Did somebody say salmon? Cue the doggy drool! 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 baking these cucumber dog treats. Here’s the recipe and details on making our homemade cucumber and salmon dog treats.
Different Dogs, Different Palettes
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.
Did you know that cucumbers aren’t actually a vegetable? They and their curcubit cousins (pumpkin, zucchini, squash, melons, etc.) are technically fruits. Botanically, fruits develop from the flowers of plants and contain their seeds. Lots of vegetables fall into this classification. But don’t tell the dogs! Fruit-loving Oli would never believe me.
Cucumber Season in the Garden
As a little confession, I’m the veggie pusher of our neighbourhood. I grow too much of almost everything. That’s not a bad thing, but we are sometimes swimming in extra produce. 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!
Baking with Cucumber
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. After shredding, it’s easier to drain or squeeze out excess moisture. Then you can 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), the dogs say stock is way tastier than cucumber juice.
Cucumber and Salmon Dog Treat Recipe
Baked Cucumber and Salmon Dog Treats with Naturally Green Spirulina
The pictured treats were rolled and cut using a bone-shaped cookie cutter. It’s one of my favourites. Rolling dough can be used for simple flattened ball treats (I use a fork, just like making peanut butter cookies) or other quickie treat-making methods, if you prefer. See our simple shortcuts for making baked dog treats in any size for more ideas.
- 1 cup of roughly shredded/chopped cucumber, seeds removed
- 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 or LSA
- 1 tsp spirulina powder (optional for colour)
- Approximately 2 cups of brown rice flour, plus additional flour for rolling
Note that cucumber can vary significantly in moisture content, as mentioned in the section above about baking with cucumber. You may need to adjust your flour content. Working incrementally will be particularly important for this treat dough. See more below.
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.
- 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 and prep methods. 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. Keep an eye on your cooking time – the smaller the treat, the shorter the baking time. I dehydrated my treats after baking. This is optional depending on your preference for a soft cookie treat vs. a crunchier biscuit.
- Allow to cool before storage and serving.
Baked Biscuit Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- See our introduction to making homemade baked biscuit (cookie) dog treats for additional information on baked dog treats.
- We don’t include yield in our treat recipe posts because it is very dependent on what the maker decides for treat shape, size, and thickness when they’re baking.
- Homemade baked dog treats are best consumed within a couple of days from baking or frozen for longer storage. See our post on baked dog treat shelf life and storage for information and tips.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- Variations in measurements, individual ingredient types, and options and substitutions as well as variations in egg size, ingredient and ambient temperatures, etc. are all part of why we work incrementally when mixing.
- 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.
- My stock is simple unseasoned broth saved from preparing homemade dog food. The treats can be made with an alternative dog-friend liquid if you wish, including plain water. You can also omit the liquid and reduce the flour quantity for a denser treat.
- Adding a tint is completely optional. Check out our spirulina gummies for more about spirulina and dogs, and see our dog treat tinting post for other ideas and tips.
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.