DIY Toy For Dogs That Tear Up Stuffed Animals

DIY Toy For Dogs That Tear Up Stuffed Animals

Zoey was my first furbaby, and I was so excited to welcome her into our family three years ago. I ran out to the store to purchase a ton of new and adorable toys for her. My favorite was the little skunk that resembled Zoey’s black and white fluffy fur. Zoey loved to play with her toys, and they lasted her entire puppyhood into adulthood. I’ll admit I grew sentimental of the toys when I would think about how little she was when she started playing with them and the story behind each toy. I would even get her a stuffed animal souvenir from any vacation I took that she couldn’t accompany me on. 

A year later, we welcomed a floppy-eared, clumsy, howling hound dog sister for Zoey – our Beagle Jem. She quickly established her authority over toys within the first few days. She reasoned that toys were meant to be destroyed upon contact with the quickest speed possible. It wasn’t long before all of Zoey’s sentimental toys were a pile of fluff and fur scraps all across the floor. I doubt Zoey was as sad to see them go as I was, but I soon realized that it was going to be a challenge to find a toy that Jem couldn’t destroy in under one minute. 

Jem's First Night Home

Jem’s First Night Home

Jem is over two years old now, and we still struggle to find her a toy that will last long enough to warrant buying it for her. There just doesn’t seem to be any “durable, indestructible, or long-lasting” toy on the market that she can’t beat. The other dogs learned from example within weeks of Jem joining our family, and they took after her soon enough.

13Now they all destroy toys proudly, but Jem is still the undefeated champ of demolishing them with record speed. Six minutes. That’s all it took for Jem to investigate the new stuffed animal I bought her today and accomplish her goal of de-stuffing it. 

Jem Stuffed Animal ChampionOur living room looks like a teddy bear graveyard on a nightly basis, and we’ve finally resorted to having the dogs play with the miscellaneous legs, arms, and other body parts of their toys that they’ve ruined rather than continuing to buy them hundreds of dollars worth of pretty animals with their heads firmly attached.

Stuffed Animal Graveyard - Pet ProductsWhenever I watch them destroy their stuffed animals, it seems like the act of pulling the stuffing out of the toy is what has them so hooked. Once the toy is thoroughly plucked, shredded, and flattened, they grow bored and move on to something else.

12What if there was a toy that could satisfy their need to pull the stuffing out, but they could do it again and again without purchasing a brand new toy? That would be perfect for our pups!

Step 1: Purchase Felt and a “Tug & Treat Ball”

1I bought the large pack of felt at Jo Ann Fabric for $5.00 rather than buying each piece separate for $0.50, but I found that it only took 1-3 sheets of felt for the smaller sized ball, so if you’re only making one small toy you don’t need as much felt as I thought. 

Step 2: Cut Strips of Felt

2I wanted the strips to be fairly easy for the dogs to pull out of the holes, but you can judge what size strips you want depending on how big the holes are, how easily you want them to be pulled out, etc. 

Step 3: Stuff Strips Into The Ball

3I made sure I left strips hanging out of the holes so the dogs understood what the toy was made to do. That way they easily pulled one or more strips as soon as they interacted with it which taught them the toy’s purpose. If your dog doesn’t seem to understand the point of the new toy right away like mine did, it works great to stuff small pieces of treats into the toy to entice her to play. 

Step 4: Enjoy!

After the quick 5-10 minute creation of this toy, your dogs are ready to play! Laci went absolutely nuts over the ball as soon as I finished making it, and she had the felt furiously pulled out in under a minute! I loved how quick and easy it was to put the felt strips back into the toy for round two of fun. 

4The stuffed animals in the room quickly became old news, and all of the dogs lost interest in them. This new toy was the latest obsession!

5I was so excited to see Jem love the toy as much as Laci. Our stuffing addict was quickly converted to a felt ball lover!

6It wasn’t long before Jem and Laci had a stand-off over which felt ball was the best, and the competition was fierce.

7Laci felt confident in her choice of the red ball, but you know how dogs are… the grass is always greener when it comes to toys and food. Naturally, Jem thought Laci’s ball was better and wanted to steal it.

8Zoey had the best tactics of them all. While Jem and Laci were busy battling over one ball, Zoey stealthily kept to herself with her own ball and focused on enjoying the new fun!

