sharpest knife in the rack but he knows when I’m trying to pill him.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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24 Responses to Anybody here got a good dog biscuit recipe?

  1. UnReconstructed says:

    After trying to sneak pills into several dogs I’ve hit on the perfect solution: Liverwurst.
    Its cheap, smells funky (‘specially to a dog), and is soft enough to stuff a pill into.

  2. Joel says:

    Little Bear has defeated me with summer sausage and vienna sausages. He sniffs the offering dubiously, takes it in his teeth and then eats everything around the pill … and spits out the pill. It’s his one trick.

    The only way I can medicate him is the same way I used to give Glucosamine to the older dogs back when there was a pack: Grind it with mortar & pestle and mix it thoroughly with canned dog food. He’ll snarf that right down.

  3. We use the generic version of Meaty Burger…the kind that vaguely looks like ground beef strings, if you squint hard enough. It packs nicely around the pill, and the dogs swallow it whole. The trick I have found is to begin offering it occasionally as a treat, packed into pellets, without the pill. Then the preparation process is the same, and suspicions are allayed ahead of time. It has gotten to the point where our older rat terrier mutt comes running every time we pick up a pill minder or open a ziploc bag. We also keep the pills in one of those “old people who take WAY to many drugs” minders that looks like a brightly colored computer keyboard…no pill bottle rattle to give away the stealth.

  4. Mark Matis says:

    For the bread, you might want to go here:
    and check his post from 05/09/17;

    “The best bread you’ve ever had, and about the easiest recipe you will ever make”

    And he does pretzels as well.

    For the dog biscuits, try making them look like big pills. After a while, he’ll eat them anyway. And that then makes administering the REAL pills SO much easier…

  5. Claire says:

    I have a really good dog-cookie recipe, but it does require a rolling pin and cookie cutter.

    And the big problem with a lot of homemade treats is that they don’t last without refrigeration or freezing.

    I’ve been preparing a care package for you and need something to get me off my butt. If you want, I can send you a whole cookbook of dog treats and can probably find an LB-sized cookie cutter in a drawer somewhere, too.

  6. Claire says:

    1 1/2 cup flour (preferably whole wheat, but anything will do)
    1 1/2 cup grated cheese (I’ve used both cheddar and Monterey Jack successfully)
    1/4 lb. butter, margarine, or veggie oil
    Milk or water as needed

    Preheat oven to 270. Mix grated cheese, butter, and flour with enough liquid to form a ball. Chill for half an hour (yeah, that’s hard in your circumstances, I know). Roll onto floured board. Cut with cutter. … Bake for 1 hour until slightly brown and firm. Turn off the oven but leave the cookies inside to cool and dry out. You can also top with more grated cheese if you wish, after they cook and before they cool.

  7. Claire says:

    Um … that’s 1/4 lb. of butter or margarine. If you use veggie oil, more like 1/4 cup. But play it by ear.

  8. Joel says:

    That sounds delicious! But if I won’t buy myself a block of cheese I’m sure not going to do it for LB. I love the big lug but not more than I love myself. :)

    I do have some cans of processed cheese I can’t bring myself to eat, though…

    Hey, I’d take you up on that cookbook.

  9. Klaus says:

    I’ve been making these for years and my GSPs love them.
    3/4c.of canned pumpkin
    1/2c. Peanut butter
    1egg yolk
    2c.of flour
    1/2tsp baking powder
    375 deg. for 25 min.
    I use a melon baller and doubled the amount of cookies it calls for,put them in a big zip-loc bag and they easily last a month or so. Haven’t bought dog cookies in years.

  10. MamaLiberty says:

    There is simply no need to cut out shapes. The dog won’t care! I often use failed bread (yeah, it happens even to me! LOL), or make a special batch and add leftover meat scraps, vegetables and fat I’ve cut off meat and frozen over time. I run the scraps and fat through a food processor, but cutting it up fairly small would work too.

    The failed bread is cut into slices, then cubed. Put into the oven on a cookie sheet at 350 until dry and hard.

    I pat the dough out on a greased cookie sheet fairly thin, then bake at 400 degrees until it starts to brown. I cut it into small squares, then return it to the oven at 350 until the squares are dry, nice and brown. I leave them out to cool completely, then bag them. I learned the hard way to make sure they are completely dry and hard, otherwise they tend to mold.

    Laddie, like Rascal before him, loves these “cookies.” Never had any problem getting Rascal to take a pill… just drop it on the floor and he had it swallowed before I could move. Had to be VERY CAREFUL not to drop pills I didn’t want him to have!! Laddie has never needed a pill, so far, so I have no idea. But I’m always going to be very careful about dropping any. He eats almost anything else that hits the floor… even bits of string and potting soil.

  11. TM says:

    If you’re not specifically set on dog “biscuits”, sweet potato sliced thin and dried in an oven (low and slow for hours) makes a well loved dog treat and human treat. Might be possible to do with the fire overnight?

  12. MamaLiberty says:

    Sounds great, but at almost $2. a pound (here at least) it’s not an economical choice. Besides, I’d rather eat them myself! :)

  13. MamaLiberty says:

    Oh, and no yeast or baking powder is needed to make dog cookies from scratch.

