Dog Recipes

Dog friendly recipes you can make for your dog at home!

Celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day with dog friendly hot chocolate!

Today is National Hot Chocolate Day (January 31st)! Normally hot chocolate (or hot cocoa) isn’t something you can share with your dog because… CHOCOLATE!

Did you know that there is a non chocolate faux chocolate you can use to make your dog a toast, tasty mug of hot chocolate? Its.. CAROB!

First things first: Hot chocolate is not hot cocoa!

Harking to our childhood, we could have a mug of hot chocolate or a mug of cocoa. Both of which would have been whipped up with a package of powdered cocoa, give or take mini marshmallows. Turns out hot chocolate and hot cocoa are two DIFFERENT things! I didn’t know either!

(Google searches add to the fluidity of hot chocolate and hot cocoa being interchanged with one another – a hot chocolate search lands on recipes for powder, packages of cocoa powder and recipes with chocolate chunks.)

Despite the name swapping, there is a marked difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa – is the CHOCOLATE!  

If the chocolate added is a powder it is… hot cocoa!
If the chocolate added is melted from a hunk, chips or ground chocolate it is… hot chocolate!

How do we celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day if dogs can’t have chocolate? 

We use CAROB instead! 

Carob comes from the dark brown pea pod fruit of the carob tree. It can be ground into powder, made into chips or even found as syrup. It has a taste similar to chocolate, though less bitter, naturally sweet and slightly nutty. 

Why is carob safer for dogs than chocolate? 

The lack of theobromine & caffeine. Two similar toxic components both found within the cacao bean. And from the cacoa bean comes chocolate!

While we as people can easily digest and pass the theobromines and caffeine found in chocolate, our dogs absorb the theobromines slower before excreting them via urine (a half life of about 18 hours!). This slow metabolism means the theobromines builds into a toxic level before dogs can clear it out of their systems!

Theobromines primarily affect the central nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems as well as having a diuretic effect. Which can lead to tummy upset, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination, increased thirst, hyperactivity, and increased heart rate. Severe toxic levels can lead to heart arrhythmias, heart failure, tremors, seizures or coma. 

EEEEEK! That’s terrifying! Even more reason not to let our dogs get into chocolate! Yes, the degree of symptoms depends on the type of chocolate (the darker & more bitter the chocolate the higher the theobromines are!), the amount of chocolate and the size of the dog that nommed it. Let us just have a no chocolate for dogs rule!

Which brings us back to carob. Unlike chocolate, carob has NEITHER theobromines or caffeine! Which makes it safer for dogs to eat!

Onward to the recipe!

Hot Chocolate for Dogs

Hot chocolate for dogs made with carob chips and oat milk! A great way to celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day (January 31st!)


  • 1 cup oat milk *
  • 3 tbsp carob chips (we used Missy J's Carob Chips)
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup, optional


To make:

  • Put milk into saucepan.
  • Warm to just under boiling.
  • Add the carob chips (and optional honey or maple syrup).
  • Stir until the carob chips are melted.
  • Remove from heat and cool to room temp.
  • Serve in a dog friendly mug or bowl.

Get fancy!

  • Froth in a blender and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon. You can add a dollop of whipped cream, dust with carob powder or 1 or 2 small marshmallows (more than that will lead to an upset tummy!).


No carob chips on hand? Sub the carob chips for 2 tbsp of carob powder and mix into warmed milk. 
Most dogs can't process lactose in milk very well. And with this recipe being very milk focused, it may be best to use a non dairy option instead. Oat milk and coconut milk are great options!

For our version we did a bigger version (as the mug is a soup cup haha!). Milk we did 2 cups, 3 tbl of carob chips & 1 tbl of honey. Add or subtract milk or carob chips as you need for more or less amount to ratio of flavor. 
Keyword dog hot chocolate, dog hot cocoa

Even though we modified the recipe to fit the mug, Blue didn’t get to drink the whole thing. Yes he’s 118 lbs, but oat milk and carob aren’t in his everyday foods and I didn’t want him to get a super upset tummy or have the runs.  We also recommend that you bring your hot chocolate (or cocoa) to a place that is easy to clean, as mugs and bowls tend to have a sloshy effect when drunk with a tongue!

Celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day with dog friendly hot chocolate! Read More »

Fluffy blueberry pancakes for dogs!

Today (January 28th) is National Blueberry Pancake Day! What better way than to celebrate with fluffy blueberry pancakes? (Aside from waffles haha) There is no better way to celebrate! And why not craft some fluffy blueberry pancakes for your dog too! 

Ok, your first question is… can dogs have pancakes?

Heck yes they can! Moderation is key to pancakes along with any bakery style treat like cupcakes, cakes, breads, doughnuts and waffles. The more sugar and fats in the treat, the less dogs should eat. With pancakes, small dogs can have a small pancake or two (quarter to half dollar size) while bigger dogs can have a bigger portion. Big dogs like Blue can have a couple of “regular” human sized pancakes, I’d say no more than 2 or 3.

The ingredients – what dogs can and can’t have!!

This recipe is modified from the 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook (our current favorite for human pancakes).

