Skip to main content

How to make homemade dog treats that last a long time

Many fur parents are now looking into making homemade dog food for better control over ingredients—and homemade dog treats are no different. Cooking and baking your dog’s treat are always a great way to save some money and spend a nice time caring for your best friend. They are easy to make, allow you to complement your pup’s particular diet to their needs, and you can eliminate filler ingredients and harmful preservatives. The best way to do it is by cooking a large batch and then storing it for use through the upcoming weeks. With proper care and the right preparation, your homemade treats can last a long time. Check out these ideas to create the best dog treats out there.




1 hour

What You Need

  • Measuring cup

  • Baking sheet

  • Rolling pin

  • Cookie cutter

  • Storage container

Dog treats cut in shapes with roller
Susan Schmitz/

What affects shelf life in dog treats?

When you use fresh and natural ingredients, the shelf life of your treats will shorten significantly. The benefit of full nutrition without additives comes at the price of a shorter usable life. Most of the recipes can last for up to a week when stored properly and under refrigeration. If you freeze a batch right after cooking, you can extend their expiration date for several weeks.

Baked treats made with natural preservatives like vitamin C and mold inhibitors can last for up to six months in the right conditions. Heat, ventilation, cooking method, list of ingredients, and storage are the most important factors that affect how long your homemade treats will last.

Want to know if dogs should eat spicy food like chili? We’ve got you covered.

Most common homemade treats for your dog

There are some very popular dog-treat recipes that are easy to make and will have your four-legged friend drooling for more. We have put together a list with a few to get you started:

Leftovers Trail Mix: Combine your end-of-the-week leftovers and create a flavorful mix that you can pack for a hike or park snack.

  • Pieces of meat with all seasoning washed off, clean potatoes, bland vegetables, and fruits are all great ingredients. Avoid onions, grapes, and raisins.
  • Combine all chopped ingredients and spray cooking spray as you spread in a pan.
  • Place in the oven at 200 degrees until dried. You can also use a food dehydrator for better results.
  • You can freeze the whole batch right after and thaw overnight for daily use.

Basic Dog Biscuits: These classic treats never go out of style. They are simple to make, but you need to invest some time to get them right. Here is what you need:

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of beef bouillon
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth/stock
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • Add one or more of the following: bacon, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese, bacon bits.

Once you have all the ingredients ready, just follow this simple-step process to create healthy tasty treats that your furry friend will love:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Heat up water, broth, and dissolve bouillon.

Step 3: Chop any meat, eggs, and other solid ingredients and add to the mix.

Step 4: Let it simmer in super-low heat for about 10 minutes without boiling.

Step 5: Add remaining ingredients one by one and finish with the flour.

Step 6: Stir, mix evenly, and let it cool off. You can place in the fridge for a few minutes.

Step 7: Knead dough thoroughly until it forms a nice ball.

Step 8: Roll it out on a sheet to about 1/2-inch thickness across.

Step 9: Cut into bone shapes with a cookie cutter.

Step 10: Arrange treats on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Step 11: Place in the oven and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Step 12: Once done, let them rest and divide them in portions for later use.

Australian shepherd looks at dog treats on plate

How to properly store your treats

Once dry, these treats last about 15 days in the pantry, three to four weeks inside the fridge, and up to six months when you freeze them right after making. But there are a few ways that you can extend the life of your homemade treats just by improving your storage methods. Make sure you follow these best practices and your dog will enjoy those treats for longer:

Step 1: Cool treats completely before storing. Any residual heat left in your baked goods can create condensation inside a storage container. This will generate the ideal conditions for bacteria and mold to grow. It will also take the crunch out of your treats and cut their usable shelf life down.

Step 2: Store dry food in an airtight container. After you cool off your dry baked food, keep it crunchy and free of moisture for up to 10 days. Most likely, your dog will devour all of them well before that.

Step 3: Nothing beats the fridge. Whether it’s used meat, homemade soft treats for a hike, or a large batch of biscuits, keeping the food cold will eliminate a lot of worries and greatly increase the amount of time before your treats are no longer good to eat.

Step 4: Track local weather. Depending on where you live, the weather and temperature might be a big factor in storing your treats. If you have a great AC system, and your home stays consistent through the year, you are good to go. For those that encounter extreme weather, adjust your practices to take in account especially hot days that might shorten your treats’ life span.

