Happy almost howlidays, furfriends! Today’s post shows how to bake a segmented dog treat bar, as well as DIY wrapping. These homemade dog treat bars would be pawesome for little homemade Christmas presents, party favours, or other special gifts for furfriends and their owners.
Cute and Convenient DIY Dog Treat Bars
Segmented homemade dog treat bars are a great way to make cute and convenient homemade treats that don’t require rolling and cutting. Cutting a pan of treat dough is a quick and simple option for making bite-sized dog treats in bulk. These bars are a slightly cuter take on the same concept.
Like a candy bar, the scoring lines on our homemade dog treat bars are only partial thickness. The treat bars stay whole until broken apart for easy bite sized serving. They can be frozen and defrosted for personal use (the bar shapes stack great in containers) or wrapped for gifting. Wrapping does double duty here, creating homemade dog treat gifts that don’t require jars, containers, or bags.
Making Homemade Dog Treat Bars
Choosing a Treat Dough Recipe
Almost any favourite biscuit or cookie style dog treat dough can be used to make homemade dog treat bars. Roll and cut doughs have the best consistency for shaping, even if you don’t need to roll and cut these bars. For the best results, choose a recipe that has a thick and firm handing consistency, bakes firm, and doesn’t have any large chunky add-ins that may make shaping or segmenting difficult. For the pictured treats, I used a fruit and yogurt dough that included both gelatin and flax for a thick, fudgey dough. I also included finely shredded dry cooked chicken to make things extra irresistible.
Shaping the Dog Treat Dough into Segmented Bars
Once the dough is ready for shaping, it can be divided into bar sized portions (in whatever bar size you’d like to make). The bars are hand formed into rectangles, either on a non-stick mat or bakers paper for easy movement to the baking pan. Keep the bars reasonably thick to reduce the risk of breakage and/or cracking. I used the side of a butter knife to help with flattening and squaring my edges, and the flat back to indent score lines in the top of the bars.
Individually formed bars will look uniform, but you can also make a large sheet of dough, bulk cut into segments and separated into bars after baking. See our simple shortcuts for making baked dog treats in any size for details and a visual example. There may be rough edges where the bars are separated, the bars will otherwise look very similar.
Baking and Storing the Dog Treat Bars
The prepared treats can be baked according to your chosen recipes, noting that cooking time will vary depending on size and thickness. With most of my treats, I like to bake lightly and then dehydrate my baked treats. Totally optional, of course.
Once prepared and fully cooled, the treats can be wrapped for gifting or stored for later use. Shelf life depends on the treat recipe, how it was made (including whether it was dehydrated), and the storage conditions. Since homemade treats don’t use preservatives, much like human baked goods, they’re typically best consumed within a few days of baking, carefully stored, and/or frozen for longer-term storage. I freeze most of our treats. You can read more in our FAQs, Tips, and Tricks post about homemade baked dog treat shelf-life and storage.
Wrapping Dog Treat Bars as Holiday Gifts
As a fun option for gifting, bar shaped treats can be wrapped like candy bars. Depending on your chosen materials, this can help with self-life and storage as well as handling, and it’s also quick, cute, and inexpensive. You can buy (or make) specialised bar wrappers, including custom printed wrappers, but you can also use some readily available household supplies to DIY a cute wrap and size it to suit your treats.
DIY Dog Treat Bar Wrappers
Supplies and Materials
The materials and supplies used in making the treat bar wrappers as shown include:
- Foil or foil wrappers (inner wrapping)
- Patterned paper (outer wrapping)
- Paper cutter (optional)
- Tape or glue
- Ribbon (optional)
- Gift tags or punches for DIY gift tags (optional)
I used plain aluminium foil (reusable or recyclable in some areas, if clean) as my inner wrapper, but you can also buy special foil sheets through candy making suppliers or on line. These are a little easier to fold into prefect pretty shapes, but most are paper backed (not recyclable). The foil inner gives a classic candy bar look, but also seals the treat bar for better storage and handling.
Making the Wrappers
My inner wrappers are carefully folded aluminium fold, as noted above. My outer wrapper is holiday patterned paper. I used a scrapbook sheet, but not too thick so it’s easy to wrap and fold. It was cut to size and secured at the back with tape (or glue, if you prefer).
Making the Gift Tags
As an added touch, I used the off cuts with some of my paper punches to create matching tags and secured these with gold ribbon. Easy, portable, and cute. Prefer a printed tag? Check our archives for freebies, including mix-and-match labels and tags for dog treats and other presents.
Alternative Treat Bar Wrapping and Gifting Ideas
As lower waste options, the inner layer could be swapped for paper (similar look, but not as sealed), the inner layer can be omitted and the bar simple gift wrapped (in a recyclable paper), or you can swap the wrapping with a reusable food wrap. You could also tuck a bar (or several) into a gift bag, gift box, treat jar, treat bag, or other wrapping instead of individually wrapping like candy bars.
As much as my dogs love ripping up paper wrapping and boxes, we wouldn’t let them straight at a wrapped treat anyways, lest they try to bite right in to the treat wrapper included. Or eat the entire giant treat instead of a moderated portion. Eyes on the prize!
🚨 Safety first, furfriends! We recommend that the humans be in charge of safeguarding and unwrapping any tasty treats. That way, the treats can be shared in moderated portions and cheeky rascals can’t accidentally (or intentionally…) eat any of the wrapping. Celebrate safe. Woofs!