6 festive DIY dog treats for the 4th of July

With this festive summer holiday just around the corner, it’s time to start planning! While you’re busy making grocery lists and buying themed accessories for the kids, don’t forget to think about your fur babies this Fourth of July, too — maybe with some DIY dog treats.

These recipes and ideas are fun, festive, and 100% safe for your pup. The flavors range from sweet to savory, and you’ll find frozen, baked, and dehydrated treats alike! Besides, what else could they possibly love more than some patriotic Fourth of July dog treats all their own?

Red, white, and blue frozen fruit treats

Not only are these treats adorable and yummy, but they’re also vet approved! Many pet parents have their own take on this idea, but this specific recipe comes from the American Kennel Club. To be honest, this sounds delicious whether you’re a human or a dog!

All you’ll need is 1 cup of strawberries, ½ cup of blueberries, and 1 cup of plain yogurt (xylitol-free, please). Simply mash or blend all the ingredients together in a large bowl, pour the mixture into a festive ice cube mold, and freeze. Yep, it’s really that easy.

a blonde dog sits on a porch with a blue bow tie on in front of red and blue balloons
Tara Lynn and Co/Shutterstock

Sweet potato pretzels

For a four-ingredient recipe you can whip up in about an hour, check out these adorable dog-friendly pretzels, originally shared in the 52 Weeks of Treats e-book. Here’s what you’ll want to have on hand:

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 beaten egg

Begin by softening and pureeing the sweet potatoes in a food processor. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl before combining all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Once mixed, this concoction should form a dough. The next step is to form the pretzel shape by rolling small pieces of the dough into long ropes, then twisting and folding. More detailed instructions can be found in this tutorial — don’t forget to bake these yummy treats before serving!

Pupsicles

These savory treats are a new kind of popsicle that’s perfect for your pup. Instead of freezing water or fruit, prepare and freeze your dog’s favorite broth — just mind the sodium level! You can freeze this delicious mix in ice cube trays or small cups for larger dogs. Get creative!

If you’re feeling fancy, any long dog treat will make the perfect popsicle stick. Whether you use a signature bone-shaped treat or a meaty stick like the SmartBones Beef Chews, your dog is sure to drool over it.

Summertime barbecue jerky

While you’re enjoying something from off the grill, let your pup indulge in a meaty treat of their very own. To prepare pet-friendly jerky, you’ll want to carve your protein of choice (beef, chicken, and salmon are popular options) into your ideal shape, then bake at your oven’s lowest setting for three hours or more.

Remember that smaller cuts of meat will cook faster, but the way you cut your meat also can affect dehydration time. You’ll know your protein is done when it’s dark, completely dry, and about half its original size. Don’t let it cook too long, though, or it’ll get rubbery! It’s best not to salt or season the meat in any way, since dogs can be sensitive to these ingredients.

two small dogs wearing american flag bows on their collars lie down and look at the camera
Sam Lion/Pexels

Patriotic gummy fruit stars

This adorable creation was originally shared by the Gone To The Snow Dogs team, but it will be just as irresistible at any pup’s July Fourth party. The recipe will look like a fruity frozen treat, but the addition of gelatin turns it into a chewy surprise. Remember to use natural, unflavored gelatin (which is 99% protein by itself) and not flavored products like Jell-O, as these have preservatives and sweeteners that are toxic for dogs.

Step 1 of this recipe is to make your fruit juice portion, which will be used to cool the gelatin after cooking. Fun silicone molds will be perfect for cooling and portioning this yummy treat, which you might be tempted to try yourself.

Homemade cookies and festive icing

If you have a favorite biscuit recipe for your pup, this is the perfect occasion to whip it up. If not, you’ve got countless options to choose from online, from basic, four-ingredient recipes to some that are much more complex.

Make these treats as simple or as festive as you want by making your own patriotic icing — that’s safe for your fur baby, of course. It’s made with yogurt (sugar-free, please!), milk, and tapioca starch, but you can add food coloring for your red and blue decor. While commercial-brand food dye is harmless for pups, an all-natural dye might be even safer.

With these fun recipes in your back pocket, your pooch is sure to have a fun Fourth of July. The best part is that these ideas can be used and adapted for any time of the year, so if your pup picks a favorite, you’re set! Which recipes are you most excited to try? (No harm in trying them all!)

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