9Within minutes of making this simple and easy toy, I could already tell it was the new favorite with all three dogs. Success! I was confident that at least one of them would love it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of them were thrilled by it. This toy was so easy to make, so simple to re-stuff, and so much cheaper than any stuffed animal I could buy for them. Best of all, it’s a sustainable toy that can be used over and over again while still satisfying their love for plucking “stuffing” out of toys.

Your dogs will love you more than they already do when you make this felt ball for them, and I would love to see pictures and hear about your experience with it! Email me your story and/or pictures to :)

The Essential Vet Exams for Your Dog

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 4.55.43 PMHave you ever left the vet feeling like you spent all of your budget but aren’t sure if your dog really got your money’s worth out of it? Sometimes the open communication between ourselves and our veterinarian can be rushed or lacking, and we are left feeling like we’re in the dark about our dog’s wellness regimen. Its better for our wallets, peace of mind, and our dog’s health if we understand exactly what the essential vet exams are, and which treatments are unnecessary and excessive. 

Denise Petryk, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Trupanion and our friends at The I Love Dogs Site gave us all the answers about what healthcare is essential for your dog.

What Exams Are Essential?

Your dog needs routine wellness exams in the same way that we need routine physicals. If your dog doesn’t have a wellness exam between the ages of two and six, that’s like you not seeing a doctor between the ages or 24 and 40! If you can imagine how many changes and risks there are to your health in those years then you can imagine the same for your dog. A year is a long time in a dog’s life. If he lives through his early teens to be 13, yearly exams will only equate to 13 exams in his whole life which isn’t a lot when you think of it that way!

Routine Wellness Exams

Wellness visits are essential for maintaining a relationship with your veterinarian and establishing the best preventative care so you can address health concerns early on. We all know that preventing disease and catching it early is so much better than treating it once it has progressed to a severe stage. Preventative health care on a regular basis saves you and your dog from needless suffering and a greater financial strain.

Zoey and Laci Waiting to See The Vet

Zoey and Laci Waiting to See The Vet

Wellness exams play a crucial part in prolonging your dog’s life and keeping her healthy long term. Puppies should have wellness visits 2-3 times per year at the beginning of their lives, and adult dogs should go at least once per year and twice per year if your budget allows it. Laci goes to the vet more often than Zoey and Jem because she’s a seven month old puppy. Zoey and Jem see the vet twice per year for preventative care and wellness exams. We love to see how comfortable they are at the vet from going regularly. Jem even fell asleep on the floor of the exam room! Now that’s relaxation.

Senior dogs should begin having wellness exams twice per year minimum and sometimes three times per year. This is when things can change most rapidly with your dog’s health. You want to catch any diseases or concerns as early as you can for the best chance of curing it. These visits are important for:

  • Understanding age-related changes and degenerative conditions
  • Exercise and diet
  • Comfort support
  • Routine lab tests to detect disease early

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.33.42 AMWellness Exams Check List:

  • Share any concerns with your vet
    • Have questions addressed, answered, and documented for future reference
  • Diagnose any health problems in the early stages
  • Update vaccines
  • Test for/control intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, and mites, heart worm
    • Refill prescriptions for preventatives
  • Nutrition
  • Dental health
    • Care you can administer at home, observe any odors, pain, or signs of disease and establish a course of treatment  
  • Exercise
    • Note how much exercise your dog is getting including how often, what kind, and any changes in your dog’s ability or enthusiasm to exercise
  • Ears and Eyes
    • Note any discharge, redness, irritation, itching, or smell and treat for infection
  • Stomach and intestines
  • Breathing
    • Report any coughing, shortness of breath, sneezing, or nasal discharge
  • Behavior
    • Share with your vet any changes in mood, happiness, behavior problems, or changes in temperament
  • Urinary
    • Note any abnormal accidents and an increase in the frequency of urination for signs of infection
  • Feet and legs
    • Report any limping, weakness, lameness, or toenail concerns
  • Coat and skin
    • Any hair loss, pigment changes, lumps, itchy spots, shedding, mats, or anal gland problems
  • Blood tests
    • Especially for geriatric dogs, dogs with medical problems, and those receiving medications
  • Preventative care options
Zoey's Weight Is Still Slim and Trim Since Last Time!

Zoey’s Weight Is Still Slim and Trim Since Last Time!

