Hint of Vanilla Dog Treat Recipe

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic

I love the smell and the taste of vanilla. It’s so simple, yet delicious. That was the inspiration behind this week’s Hint of Vanilla Dog Treat Recipe. Vanilla extract, in small amounts, is fine for dogs to indulge in if it’s used in treat recipes (there are lots of treats, spread out over a longer period of time). But it should just be used to give the treats a hint of vanilla.

Hint of Vanilla Dog Treat Recipe

Makes 40 cookies


2 1/4 cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup almond milk

2 Tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

3 TBS peanut butter


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Mix whole wheat flour, cornmeal, rolled oats, and baking powder together in a bowl.
  3. Add almond milk, eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla extract into the flour mixture.
  4. Knead the dough onto a floured surface until no longer sticky.
  5. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut using cookie cutters. Place on non-stick cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow cookies to sit in the oven as it cools another 30 minutes.
  7. Remove treats from the oven and place on cooling racks. Store in air-tight containers or Ziplock bags in fridge or freezer.

I gave out some of these treats at the office, and they were a big hit (with the dogs and their people). Give them a try and let us know how they turn out.

Vanilla Extract and Your Dog

Using vanilla extract in a dog treat recipe is a great way to add a little flavor for your dog, however, most dog parents aren’t familiar with the right vanilla extract/flavoring to purchase. The regular vanilla extract available on the shelves in your grocery store is made by soaking vanilla beans in alcohol and water. To be considered an extract, the FDA requires the product to contain 35% alcohol by volume. Our dogs are unable to digest alcohol. As mentioned above, a very small amount isn’t going to cause a problem, however, if you’re concerned you can opt instead for a dog-friendly option by looking for an alcohol-free vanilla flavoring.

Another concern worth mention is the fact that some vanilla flavorings and vanilla extracts are formulated to be sugar-free. However, the removal of sugar generally requires the addition of a sugar substitute, or it will have a significant impact on the overall taste of the product. Read your labels carefully and make sure that you are not buying a product that contains xylitol. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause your dog’s blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low, potentially leading to liver failure, seizures, and (in far too many cases) death. This is not an ingredient that you want to take any chances with!

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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