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Gluten Free Dog Treats (with grain free option)

I wrote this post yesterday evening (Thurs, Dec. 13) and scheduled it to go live on my website this morning (Fri, Dec. 14) at 7am Alaska time. It went live just a few short hours before I found out about the horrific tragedy in Connecticut. My heart is absolutely broken for those suffering because of one man’s senseless act of violence against the innocent. May those taken forever rest in peace.
~Megan

Our puppy, Thor, turned one year old yesterday! To celebrate his birthday, the girls and I made him treats with all of his favorite things: peanut butter, apple and carrot.

Thor was definitely one happy guy!

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Thor sitting patiently waiting for the treat in my hand!

As I shared with you on Facebook, we got Thor in February of this year, but just shortly before that, we watched cancer slowly claim the life of my FIL. Words can’t describe the devastation and grief his death brought. As a mother, I don’t think there is any worse feeling than to hold your babies as they cry crocodile tears sobbing for a loved one they will never see again. The light disappeared from their eyes, but a little yellow ball of fur we named Thor helped bring the sparkle back.

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There is something magical about animals, isn’t there? Being able to reach people when no one else can with their unconditional love and devotion. When we brought Thor home he filled our days (and nights) with chaos and joy. Over the last 10 months he’s grown from a crazy puppy to a (still crazy) very loyal member of our family. He won’t go upstairs to bed until I do (I’m always the last one to bed) and when I let him into the girl’s room, he checks to make sure both of them are in their beds, and then kisses them goodnight.

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It’s true… I’m really sentimental about my dog, but after the last year, it is certain that Thor was meant for our family. He’s been such a gift and I will forever be grateful he has helped my girls (and I) cope with our grief.

Do you have a pet? I’d love it if you would leave me a comment and tell me about them!

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I would’ve liked to use a dog bone cookie cutter to make these, but I don’t currently own one, so I just used what we had (and what was easy). Abbi really wanted to make star and angel doggie treats, but I quickly shut those suggestions down!

Gluten Free Dog Treats (with grain free option)
Yields about 3 dozen small treats

1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Adam’s)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup flax meal
3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour + extra for rolling
1/2 cup grated carrot

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the apple sauce, peanut butter, and egg.
  3. Whisk in the baking powder and flax meal, and then add the garbanzo bean flour and brown rice flour. Stir until well combined and then mix in the grated carrot.
  4. Sprinkle a clean surface with brown rice flour and form the dough into a disk. Place the disk on the clean surface, sprinkle it with more brown rice flour and roll it out, until it’s about a 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes, or use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into square shapes. (We used a round cookie cutter that was 1 3/4 inch in diameter.)
  6. Place the dog treats on the baking sheet and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until they are slightly golden brown. If your shapes are larger than 1 3/4 inch, you might need to bake them longer.
  7. Allow the dog treats to completely cool before feeding them to your pet!

Megan’s Recipe Notes:
It was my intention to make these dog treats grain free, but after taking stock of my flours, I realized I wouldn’t be able to. This recipe is very forgiving, and although I haven’t tried it yet, I do believe substituting almond flour or more garbanzo bean flour for the brown rice flour would work well. If any of you do try substituting with either of those flours, please leave me a comment below and let me know how they turned out!

On a side note, my FIL wasn’t the only member of our family that we lost this year (it’s been a hard year). That said, if any of you are struggling with grief (especially children), I highly recommend the book, “Tear Soup,” by Pat Schwiebert. It is a picture book about grief that is appropriate for the whole family. My oldest daughter carried the book around with her for a full week after the death of her Papa. It was a huge help to all of us.

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We hope your doggies love these as much as our big guy does!
xoxo,
Megan

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Roberta Michaels

Monday 8th of June 2015

I believe nuts including almonds are toxic to dogs. I wouldn't use almond flour.

Sheila

Thursday 30th of October 2014

I so know how you feel about your dog. We lost our black lab Abby nearly two years ago and we're devastated. She lost all bowel and bladder control but her heart and brain service so there. It was the worst to have to put her down. Not only were we devastated but her yellow buddy was inconsolable. We now have Itty she is 1 1/2 and a gift for sure. She and Sydney who is now 12 -1/2 are best buds. Sydney can't tolerate wheat or corn and I am always looking for treats she can have. Cheers

Taylyn

Wednesday 11th of June 2014

Hi there! I just made these treats and my dog loved them! However I adapted the recipe a little bit and used 3/4 cup rolled oats and 1 cup of coconut flour in place of the flax meal, garbanzo bean flour, and rice flour. I also had to add another egg and more applesauce because the coconut flour needed more moisture! They came out great and my pup loved them!

Megan

Thursday 12th of June 2014

So happy your pup loved them! Thanks for sharing your substitution notes, too! ;)

Meghan

Saturday 21st of September 2013

Do you think there's a way to do this without the egg? I have an amazing, sweet fur baby who has terrible allergies! He's pretty allergic to egg & it's been a nightmare finding recipes he can have be ause if the egg. Please let me know!

Megan

Saturday 21st of September 2013

Hi Meghan! I think these would do fine without an egg, simply because there's only one used in the recipe. I would substitute an additional 3-4 tablespoons of apple sauce for the egg. Mix the apple sauce in with the flax meal and let it sit for 10 minutes, and then add the remaining ingredients. I don't think you'll need any additional moisture for the dough to come together, but if you do, just add another tablespoon of apple sauce until it does. :) Megan

Anne

Monday 17th of December 2012

Our baby (lab/husky mix that we adopted in March of 2009) is turning 3 in January I can't wait to try these treats for him! I will most likely try a grain free version and will let you know how it turns out. Our dog brings so much joy to our lives, and we love to see how he makes other people smile, too.