This Grain-free Salmon Pumpkin Dog Treat Recipe will make you the most popular dog parent around. This DIY treat has just 5 simple ingredients that are loaded with nutrients for your furry baby and they are cost-effective, too!
If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram, then you know all about Uncle Larry.
If you don’t, let me fill you in. Uncle Larry is the rescue pup who came into our lives back in November. During the midst of the horrible Woolsey fires in Malibu, I was feeling helpless being so close, yet so far away, down here in Long Beach.
In the early days of the fire, as the devastation mounted, I felt like I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what exactly. As I was thumbing through my Instagram stories I saw the calls for help for displaced animals, both from the families evacuated under emergency circumstance from their homes and the animals from shelters in the fire zones, also being evacuated. There just wasn’t enough room for all of them and with the threat of euthanasia looming there was a desperate need for foster families.
For the first time ever, without hesitation I said to Mark “we need to foster a dog”. I say for the first time ever, because while we have considered it a million times over, it’s not a decision to take lightly when you already have pets, when you travel a fair amount and you know yourselves well enough to know there is a high probability that any animal you take in, may never leave.
Newsflash, I think you can guess what happened next. Within 24 hours of learning this sweet foster pup’s back story and discovering that he was up for adoption after being brought in as a stray, found on the side of the road in Malibu, he wasn’t wearing a collar and didn’t have a microchip and he wasn’t fixed. He was then taken to a shelter which then had to be evacuated a week later due to the horrid fires. We took him in without expectations and not knowing if he had a family to go back to, if he was temporarily needing help or looking for a home. He immediately clicked with our pack, our Seri girl loves him more than any animal ever and we all just fell in love!! So as of November 21, we officially adopted this sweet boy, we tossed his terrible shelter name aside, along with his old life and we gave him the name Uncle Larry! We are all smitten with this little guy.
This Christmas Eve, with this new addition to our family, rather than cut out cookies or gingerbread men, I decided to use my time in the kitchen baking to make some homemade “cookies” for the pooches. These Grain-free Salmon Pumpkin Cookies came about after a friend (thanks Martha) sent us some wild caught Alaskan salmon treats, straight from Alaska and we’d never seen Larry more excited about a treat, yet! I discovered I had a can of wild caught salmon in the pantry (one of my go-to pantry staples) – so I got to experimenting and decided to see what I could make happen.
Best part about these treats besides being super easy to make, they are cheap. I did the math, for an entire batch of these treats, which is well over 60 treats, (more or less depending on the size you make them) plus I ended up with a little over 1 cup of tiny trainer treats that we made fro the scraps, and the recipes works out to be between $8 and $9 total depending on the ingredients. This, I should mention is with me buying store brands where possible, but this is also with pasture-raised eggs and wild caught salmon, so the price can definitely drop further, if you’d like.
Compare that to the $9 – $12 we often spend for grain-free treats and we usually get a fraction of the quantity.
This dog treat recipe leaves out the nuts and nut butters, which some research shows can be hard on a dog’s digestion and instead we are using coconut flour and coconut oil. Coconut is non-toxic for dogs and is hypoallergenic, so it’s especially great for a dog that tends toward having food and environmental allergies (that’s our little Seri). The coconut flour also provides a source of fiber so it supports a healthy digestive system and lower blood sugar, plus you are getting healthy fats and it’s very low in sugar and carbohydrates. The coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a medium-length long chain fatty acid that has been shown to support healthy immune function and fight infection, it can decreases inflammation systemically but as an anti-inflammatory it’s also really great for the skin, especially if your pooch is prone to hot spots, itchy skins, or skin allergies (pro-tip, you can also use coconut oil topically on your pup).
From the salmon, your pooch is getting lots of quality omega-3 fatty acids, this too is great for their skin and coat health, as well, plus the omega-3s are also great for their brain function, it supports healthy immune function, decreases inflammation and it’s a great source of protein. Omega-3s can also be beneficial for joint mobility and reduced inflammation of the joints, so it may be a great option for older dogs that struggle with arthritis, to help alleviate symptoms. Similar to coconut, the salmon is a great option if your dog struggles with allergies to other proteins, like chicken or beef, etc. Salmon is also rich in vitamins A, B-complex, and vitamin D, as well as magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Finally, the pumpkin is another source of fiber plus we are getting in the antioxidants beta carotene (a source of vitamin A, which is great for eye health) and Vitamin C which support a healthy immune system. Pumpkin is also a great source potassium.
Besides feeling good about giving your furry babes these nutritious homemade treats, when you see how they freak out for them, you’re gonna always wanna have them on hand!
Hope you enjoy and if you make them for your pups, please share on Instagram and tag me, I’d love to see.
- 1½ cups coconut flour
- 1 cup canned wild caught salmon, drained* (I used WholeFoods 365 canned Sockeye Salmon)
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted, but not hot
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (you can also use pureed sweet potato or squash)
- 4 pasture raised eggs
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley or 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Add all of the ingredients to your food processor. Process until well blended and it easily forms a ball, when you take a little in your hand. If it feels a bit too wet, add just a little more coconut flour, but know that the coconut flour in the dough will absorb as the dough sits.
- Gently flatten the ball into a disc and place into an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the dough disc between two pieces of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is about ⅛ to ¼-inch thick.
- Using desired cookie cutter shape(s), start cutting and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Don’t waste any of the dough, use the leftover scraps, roll what’s left into a rope, cut into little nuggets and bake. They make great little tiny bite-sized training treats.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and hard. It is important that biscuits are completely dried out or they will go bad.
- If you take them out and as they cool, if they feel moist at all, I recommend placing the biscuits in a single layer on an oven-safe cooling rack, and place into a 200ºF oven for 10-20 minutes, until they are dry, hard, crisp and have no moisture at all.
- Let cook completely and store in an airtight container for a few weeks.
Try adding ⅓ cup finely shredded carrots to the recipe
you can also use approx 1 cup cooked, deboned fresh salmon, flaked in place of the canned salmon