The American Heartworm Society firmly recommends your dog be tested for heartworm every year at her wellness visits, even if you are religiously following a heartworm prevention regimen. There have been numerous cases where dogs were on heartworm prevention and still contracted the disease. The AHS strongly suggests getting tested every year so if your dog contacts the disease you have a better idea of the time frame it was contracted than if you haven’t had him tested in 3 years or more. Annual testing and uninterrupted routine heartworm prevention can make the difference between life and death of your furry best friend. You’ll never wish you had used prevention more than when it becomes too late! Never take that unnecessary risk.

Jem Tested "Negative" For Heartworm! That Preventative Really Works!

Jem Tested “Negative” For Heartworm! That Preventative Really Works!


According to an article from, experts agree that the core vaccines necessary for all dogs are:

The non-core vaccines that vets will give dogs include:

There have been controversies recently about vaccines for dogs and cats. Some researches believe that we don’t need to vaccinate every year for most of the diseases. However, they haven’t determined exactly how often we should vaccinate for each disease because they actually don’t know how long the protection from the vaccine lasts. Surprised? Me too! I always assumed it was a pretty exact science and trusted that yearly vaccinations were the necessary standard. They say that one vaccine may last 5 years, another for 3 years, and a different one for only 2 years. 

Almost all researchers still believe that we need to give puppies at least three combination vaccines that must be repeated when they turn one year old. Rabies must continue to be given within the guidelines of local ordinances. 

Zoey Was Due For Her Vaccines and Took It Like a Champ!

Zoey Was Due For Her Vaccines and Took It Like a Champ!

There is new research from the veterinary schools at the University of Minnesota, Colorado State University, and University of Wisconsin that suggests a new approach to vaccines where we alternate which vaccines we give our dog from year to year. Instead of vaccinating against more than one disease at once, your dog would receive the distemper vaccine one year, canine adenovirus-2 the next year, and parvovirus the third year repeated. However, other researchers still believe we don’t know enough about these vaccines yet to recommend only vaccinating every three years. It is up to each individual dog parent to discuss vaccines with your vet to determine the best course of prevention for your dog. 

Controlling Intestinal Parasites 

Fecal exams and deworming is as controversial as vaccines when it comes to how often your dog should be tested. Testing and deworming decisions should be based on:

  • The age of your dog
  • Likelihood your dog is exposed to feces from other animals
  • If your dog is on a heartworm preventative that controls intestinal parasites
  • If your dog has been infected before
  • If there are children who play with your dog

The American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and The Companion Animal Parasite Council all suggest testing for parasites and deworming at your yearly wellness visit. If your dog follows a strict heartworm/intestinal parasite preventative regimen year-round, they still suggest having a fecal test done. If your dog is not on a heartworm/intestinal parasite prevention (have your dog tested immediately and started on a preventative), then he needs a fecal test 2-4 times per year and to be treated accordingly. 

Senior Dogs

Older dogs are at risk for conditions that younger dogs are not. If your dog is reaching his senior years, you may want to have him tested for:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Kidney disease
  • Hormonal diseases

Identifying these conditions before severe or irreversible damage is done is vital for treating the condition early. A normal, healthy result is extremely helpful so future test results can be compared. If your dog is on medication, blood work and screening is important to see how the medication is affecting his body. 

Jem and Zoey Love Seeing the Vet Twice A Year!

Jem and Zoey Love Seeing the Vet Regularly!

Annual wellness exams, vaccinations, heartworm testing, and parasite control combined with recommended blood tests will play a critical role in keeping your dog healthy and help him live longer! Jem and Zoey are used to having a calm and stress-free exam at the vet, so they don’t dread the visits or get nervous and scared. They are very calm and content at their regular wellness exams.

The responsibility of keeping your dog in tip-top shape isn’t only up to your veterinarian. You should always keep a close eye on your dog’s health at home year round and report back to your vet regarding her personality, activity level, eating habits, etc. Check for lumps, bumps, flakes, scabs, irritation, redness, and itching. Pay close attention to eating and drinking habits because changes can be signs of serious problems. We all wish our dogs could just tell us what is bothering them, hurting, or when they feel sick. Unfortunately, we have to rely on our gut instincts, observations, and subtle signs our dogs show us. If you can remember to pay attention to changes in your dog from home and stick to a routine vet exam regimen, then your four legged furball will be in great shape!

Is Canned or Dry Dog Food Healthier?

Canned or Dry Dog Food? Which One Is Healthier?

