Pumpkin Pupcakes

I don’t bake doggie cupcakes very often (mostly because a couple of my taste-testers are very messy eaters), but they are the perfect treat for special occasions. It takes surprisingly little effort to make beautiful dog-safe cupcakes that look and smell yummy enough for humans to eat. The Pumpkin Pupcakes recipe that I’m sharing today smells particularly delicious when it’s baking on a crisp Autumn day. The pumpkin flavor pairs really well with natural peanut butter frosting, and the frosted pupcakes would make an excellent addition to any Halloween, Thanksgiving, or birthday celebration.

 Pumpkin Pupcakes

Pumpkin Pupcakes

Makes about 24 mini cupcakes

2/3 cup oat flour

2/3 cup brown rice flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups canned 100% pure pumpkin puree

2 large eggs

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

Natural, unsalted peanut butter, as desired for frosting (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line each cavity of a mini muffin tin with paper liners or very lightly coat each cavity with canola oil.

3. Combine the oat flour, rice flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, and stir to combine.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggs, honey, and oil.

5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined.

6. Spoon the batter into each of the prepared cavities of the mini muffin tin. Be careful not to overfill; each cup should be about 3/4 full of batter.

7. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tops of the pupcakes are firm to the touch.

8. Allow the pupcakes to cool completely before removing them from the mini muffin tin.

9. If desired, frost the top of each pupcake with a thin layer of natural peanut butter.

NOTE: Paper cupcake liners are a pretty touch that make for a very nice presentation; however, you should always REMOVE THE PAPER LINERS BEFORE FEEDING THE TREAT TO YOUR DOG.


These treats are best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Turkey Day Treats

This year, instead of caving in when your dog comes begging at your Thanksgiving table, be sure to have these tasty turkey-flavored dog treats handy. You don’t even need to cook the turkey ahead of time to make this super simple recipe. Just combine everything in a bowl, roll into meatballs, and bake.

Ground turkey is a very lean meat and a great source of protein for your pooch; however, you really should resist ever feeding your dog turkey from your table. The skin of a roasted (or fried) turkey is fatty, poses a choking hazard, and can even cause pancreatitis. The turkey meat isn’t safe either, because the cooked bones splinter very easily and are a major choking hazard–for people as well as pets. And, as tempting as it may be, you should also avoid giving your dog any bites of your salty, butter-laden side dishes (like veggie casseroles or gravy) or any candy, desserts, or alcohol that may be around the house during the holiday season.

Turkey Day Treats

Turkey Day Dog Treats

Makes about 50 treats

1 pound raw ground turkey

1/2 cup water

1 egg

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Combine the turkey, water, and egg in a bowl, and stir to combine.

3. Stir in the flour, and knead the mixture by hand until it forms a smooth dough.

4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and arrange the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 23 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

NOTE:  Dogs, just like people, are susceptible to bacteria, so as soon as these treats are cool enough to handle they should transferred to the refrigerator for storage.

Spiced Pear Dog Treats

“Spiced pear” may be a flavor that seems a tad bit sophisticated for dog treats at first glance. However, these treats were a big hit with my dog Pacey. Any dog that likes apples is sure to enjoy the fruity sweetness of pears, and the blend of three different spices gives this recipe a little more pizazz. In fact, the balance of sweetness and spice makes these the perfect treats for your dog to share with YOU! Although to people they’re more like a cracker than a cookie, the treats are actually pretty flavorful–they also fill the house with an amazing autumnal aroma as they bake.

I cut my batch of treats into really large pear-shaped pieces, about 3 1/2 inches long. If you use a smaller cutter, be sure to keep an eye on the treats as they bake, because you don’t want the treats to get overly browned and you probably won’t need the full 20 minutes of baking time that is listed in the recipe.

Spiced Pear Treats

Spiced Pear Dog Treats

Makes about 12 large treats


1 medium pear, peeled and grated

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup water

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground ginger

1 pinch ground allspice


1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Place the pear, honey, and water in a bowl and stir to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, while stirring to combine. Use your hands to knead the mixture until it forms a smooth, homogenous dough.

5. On a floured countertop, roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Use your desired cutter to cut the dough into pieces. Arrange the treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip each of the treats over and continue baking until firm to the touch and slightly browned, about 10 minutes more. Allow the treats to cool completely before serving.


Store these treats in the refrigerator.

Howl-o-ween Dog Treats

If, like me and thousands of other Americans, you will be dressing your dog up in an exceedingly silly costume this evening, then your poor pooch certainly deserves a special Halloween treat! You can make this recipe as simple or as fancy as you like. The carrot cut-out cookies look pretty even if they are left plain. I took the extra time to decorate the treats. I used melted yogurt chips to make an easy icing for the cookies, but you could use melted carob chips or dog treat coating chips or make your own sugar-free peanut butter or cream cheese icing (or use all of the above!) to decorate. I used unsweetened carob chips for the ghosts’ eyes. Other ingredients that make great, dog-safe “sprinkles” are:  sesame seeds, yogurt chips, natural peanut butter chips, crumbled bacon, shredded or diced carrot, blueberries, or unsweetened dried cranberries.

