Holiday gifting can be difficult, even when you know what the recipient wants. So shopping for someone who actually can't tell you what they want, like your dog for instance, is, pardon the pun, ruff. You might think your pup wants that luxury dog bed you spent hours googling, and end up disappointed but unsurprised when they hop into bed with you instead. One thing your pup definitely will love, though, is a homemade goodie made especially for them. These easy holiday dog treat recipes will be a huge hit on Christmas morning.
Sure, you could just buy your dog some treats or a bone as their holiday gift, or you don't have to get them anything at all if you're not feeling it (they don't know what Christmas is, guys), but a store-bought snack may not be the healthiest for your dog, and as University Animal Hospital points out, you have more control over what your dog is eating if you make the treats yourself. Plus, I know I always end up giving my dogs a taste of whatever I'm eating when they look at me with those begging eyes, and maybe if I had treats for them prepared, I wouldn't end up giving them so much people food that isn't good for them.
All of the recipes below are super easy to make, which means you can bring some holiday cheer to your pup's day with minimal effort.
1. Pumpkin Goodness
Did you know pumpkin is actually really good for your dog? As Morris Animal Inn reports, pumpkin can help your dog get protein and fiber, and it has an anti-worming amino acid in it that will help keep your dog safe from parasites. So when you make your dog these pumpkin and peanut butter bites from Pinch of Yum, you'll be giving them a yummy treat and taking care of them. Pro-tip: make the optional bacon peanut butter glaze if you really want to make your pup's day.
2. Peanut Butter Perfection
I've never met a dog who doesn't love peanut butter, and with just four ingredients, you can have these adorable peanut butter dog treats, recipe courtesy of Damn Delicious, ready for your favorite pupper in under an hour.
3. Secret Ingredient
Apples are another food that have all kinds of health benefits for dogs — like digestion regulation and helping to keep their coat looking shiny as Dog Food Guide explains. Plus, most dogs love them (mine beg for a slice every time I break out an apple). So a treat with unsweetened apple sauce, like this recipe from Eating Bird Foods, is a simple and nutritious way to get your dog's tail wagging.
4. Mashed Banana, Mashed Banana
5. Gingerbread For All
Dog owners and veterinarians have been using ginger as a natural remedy for dogs for years because it has all kind of canine benefits, like helping with nausea, bloating, arthritis, heartworm, and even cancer according to Dogs Naturally Magazine. Plus, it's super yummy and totally festive for the holidays, so this recipe from Baking Mischief is the perfect gift for the season. Fun fact: they also make a great treat for horses.
6. A Frozen Pick Me Up
My dogs love yogurt, which is convenient since it's so good for their digestive systems as Cesar's Way explains. My pups would go crazy for these Frozen Peanut Butter-Yogurt Dog Treats courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker, and it's nice that you can make them in bulk and keep them frozen to distribute whenever your dog has been an extra good boy.
7. A Gift From The Heart
Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A for your dog, which they need to help with their eye sight, growth, and muscle strength according to Red Barn Inc. So you don't have to feel bad about giving your best friend an extra one of these No-Bake Dog Treats from 17 Apart, thanks to the sweet potato puree packed into these babies. Try using a Christmas tree or candy cane cookie cutter instead of a heart shape to make them extra festive.
8. A Doodle For Your Doodle
The recipe for these puppy snickerdoodles from Two Of A Kind makes a massive amount of one-inch biscuits, so definitely hit this recipe up if you've got multiple dogs running around your house.
Courtesy of Cooking With Janica, these adorable frozen treats are pretty much a dog's dream come true: they've got yogurt, peanut butter, and bananas, and you can add honey for even more flavor. Happy Holidays to dogs everywhere.
After experiencing a traumatic c-section, this mother sought out a doula to support her through her second child’s delivery. Watch as that doula helps this mom reclaim the birth she felt robbed of with her first child, in Episode Three of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes, launching Mondays in December.