Monday, 16 July 2018
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{RECIPE} Super Simple DIY Dog Treats Using Coconut Oil

Paw shaped coconut oil dog treat and pink silicon paw print mold

If you're into supplementing your dogs with coconut oil, here are two of the doggone easiest ways to turn that supplement into treats.  Like my love of gelatin gummies, coconut oil based treats are low-guilt treat in our house, turning dietary supplements into occasional small treats. Win win! I find making simple refrigerated coconut oil treats particularly handy in summer time when coconut oil has a tendency to be liquid at cupboard temperature in many homes (our place included).

Coconut oil is almost exclusively fat and so it requires careful consideration of suitability and moderation for pet (or human) diets; however, it can potentially be beneficial for energy, metabolism, digestion, mobility, skin/coat, and other health factors, which is why we give our dogs in small quantities. Perhaps more often, I also use it topically on the dogs to sooth dry or sore spots (and on myself too).  Looking for more info? Check this Dogs Naturally article on the potential health benefits of coconut oil for dogs.  

Coconut oil is used in some of our treat recipes, such as helping to create truffle treats that hold firm when refrigerated or allowing us to create fancy special occasion dog "chocolates" with less reliance on the (often sweetened) ready-made carob or yogurt melts.  It's also great for pairing with turmeric, as we shared in Oli's golden oldie birthday recipe adaptations.  For a super simple option; however, our dogs enjoy coconut oil straight up!  Sure, you can spoon a little on their food; however, why waste an opportunity to isolate a treat? If you want to consolidate feeding, you can still give it back-to-back. Mouth cleansing dessert? Yes, please!  Our dogs really seem to like the scent and will lick it straight from a spoon, but setting it in molded treats is super simple to do and makes sharing easy and fun.

Dalmatian dog begging for coconut oil dog treat

To make your own plain coconut oil treats: melt coconut oil to room temperature, pour into molds (ensure the size is suitable for your pet), and refrigerate until completely set before removing from molds. Store refrigerated as coconut oil will soften or melt at ambient temperatures.

Peanut butter and coconut oil dog treat shaped like a bones with purple silicon bone mold

To make your own peanut butter and coconut oil treats: For a little extra scent and flavour, a fat soluble add-in is the simplest option. A small quantity (just a touch - the coconut oil is rich enough as-is) of peanut butter melted into the mix is an easy option. 

Tips and Tricks:
  • Flexible silicone molds or ice-cube trays work great for making fun little shaped treats.  If you want a precise measure of a specific mold's capacity, you can do a test pour from a measuring cup of water to measure the volume required to fill your tray. Volumes are very easily scaled, and you can customise the type and amount of flavour add-ins to suit your pet. 
  • Be mindful of treat size/consumption relative to your pet's size and any other individual factors. I give my dogs small quantities of coconut oil (often with turmeric as they boost the benefits) on a regular basis, but always in moderated portions.  
  • Go natural or take care when when shopping to avoid artificial sweeteners in ingredients peanut butter when used for your dogs - xylitol (E967) is particularly dangerous for dogs.
  • These treats should be kept refrigerated or frozen as coconut oil will soften and may melt at warmer room temperatures. They can be eaten from frozen too, if your dogs like icy treats.  
  • See our comprehensive post on making and storing homemade frozen and chilled dog treats for additional information.

🦴 Hungry for more tasty treats?  You can explore from our treat navigation page, hop straight into our homemade dog treat ideas in the blog archives, search the blog from our sidebar, or use the labels below this post to find other recipes that might be of interest. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas here from treats that we make ourselves for our pets, but different animals will have different preferences (likes/dislikes) and dietary needs. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what's suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.

Dalmatian dog eating peanut butter coconut oil dog treat

2 comments:

  1. Hey! Lovely blog and awesome contents:) I was wondering if you have used agar agar powder instead of gelatin powder. And what are your thoughts on it?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I've never used agar agar as a gelatin substitute for dog treats, since I started making the gummies as a way to give the dogs gelatin for its heath benefits. It's been so good for our boys!

      Agar agar is purportedly pet safe and is used in some canned foods, but I wouldn't be actively looking to add it through treats. I'd suggest going with healthy gelatin or try a different type of treat. :) If you're making human gummies, vegan/vegetarian recipe sites should have some fun ideas.
      The process for getting agar agar to gel is different (needs to be brought to a boil, quantities for setting differ, etc) so gelatin gummy recipes can't be directly substituted.

      Hope that helps!

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