Give your love to your dogs in the shape of delicious homemade treats that will last for weeks. They will not only love you more, but you will be making sure that they get all the nutrients and none of the bad stuff. Being a good dog parent takes time and patience, but it is one of the best experiences of your life.

Editors' Recommendations

How hot does concrete get in the sun? The answer might shock you
a boston terrier wearing booties lies on a blue plaid blanket

As much as dogs love going for a walk, standing on concrete during the summer can make it unbearable. It’s easy to overlook this painful detail since you’re probably used to wearing shoes, but this is why investing in dog paw heat protection is more than important for your pup’s well-being — it’s essential.
Simple accessories like dog paw nonslip booties can protect your fur baby's feet from the heat, but they’ll no doubt take some getting used to. There are many products you can consider for your pup, but nothing beats moving your walk to the beginning or end of the day. The air and the pavement will both be less scalding — which will benefit you, too!

Why you should protect your dog’s paws
Do you know how hot concrete can get? In an informational video from the VCA, Dr. Sarah Hoggan measures the temperature of different surfaces on a 92-degree (Fahrenheit) day:

Read more
Here’s how to treat a dog with itchy paws, starting with finding the cause of paw discomfort
Causes and solutions for dog paw infections
Husky dog mix licks paw

Whether you're a person or a pup, itching can be distracting, uncomfortable, and downright annoying. That's why it’s easy to relate to your dog's frustration when dealing with itchy paws. Narrowing down what’s causing dog paw infections and itches can be tricky from observation alone, so it may take some trial and error before you find some relief for your buddy. Once you do, though, you’ll be so glad!
Don’t be afraid to call your local veterinarian if you’re having trouble figuring out what’s behind your pup’s paw irritation. They’ll get to the root of the problem before you know it and have plenty of suggestions to get you started. Until then, here’s what you’ll want to know about dogs with itchy paws.

Causes of dogs with itchy paws, from allergies to infections and more
Though itching, licking, and biting are all symptoms of skin discomfort, it’s not always easy to tell what’s going on. Here, we’ll break down a few of the main causes of paw irritation so you can help figure out what’s up with your best bud.

Read more
What is the best food for older dogs? These 6 vet-approved kibbles and canned foods won’t steer you wrong
Try these veterinarian-approved dog food products for your senior dog
Senior golden retriever and Chihuahua sitting in front of food bowls

As your dog gets older, you'll need to make some changes to your home and routine to keep them feeling their best. That includes changing their dog food, too!
Although the best food for older dogs varies depending on your buddy's health, size, and specific needs, there are several guidelines you can follow to help you find a product that does the trick. Of course, your local veterinarian will be your most knowledgeable resource, especially if they have a long history with your pet. They can also recommend and approve a prescription diet for your dog, giving you even more brands, flavors, and nutrients at your disposal. And since nutrition greatly impacts overall health, investing in high-quality food is paramount.
We did some research since it can be tricky to know which kibbles and canned foods make a veterinarian's approved list. Here’s what we found, including a selection of six vet-recommended dog foods you can try with your senior dog.

What's the best food for older dogs? Here are six options and what makes them so good
Though your senior dog may be as energetic as ever, their body will need a different diet as they age. Banfield Pet Hospital’s Dr. KT Boyle, DVM, told NBC News that because older pets have particular nutritional needs, you’ll need to think about a few different factors when choosing their food.
Older dogs need fewer calories and more supplementation than younger pups, for example. This reduced caloric need is because of the way an animal's metabolism slows as they age, though the exact supplements they need depend on the individual. To find out exactly what will benefit them, have a conversation with your veterinarian. It's that easy!
Dr. Boyle notes that even though senior dog foods contain many helpful nutrients — like glucosamine and fatty acids for joint health — you might need to add supplement drops or chews to your pet’s diet. Luckily, there are many to choose from and many ways to get them.
When it comes to wet versus dry food, though, there can be benefits to both. Dogs with dental issues may find wet food easier to eat, but the texture in kibble can help fight plaque and tartar buildup on your pup’s teeth. The pet nutrition pros at Pedigree remind owners that there is no one right answer. When in doubt, ask your vet!
That being said, there are a few senior dog foods that Dr. Boyle recommends over others. These include:

Read more