Got a Bone to Pick With Pricy Dog Treats? 3 Cheap Recipes to Try Instead

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Homemade dog treats
Gunda, left, and Tyler enjoy frozen apple treats made with plain yogurt, apples and water. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

My dog, Wrigley, has a taste for the finer things in life.

He prefers carrots over chicken chews, and blueberries over Beggin’ Strips. For some reason, he snacks healthier than I do.

Homemade dog treats

TPH writer Kelly Smith’s dog Wrigley has a preference for healthy treats. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

But the cost of owning a dog can exceed $1,160 in the first year alone; adding fresh treats instead of Milk Bones into the mix could push the total even higher.

While it would be easier (and cheaper) to just buy a big box of bones, I’m not one to compromise with him. When he looks at me with that wrinkled Shar-Pei face, I can’t say no. So, healthy treats it is.

The good news is I’ve found a way to give him what he wants without going broke — homemade dog treats humans can eat, too!

Here’s how to cut your snacking bill by making delicious dog treats you can share with Fido.

3 Recipes That Get 2 Thumbs (and Paws) Up

Tyler waits for a zucchini chip. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

To make these three recipes, I only spent $12.23. Total. For all three.

I bought the apples, eggs, yogurt, zucchini, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, though I already had baking soda and peanut butter.

While prices vary by region, you can check out these tips on how to save no matter where you do your grocery shopping.

And now, for the treats!

Frozen Apple Treats

Homemade dog treats

Frozen apple treats made with plain yogurt, apples and water are dog treats humans can eat too. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

These are probably the easiest things I’ve ever made in my life.

This recipe makes an entire ice-cube tray’s worth of treats and only requires three ingredients: plain yogurt, apples and water.

All you have to do is throw the three ingredients into a blender, pour the mixture into the tray, and freeze until solid.

They taste great, too — I like to have a few at night when I’m craving dessert!

Zucchini Chips

Homemade dog treats

Zucchini chips are dog treats humans can eat too. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Every time I eat potato chips, Wrigley instantly starts drooling.

They aren’t exactly healthy for pups (or me), though, so I found a great alternative: zucchini chips!

The recipe calls for panko breadcrumbs, but since wheat is one of the top five allergy-provoking ingredients for dogs, according to the American Kennel Club, I substituted gluten-free breadcrumbs, just in case.

This recipe makes A TON of delicious chips — and they’re way better for you than potato chips. Thanks, Wrigley, for getting me to eat a little bit healthier!

Grain-Free Peanut Butter Doggy Cake

Homemade dog treats

Grain-free peanut butter doggy cakes are a bakery treat for you and Fido. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Did I mention that Wrigley turns 1 on Feb. 7?

Mark your calendars. There will be a party. And presents. And I’ll probably cry.

No party would be complete without a cake, though, and this recipe is grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, soy-free — all the -frees.

Homemade dog treats

Tyler scarfs down a grain-free peanut butter doggy cake. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

There’s (hopefully) no way this cake could hurt your dog’s tummy!

All you do is mix the ingredients and throw the mixture into a jumbo muffin tin. I decided to make multiple cakes, so I used a regular muffin pan, and the recipe produced about four cakes.

After baking, frost them with peanut butter, light a candle, and have your doggo make a wish!

Bone appe-treat!

Your Turn: What’s your favorite treat to share with your dog?

Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder and a senior at The University of Tampa. She loves Wrigley as much as he loves carrots.