We are always researching what the healthiest and best diet options are for our three dogs Zoey, Jem, and Laci. Zoey eats only canned wet food because of her frequent urinary tract infections (the water in the wet food helps prevent her UTI’s). Jem eats dry kibble with a scoop of Zoey’s wet food because she sees Zoey’s food and is envious of the flavor. Laci is just a puppy and indulges in her dry kibble without complaint, but she never misses an opportunity to sprint over to Zoey and Jem’s bowls after they’ve finished to lick them dry! 


According to an article from, canned food may be a better option for dogs than the dry kibble – and no this article was not written by a dog who wants to convince his human to buy canned food just for the flavor of it! 

Why Can Canned Be Better Than Dry Kibble?

Canned foods typically have more meat protein and fewer carbohydrates than dry kibble. Because of the cans’ air-tight packaging, they usually don’t have synthetic preservatives, flavors, and colors. This means the fats and oils in the food won’t become rancid. 

Why Does My Dog Go Crazy Over Canned Food?

Has your dog ever had a taste of canned food? If she has I bet she went crazy over it! Our girls can’t seem to get enough. The smell lures them in and the taste gets them hooked. Laci fiends for Zoey’s wet food so bad that we have to put Zoey in a separate room to eat. Jem has become so spoiled by the scoop of wet food that we add to her kibble that if we don’t add it she looks up at us like we’re crazy and refuses to eat!

DSC02359One reason dogs go so nuts for canned food is because the meats are closer to their natural state. This makes canned foods tastier and more appetizing than the dry kibble. 

The Moisture Content Helps With Overall Health and Health Issues

PetMd explains that not all dogs drink as much water as they should and wet food can be a great source of hydration. This is one of the main reasons we feed Zoey wet food – she seems to be indifferent to drinking water. Moisture in a pet’s diet becomes increasingly important as the dog ages, whenever the dog is ill, or if the dog lives in a hot climate.

For our Zoey, the canned food is a must. The high moisture content is perfect for preventing her frequent UTI’s. If you have a dog with urinary issues, the water in the canned food helps significantly more than dry kibble. DSC02472Is your dog overweight? It’s much easier for an obese dog to loose weight by eating wet food because it makes him feel fuller quickly. Your dog can eat more canned food than dry food and still loose weight because the moisture in the canned food takes up volume that won’t contribute to weight gain. 

Canned food is great for elderly dogs or dogs with dental issues. Chewing dry kibble can be very painful and difficult for these dogs which may cause them to eat less which will contribute to poor health overall. You may have heard that dry kibble can be good for your dog’s teeth, but many believe that this is an old rumor.  

Advantages and Disadvantages To Both broke it down nicely for us to compare the advantages and disadvantages to both dry and canned dog foods:

Glancing at this comparison, you can quickly see that dry kibble is more convenient for the humans because of its lower cost, and it does’t take up room in the refrigerator. If canned food is believed to be better for your dog’s overall health, I know the convenience factor becomes an afterthought, because our dogs deserve the best!

Dogs can’t tell us what they want or need, as much as I wish they could, but our dogs make it as obvious as they possibly can that they prefer canned food. It’s impossible for us to ignore their not so subtle hints… so canned food it is! 


When Is Kibble The Better Choice?

When it comes to convenience and cost, nothing beats kibble. So if you’re on a tight budget (and who isn’t these days?!) then a quality kibble is the way to go, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

You can leave kibble in your dog’s bowl for an extended period of time. If your dog is used to grazing rather than eating full meals in one sitting, then you need to stick with the kibble. Because she’s a puppy, Laci eats multiple times throughout the day, so for these reasons dry kibble is the best option for her at this stage.


You should never leave canned food in your dog’s bowl for longer than an hour or two at the most. When wet food is exposed to the environment it easily grows bacteria and quickly becomes contaminated. Dogs with a predisposition to dental problems like excessive plaque and bacteria may need more dental attention when eating a wet food than a dry kibble. 

Kibble can be stored for much longer periods of time. Once you open that bag of kibble, you know it will last until your dog eats the last bit. Unlike kibble, canned food has a short shelf life once it is opened. It must be placed in the refrigerator right after it is opened, and should not be stored opened for longer than two to three days before its time to discard it. 

We Love Kibble and Canned Food!

