These homemade pink and white puzzle heart baked biscuit Valentine’s day dog treats were naturally tinted with beetroot powder for a yummy pretty pink. They’re super cute and easy, too! You can use one of our recipes or your own favourite dough. See the post for tips on selecting a dough, tinting, making and baking your own puzzle heart Valentines, for people or for pets!
Selecting a Dog Treat Dough for Puzzle Heart Treats
Dogs and Colour
Contrary to what many people believe, dogs are not colour blind. They just see colours (and more) quite differently than people. Check out our post on dog vision vs. human vision for details and side-by-side photo examples. Still, our pups don’t really care about colourful or pretty treats, just their delicious scents and flavours. But we humans can have a little fun when making and sharing treats. Fun with shapes and colours for me, doggone delicious homemade goodies for the boys. Pretty? Yummy? Pretty yummy!
Choosing a Base Dough
For shaped treats, you’ll need a roll-and-cut recipe. Not all doughs work for rolling and cutting into shapes due to texture or chunky add-ins. Pick something with a low spread and/or chill before baking to help your hearts hold shape. If your dough expands during baking, the puzzle pieces won’t fit together. Not that the dogs will care!
If you’re adding colour, tinted puzzle heart dog treats like the ones here can be made using a pale roll-and-cut dog treat dough. The lighter the dough, the easier it will be to tint true colours, but you can also use coloured base doughs with different tints in the same way as you would mix colours when painting. Aiming for white is tricky. Many of our favourite doughs are naturally coloured by their base ingredients. For those that aren’t, very few white (or whitish) binders will stay white when baked. As I often say, learn to embrace a little beige. It will make baking options easier and the dogs won’t mind at all. Pawfect!
Choosing Tinting Colours and Ingredients
Any dog-friendly tints can be used to make coloured dough, but don’t forget the important elements of flavour and scent when choosing a recipe and mixing different colouring add-in ingredients. You can read more in our post on using natural food colourings for dog treats.
Our Puzzle Heart Valentine’s Day Dog Treats
The homemade puzzle heart dog treats pictured in this post use a pale white-ish dough, divided. Half was left white and the other half was coloured using beetroot powder. Beetroot powder is a powerhouse when it comes to natural colouring. A little goes a long way and it holds it’s colour well when baked, unlike some natural tints. It’s one of my go-to colouring ingredients, and a favourite for pinks and reds.
For the pictured treats, I used our milk powder dog treat dough recipe with the wheatgrass/kale swapped for beetroot powder. I used around 1/2 tsp of beetroot powder for the pink half of my treats. If I was making these again, I think I might use our apple cinnamon dog treat recipe instead, since those scents are so doggone irresistible. They hearts would also be fab with one half made using dog-friendly carob. See our post about using natural food colourings for dog treats for more ideas and tips.
Baking Puzzle Hearts for People Instead of Pets
Although our posts are for pups, many of our dog treat decorating ideas can be easily adapted for human treats instead. To make puzzle heart valentines for people, swap your dog treat dough for a roll and cut cookie dough. Just like not all doggy doughs suit rolling, some cookie doughs are better for spooned or ball and flatten treats. If you’re tinting, a rollable shortbread or sugar cookie dough could be a good neutral base for colouring. Pick something with a low spread and/or chill before baking to help your hearts hold shape. If your dough expands during baking, the cookie pieces won’t fit together.
Making the Puzzle Heart Dog Treats
Cookie Cutter Options
To make puzzle heart dog treats (or people treats) like the ones pictured here, you’ll either need a special cookie cutter, or a heart shaped cookie cutter and a little patience. These treats were made using our new puzzle heart cookie cutter (a Christmas gift from Santa Paws). Try specialist baking shops or large online retailers like AliExpress or Amazon. You can check out the puzzle heart cookie cutters on Amazon (affiliate link) for product examples and ideas.
If you don’t have a puzzle heart cookie cutter, you can use a knife to hand cut a standard heart into two puzzle piece halves. This will be much easier to do with a single dough, since matching hand-cut halves would be very tricky. You won’t be able to easily create the half pink and half white puzzle heart look shown here. If you’re keen to try, I’d suggest making a paper tracing template to make your hand cut puzzle shaped heart halves more consistent.
You can also check out our hand stamped mosaic puzzle dog treats for different take on puzzle treats. It works with any colour of dough and all sorts of different cookie cutter shapes.
Coloured Puzzle Heart Halves
Roll your two doughs separately and cut into desired shapes. If you’re using a puzzle heart cookie cutter like the treats shown and want a consistent left/right colour combination, use one side of the cutter for each dough. Extra dough can be cut into other shapes, like my go-to mini circle plunger, or simply rolled into balls and gently flattened with a fork.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can use the category and tag labels to find other recipes that might be of interest or use our internal search tools to find something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. 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.