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
Fast Dog Treats
Faster Baked Biscuit 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!
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.