Just because your dog is getting a little long in the tooth doesn't mean chewing hard treats is easy. These homemade chewy treats are perfect to reward your best friend with something they can easily chomp.
When you have an older pet, a variety of things can cause them to turn their noses up at previous crunchy favorites. They may have gum disease or bad teeth (see a vet — they can help), but sometimes it’s more complex than just a cavity or gingivitis. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a treat from time to time, though. We came up with a very basic recipe for meat- and plant-based treats that will satisfy your elderly dog's treat cravings, without hurting them.
Note: These recipes use baby food. While many baby foods are purees of meats and veggies or fruits and water, some may contain garlic, onion powder or other ingredients that aren’t good for dogs. Check the ingredients before buying.
Veggie or combo treats:
This recipe is pretty forgiving, so feel free to experiment. Whatever you do, use the internet to research what types of foods can be harmful to your pet before you make them. Don’t assume that cats or rodents can eat something just because it’s OK for your dog.
Here are some things to avoid for dogs, though the list is massive and you should always look up an ingredient before you use it. (Asterisks indicate extra-dangerous foods.)
We do have some ideas for doggy-approved treats, though. This recipe is actually so easy, you can skip the first step you take with people cookies (following the directions to the letter before daring to experiment) and have a little fun. At most, you lose less than a dollar of ingredients (your dog will probably eat the resulting abomination anyway). Again, if your mixture is too wet, just add equal parts of the dry ingredients to make it thick enough to make a ball. Too dry? Add a bit of water.
Tip: You can also use fresh purees you make yourself instead of baby food.
Some of these flavors you can buy off the shelf, but some may require you to vary the recipe.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.
Originally published March 2013. Updated February 2017.
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