We’re sure you won’t forget, but we are here to bark a friendly reminder your way… don’t forget about your dogs this Thanksgiving! Dogs are part of our family and they want to be included in the Thanksgiving gathering too. But guess what? Many of the items on your Thanksgiving menu aren’t safe for dogs to eat. The best way to include your dog this Thanksgiving is to make your doggo a homemade Thanksgiving dog treat, and we have an easy DIY recipe just for you.
This dog treat recipe is easy and convenient! You’ll most likely already have these items on hand because they’re ingredients found in common Thanksgiving recipes.
Thanksgiving sure did creep up on us fast this year, it feels like 2022 has flown by. Around this time of year we like to reflect on the things we’re grateful for, and we sure are grateful for the dogs in our lives! There is no better way to show your dogs how grateful you are for them with a treat, especially a homemade dog treat with a little Thanksgiving yum in it!
What ingredients are safe for a dog treat recipe?
First things first, if you decide that you’d like to add an ingredient to this recipe, make sure it’s an ingredient that’s safe for dogs to eat. Check out our ‘What Can Dogs Eat’ checklist and print it out to have on hand during Thanksgiving so that we keep our doggos safe and healthy.
Also, this recipe makes up a generous batch of dog treats. While the recipe only contains ingredients that are safe for dogs to eat, this does not mean that you should give your dog the whole batch of treats in one sitting, day or even week (depending on how many treats you bake up).
If you’re hoping to use these dog treats to keep your dog occupied during Thanksgiving, break the dog treats up into smaller bite sized pieces and ration out 1-2 treats for your dog over the Thanksgiving day. This way you won’t end up with a dog with upset stomach, and potentially a mess to clean up!
A great way to ration out the treat over the Thanksgiving day is with an interactive dog toy; a.k.a. a puzzle dog toy, enrichment dog toy or dog toy that hides a treat for your dog to find. We recommend a dog toy like the Outward Hound Treat Tumble Ball, the Outward Hound Treat Puzzle Toy, or a KONG dog treat toy. Break up your dog’s Thanksgiving treat into smaller bite sized pieces and add a few at a time to the puzzle toy to entertain your doggo throughout the Thanksgiving day.
Important: When buying ingredients for your homemade dog treat recipe, check the ingredient list on the food item to make sure it doesn’t have any additives that could be harmful or toxic to your dog (like Xylitol, a sweetener very toxic to dogs).
For example, if the recipe calls for canned pumpkin purée, check the ingredient list and make sure it has no additives and just one ingredient… pumpkin! Or, if you will be adding peas to the mixture, we don’t suggest canned peas because canned vegetables usually have added sodium, so using fresh or frozen peas would be your best bet.
Cooking tools you will need.
You most likely have some or all of these cooking tools in your kitchen:
- cookie sheet (nonstick or lined with parchment paper)
- mixing bowl
- food processor or blender (optional)
- dog-themed cookie cutters (optional, see our tip below)
Tip: If you don’t have cookie cutters just use the rim of a smaller sized glass cup. Grease the rim of the cup with cooking spray or cooking oil first so that it doesn’t stick to the batter.
Ingredients you will need for these dog treats.
Here are the ingredients you will need to cook up some pawlicious Thanksgiving dog treats:
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour (or oat or rice flour if your dog has wheat allergies)
- 1/2 cup Pumpkin purée (canned (not pumpkin pie filling), should only have one ingredient, pumpkin!)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup organic peanut butter (plain, make sure to check there is no salt and no sweeteners added, sweeteners can be toxic to dogs)
- Optional: add 1/4 to 1/2 cup fully cooked ground Turkey
- Optional: add 1/4 cup of cooked Green Peas (frozen/unseasoned is easiest)
*Note that you might have to add a little water or a little extra flour depending on how watery the pumpkin purée, how liquidy the peanut butter is and how large the egg is. Your mixture should be dough-like, easy to knead, roll out and cut cookie shapes out of.
Instructions to make Thanksgiving dog treats
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Optional ingredients: Fully cook the ground turkey in a skillet and sit to the side to let cool. Warm the frozen peas according to their packaging, sit to the side and let cool as you prepare the other ingredients.
- Whisk the egg in your mixing bowl, then mix in the pumpkin purée and peanut butter.
- Add the whole wheat flour (or other flour option you chose) to the pumpkin, egg, peanut butter mixture and hand mix thoroughly.
- Lastly, mix the optional ingredients (cooked turkey and peas) into the rest of the mixture.
- Knead out, or use a dough roller, to roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.
- Once dough is rolled out, cut into shapes. You can use a bone-shaped cookie cutter, a pizza cutter, or even the rim of a cup.
- Put the biscuits on a pre-greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches between each biscuit (they won’t expand much).
- Place the cookie sheet with biscuits in the oven and bake for about 16-20 minutes at 350 F until they are golden brown.
- Be sure to let the dog treats cool completely before serving to your dog or refrigerating.
If you decide to add the ground turkey, you have two options.
Your first option is to follow the exact instructions above, adding the fully cooked turkey to the pumpkin, egg, flour mixture in step 5.
Your second option: After fully cooking the turkey in step 2 and letting it cool for about 5 minutes, add the fully cooked ground turkey and the flour to a food processor and blend until fully combined. Then proceed with steps 3-10.
With the first option the biscuit will have little turkey bits randomly throughout, and with the second option the turkey flavor will be more equally disbursed throughout the biscuit.
Always consult with your vet first before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet. Be mindful of food sensitivities and allergies. And remember, this recipe is to make dog treats and is not meant to replace a full balanced meal or diet for your dog.
Your dog will be furever grateful!