Simple Shortcuts for Making Baked Dog Treats in Any Size

Dalmatian dog sniffing small homemade dog training treat

Need a helping paw in the kitchen? Here are our favourite simple shortcuts for making baked dog treats in any size. We’re showing you different quick and easy ways to cut and bake homemade dog treats with less muss, less fuss. Almost any roll and cut dog treat dough can be made into quick treats using these shortcuts, whether as a small batch or in bulk. Easy peasy! Let’s bake, furfriends!

Time for Treats

I’d love to bake my dog homemade treats, but I just don’t have the time… Sound familiar? As much as I love experimenting with recipes, playing with shapes, and creating pretty treats, I know it’s not for everyone. Sometimes even I’m hurried in the kitchen and need a shortcut or two.  And the good news is that there are lots of quick treat options and clever shortcuts for making homemade dog treats.

Fast Dog Treats

If you’re squeezed for time, baking isn’t the only option. Homemade gummy dog treats and frozen pupsicle dog treats are some of the quickest options for dog treats in terms of hands on prep time. We almost always have a batch of gummies in the fridge. Many dehydrated dog treats are relatively quick prep as well, although that prep is followed by lengthy hands-off dry time. Simple beef jerky dog treats are one of our personal favourites for carrying on walks. Jerky is easy to make and doggone irresistible. 

Faster Baked Biscuit Dog Treats

Baked dog treats can be fast as well, especially with a few tricks up your sleeve. This post shares some of our shortcuts and tips for those of you who want to bake dog treats but can’t be bothered with cutting shapes. Hand forming dough into bite-sized balls and flattening (like a mini peanut butter cookie dog treat) is always an easy alternative, but that takes time and might be a bigger or bulkier treat than you have in mind, especially for training treats. Looking for other quick ways to make homemade dog treats in your favourite serving size? Not to worry!  Dig into some of our favourite shortcuts for shaping and cutting dog treats.

New to dog treat baking? Check out our introduction to making homemade baked biscuit (cookie) style dog treats from the DIY dog treat FAQs, Tips, and Troubleshooting mini-series. Feeling fancy? Check out our overview on decorating baked dog treats for ideas. Woofs!

Dalmatian dog sniffing a small homemade dog treat

Dog Treat Recipes for Cutting Shapes

Cutting dog treats? Make sure you choose a suitable dough recipe. Whether you’re cutting shapes or using these shortcuts, our general tips for consistency are the same. Most types of roll and cut dog treat dough will work for these shortcut treats. Some non-rolling doughs may also work, but beware that they may be crumbly or have chunky add-ins that may affect cutting and/or cause crumbling in the baked treats. For all of the shortcuts below, preheat the oven and prepare your treat dough according to your chosen recipe. Then it’s time to take a shortcut or two for shaping or cutting quick and easy homemade dog treats!

Quickly Cutting Small Training Dog Treats

If you’re keen to bake biscuit-style dog treats but aren’t interested in making special shapes or decorating special treats, there are some really easy cheats and shortcuts that can be used instead. Here are some of my favourites. You can use these tricks for any size of homemade dog treat, but they’re particularly handy for quickly cutting small dog treats for training or carrying on walks.

Rolling and Cutting Dog Treat Dough into Tiny Treats

In this method, the treat dough is rolled on parchment or a reusable baking mat (take care not to nick your mat when cutting), transferred to a baking pan, and deeply scored. You can do this with a knife, but a rolling pasta/pastry wheel (affiliate link) or pizza cutter (affiliate link) makes cutting quick and tidy work.  Rolling the dough before cutting takes a little extra effort and clean-up, but I think it’s worth it for the uniform results. And really, its minimal mess since it’s just one big roll. See below for a no-roll alternative.

Cutting homemade dog treat dough into small training treats in bulk

Once baked, the treats can be cracked or re-cut along the score lines into smaller pieces. If you like to dehydrate your treats after baking and before storage, you can break the large sheet of treats into smaller portions and transfer them to the dehydrator. You can also crack into individual treats and dehydrate them into extra crunchy snacks. If making treats this way, I like to keep them in blocks though. They are super easy to stack and store. That’s helpful since I usually freeze dog treats for storage. The blocks are great for economising freezer space. If I want a few treats, I can remove a block for small quantity defrosting and use. Pawfact!

Using a pasta cutter to make small dog training treats in bulk

No-Roll Pressing and Cutting Dog Treat Dough into Tiny Treats

Prefer a shortcut with no rolling? No problem at all! In this method, we’re ditching all the tools. No rolling pin, just hands and dough and general kitchen tools. If I’m shortcutting, I prefer to roll as above (or ball and flatten), but the end results of the press and cut method are very similar to rolling. Just not quite as uniform. Let’s do a demo bake so you can see the method in action. In a prepared baking dish, break apart the dough and gently pat into big flat pancake. If your pan is larger than your desired thickness for volume of dough, simply pat the outside into a roughly even edge. Use a knife (or pizza cutter, pasta cutter, etc.) to cut lines into the dough to form small pieces. I’m using a knife for this demo to keep the baking tools as simple as possible. Note how the drag of the knife if pulled through the dough distorts the shape of the pieces compared to the wheel above (or more careful knife work).

Shortcut for making small dog treats without rolling dough or cutting shapes

Bake the treats, the remove from the oven, cool slightly and break or cut apart. The scoring lines make it easy to break apart the baked treats into even pieces.  Treats baked in a big sheet may hold more moisture during baking.  You can return the treats to the oven if you’d like to bake the pieces a little more like a doggy biscotti or transfer them to a dehydrator. 

Bite sized homemade dog treats

Homemade Dog Treat Bars

The above two methods are the fastest options in my treatmaking bag of tricks, but we have a few more quickish options to share. Sitting somewhere between the two methods above is one of my favourite shortcuts. If I’m making roll and cut dog treats, when I get to the end of the dough, I’ll often either ball and flatten the last of the dough or form it into a little bar. These look a lot like the broken segments of the rolled and cut treats shown above, just without the cut edges. I’ll shape the last of the dough into a rectangle, transfer the block to my baking sheet, and score it into small blocks. See our homemade Christmas dog treat bars for more details on shaping, as well as an example of using this technique to create super cute little homemade gift bars.

Homemade dog treat bars

Mini Plunger Cutter Dog Treats

This last tip for quickly cutting small dog treats in bulk is to use a miniature plunger cutter. This does require rolling the dough and individually cutting each treat, but a plunger makes it fast to cut and transfer tiny treats to the baking pan. Normal cookie cutters can be fiddly, especially tiny ones. Plungers do the work of popping out the treat dough as fast as you can cut it.  You can buy similar cutters from baking supply stores, in the baking and cake decoration section of large craft stores, on from an online retailer. Simple shapes are usually inexpensive (shop around), and may be sold individually or part of a set. My favourite small circles came as a set of different diameter plungers. Check out the plunger cutters on Amazon (affiliate link) for product examples and ideas.

Why circles? Well, we’re clearly fans of little dots at Dalmatian DIY, but these tiny dots are more than just cute. I have several different shapes of small plunger cutters, but the simple circles a favourite for small pocket-friendly treats. Rounded dog treats are less vulnerable to cracking and crumbling when carried in pocket treat bags or training pouches. Unlike square cuts, they don’t have any sharp corners to catch or crumble. I also have some tiny flower plungers with rounded petals that seem to hold up nicely.

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

Hungry for more tasty treats?  There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our archives. You can explore categories and tags, or use our internal search tools to sniff out 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.

Quick easy shortcuts to cut and bake homemade dog treats

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