Easy Homemade Salmon Dog Treats

Easy homemade salmon dog treat recipe

This easy homemade salmon dog treat recipe is about as simple (and smelly!) as they get. These “stinky pinky” salmon dog treats are super simple to make and doggone delicious! Delicious stinky fish treats are irresistible to our boys. Here’s the recipe plus details on how we make our mini circle training treats.


Yum! Our dogs love fish treats in all forms. To them, the strong smell is simply irresistible.  For human bakers, you might like to do your stinky treat baking on a day when you can open a window or two. Hehehe… As a helpful tip for coffee drinkers, you can pop some spend grounds on the baking tray and put it back into the oven when your done to help clear the air. Once cool, they’re still good-to go for normal disposal, including your worm farm or compost if you like using coffee grounds in the garden.

Dalmatian dog sniffing a homemade pink heart salmon dog treat

Making Mini Dog Training Treats with Plunger Cutters

Cutting tiny treats used to be an absolute pain to the point of being prohibitive until I discovered the secret superpower of my little plunger cutters. Now I can quickly and easily make lots of tiny biscuits. As a bonus, the small circle shape holds up well even in pocket treat bags or my running wristlet. Using a nice solid biscuit dough helps, and preferable something smelly and delicious, of course! The treat bags pictured in this post are homemade drawstring bags, and in the years since I’ve made new pocket dog treat bags with waterproof liners. Handy for wet walkies in our New Zealand weather.

You can buy similar plunger cookie/fondant cutters from baking supply stores, in the baking and cake decoration section of large craft stores, on from an online retailer. They’re usually inexpensive and may be individual or part of a set. Shop around for a size you like at a good price. Check out the plunger cutters on Amazon (affiliate link) for product examples and ideas. See our simple shortcuts for making baked dog treats in any size for more ideas.

Using a mini circle plunger cookie cutter to make tiny dog treats in bulk

Pepping Up the Pink in Our Salmon Dog Treats

Although our tinned salmon is naturally a pale pink, by the tine it’s made into dough and treats it’s more of a beige. Since I had the nickname stinky pinky for these treats on the brain whilst baking, I added some beetroot powder to the mixture to pep up the pink. Totally optional, of course!  See our dog treat tinting post for other ideas and tips. Being pink, I couldn’t help making a few big (stink-iliciously smelly) love hearts along with my mini circles.

Easy homemade salmon dog treats cut as small training treats

Simple Salmon Dog Treat Recipe

Easy Homemade High Value Salmon Dog Treats 

Treat Ingredients:

  • 1 large tin of water-packed salmon (my tin was 210g)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax or LSA
  • Optional: 1-2 tbsp dried parsley or other dog-friendly herbs 
  • Optional: Beetroot powder or alternative tint for extra pinkness 
  • Approximately 2/3 cups of brown rice flour, plus additional flour for rolling

These treats were made with tinned water-packed salmon. You can use most water-packed tinned fish relatively interchangeably in dog treat recipes, including tuna or sardines. Even within the same fish family, moisture content can vary and tins may be slightly different sizes. You can compensate for this with a little extra water or flour when you are mixing the dough to your desired consistency.

Making the Treats:

  • Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials.
  • Puree the salmon (undrained – include the packing liquid) in a food processor or similar. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Add ground flax and optional herbs. Stir to combine.
  • Incrementally add flour to form a nice firm workable dough. Tinned salmon can vary quite a bit in consistency and in liquid content, so working incrementally is important. You may need to 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 (less if you’re making tiny treats, like our circles). Keep an eye on your cooking time – the smaller the treat, the shorter the baking time. For a crunchier treat, you can let baked treats sit a while in the cooling oven before removing to get a little crispier or pop the baked treats into a dehydrator.
  • Allow to cool before storage and serving.
Dalmatian dog eating homemade dog treats

Taste Test Cat Crasher

Even Tiger was keen for a sniff of these stinky pinky salmon dog treats. The picky old lad isn’t interested in most homemade snacks beyond a passing sniff though, with the exceptions of cooled bone broth and homemade jerky. If you have a feline in the furfamily, you can check out Tiger’s post on crafts and DIYs for cool kitties for more ideas and recipe links.

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 ingredients, options and substitutions, temperatures, etc. are all part of why we work incrementally when mixing. 
  • Resting the dough is optional, but it allows better ingredient hydration and helps to improve 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. 
  • As a caution for our Dal pals, many fish including salmon and tuna, are higher purine proteins. Moderation is extra important. If you have a known issue with stones, then you might want to pass on the fishes, no matter how delicious. See our post on the Dalmatian diet and purine problems for more information and handy links. 
Dalmatian dog sniffing a homemade pink heart salmon dog treat

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.

Easy homemade salmon dog treat recipe

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