You need just a few ingredients to make a healthy treat for a dog. They’re happy with the basics: a good aroma—usually a dog’s version of a good aroma.
If you live with a dog or know one, you’ll notice that he/she smells food before eating it. Dog’s rely almost entirely on their sense of smell, which is at least hundreds of times more sensitive than ours. So their food doesn’t require much flavoring, hence the flavorless taste of most dog food and treats. Yes, I have tasted one or two.
So it really didn’t take much for me to create a dog treat recipe that a dog would like. As soon as I had the basic ratio of flour to egg to pumpkin, squash, or other moist ingredient, I was set. That’s when I posted these pumpkin biscuits. Very rudimentary, but it did the trick.
This year I wanted a bit more of a holiday biscuit, so here’s a gingerbread dog biscuit that smells divine and has a hint of flavor thanks to the molasses, which is a good source of potassium, calcium, and iron for your dog. And your kitchen will smell great as these bake.
This recipe works with grain and gluten-free flours. My dog eats gluten-free and mostly grain-free, so I use a mixture of oat and brown rice flour in this recipe. The recent news about high amounts of arsenic found in brown rice had me do some research, and so far it seems like the highest amounts are in rice grown in southern U.S. states. The brown rice with the least amount of arsenic comes from California and Washington. White rice is not affected because the arsenic accumulates in the outer kernel, which is only found in brown rice.
Finally, I use dog bone cookie cutters, but you can use any cookie cutters you have on hand, or just use the top of a small jar to make circle-shaped biscuits.
Gingerbread Dog Biscuits
- 2.5 cups oat flour or brown rice flour or other flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup squash cooked and pureed; butternut, pumpkin or other kind
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses optional; see recipe notes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
- Combine flour, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and blend well with a fork or whisk.
- Add the eggs, squash, and molasses to the bowl and blend the mixture until it forms a ball of dough. I use a mixer, but you can also use a spatula, food processor, or your hands.
- Separate the dough into two balls. Place one ball of dough on a non-stick baking mat, piece of parchment paper or counter-top with some flour sprinkled over it to prevent sticking.
- Place a piece of parchment paper or other non-stick paper or mat over the ball of dough. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is about 1/4-inch (.635 cm) thick.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out and place them on baking or cookie sheets. The biscuits don't spread so no need to spread them out much across the baking sheets. Repeat until all the dough has been cut into biscuits.
- Bake the dough for 15 minutes, and then turn each biscuit over and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Cool and store sealed at room temperature for a month or so, or in the refrigerator for a few months.
Have you ever tried this recipe in silicone molds?
Hi Karen, I haven’t but they should work. They may be softer since they don’t crisp fully in the open oven.
Just made these and both my girls cannot get enough. My senior girl’s nose shot right into the air as I pulled them out of the oven. I believe they would eat all of them if they were permitted. Easy. I did not use black strap molasses. Just unsulphered molasses. Thank you for the recipe. Will keep these on hand now all the time!
Hi Susan, so sweet! Thanks for sharing.
I’m going to make these for my 8 mo. old puppy that gets car sick. Hoping the Ginger will help her. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Hi Nicole! I hope it works. You’re very welcome!
What is the nutritional facts per cookie?
Hi Kenzie, the nutrition facts are at the bottom of the recipe 🙂 and it’s for 1 dog biscuit.
I just made a batch & they’re in the oven. My lab mix (Zoey) is laying right by the oven “waiting patiently”. She loves people gingersnaps when we give her one, so this sounded like the perfect recipe for her. I’m sure she’ll love them! Thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂
I hope so! thank you 🙂
I’m curious…pumpkin induces diarrhea in dogs so how do your biscuits not do the same considering pumpkin is an ingredient? Also is there a dog friendly icing i can use to decorate my treats that you recommend? we have four large dogs and as anyone knows they can be expensive so I have been looking for cheaper dyi ideas. Thanks for any suggestions!
Here’s one explanation of why pumpkin is good for both constipation and diarrhea: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/top-three-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-for-dogs.html Sorry, I don’t know about icing.
Pumpkin can promote good gut health and it’s highly recommended by most vets if your dog has any type of issues with anal glands or anything like that. But remember just like with any person every body is different and it’s the same with dogs. There is no cut and dry answer. For example people tell you to take mint to settle your stomach and it actually upsets my stomach.
For the icing you can use yogurt. And if you wanted to color it you can use different kinds of juice from fruits! I know this comment is kinda old but of you find it your welcome!!
Angie, this icing recipe came with a doggie biscuit kit I have…
8 oz Neufchâtel cheese or low fat cream cheese at room temp.
2 Tbsp Plain Yogurt
2 Tbsp Honey
2-3 Tbsp Flour
Combine cheese, honey and yogurt until smooth. Add enough flour to thicken for a good spreading consistency.
Best Bully Sticks
Hi, Erica. We came across your blog and Gingerbread dog treat recipe today and would love to feature it on our Healthy Dog Blog later this year.
For examples, please visit http://www.bestbullysticks.com/blog. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you!
Sure, feel free to link to this page.
candace | yogabycandace
Thank you for posting this! I have been looking for a recipe for my siberian husky. He eats anything, but I hate to buy the junk from the store when I know I can make something healthier. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe – thanks again!
There are lots of “good” dog biscuits in markets now thankfully, but it’s nice to be able to make sure own, I agree!
How long to do these stay fresh? Not that my springer would notice if something was stale, he eats too fast for that!
good question! yes, mine have not lasted more than a week, but if fully dried they should last at least a month or so. If you seal them tightly they should last several months. And of course, in the refrigerator they’ll probably last a long time as well.