Remember your mom warning you not to pig out on too much Halloween candy while trick-or-treating? The same principle holds true with Halloween dog treats. You don’t want to load these cookies down with too many toppings or your dog could end up with a tummy-ache. Less is always more: this recipe should only be fed sparingly as a special holiday treat.


Halloween Treats

Carrot Halloween Treats

Makes about 8 large treats


1/4 cup finely shredded carrots

1 tablespoon honey

1 large egg

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

About 2 cups yogurt chips (or your desired icing)


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Combine the carrots, honey, egg, and water in a bowl.

3. Combine the cinnamon with the flour. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir to combine. Use your hands to gently knead the mixture until it forms a smooth dough.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut the dough into pieces. Arrange the treats on a prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake until lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 18 minutes. To ensure even browning, flip the treats over halfway through the baking time.

6. While the treats are cooling, place the yogurt chips in a metal bowl and place over a small pot of simmering water. Stir the yogurt chips with a rubber spatula until they are just melted. Be very careful not to overheat them!

7. Once the treats are completely cool, decorate them with the icing. You can spread the icing using an offset spatula or pipe the icing onto the cookies using a piping bag. Allow the icing to fully set and serve.


These treats must be stored in the refrigerator.

Dog Walk Energy Bites

Yet another perk of Autumn is that it brings perfect weather for dog walking (at least here in the Mid-Atlantic states). When you’re out on a nice long walk or hike it’s always good to have a few small treats in your pocket, especially if you’re still training your dog to walk properly on a leash. These little no-bake treats are great for throwing into a zip-lock bag and taking with you on your outdoor adventures. The recipe is very simple. Just remember to allow yourself enough time for the treats to firm up in the refrigerator before you head out the door.

When my dog Pacey is on a walk, he is on a mission: he doesn’t want to stop to smell the roses, he doesn’t want to be petted, and he will not take a treat. Therefore, I wasn’t able to actually get these treats genuinely taste-tested on a long walk. But my slightly overweight chihuahua really enjoyed them while hanging out on the couch at home.

Energy Bites

Dog Walk Energy Bites

Makes about 16 treats


1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup natural peanut butter chips

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup wheat germ

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon molasses


1. Place the coconut, peanut butter chips, oats, and wheat germ in a bowl, and stir to combine.

2. Add the honey and molasses to the dry ingredients, stirring well until all the the dry ingredients are well-coated with the honey.

3. Use a tablespoon to take a scoop of the mixture. Use your hands to squeeze and roll the mixture into a ball. (The mixture will be very wet and sticky, so this part can be a bit messy.)

4. Arrange the treats on a tray or large plate and put them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up. The treats should then be stored in the refrigerator.


NOTE: A tablespoon is a good-sized scoop for most dogs. If you’ve got a little dog, you may want to make the balls slightly smaller. Try using a 1/2 tablespoon or (for really small pups) a teaspoon. This recipe makes about 48 teaspoon-sized treats.

Pumpkin Dog Treats

I. Love. Autumn. I love absolutely everything about the Autumn season: the cool weather, the beautiful leaves, the bountiful harvest of apples and gourds, and the comfort foods that are made with all that delicious seasonal produce. I really can’t emphasize enough how happy I am that it’s September and the first day of Fall is right around the corner. I understand that some of you (mostly students and beach bunnies) do not share my great joy at reaching September, but I’m going to go ahead and celebrate with this recipe anyway! And even if you’re already missing the sunshine of summer, I’m sure that you can still appreciate this take-off on the crowning glory of Autumn baking:  pumpkin pie!

Surprisingly, most dogs like the flavor of pumpkin as much as we humans do. (And even if your dog doesn’t go crazy for pumpkin, these treats have a touch of peanut butter to sweeten the deal.) Now, I understand that a lot of you won’t take the time to make your own pumpkin puree from scratch. Using canned pumpkin is perfectly fine, but be sure to buy “pure pumpkin puree” and NOT pumpkin pie filling. There’s actually a big difference, and you don’t want the sugar and other additives contained in canned pumpkin pie filling to go into your dog treats.

These treats are packed with flavor and are definitely tasty enough for you to enjoy right along with your dog. Plus, the wonderful aroma of these treats baking is guaranteed to put you in the mood for Fall.

Pumpkin Dog Treats

Pumpkin Dog Treats

Makes about 130 small treats


1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup water

4 tablespoons natural, unsalted peanut butter

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 cups unbleached white flour


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, water, and peanut butter.

3. Stir the pumpkin pie spice into the flour.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring to combine. Use your hands to knead the mixture until a smooth, homogenous dough forms. (If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.)

5. On a generously floured countertop, roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/2-inch thick. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut the dough into pieces.

6. Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet, and bake for about 9 minutes. Flip each of the treats over, return to the oven, and continue baking for 9 minutes more, until firm to the touch. Allow the treats to cool completely before serving.


These treats may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, but they are best stored in the refrigerator.