Monday, 2 March 2020
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{RECIPE} Cucumber Salmon Dog Treats

Homemade cucumber and salmon baked dog treats shaped like bones

These homemade dog treats are based on the classic combination of salmon and cucumber, and get a bonus boost of naturally green colour from spirulina powder, just for fun. They'd be just as doggone delicious in their natural greige colour, but I couldn't resist going green for the cucumber treats.

Do your dogs have any unexpected food interests? Oli and Humphrey share many common interests, but when it comes to dog-friendly fruits and veggies, they have some decidedly different favourites. Oli is a fruit fanatic and Humphrey is crazy about crunchy vegetables. The little rascal will come running at first sniff of carrots being harvested from the garden or prepped in the kitchen. When he sat next to me looking exceedingly hopeful as I sliced fresh cucumbers, I gave him a slice expecting he'd taste and spit it out as a reject, but he crunched it down and was begging for another. He's been hooked ever since. If your dog enjoys the taste, like Humphrey, cucumber can be shared as a refreshing low-calorie treat in moderation and cut to safe sizes for snacking. 

Fun fact: Did you know that cucumbers aren't actually a vegetable? They and their curcubit cousins (pumpkin, zucchini, squash, melons,, etc.) are actually fruits. Botanically, fruits develop from the flowers of plants and contain their seeds. 

Whilst shredding some of our wild excess of garden cucumbers earlier this summer for freezing, I decided to give the classic combination of salmon and cucumber a whirl in baked dog treat form, especially for Humphrey. Even Oli agreed that these were pretty doggone irresistible, but then again, salmon always is around here!

Dalmatian dogs begging for homemade cucumber salmon dog treats

Cucumbers, like many other shredded fruits and veggies, can add moisture, nutrition, and additional binding to baked goodies, including homemade dog treats like these. If the cucumber is seedy, like mine, removing the seeds can be helpful for getting a smooth dough texture. Pre-chopping or shredding (I shredded) allows you to moderate moisture from overly juicy cucumbers and use it in baking similar to zucchini, although you could also include some of the juice and reduce/omit the stock (or add more flour). 

Pureeing ingredients in food processor for homemade cucumber salmon dog treats

{RECIPE} Cucumber Salmon Dog Treats 


🥄 Treat Ingredients:

1 cup of roughly shredded/chopped cucumber
1 small tin of water-packed salmon (my tin was 95g)
1/4 cup unseasoned broth or alternative dog-safe liquid
1 egg
2 tbsp ground flax/LSA
1 tsp spirulina powder (optional for colour)
Approximately 2 cups of brown rice flour, plus additional flour for rolling

🥄 Making the Treats: 

Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials.

Combine the prepared cucumber, salmon (undrained), and broth in a food processor or similar. Puree thoroughly.  Transfer to a mixing bowl. 

Combine the puree and all remaining ingredients except for the flour. Mix thoroughly, then incrementally add flour to form a nice firm workable dough. Cucumbers and tinned salmon can both vary quite a bit in consistency and in liquid content, so working incrementally is important. You may need to use use less/more flour to adjust consistency depending on your specific ingredients. Overshoot? No worries! You can add a bit of water (or a touch of olive oil) if you find the mix a bit too dry when you are ready to roll.  

Rest dough (optional but recommended). Roll, cut to shape, and place on a prepared baking sheet.   

Bake at 180C for approximately 10-15 minutes. I dehydrated mine after baking, but this is optional depending on your preference for a soft cookie-style treat vs. a crunchier biscuit. Allow to cool before storage and serving.

Step-by-step how to make cucumber salmon dog treats


Tips and Tricks

  • New to treat baking? Check out our introduction to making baked dog treats for more information about baked biscuit/cookie style dog treats, including common ingredients, their role in baking, troubleshooting problems, and more.
  • Variations in measurements, individual ingredient types, and options/substitutions as well as variations ingredient/ambient temperatures, etc. are all  part of why we like to work incrementally when mixing. 
  • My stock is simple unseasoned broth saved from preparing homemade dog food. It can be hard to source ready-made unsalted and unseasoned stock, but the treats can be made with an alternative liquid if you wish, including plain water. 
  • Flax (or LSA) is a healthy binding add-in for enhancing dough consistency. This can be useful when working with gluten free flours in dog treat dough. It's pretty doggone healthy, too!  
  • As noted in thr introductions, adding a tint is completely optional. Check out our spirulina gummies for more about spirulina and our dog treat tinting post for other ideas and tips.
  • Resting the dough is optional, but helps with the texture/handling of gluten-free baking dough. I like to rest briefly, then knead a little before final rolling and ensure it is well mixed. 
  • Treats can be broken for smaller dogs, made bigger/smaller, or you can substitute simple balls for roll-and-cut treats. Keep an eye on your cooking time - the smaller the cookie, the shorter the baking time.
  • If you like a crunch treat instead of a cookie, with these and any baked treat, you can let them sit a while in the cooling oven before removing to get a little crispier or use a dehydrator and dry into a cracker-like crunchy biscuit. 
  • Homemade dog treats are best consumed within a couple of days from baking or frozen for longer storage. For more information, see our post on the shelf-life and storage of homemade baked dog treats.


🦴 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.

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