Okay, here’s the deal on feeding your dog treats: Obviously your pup is going to be satisfied and satiated with YaDoggie dog food and our killer treats. That’s a given. Like, duh. We have to stop humans from eating it, the treats are so delicious. BUT! Sometimes you need a training tool, or something to pack for a long hike, or just something special because we only live once, guys. No one wants bored tastebuds, pals, so let’s mix it up!

We know our YaDoggie foods are the tastiest you’ll find, but when your pooch is between meals and you want to offer them something healthy and new, a homemade treat comes in mighty handy. Yes, we offer delicious, high-quality treats for your pups that will set you dog’s tail a’wagging. Seriously, we feel bad for you, and for ourselves, because YaDoggie treats are specifically made for canines and are so good – but we can’t let you eat them… which means we can’t eat them either. So, #solidarity on that sadness.

For something different, or in case you want to be able to eat the same thing as your dog (hey, no judgement, guys, you do you), we suggest the following five pup-friendly snacks you can make at home. And yes, there are benefits to making your own food at home – just as with people food, what you make yourself is often more nutrient-dense than what you’d pick up at a big box store. Fresh snacks like these mean less preservatives. Plus, you get to source the ingredients you want (obtaining local/organic products as you wish), make them in your own time, and offer them to your dog as you see fit. Friendly reminder though – treats should be treated as such. Just like we all know we shouldn’t eat cookies all day, dogs shouldn’t eat treats all day. Please keep up with your dog’s YaDoggie mealtimes, and use these for snack and reward food only, not as a meal replacement. If you aren’t sure about your dog’s nutritional needs, or would like concrete directions on how much your dog should eat, please consult your professional veterinarian.

Here are five DIY dog treats you can make at home, with some inspiration and help from Pinterest:

#1 Sweet Potato Dog Chews
Sweet up your dog’s diet with a simple snack of slow-baked sweet potato dog chews! You can find your perfect recipe online, but the most common way we’ve seen this done is by setting your oven to 250F, slicing sweet potatoes length-wise into ¼-inch ovals and strips, and baking for a few hours until chewy. If you have a dehydrator, you could use that, too.

#2 Peanut Butter, Banana, and Oat Dog Cookies
Say what?! Your dog gets cookies and it only takes 3 normal food items to create? It’s true. Your pup will love these, as long as you or any children in your home don’t get to them first. The three ingredients are: old-fashioned (rolled, not instant-style) oats, bananas, and peanut butter. We suggest using an all-natural peanut butter without additives – you want to see just “peanuts and salt” as the ingredients for your peanut butter. Some folks are grinding their oats into a powder and mixing it into mashed bananas and a good dollop of peanut butter, others are leaving the oats intact. And, we see some dog owners go to town on the mix-ins, incorporating crispy cooked bacon pieces, or pumpkin puree to the batter. All we can say is – where is our sample?! Find the recipe that works for you and we’re sure your dog will love it.

#3 Homemade Chicken Jerky
Similar in technique to the Sweet Potato Dog Chews, recipes for homemade chicken jerky, for dogs, calls for strips of chicken cooked for a long time in a low oven. We’ve heard a dehydrator works for this too, so if you try that please let us know! You could probably season your meat, but remember, dogs will be very happy with clean and simple protein. Don’t fuss to much, and you’ll be just fine.

#4 – Apple Chews and Chips
Okay, so there might be a theme among the perfect snacks for dogs – but, hey, isn’t it our job to give them what they want in a healthy way? They want to chew and bite! Let’s let them chew and bite! Just not the furniture or our clothes or your phone. Whip up a batch of apple chews when you’re out of sweet potatoes and chicken breast (for jerky) using that same low-oven temp, and long cooking time. Make sure not to include any seeds in your chews and chips, and cut thinly. We think these treats can be enjoyed by both humans and dogs without any shame or side-eye. A few apple chips a day might keep the vet away? Maybe.

#5 Fresh Breath Mints
Real talk. You love your dog. Your dog loves you. You kiss your dog. Your dog kisses you. Your dog has gross breath. Hey, it happens to the very best of people and pups alike. Luckily, you can make a batch of all-natural, wholesome, minty breath fresheners for your dog. The simplest combo we’ve seen is coconut oill, parsley, and a little mint, mixed up and set into molds. Of course, there are lots of variations. Try one and let us know what you think!

Are there any treats you’re making your pup that we should know about? Tell us in the comments below! We’re always thinking of ways to keep your dog well-fed, and would love to hear from you.