Beagle waiting patiently for his treat.

Learn How To Make 3 Ingredient Dog Treats In A Few Simple Steps

Written By Olivia De Santos | Canine Coach, Professional Writer & Video Content Creator.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | Double B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 9th January 2024

Making dog treats at home can be a huge money saver! Though commercial dog treats are great, they can often include high sodium content, preservatives and other nasties that we’d rather avoid. But, crucially, homemade dog treats are time-consuming to make, aren’t they? Not these!

Today we’re going to be talking about 3-ingredient dog treats. You can consider this an aggregate article of different excellent 3-ingredient dog treat recipes available online. However, we’ll also discuss the elements of making quick dog treats, focussing on ingredients you can use to personalise your recipes. Sound good? Let’s dive in!


How To Make 3-Ingredient Dog Treats

So!  You want to make dog treats at home but you don’t want to spend hours slaving over the stove to get there. Even better, you’d like to use ingredients that you’re likely already stocking in the pantry. There’s a basic formula to making 3-ingredient dog treats so that you always have available ingredients and options to make quick treats at home.

Related: Are Dog Treats Healthy? 

Choose your base

The secret to making dog treats at home in no time is deceptively simple. All you need to do is choose a base to which you can add flavour. There are two main bases to consider when making simple dog treat recipes:

1. Peanut butter and oats

Mixing smooth peanut butter and rolled oats is a cheap and simple base for dog treats. Peanut butter is a healthy nut butter though it can cause weight gain in high quantities.

“In moderation, peanut butter can be an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, vitamins B and E, and niacin.” writes Anna Burke from the American Kennel Club. (1)

Oats promote healthy skin and digestion while lowering cholesterol. You can thank the B vitamins and fibre in oats for that. (2)

However, some dogs have sensitivities to oats. If that’s the case, you can try whole wheat flour instead. It’s still a healthy addition to dog treats that will mimic the texture of oat flour.

2. Coconut oil

Another common base for simple dog treats is coconut oil. According to Dog Naturally Magazine, coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides that have a wide slew of benefits. (3) These include but are not limited to:  

  • lowering blood sugar levels
  • easing inflammation
  • aiding weight loss
  • improving brain function and reducing seizures

So even though coconut oil is fat, it can be a wonderful healthy occasional treat for your pup. It works well as a treat because it freezes quickly and can be combined with different things to personalise your treats.

Choose your inclusions

Now that you have your healthy bases, it’s time to choose your additions! The beauty of the bases we discussed is that you can pretty much add in anything you want. As long as you adapt the texture to mix well with the bases, you’re completely at liberty. Well… they also need to be healthy for your dog. So let’s have a look at what you can add to your treats. 


What Can You Add To Your Homemade Dog Treats?

Banana

Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium which is great for active dogs as it helps with muscle strengthening and easing cramps. Potassium and vitamin B6 help maintain healthy blood pressure and increases cognitive function. (4)

Bananas work extremely well added to 3-ingredient peanut butter treats. You just need to crush the bananas into a puree and mix them into the base.

Pumpkin puree

Pumpkin is more than just an autumnal staple. It’s full of goodness for your dog. 

“Pumpkin contains vitamins like A, C, and E, as well as minerals like iron and potassium.”  - PetMD (5)

The healthy fatty acids combined with these powerful vitamins contribute to healthy skin, fur, digestion and immune system.

The important note about pumpkin is to avoid pumpkin pie mix. It contains sugar and spices that are not good for your dog. You need pure pumpkin puree. If you can’t find canned pumpkin puree, you can create your own by adding a little water to chopped pumpkin and mashing the softened pumpkin into a puree.

Apple puree

Apples are fantastic for dogs! They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants. (6)

To add apple puree to your dog treats, it’s best to avoid pre-made apple sauce as it tends to contain extra sugar. If you can’t find pure apple puree, you can make your own. Simply chop up some apples and soften them in some water. Leave the skins on for extra fibre. Use a blender to create a puree.

Apple puree works incredibly well in both coconut oil-based treats and peanut butter/oat treats.

Cheese*

Cheese is an odd one. Dogs love cheese as most of us do! But the fact remains that many dogs are lactose intolerant. The reason I’m recommending a sprinkle of cheese is that it’s just that - a sprinkle. If your dog does have lactose intolerance, it's likely in high quantities. A sprinkle of cheese rarely hurts but do consult your veterinarian. If your dog has any reactions to any treats you make at home, stop feeding them to your dog.

Parmesan cheese works well for adding to dog treats as you don’t need much to add a ton of flavour. Some recipes call for cheddar cheese too.

Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, mulberries and blackberries are all great fruits for dogs. Berries in general are excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a good anti-inflammatory. It also promotes healthy skin and a strong immune system.

To add berries to your dog’s treats you can chop them into pieces or puree them. Chopped berries work well in frozen coconut oil treats. Simply add the pieces to melted coconut oil before pouring the mixture into silicone freezer trays.

For peanut butter and oat treats, you’re better off mashing up the berries into a puree and adding them before baking.

Sweet potato

Sweet potato is full of nutrients that support your dog-s health. The added sweetness is also appealing to many dogs. It’s low-fat and full of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, B6 and C. (7)

Both bases mix well with sweet potato when pureed. To make the puree, peel the sweet potato and boil until soft. Drain the water and mash the sweet potato. You can add water to make it smoother if you choose.

Mix it with your melted coconut oil before freezing. Or you can add to a peanut butter and oat base before baking.

Bake or no-bake dog treats?

