These pawesome paw print dog treats combine the yummy tastes of pumpkin with healthy herbs and irresistible cheese. Here’s our easy pumpkin dog treat recipe for cute little pumpkin and herb puppy paws, plus variations for pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, pumpkin bacon, and more. The pumpkin dough is an easy base for mixing different seasonings and add-ins for other pumpkin treats. Your imagination is the limit!
Tidying Up Our Treat Archives
As a heads up, the pictures you see here may differ from old round-ups, links, and pins. This recipe post consolidates information from several old posts as part of tidying up our treat archives and posts during the transition to our new blog format. They’re still the same doggone delicious ideas, but grouped in a common post to reduce overlap and make things (hopefully) easier for our visitors and readers navigating around the blog. See the end of the post for shape and flavour variations. Woofs!
Pumpkin and Herb Puppy Paw Print Dog Treat Recipe
Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats with Rosemary and Cheese
If used as a roll and cut treat dough, this recipe works better if you use simple shapes. The chunky rosemary and/or shreds of cheese can make things a little ragged when cutting. A solid simple shape, like the base circle for these puppy paw treats, works nicely. You can also use it with one of our simple shortcuts for making dog treats in bulk small shapes instead. Easy peasy!
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup dog-safe pumpkin baby food (I used one small jar, measured to 1/2 cup)
- 2 tbsp trim milk powder
- 2 tbsp ground flax or LSA
- Optional: 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- Optional: 1 tbsp turmeric powder for colour (and scent/flavour) with a sprinkle of black pepper
- Approximately 1 + 1/4 to 1 +1/2 cups of brown rice flour, plus extra for rolling
- Optional: 1/4 cup of finely grated cheese
My treats were made with pumpkin baby food (see our tips and tricks at the end of the post for substitutions). I used pumpkin and beef over plain pumpkin to make the treats extra doggone tempting. They can also be made using other non-pumpkin based dog-safe baby food flavours.
Making the Treats:
- Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials.
- Combine the egg, pumpkin baby food, milk powder, flax, and any optional seasonings in a mixing bowl.
- Incrementally add flour, mixing into a cohesive workable dough. The amount of flour required will vary depending on your individual ingredients and any optional add-ins or substitutions. Missed the mark? No worries! You can add a little bit of extra liquid, a small amount of olive oil, or additional flour to adjust consistency if/as needed.
- Rest dough (optional but recommended).
- Add the cheese (optional) and then lightly knead the rested dough to incorporate before rolling.
- Roll, cut into desired shapes, and place on a prepared baking pan. See below for how we shaped our pictured pumpkin puppy paw dog treats.
- Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary with shape/size, so keep an eye on the oven.
- Cool before serving and storage.
Optional: Making Hand Stamped Puppy Paw Treats
The paw prints on the pictured treats were made using a few simple kitchen tools as substitute stamps: a heart shaped mini plunger cutter for the main pad of the paw, a circle mini plunger cutter for the digital pads, and the end of a chopstick to further indent the digits. You can create a similar design with other kitchen tools or similar substitute items (make sure they are clean and food safe), or even freestyle some simple pawprints with your fingertips if you’d like. The dogs absolutely don’t care what their treats look like, only us crazy humans!
Alternative Seasoning Ideas: Meaty Add-Ins
For a flavour twist, this savoury treat recipe works great with other doggone delicious ingredients added to the base dough for extra scent and flavour, like finely chopped cooked meat. Note that these may affect the appearance and/or cutting characteristics, though. Choose with care. Larger bits or chunks can make it difficult to roll and/or cut tidy shapes. Finely chopped or pureed cooked bacon, chicken, or beef are favourites for our boys, when they’re lucky enough that I have some on hand.
The Bacon Bone Dog Treats with Pumpkin and Herbs pictured below below swap the cheese for 2-3 strips of well-cooked cooled bacon, very finely chopped. Although they’d still be doggone delicious with rosemary, I swapped it for dried parsley and dog-safe blended Italian herbs for less chunky add-ins when cutting the smaller bones. The rest of the recipe and prep is the same as the puppy paws. Bacon is a rare thing for my poor deprived dogs (I’m vegetarian), so when there was bacon for one of my husband’s grilling recipes, how could I not take a little and make a few special dog treats? Oli was still very vision-impaired in his cataract surgery recovery, but he could definitely smell the doggone delicious scents of sizzling bacon, baking treats, and …sniff sniff sniff…. taste testing!
Alternative Seasoning Ideas: Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats
As a different flavour twist, you can swap the savoury add-ins to take the scent and flavour in a totally different direction. The base pumpkin dough is perfect for making a pumpkin spice or pumpkin pie inspired treat dough instead.
The Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats (Puppy Pupkin Leaves) pictured below drop the cheese and rosemary, and use a tsp of each Ceylon cinnamon and ground ginger instead for a fabulous fall flavour and scent. They’re the same yummy go-to spices that we’ve used in other autumn treats like our pumpkin pie gelatin gummies and pumpkin spice latte gummy dog treats. We’re big pumpkin fans in any season, and I have to say that these tasty treats smell downright divine. It’s great for playing with your autumn cookie cutters or baking a special Thanksgiving treat for holiday sharing. I actually revisited this dough (with add-ins as noted below) as the dough for our demo on how to make pumpkin pie shaped baked dog treats. It was pawfect!
As a side note from the kitchen, I didn’t use the milk powder and flax when I baked the pictured autumn leaf pumpkin spice dog treats, and I totally regretted adjusting the recipe. If I was baking these again, I would probably include a few tablespoons of trim milk powder (pumpkin spice latte cookies, anyone?). Alternatively (or with the milk powder), I might also use another binding helper, like the ground flax or some gelatin powder. Soft baby food doughs (and many other low-fat and/or gluten free doggy doughs) benefit from extra binding for handling and texture after baking.
Additional Treat Making Tips and Tricks
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. We like to bake small batch treats though (variety is the spice of life!) and you can multiply our recipes if you’d like to big batch bake for frozen storage or to share with furfriends.
- 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.
- Always check your ingredients to ensure the contents are dog-safe if using baby food.
- In addition to richness and nutrition, milk powder helps to enhance dough consistency and I find it also creates a slightly firmer/crisper baked result. If you’d like a richer dough or crisper finish, you can increase this recipe from 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup of milk powder. Note that (somewhat counter intuitively) when milk powder is added to dough, it also usually takes on slightly more flour.
- Not into dairy? Coconut and goat’s milk powder are also available in our grocery stores as potential substitutes, or you can adjust the recipe to omit the milk powder. Ditto for the cheese.
- Flax is a healthy binding add-in for enhancing dough consistency. This can be useful when working with gluten free flours in dog treat dough, and handling consistency is particularly helpful when working with shapes and cutters.
- 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.
Pumpkin Dog Treat Recipe Substitutions and Swaps
If it is sold in your area, canned pumpkin puree (plain pumpkin, not a spiced or sweetened pie filling) can be used. Canned pumpkin isn’t common down here (although goodness knows why) so sometimes I use pumpkin baby food instead when baking treats. You can also make these with homemade pumpkin puree. As liquid content will vary, you may need to play around with the flour quantity to get a nice workable consistency.
When I use my own homemade pumpkin, it has a very different consistency and baking qualities in a biscuit compared to the baby food. It isn’t a direct swap. If you’d like a ready to roll (literally) recipe using cooked pumpkin puree, see our pumpkin and salmon dog treat recipe for a simple (and irresistible!) recipe with cooked pumpkin or check out our pumpkin and peanut butter treats.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can also use the category and tag labels above/ below this post 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.