Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Your dog’s not picky, but that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t deserve the best.
Just as you want to know what goes into the food you eat, it’s good to be in the know for your pup pal, too, and there’s no better way to keep an eye on your dog’s diet than by making some of those good eats yourself. This is most important when allergies—to, say, grains or poultry—already exist.
So instead of reading labels, avoid the pet store altogether, pick up whole food ingredients at your local supermarket, and make healthy treats your dog just might be willing to share.
Dried Minty-Fresh Sweet Potatoes
Not only will your hiking hound go gaga for these treats, the addition of mint will sweeten your dog’s breath, making your tent time much more palatable. Makes 10 to 20 servings, depending on the size of your pet.
1-2 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1-2 Tsp. dried peppermint
At Home: Turn oven to its lowest setting (175-200 degrees). Remove sweet potato ends and slice into 1/3-inch thick pieces. Mix pumpkin puree, coconut, and peppermint. Brush the top of each slice with mixture.
Put slices, mint side up, on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake for 90 minutes. Flip, then cook another 60 minutes or until dry but still pliable.
Crispy Carrot Chips
Spice up these dried carrot chips with stomach-calming ginger for ultralight dog treats you just might find yourself snacking on. Makes 10 to 20 servings, depending on the size of your dog.
1-2 Tbsp. dried or fresh finely minced ginger
2 Tbsp. water or melted coconut oil
At Home: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel carrots into shavings with a carrot peeler. Put the slices on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet and sprinkle with warm coconut oil, then ginger. Add to oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp, flipping after four minutes.
Beachy Keen Coconut Nips
Pack these on cold weather trips for a chewable, calorie-packed treat. Makes 20.
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
3-4 slices well-cooked crumbled bacon
At Home: Melt and stir 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup coconut oil over a double boiler. Cool the mixture enough to handle. Shape into small balls and roll in crumbled bacon. Freeze on a silicone- or parchment paper-lined tray. Store treats in a plastic bag or other small container before heading out to the trail.
Note: Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees, so store these in an external pack pocket rather than in your jacket.