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If your dog is like either of mine, they love treats. And the variety of treats at the store is endless. The only problem is that it is difficult to find a soft treat that is easily breakable to use as a training treat.
I try to give very small pieces of treats when I’m training my dogs. And Luna needs a lot of training still. She listens alright inside, but outside is not so good. At times it seems like she has no training at all.
Since Luna needs a lot of outdoor training, I want a treat that I won’t mind carrying around for more than a couple of minutes. And one that I don’t care if I wipe my hands on my pants after Luna slobbers all over my hands to get the treat.
I tried looking on Pinterest for dog treat ideas that would work but wasn’t a fan of any of them. Most made harder treats than I want. A few made softer treats but included unnecessary ingredients.
Others only used a partial can of the main ingredient and weren’t easy to increase due to the amount left in the can. So, I decided to make my own recipe.
My taste testers approved of the dough before baking. I’d post a picture, but they gobbled it up faster than I could take a picture. They also enjoyed the treats after baking.
Along with the ease of using these treats for training, they contain pumpkin which has several health benefits for dogs. You can read about the benefits of pumpkin for dogs here.
How to make Soft Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats
Thankfully these are super easy to make. There are only 3 ingredients and you should be able to find them at any grocery or big box store.
Gather your ingredients, a can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling), whole wheat flour, and peanut butter. Make sure the peanut butter you are using doesn’t contain xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
Empty the whole can of pumpkin into a bowl. Then measure out 1 cup of peanut butter and put that in the bowl. It may be easier to mix these two ingredients together before adding the flour.
I didn’t do this and found that I had streaks of peanut butter in the dough once I was done mixing. Not that my dogs will complain about finding plain peanut butter in their treats.
Next mix in the 2 cups of whole wheat flour. The dough will end up the consistency of play dough.
Once it’s all mixed together it’s time to roll it out. The dough did not seem like it would roll out good with a rolling pin, so I just rolled it with my hands.
Just take a small portion, roll it into a ball and then squish it a little with your thumb. Try to make them fairly thin, but not super thin. Most of mine ended up a little thinner than a quarter inch. Then place on a baking sheet so they aren’t touching.
I baked mine for 8 minutes at 350°F. I wanted them still soft after baking. Once they cooled I placed them into zipper baggies and then put them in the fridge.
They should last about 5 days in the fridge. If you want to leave them at room temperature, they should last about 2 days.
This recipe makes a fairly large batch, so I tried to use only a quarter of the dough. I divided the rest of it into 3 relatively even sections to freeze. I placed them into individual freezer bags and will thaw one at a time as I need more treats.
To use the frozen dough you just need to thaw it and then bake until done. The only thing I didn’t like about freezing the dough is that the texture changed.
I don’t know if I left it in the freezer too long (it got pushed to the back) or if it would have changed regardless of how long it was frozen.
Once I baked it the texture seemed fine, though the coloring was a little different. My dogs didn’t seem to care though.
I also froze some treats after baking and those seemed to not change as much as the frozen dough.
Luna and Morgan both loved these and tried to beg for more. Hopefully, they will be enticing enough to get Luna to listen while we work on our training outside. They work inside but there are fewer distractions inside than there are outside.
If your dogs enjoyed these as much as mine, they may also like these No-bake peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats.
Soft Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats
1 can Pumpkin Puree (not Pumpkin Pie Filling)
1 cup Peanut Butter (any brand, no xylitol)
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix pumpkin puree and peanut butter together until combined.
Add in the flour. Mix well.
Roll a small amount of dough into a small ball. Press down with your thumb to flatten into a tiny cookie shape.
Place on a baking sheet. Repeat until the sheet is as full as you want it.
Bake 8 minutes for soft dog treats.
Let cool. Store in an air tight container, 2 days at room temperature or 5 days refrigerated.
Freeze any extra dough to use later. Just thaw before use.