Homemade Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

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Warning: This ain’t people food. Eat at your own risk (kinda).

These biscuits are made from all human ingredients — just made for doggie taste buds. I tried them. You won’t like them. But your dogs (or your friend’s dogs) totally will! (Yes – I ate a dog biscuit, because as I’ve said many times before, you ALWAYS must taste test before serving!)

I have two little slobbering taste testers at home with me right now and I can guarantee these treats are doggie approved.



Travis and I have been fostering rescue dogs for about a year now. It is the most rewarding volunteer work either of us have ever done. Banjo and Fiddle (brothers) are our 8th and 9th foster dogs. All seven of our previous foster dogs are now in loving homes, which is fantastic! Some of them came from pretty awful circumstances, which has definitely been very heartbreaking to witness. Sometimes they haven’t trusted us at first because their previous owners were abusive, but after feeding them (a lot), bathing them, giving them a warm place to sleep, and cuddling the living hell out of them, all of these dogs turned around really well.

Fostering comes with a lot of questions, so I thought I would answer a few here.


Fostering FAQ:

Where do the dogs come from?

We foster through a non-profit organization called Much Love Animal Rescue based in LA. Leaders in the organization pull dogs from shelters around Los Angeles.  Some dogs are strays found on the streets, others have been dropped off at the shelter by an owner who can no longer keep the pet (e.g. they are moving or their new apartment does not allow animals), and some dogs have been taken away from unsafe/unstable homes.


How do the dogs get adopted?

Much Love Animal Rescue hosts adoption events every weekend in Los Angeles. We drop off our foster dog for the day and anyone can stop by and fill out an application to adopt a dog. Much Love is particular about who adopts each dog — matching a dog  perfectly to its new family is crucial because we don’t want to risk the dog being given up again. We want dogs to stay in their “forever homes.” For example, some dogs are not good with kids, so homes with young ones are a no-go. Others may have separation anxiety, so they are much better off with someone who works from home.


How come you don’t adopt?

We aren’t ready to adopt right now. As you know, having a dog is a BIG time commitment and our schedules can be a bit crazy. Fostering is great because we can foster on OUR schedule. If we know we have a busy month coming up with work or travel, we can take a month off.


What do you pay for?

Nothing. Much Love covers all medical expenses, food, toys, beds, crates, treats, you name it. On occasion we buy new treats, collars,and toys on our own dime if we need them – it is such a small expense to us and we enjoy spoiling the cuties (and most of it is tax deductible).


Don’t you get attached?

YES. I get VERY attached. When you have a dog for so long they basically become like a family member – giving them away can be very difficult. We had our first foster dog, Killian (now renamed to Wally), for 4 months – I was absolutely in love with him. I HATED bringing him to the adoption events on the weekend in fear of him being adopted and leaving us. But at the same time, I also had to be realistic and I knew that adopting a pet at that time wasn’t the best idea. When the perfect couple came along to adopt Killian, I knew I had to let him go. Luckily, his new mom became my friend through the whole process and now I am his “godmother” and I can still see him whenever I want. So, it really worked out in the end.


How can I get involved?

If you are in the Los Angeles area – contact me! I can help get you involved. If you live in another city, simply do a Google search for animal rescue organizations in your community. There are so many needy dogs (and cats) out there that need homes! Even if you can’t foster, you can certainly donate your time in other ways.


Because I love the bejesus out of these dogs, I decided to make homemade dog biscuits for them this weekend. Every dog has their taste preferences, but I have yet to meet a dog who hasn’t loved peanut butter.




Banjo and Fiddle were taking a little afternoon nap when I woke them up to tell them there were freshly baked treats waiting for them.


The progression below is what ensued next:

IMG_0605 (1)





Needless to say, they LOVED them. I am pretty sure Banjo didn’t even chew his – he just gulped it down whole.


Homemade Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • ½ cup rolled oats (quick-cooking would also be fine here)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 5 oz pumpkin puree (about ⅓ of a standard 15oz can)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • ½ egg, whisked
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the oats and whole wheat flour. In a separate smaller bowl, stir together the pumpkin, peanut butter and egg. Stir the wet mixture into the dry and mix well to combine.
  3. On a floured surface roll out the dough with a rolling pin to ¼ inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter or a knife to shape the dough into biscuits (my dog bone cookie cutter is from Sur La Table). Place the the biscuits on a baking sheet. They won't spread, so don't worry about putting them close to each other. Bake for about 35 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and place the biscuits on a wire rack to cool - they will harden more on the rack.
  4. Store in an airtight container. If biscuits are not going to be consumed within a few days, I recommend storing them in the fridge.


  • October 14, 2013 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

    You two are amazing for taking in these dogs. As you admit, it’s SO hard to become attached and give them up, but you’re wonderful and generous enough to see the big picture and keep contributing. Incredible.

    And I love all the pictures, always. 🙂

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      October 14, 2013 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Mer! We love doing it – those little pups make us so darn happy!

  • December 12, 2013 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I found your blog through your Serious Eats contributions (lamb sandwich!), and I came across this post. It’s so great that you foster! I wish my boyfriend and I could, but we already have two (adopted) sister cats, one of whom doesn’t seem to like cats other than her sister.

    Anyway, I just wanted to reach out and say thanks, and how lucky you guys are!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      December 12, 2013 - 9:56 am | Permalink

      Abbey thanks so much for your sweet note! It is wonderful that you adopted your cats and are giving them such a wonderful life! Thanks for checking out my blog 🙂

  • Linda Holden
    March 6, 2014 - 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I am making my Chloe’s dog food, would appreciate your news.

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