  14. jabrwok says:

    How difficult is it to grow one’s own sweet potatoes? The idea of making sweet-potato-chips oneself is intriguing. I might try it if I can grow some of my own.

  15. Zelda says:

    jabrwok, growing sweet potatoes isn’t difficult at all. Go to
    They have sweet potatoes for every climate and condition. Follow the growing instructions (especially about soil), order slips from them, plant, water, go away until the vines (which are edible) die, dig, cure and eat. Home grown sweet potatoes taste nothing like the store bought stuff. MamaLiberty, you can grow cool climate sweet potatoes, see instructions.

  16. MamaLiberty says:

    Zelda, I can’t even grow regular potatoes. I’m at high altitude, with cool summers and a very short growing season – even for things that tolerate cool weather. We have a little snow falling today… Just not happening in Wyoming, I’m afraid.

  17. jabrwok says:

    Thanks for the link Zelda, I’ll investigate. Some things I plant do well, others…not so much:-). Doesn’t hurt to try.

  18. Claire says:

    There’s an interesting dog biscuit recipe on this page (scroll down):

    Only three ingredients, including two you have plenty of and one you can easily keep on hand without refrigeration.

  19. Since refrigeration is an issue you’d want to avoid oils and fats as they’ll go rancid – and fresh meat as it’ll go bacterial/fungal.

    If your basic ‘milk bone’ is what you’re after – find a hardtack recipe and use dollar-store beef broth instead of water. Add some cornmeal for some abrasive if you want to get all dental on LB.

    Easy-peasy and you can make dozens at a time and they won’t go ripe on you.

  20. Judy says:

    Hardtack! Excellent use for that old bread flour! Bouillon cubes could replace the dollar-store beef broth. And Mama Liberty’s idea for left-overs incorporated into it is a great idea too, maybe more so in the winter months than summer.

    Jabrwok – I had better luck growing sweet potatoes than regular potatoes. About February I quit rubbing the shoots of my sweet potatoes and then in May would snap them off and put in a jar of water to have roots by the middle to end of May for setting out the plants. You want to dig before the first frost and I cured mine under the dining room table. After I planted my shoots I would boil, mash (no fats) and dehydrate what was left of the previous year’s crop.

  21. Joel says:

    Hardtack! Excellent use for that old bread flour! Bouillon cubes could replace the dollar-store beef broth. And Mama Liberty’s idea for left-overs incorporated into it is a great idea too, maybe more so in the winter months than summer.

    :) Yup. A plan is coming together. Wish I hadn’t pitched that case of old canned chicken broth last year, but that was getting scary even by feed-it-to-the-dog standards, so maybe I don’t wish that. If I had a blender I might trying pureeing Spam. :)

  22. Judy says:

    Heat the can of spam up in a pan of boiling water for, I don’t know, 10 – 15 minutes. When it’s good and hot it should be easy to mash with a fork or even a potato masher. I wouldn’t let the water get any hotter than a simmer so you don’t build up too much pressure in the can. Or you could bring the water to a boil, take the water off the heat and put your can of spam in. Cover and let set until warmed through.

    Another thought, do you have one of those hand operated chopper jars? Link:

    Although, a fork or potato masher might be just as effective.

  23. Zelda says:

    MamaLiberty, grow your regular potatoes in hay (I use alfalfa hay) or straw (either can be new or used), piled up in the most sheltered sunny spot you have. Make little places in the hay, drop in your seed potato (I use small ones and don’t cut them up) and as the potato grows just pile on more hay. That way you avoid cold soil and freezing soil issues. Or you can hollow out a hay bale and plant in the hollows, no soil needed. Water as usual. You will get lovely clean scab free potatoes. You might have difficulty finding disease free certified seed potatoes. If you do find them, let them sprout of course before you plant them. I have not tried sweet potatoes in hay because the slips need constant water for a while. But you can grow sweet potatoes in a cardboard or wood box, bag, grow tub, any kind of container with drainage that can be put in a sheltered spot in the sun where the soil will absorb the most warmth. Sweet potatoes need free draining warm soil (not good soil) and lots of water to start with. It snowed a few days ago where I live, nights have been 32 and below. I have about 82 frost free days and no greenhouse or high tunnel. Hay bales are essential for crop protection and soil protection. You can even make a greenhouse with them. The downside to hay bales is voles, rats and mice which love the warmth and food. Hay bales are heavy but the person I buy from charges me a few extra dollars a bale to deliver them and stack them where I want them. There’s an enthusiastic subculture of us high altitude, cold climate, short growing season food gardeners, and food varieties we can use.

  24. MamaLiberty says:

    Zelda, I’ve used most of those methods and more over my 60 years of gardening. They worked fine in Southern California at 3,000 feet, but it’s just not worth the work to me here, even if I might have a success or two. The only hay bales around here weigh about a ton and require a special truck to deliver… and nobody is going to deliver just ONE. LOL

    I’ve had no luck at all with any kind of plant that NEEDS warm soil and weather. We just don’t have any. :( But thanks anyway.

To the stake with the heretic!