20 July 2018

Grain Free Dog Treat Recipe With Flax Seeds, Pumpkin

This grain free dog treat recipe has peanut butter, pumpkin, flax seeds, and chia seeds to help your dog's skin and coat.

If you watch my Instagram stories, then you've seen Nacho, my chihuahua.  He's most definitely a momma's boy.   He sits beside me while I write, and I may or may not have bought an extra wide recliner just so the dog has room to sit beside me while I'm working.

Nacho recently went grain free, and it's really helped him.  I bought him some grain free treats, but he didn't like them as much as his old treats.  

He really likes pumpkin, so I wanted to make him some healthy grain free pumpkin treats for a snack.  This recipe is full of ingredients that are good for dogs, like pumpkin, peanut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds, and coconut oil.


My husband brought Nacho home when he was just a puppy.  Someone at his work had one pup left over, so we took him in.  At first, I didn't want a puppy because I had plans to get a girl and name her Sadie and put bows in her hair.

This was a short haired boy.  But I fell in love with him, and he's still here 8 years later.

Nacho had been eating grains in his kibble and treats for the first 5 years of his life.  I don't know what happened, but he starting getting skin issues and allergies.  The poor thing would itch all the time, and he started losing hair.

I took him to the vet, and they gave him an anti-inflammatory that helped while he was on it.  As soon as he went off of it, he started itching again.  Unfortunately, the medicine could only be used short term, so it wasn't a long-term solution.

When I asked if he could be sensitive to grains or gluten, the vet assured me that he wasn't.   I decided to do a grain free trial just in case.  I figured it couldn't hurt him, so we tried it.

Nacho slowly stopped itching and biting his legs.  In about two weeks, we noticed a big difference in that he was regrowing his fur where he had had bald spots.  

Even as a puppy, Nacho didn't play.  He's always been my little old man and will happily cuddle, but he will never chase a ball or try to play with the kids or me.

After he went grain free, his personality and behavior changed.  He would come to me for petting and give me kisses.  He's my happy puppy now.

He likes his daily treat, or good boy snack as they are known in our house, so I decided to make him some.  He absolutely loves pumpkin, so that's what I used.  

I used coconut flour for the flour in this recipe.  It's my choice for non-wheat flours, so I haven't tried any other flours in this recipe.  If your dog isn't gluten-free or grain free, you can use wheat flour in place of the coconut flour.

I used organic pumpkin puree.  Just be sure to get pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie because it has extra spices.

I normally use natural peanut butter for this recipe, but I found a crunchy natural peanut butter with flax seeds and whole chia seeds at Aldi.  Both flax and chia seeds are wonderful for your dog's skin and coat, so this is perfect for these grain free dog treats.

Trader Joe also has a natural peanut butter with flax seeds and chia seeds, but it also has sea salt.  It has 10 mg sodium per 2 tablespoons.  Use your best judgement and maybe talk to your vet before using it.  For small dogs, it might have too much salt.  

If you want to use natural peanut butter, you can add a tablespoon each of flax seed or chia seeds.

Flax seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, so they really help improve the skin.  Chia seeds are also high in omega 3 fatty acids, and they are also calming for your skin, full of antioxidants, and naturally anti-inflammatory.

This recipe has a lot of coconut oil in it.  It's a great oil for dogs to ingest if they have skin issues.  The coconut oil is also the reason that you need to put the dough in the fridge.  When it melts due to handling it, the dough doesn't want to hold its shape.  Just pop it in the fridge to harden the coconut oil and continue working.

I added some shredded carrots for more nutrition.  These are optional.  

Eggs are very good for a dog's coat.  I always give Nacho extra eggs when I'm baking.

Nacho loves these grain free dog treats.  The first time he got one, he took it to his bed to eat it.  Then he ran right back for more.  I think he approves!

I used dog bone cookie cutters because they are cute.  You can use any shape, but I just like being traditional here.  I really like this set with different sizes, especially if you're a multi-dog household like we are.  




Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Mix well with a spoon.  I stole used Dakota's hand mixer because it was easier to mix that way.  Place in the fridge to firm up for 15 minutes or longer.


Take out half of the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper.  Roll to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.


Cut out with cute dog bone cookie cutters or any shape.  You can also skip rolling it out and just make small spheres and flatten them.

Combine what's left with the other half of the dough and repeat.  If the dough sticks to the cookie cutters, put it back in the fridge for the coconut oil to firm up again.


Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Let cool completely.  The underside will be golden brown when they are done.

These are a softer snack, and they tend to break easily.  Nacho really doesn't mind a broken treat as long as it makes it into his belly.

This makes two cookie sheets of dog treats if you place them close together.  They don't get bigger when you bake them, so you can have them almost touching on the pan.  

These should last for a few weeks on the counter.  You can also store them in the fridge and just take out a few at a time if your dog doesn't like cold treats.  Nacho doesn't mind cold treats.  Again, as long as they make it to his belly, he's all good.

I hope your pooch loves these as much as Nacho does!

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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, several chickens, and homing pigeons. She loves Gilmore Girls, coffee, and her kids. Not in that order.