I don’t want you to think we’re pro-canned and anti-kibble, because we are a huge fan of both. We believe in “listening” to our dogs and watching their behavior closely to determine what each individual pup specifically needs because no two dogs are alike. Like I said, we determined canned food was the best option for Zoey, Laci does great on dry puppy kibble, and our indestructible, healthy Jem still has a perfect bill of health eating mainly kibble with a spoonful of canned to satisfy her flavor cravings. 

Whatever type of food you believe is best for your dog’s health and lifestyle is the right choice for your family. If your budget can’t find room for canned dog food and it’s too much hassle for your lifestyle, the “Jem Method” works great – just add a little bit of canned food to the kibble to have the best of both worlds! PetMd explains that either canned or kibble will satisfy your dog’s nutritional needs as long as the food is well-balanced and you make sure it is made with quality ingredients. And always remember what foods are healthy, and what foods are toxic to your dogs!

Laci loves any kind of food!

Disturbing Lab Results Prove Top Dog and Cat Food Brands Are Unsafe

Our family is extremely concerned with the quality and safety of our food as well as our dogs’ food. We recently started making our own organic treats at home and posting our recipes to the blog for you to enjoy. The next step in our plan is to make our own homemade dog food, and after reading these lab results we aren’t going to wait any longer to get started! 

I can always count on for great content about pets, and this morning I was so happy to come across their article about unsafe pet foods. Pet food consumers just like you and I donated funds to The Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) to test pet foods sold in North America. This test and it’s results are monumental because this is the first and only time a test of this size has been funded and controlled by concerned consumers themselves instead of a regulatory agency that is in charge of governing and selling pet food. Consumers of these pet food brands are left to wonder if these agencies that have conducted tests in the past were too close to the product and the profit to release accurate and honest results. 

Susan Thixton, Pet Food Safety Advocate at ATPF and author of “Buyer Beware” and co-author of “Dinner PAWSible”, was in charge of leading the test along with industry experts such as Dr. Tsengeg Purejav of INTI Service Corporation who lab tested the foods.

Susan explained that “this is history making. No one has ever taken such an up-close and thorough examination of pet food like this before – and most importantly, this was done by pet food consumers!” Thixton said the pet food testing results are “shocking and little did we know we’d find serious risks to ourselves and our human families too.”

The six top dog food brands tested include:

The six top cat food brands tested include:


Did you see any brands you’ve fed your dog before? Because I see two that I’ve fed to Zoey and one that I’ve fed to Jem before! Zoey has been eating Hill’s C/D Urinary Tract Health canned dog food for about a year after she had three consecutive UTI’s. Her veterinarian at Banfield at PetSmart recommended Hill’s brand and explained to me that it is one of the top two brands she would recommend because “they’re the only ones that actually lab test their dog food for health standards.” That feels like a very misleading and untrue statement now that these test results have come out and I see that it’s one of the most UNSAFE brands of food! I can’t believe I’ve been feeding her this food for so long. Jem was eating Blue for the first year of her life until we switched her because of her very stinky farts. Now I’m glad we switched her when we did! 


Test Results:

The tests conducted on the most popular dog food brands mentioned before indicate that many of these foods contain high levels of dangerous mycotoxins, nutrient concerns, bacterial contamination, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria that the FDA calls “Qualifying Pathogens.” None of these dog foods have ingredients from China, but they do have ingredients from other countries outside of North America. 

The Hill’s Prescription C/D Urinary Tract health canned dog food that my vet suggested was the safest, laboratory tested dog food option for Zoey tested to contain 7.72% calcium which is almost three times the legal limit of calcium allowed in adult dog food (AAFCO maximum is 2.5%). The Mycotoxin Risk Equivalent Rating was 16 (20 being High Risk), and it contained several bacteria including two bacteria that the FDA calls “Qualifying Pathogens” that pose a “serious threat to public health.” 

Now What Do We Do?

Thixton believes that consumers’ trust in pet food and the regulatory agencies responsible for “testing” these foods is rapidly declining and I believe she is right. I know my trust in them is completely gone after seeing these results. She explains that “it is truly sad that consumers found the many risks in pet food they did. Now we can hope – with this scientific evidence – that authorities will finally listen to the many complaints of consumers and make pet food safe. Not only for the pets, but for the pet people too.”

