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Homemade dog treats that will freshen your pup's breath

Welcome to my profile! I've been a food writer, cookbook author, nutritionist, and TV host for over 20 years. Oh, and I've written ten cookbooks in my spare time! I continue to explore everything "food", every day. That means with every ...

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

I was browsing the dog treat aisle of Target recently looking for something to freshen Hank’s breath (Hank’s my 5-year-old Puggle). I adore Hank, just not his breath sometimes. I scoured practically every label looking for something wholesome and simple. It was nearly impossible to find a treat without a lengthy ingredient list; and some had things I didn’t understand.

If I didn’t know what an ingredient was, I moved along to the next treat. I even Googled a few things. Then it occurred to me, “Robin, you’re a nutritionist and chef, why don’t you make your own dog treats?” I tried to remind myself that I barely have time to shower, let alone make homemade treats for Hank, but I decided it couldn’t hurt to research foods that promote oral health. That research turned into one amazing treat, even for humans. And I must confess, this was one of my favorite recipes to create.

These treats are wheat-free (which is as important for some dogs as it is for some humans) and crammed with dog-friendly ingredients that promote good oral hygiene.

Here’s what I included and why: 

  • Oats: Abrasive texture helps clean teeth
  • Brown rice flour: Plenty of dogs are sensitive to wheat
  • Parsley: Freshens breath
  • Cinnamon: Freshens breath
  • Coconut oil: Not only boosts the immune system and digestive and metabolic health, it combats bad breath
  • Green tea: Kills the microbes that make stinky breath, lowers bacteria in the mouth and reduces the acidity of saliva, which reduces dental plaque
  • Peanut butter: Dogs love it

Wheat-free, breath-freshening dog treats recipe

I had such fun with these — and so did Hank. Give them a try and tell me how it went in the comments!

Makes 20 to 24 treats, depending on the size of your cookie cutters

Nutrients per treat if you make 24: 89 calories, 3g protein, 15g carbs, 2g fiber,

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1-1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup brewed caffeine-free green tea
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water

Directions:

1. Place the oats in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

2. Process until finely chopped.

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

3. Add the brown rice flour, baking soda and cinnamon and process until blended.

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

4. Add the parsley leaves and process until blended.

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

5. Add the egg, peanut butter, coconut oil, and green tea and process until blended.

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

6. Add the chicken broth or water a little at a time and process just until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

7. Transfer the dough to a large piece of parchment paper and roll out to 1/2-inch thickness (if the rolling pin sticks, cover the dough with plastic wrap).

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

8. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. I chose my cookie cutters based Hank’s favorite things: chasing rabbits, love and healing on walks. OK, the hand is for healing, and maybe he would rather chase rabbits, but I thought it was funny. I also free-formed two bones.

9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely before delighting your dog.

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

Here's how it went down in my house...

Hi, Mom.

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

What’s that?

Gobble, gobble…

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

Mmmmmm.

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

More?

Get your dog's breath in check with these easy DIY breath-freshening treats

All fresh!

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