As you can probably gather, today’s article will include options for baked dog treats and no-bake dog treats. There’s an argument to say that some of the nutrients are lost when you cook fresh ingredients such as the fruit inclusions we discussed. That could be a factor for you. No-bake treats also save electricity and baking time of course!

On the other hand, it’s worth mentioning that no-bake treats don’t tend to keep as long as baked treats do.

It’s completely personal preference which technique you decide to go for. Most coconut oil-based treats are no-bake as coconut oil has such a low melting point. As for peanut butter and oats, there are no-bake and baked recipes out there.


Peanut Butter & Oat 3-Ingredient Dog Treats

Peanut butter and oat flour treats are so easy to make! It may be more lengthy than the coconut oil treats but they last for longer and give your dog a satisfying crunch. Here’s how to make them.

Peanut butter and banana dog treats recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats or 1 cup of wholewheat flour

Method 

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 celsius 
  2. Blend the rolled oast until the consistency of fine flour. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mash the banana into a puree. 
  4. Mix the banana and peanut butter together until smooth
  5. Fold in the oat flour or whole wheat flour little by little until you get a thick dough. If the dough is too loose and crumbly, add more peanut butter to combine. If the dough is too soft, you may need more oat flour or whole wheat flour. It should be a firm, sticky, kneadable dough. 
  6. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until ¼ inch in thickness. Try to get a uniform thickness as possible. 
  7. Cut the treats using a cookie cutter or knife. 
  8. Place the cut dough onto baking paper on a baking tray and place in the oven for around 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool thoroughly and serve your dog as an occasional treat! These keep well in an airtight container.

Peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats or 1 cup of whole wheat flour

Method

  1. To make your pumpkin puree, shave the skin and chop a pumpkin into small pieces. Remove all of the seeds. Place in a medium saucepan with about ¼ cup of water. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer for around 10-15minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Drain the water and begin mashing the pumpkin into a puree. Add more water to create a smoother puree. Make sure that your pumpkin puree has fully cooled to room temperature before adding it to the other ingredients.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180 celsius
  3. Blend the rolled oats until the consistency of fine flour.
  4. Mix the pumpkin puree and peanut butter until smooth
  5. Fold in the oat flour or whole wheat flour little by little until you get a thick dough. If the dough is too loose and crumbly, add more peanut butter to combine. If the dough is too soft, you may need more oat flour or whole wheat flour. It should be a firm, sticky, kneadable dough.
  6. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until ¼ inch in thickness.
  7. Cut the treats using a cookie cutter or knife.
  8. Place the cut dough onto baking paper on a baking tray and place in the oven for around 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool thoroughly and serve to your dog as an occasional treat! These keep well in an airtight container.

Coconut Oil-Based 3-Ingredient Dog Treats

Coconut oil-based treats don’t involve any ovens or stoves. The top tip here is to seek out pure unprocessed coconut oil wherever you can.

Peanut butter and cinnamon dog treats recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  1. Method
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan on low heat. Coconut oil has a very low melting point so this shouldn’t take long!
  3. Mix in the peanut butter and cinnamon thoroughly. You should get a thick mixture that you can still pour.
  4. Pour the mixture into silicone freezer trays in whatever shape you want.
  5. Put the freezer trays into the freezer until the treats are set. This shouldn’t take long.
  6. To serve, simply pop out the frozen coconut oil shape and give it to your pup! You might want to cut a treat in half the first time just to make sure your dog doesn’t have any digestive issues with the coconut oil.

Oat and coconut oil dog treats recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups of rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup of coconut oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons of peanut butter

Method

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan until liquid.
  2. Mix in the peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Add in the rolled oats little by little until thoroughly combined. If you have a food processor, you can put the coconut oil, peanut butter and oats together and blitz. You can substitute the oats for wholewheat flour if your dog has a sensitivity to oats.
  4. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, scoop out the mix with your hands and roll it into 2-3cm balls. The size depends on the size of your dog.
  5. Chill in an airtight container in the fridge and serve to your pup!

Delight Your Dog With Simple 3-Ingredient Dog Treats

There you have it! Simple 3-ingredient dog treat recipes for every taste. Let us know in the comments below which you’ve tried at home!

Related: Help! My Dog Won't Eat Their Food But Will Eat Treats.

References:

  1. Burke, A. December 25, 2021. “Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved October 12, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-peanut-butter/
  2. Link, R. November 30, 2020. “Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal, and Should They?”. Healthline. Retrieved October 12, 2022. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-oatmeal
  3. Scott, D. December 9, 2021. “Coconut Oil For Dogs: New Research Says Stay Away”. Dogs Naturally Magazine. Retrieved October 12, 2022. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/
  4. Hneriques, J. November 5, 2021. “Can Dogs Eat Bananas? Get The Facts”. Retrieved October 12, 2022. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/can-dogs-eat-bananas-get-the-facts/
  5. Farner, V. March 11, 2021. “Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?”. Retrieved October 12, 2022. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/can-i-give-dog-pumpkin
  6. Arford, K. August 27, 2021. “Can Dogs Eat Apples? How to Safely Feed Apples to Dogs”. Retrieved October 12, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-apples/
  7. Anastasio, A. November 17, 2021. “Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potatoes?”. Retrieved October 12, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-sweet-potatoes/

Olivia De Santos


Olivia De Santos is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach, Professional Writer and Video Content Creator.

Olivia has over 10 years of experience writing professionally and is a dog Mum to Pip, her Podengo and Blue, her Flat-coated Retriever. She loves writing pieces to help people to be better dog owners.

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