1. Find A Food That Is Lab Tested and Proven Safe:

Thixton created a list of the safe pet foods from her studies and lab tests that can be purchased for a small donation. What’s crazy and surprising about this list is that there are only 20 dog foods that make the “healthy” list, and NONE of them can be purchased in big box pet stores. They are only available at independent pet food stores, online pet food stores, or purchased directly from the manufacturer. That really makes you think about the integrity of the big box stores and makes me wonder why they are only making unsafe dog foods available for us to purchase and none of the healthy options are on the shelves!

We love to support small businesses any chance that we can since we are a small business ourselves, and this was the third strike for the big box pet stores like PetSmart where I have been buying Zoey’s C/D Urinary Tract food. I will definitely not be buying any more food or other items from big box pet stores after learning that they don’t sell any healthy of the healthy pet food brands. I’m happy to support the small businesses who are morally selling nutritious food.  

2. Feed Your Pet A Homemade Diet Using Balanced Recipes:

The other thing included in Thixton’s list that really excites me is the two homemade dog and cat food recipes! I’m so thrilled to use these recipes and rest assured that I’m providing Zoey and Jem a healthy, organic, homemade diet.

3. Speak Up To Make A Change:

Thixton also encourages us to make a change by sending letters to our representatives in Washington D.C. She only asks that we don’t send petitions – only letters: “No petitions (please) – representatives in government need to receive hundreds of thousands of personal messages directly from pet food consumers demanding change,” she explains. You can simply go to your state government website for the information on how to contact your representatives. She even created a sample letter for you to send without having to do any of the work! 

Sample Letter to Send to Representatives:

Consumers recently raised the funds to test 12 of the most widely-purchased brands of pet foods sold in the U.S. and Canada. What was found in this consumer funded testing were violations of pet food regulations (nutrient imbalances), dangerously high levels of mold (mycotoxins), and very concerning bacterial contamination (bacteria determined by the FDA and CDC to be antibiotic-resistant).

Consumers pay an estimated $1 billion dollars a year to states in sales tax revenue (for pet food purchases alone). Please explain to me what consumers are getting in return for that revenue?

Pet food consumers have been complaining about the condition of pet food since the 2007 pet food recall, complaints have fallen on deaf ears. For more than seven years consumers have waited on FDA to find the lethal contaminant of Chinese jerky treats – FDA has provided us nothing. In 2007 Congress told FDA to establish pet food ingredient standards and definitions, processing standards of pet food and provide updated standards for the labeling of pet food. This work was required – by Congress – to be completed by September 2009. More than five years after the deadline – consumers still wait for the FDA. I ask you, how much longer should consumers wait for safe pet food?

Testing of pet food that should have been performed by tax dollar supported regulatory authorities was done by consumers. Now, consumers – myself – are asking you Why? How? could pet food pose such a serious risk to the pets that consume it and the humans that handle it?

Please read every page of our Pet Food Test Report – you can do that here:

I await your response on this very concerning issue.


[your name]


Thank You For Listening

I hope this post helped open your eyes to how misleading dog food companies and big box retailers are when they claim their food is wholesome and healthy for our pets. We really can’t trust their marketing terms like “natural, no preservatives, non GMO, etc.” because they negate the tried and true results from the tests in the lab. Food is what fuels our bodies and our pets’ little bodies, and it’s so important that we are knowledgeable about what we are feeding them because they depend on us whole heartedly. For the full report and findings from these lab tests click here.


Organic Homemade Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Banana Flaxseed Dog Treats

Our family has become dedicated to eating only organic food (whenever possible) because organic food tastes better, has more nutrients, and is free of GMO’s, poisonous chemicals, fillers, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and arsenic in meats. Just to name a few. My dad Larry who started 24 years ago alongside my mom Lori, recently wrote an article on our website about how “natural” pet food and treats that you see in stores are not truly the wholesome natural ingredients we are expecting them to be. It is more of a marketing term used to get us to buy the product without any guidelines or restrictions required by any agency for using the term “natural.” Scary right?!

Our family wants to know exactly what we’re eating and we feel the exact same way about our dogs. They’re part of the family! We don’t feel right giving them food and treats without knowing specifically what the ingredients are, how to pronounce them, and that they are completely safe and healthy to keep our loyal pups thriving for many years.

That’s how we determined it’s much safer, simpler, and actually CHEAPER to make dog treats at home! And they LOVE how they taste. They turn their noses up at the store-bought treats now and go crazy over the homemade ones. Makes you think twice about what’s in them now doesn’t it?

