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A Baking Guide to Homemade Dog Treats

The holiday season is beginning and that means it’s time to start baking! As fun as it is to share treats with our pups, it can also be hazardous to them. 

Here are a few common baking ingredients that can be dangerous for your pet to eat:

  • Artificial sweeteners: These can contain xylitol that can lead to life-threatening low blood sugar and liver failure in high amounts. Read all ingredient labels carefully because some things like peanut butter can contain xylitol.
  • Chocolate: As much as we humans love chocolate it can be very toxic to dogs. Ingestion of chocolate can cause a mild stomachache to severe increased heart rate, blood pressure and even seizures. Be especially careful with dark chocolate and cocoa powder used for baking as this is very concentrated.
  • Raisins: Your favorite holiday fruitcake can contain raisins and this can be toxic! Raisins may lead to kidney failure in dogs even in small amounts.
  • Bread dough: Yeast dough, if ingested raw, can cause severe bloating that can be very painful and even life-threatening!
  • Spices: Be careful of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves as these can all cause upset stomach.

Ingredients that are safe for your dog:

  • Peanut butter: As previously mentioned, some peanut butters can contain xylitol. Make sure to read labels carefully. A small amount of peanut butter that does not contain xylitol is safe for dogs.
  • Flour and oats: These can be good sources of fiber and help with digestion.
  • Pumpkin: This is a great source of fiber. You can cook and mash fresh pumpkin or buy canned for baking! If you purchase canned, just make sure that it is 100% pumpkin puree and not with sugar and spices added.
  • Yogurt: Small amounts are okay to give to your dog. If a large amount is ingested, this can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

Below is an easy recipe for a cookie that both YOU and YOUR DOG can enjoy!

Banana Peanut Butter Cookies


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 ½ cup quick oats
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mash bananas into a large bowl and add peanut butter and oats.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Drop mix onto lined cookie sheet by the spoonful
  5. Bake 12-15 minutes.

If your pet gets into a holiday treat and you are concerned, please call your family veterinarian, local animal emergency hospital, or ASPCA Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435. We hope you have a happy holiday season!

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