Christmas treat recipes for your dog

If you’re thinking of treating your dog this Christmas, then why not use one of our recipes for festive homemade biscuits and tasty seasonal bakes.

Our recipes

Your dog may love these delicious Christmas treats, but it’s important to remember to only give them occasionally as part of a well-balanced diet. Some of these recipes may not be suitable for dogs with nut allergies or other special dietary needs.

Find out more about portion control and other things to think about when treating your dog to one of our festive snacks.

Christmas tree treats

Ingredients:
  • 190g wholemeal flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 65g tinned pumpkin
  • 30g peanut butter (xylitol-free)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Method:
Preheat your oven to 180°C/ 160°C Fan/ gas 4.
  1. Mix all the ingredients together to make a dough. You may need to use your hands to ensure that everything is well combined. If your mixture is too dry you can add a small amount of water.
  2. Sprinkle some flour on to a surface and roll out the dough until it’s 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Cut out the dough using a Christmas tree shaped biscuit cutter.
  4. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the biscuits are hard to the touch.
  5. Leave to cool thoroughly before feeding to your dog.

Snowball pupcakes

Makes six pupcakes or you can double the recipe to make 12.

If you have a small dog, you may want to divide the mix into 12 cupcake cases to make smaller treats. Just remember that if you’re making smaller pupcakes these will need less time in the oven (around ten minutes).

Once baked, these treats can be frozen before you add the 'snowy' topping.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 75 g peanut butter (xylitol-free)
  • 1 egg
  • 35g honey
  • 50 g wholemeal flour
  • 35g rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
  • 60ml water
For the snowy topping (optional)
  • One tsp of cream cheese or Greek yogurt per pupcake
Method:
Preheat your oven to 180°C/ 160°C Fan/ gas 4
  1. Mash the banana.
  2. Mix in the peanut butter, egg and honey.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients (flour, oats and baking powder) and stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Mix in the water, adding a splash at a time.
  5. Divide the mix between six cupcake cases, and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Leave to cool thoroughly and remove the pupcakes from their cases.
  7. Coat the top of each pupcake with a teaspoon of cream cheese or Greek yogurt.

Festive gingerbread owners

Ingredients:
  • 125ml water
  • 25ml (1½ tbsp) olive oil
  • 25ml (1½ tbsp) black treacle
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 300g wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp of ground ginger
Method:
  1. Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl (water, olive oil, black treacle and honey).
  2. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together (flour, cinnamon and ginger).
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mix and stir until combined into a dough.
  4. Place the dough into a bowl, cover and then put in the fridge for 3.5 hours.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out onto a flowered surface until 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Preheat your oven to 180°C/ 160°C Fan/ gas 4.
  7. Use your gingerbread biscuit cutters to cut out your gingerbread owners.
  8. Place each biscuit on a lined baking tray.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Leave to cool thoroughly before feeding to your dog.
When making gingerbread people for humans, raisins, sultanas or currants are often used for eyes or buttons, but please be aware that these dried fruits can be toxic to dogs, even in small quantities, and should never be fed to them.

Christmas candy canes

Ingredients:
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 225ml water
  • 350g wholemeal flour
  • 30g powdered milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp beetroot powder (or you can use the juice from a pack of beetroot or grated cooked beetroot)
Method:
  1. In a bowl, mix the vegetable oil, egg and water.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the flour and powdered milk.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mix and knead the dough for a couple of minutes.
  4. Separate the dough into two equal parts and place into different bowls.
  5. Add the vanilla extract to one dough and the beetroot powder into the other and knead each dough separately. Both mixtures may be a little sticky.
  6. Place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  7. Pull off small sections of the dough and, using the palm of your hand, roll into long thin sausage shapes.
  8. Plait together one vanilla strand and one beetroot strand and shape into a candy cane.
  9. Place your Christmas candy canes onto a lined baking tray.
  10. Preheat your oven to 180°C/ 160°C Fan/ gas 4.
  11. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  12. Leave to cool thoroughly before feeding to your dog.

Wintery berry bones

Ingredients:
  • Greek yogurt
  • Diced strawberries
  • Blueberries
Method:
  1. Scatter some diced strawberries and whole blueberries into a freezer proof mould. We’ve used bone shapes, but any shapes will do.
  2. Spoon the yogurt over the fruit and smooth over with a spoon.
  3. Tap the filled mould on to a hard surface to get rid of any air bubbles.
  4. Place the moulds in the freezer overnight.
  5. When it’s treat time, pop one out and give to your dog.
  6. Treats can be stored in a bag or container in the freezer for up to three months.

Things to consider when making homemade treats for your dog

Portion control
The snacks we’ve listed above should only be given as an occasional treat and must be given in moderation. Giving too much food in one go can be dangerous to dogs and could cause life threatening bloat, particularly if they’ve eaten immediately before or after exercise. Large amounts of certain foods, especially fatty foods, can also cause a painful and potentially severe condition known as pancreatitis. If you ever suspect your dog has bloat or pancreatitis, then always contact your vet immediately. 

It's easy to give your dog extra food throughout the day, especially around Christmas, but doing so regularly can be damaging to their health and can make them less happy in the long run. It’s vital that you take care of what food you give to your dog. Maintaining good feeding habits will allow your dog to live the healthiest and happiest life possible.
Counting the calories
It’s important that you divide your dog’s total calorie intake for the day between each meal so that you're not overfeeding them. If you like to give them treats, make sure that you assign a certain amount of their calories for these before working out how much to give them for each meal.
Cautions about peanut butter and xylitol
Some of the recipes above use peanut butter. Do not use these recipes if your dog has a nut allergy.

Although dogs love peanut butter, and it’s a great source of protein, you must be careful which type you use. Always avoid feeding dogs peanut butter that is high in salt and sugar and it should never contain artificial sweeteners.

Xylitol, also known as birch sugar or E967, is an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs and can cause an otherwise healthy dog's blood sugar level to drop to dangerous levels or could cause liver failure. If your dog ever eats xylitol then contact your vet immediately.
Suitability
These recipes may not be suitable for all dogs, particularly those on a special diet or those that suffer from obesity, pancreatitis, diabetes, a sensitive stomach or those with problems with their kidneys or liver. If your dog has any pre-existing health conditions then always talk to your vet about any special diets that they may need, or what treats you can give them.