Organic Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Banana Flaxseed Dog Treats
Yields 25
Super quick, easy, and healthy treats your dog will beg for!
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1/4 C Coconut Flour
  2. 1/2 Banana - Mashed
  3. 1/3 C Peanut Butter
  4. 2 Tb Flaxseed Meal
  5. 1/4 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with a spatula
  3. Flour the counter with coconut flour and roll out the dough about 1/4in thick. (The thicker the dough the chewier the treat!)
  4. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. I used a dog bone!
  5. Place treats on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes for a little bit of a crunch. Bake less for chewy treats.
I used all organic ingredients to make these treats
  1. Bob's Red Mill brand organic coconut flour and flaxseed meal
  2. Organic banana
  3. Smucker's brand organic creamy peanut butter
  4. Silk brand organic unsweetened almond milk
Adapted from Lola The Pitty
Adapted from Lola The Pitty Blog
We included flaxseed because it’s great for dogs. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids to help with your pup’s skin and coat. I chose to bake my treats for 15 minutes because my dogs love a treat that is still kind of soft and chewy rather than crunchy. If your dog prefers a crunchy biscuit, you can bake yours for longer than 15 minutes.

Step 1: Find/Purchase Your Ingredients 

All organic ingredients!

We live in a small town, so it can be hard for us at times to find every ingredient we need organic. I was happy we were able to find organic ingredients for these homemade treats! If you struggle to find organic ingredients too, just do the best you can! If you can’t find organic peanut butter or almond milk, make sure the almond milk is unsweetened and the peanut butter you choose doesn’t have too much sugar or any unnatural sugars. Remember from our 12 foods your dog can’t have post, xylitol and unnatural sugars are toxic to dogs. 

Step 2: Measure and Mix Your Ingredients 

Very simple and easy!

This recipe couldn’t have been easier to throw together. With only 5 ingredients that mixed together beautifully, I was ready to roll out the dough and start making treats in no time at all!

Step 3: Roll The Dough and Make Your Shapes

Time to make them cute!

The only part of this recipe that will take any time (and it still isn’t much) is rolling out the dough and cutting out the shapes. I purposefully made the recipe smaller so this tedious part wouldn’t take very long and you only have to dirty one or two baking sheets. After all, those pups are standing at your feet drooling and ready for their treats to be ready now! You can easily double or triple the recipe if you’re feeling frisky and have the time to cut more shapes out. 

Step 4: Bake, Let Cool, and Enjoy!

By the time these were about to come out of the oven, my dogs could barely stand it anymore. They were drooling at the smell of them and couldn’t stop jumping up at me taking them out of the oven. I was even getting a rumble in my tummy at the smell of these fresh baked treats – after all, they are made completely of yummy “human” ingredients. And if you’re wondering if I tried them myself, of course! My philosophy is my dogs shouldn’t be eating a treat I would not be willing to try myself. I can personally give a review that they were incredible! No wonder they went crazy over them…

Laci was first to try!

Laci, my sister’s new puppy, was the first out of the gate to stampede over to the treat jar and have a taste.

Look out Laci - You have company!

Of course her puppy spunk allowed her to outrun middle-aged Zoey, but Zoey was right behind licking her chops ready to try them.

Once Zoey got a taste of one, she was hooked! I’ve never seen my picky eater love a treat this much and I felt a great sense of accomplishment that something I made for her in my own kitchen was her new favorite snack.

You can’t hide anything from Jem… that hound nose sniffed these treats out so quick! I think her mouth was a few steps ahead of her nose because she didn’t even stop to investigate these treats before she dug right in.  

I’m so happy that I decided to work on my goal to make dog treats because it has been on my list for months now. There’s always a million excuses why I don’t have enough time or the resources to make homemade treats for the dogs. But once I decided to do it, it couldn’t have been easier or quicker, and it was so worth it! The only time consuming part of making your own dog treats is sifting through the thousands of recipes and trying to find one that has only healthy ingredients, but I’ve done the work for you! We will be doing our best to deliver homemade dog treat recipes to you each and every week, so subscribe or keep checking back with us to find your weekly recipes!  You will be surprised how quick they are to make and feel proud that you made your dogs so happy and healthy. 


This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Lola The Pitty.  She used regular flour but we chose to substitute with coconut flour for a grain/gluten-free option. If you substitute coconut flour for regular flour in your recipes, you only need 1/4 C of coconut flour for every 1 C of regular flour. Even more incentive to use coconut flour!