We will need: egg, buttermilk, baking soda, flour, sugar, soft shortening, baking powder and salt. For the modification, the flour will be oat flour, the buttermilk will be a sour oat milk, and the sugar will be omitted. 

Baking soda & baking powder aren’t good for your dog if they just eat them in their powdered form or get ahold of the box or container. Luckily since we are baking/cooking the batter the baking soda & baking powder become inert and non active. (Baking soda & baking powder are a main reason why these pancakes end up rather fluffy!)

Shortening is… margarine, lard or vegetable shortening (or any fat that is a solid at room temperature).  Butter and coconut oil aren’t shortening though they can be used interchangeably with shortening. Butter melts when baked/cooked and gives the final product a buttery taste. Coconut oil will add coconut flavor to the finished product. 

When it comes to shortening, dogs can have it though is best to NOT allow your dog to dip right out of the Crisco tub. Fatty shortenings can cause tummy upset and pancreatitis in dogs, so moderation is key! Used in a baked/cooked item like pancakes the shortening will be less tummy upsetting as it is combined with other ingredients and cooked.  If you’re solidly worried about it, opt for coconut oil.  We will be using shortening. 

Why oat flour? 

All purpose flour is… basic. Typically bleached, this flour is usually a staple in the kitchen, though nutritionally they are quite low. If that’s all you have on hand, go ahead and use it! Otherwise you can use almond flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, coconut flour, oat flour or whole wheat flour. 

I opted for oat flour because Blue’s favorite limited ingredient treats use… oat flour! Bocce’s Bakery makes unique flavored, limited ingredient dog treats – either crunchy or soft – and Blue LOVES them! Plus they are limited ingredient, which means I don’t feel bad feeding Blue an ample amount of them. Find them at Petsmart, Petco, Home Goods, Target or online!

Oat flour is relatively healthy as well! It has ample dietary fiber, protein, healthy fats and low in carbohydrates compare to other flours!

Onward to the recipe!

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes for Dogs

Adapted from the recipe "Favorite Pancakes" in the 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook (pg 73 if you're curious!). These make a multitude of fluffy, dog friendly pancakes. Make small ones for small dogs and big ones for bigger dogs. Leftovers freeze well, freeze up to 3 months!
Remember, these are a decadent treat and should be fed in moderation!


Heat Griddle slowly while mixing batter.

    Beat well:

    • 1 egg, room temp

    Beat in:

    • 1 1/4 cups oat milk, soured *
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda

    Then beat in:

    • 1 1/3 + 3/4 of 1/3 cups oat flour (we used Quaker oat flour) *
    • 2 tbsp soft shortening *
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt

    Lastly, fold in carefully:

    • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


    • Beat with a rotary beater until smooth.

    To "bake":

    • Heat griddle while mixing batter. To test, sprinkle with drops of water. If bubbles "skitter around" heat is just right, and cakes with brown immediately.
    • Pour batter from tip of a large spoon or from pitcher, in pools a little apart (for perfectly round cakes). If it is necessary, grease griddle very lightly.
    • Turn pancakes as soon as they are puffed and full of bubbles, but BEFORE they break... important for light cakes. Turn and brown the other side.
      FYI: A thick batter makes thick cakes and a thin batter makes thin cakes.


    The original recipe calls for buttermilk or sour milk. You can use them in the recipe, though many dogs can't tolerate lactose very well. We opted for oat milk. 
    • For sour milk, add 1 TBL vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk (works with non dairy milk as well!). Let it sit a minimum of 5 minutes (oat milk takes a little longer to thicken and "sour").
    • Sub milk with:
      • oat milk
      • coconut milk
      • almond milk
    The original recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of sifted flour. Since we swapped for oat flour, the conversion is 1 1/3 cup oat flour to 1 cup of flour. It lands us at the weird measurement of 1 1/3 cup + 3/4 of 1/3 cup. (I eyeballed roughly 3/4 of a 1/3 cup measurement.) In general a little more flour will make your batter thicker, a little less flour will make your batter thinner. 
    We used vegetable shortening (Crisco) but you can use butter or coconut oil in a 1:1 swap out ratio. 
    If you want to make them for yourself you may want to add a bit of sweetness - the original recipe calls for 1 tsp sugar. Or add sweetness with honey, maple or blueberry syrup or whipped cream! (I nommed on a "spare" pancake with maple syrup and it was quite tasty!)

    For toppings for your dog,  you can do a small dollop of whipped cream or a handful of fresh blueberries scattered on the top or even a smear of peanut butter. If you want to drizzle maple syrup, you can just use moderation. Same goes for honey! 

    NOTE: let the blueberry pancakes cool well before you give them to your dog! Those little blueberries turn into molten lava when cooked which could burn or irritate your dog's tongue! 
    Keyword blueberry dog pancakes, blueberry pancakes, dog pancakes

    Ooooo soooo yummy! 

    Blue rather enjoyed his fluffy blueberry pancakes! No, he’s not sitting on a chair or stool, he’s table height! He’s just tall enough that he can put his head on the table and let his tongue attempt to snack off plates. He tries to be sneaky, but he’s typically thwarted quickly. Usually he just watches and drools while we eat haha!

    Celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day by making these fluffy blueberry pancakes for your dog!

    Fluffy blueberry pancakes for dogs! Read More »

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