Wheat-Free Dog Training Treats

Liz Palika

Homemade Wheat-Free Dog Treats

It’s not unusual for dogs to have a sensitivity to products containing wheat. Walter, a Cocker Spaniel mix, itches and chews at himself if he eats as little as one dog treat made from wheat. That itching can last for days. Therefore, his owner reads labels compulsively and avoids all products containing wheat in any form.

Many other dogs are sensitive to other cereal grains, including corn, rice, barley, and rye. Although itching tends to be the most common reaction, gastrointestinal upset is not uncommon and includes soft stools and flatulence. If you think your dog might be sensitive to some cereal grains – or other foods – definitely talk to your veterinarian.

Applesauce Garbanzo Treats

Treats are an important part of the training process, but choosing treats your dog likes when he is sensitive to certain ingredients is tough. The treat needs to have a strong scent so the dog is attracted to it and then a good taste so that he actually eats it.

The following recipe contains no wheat, rice, corn, barley, or rye. It does contain flaxseed meal which seems to cause less food sensitivities in dogs than the more traditionally used cereal grains.


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 cups flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • 2 cups garbanzo flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put 1 cup of the flaxseed meal in a medium bowl and set the remaining meal aside. Stir in the potato flour and garbanzo flour.
  3. Mix in 2/3 cup water as well as all of the molasses and applesauce. As the dough forms, knead it well for a couple of minutes until well mixed. If the dough is too dry, gradually add the remaining water. The dough should be somewhat dry yet able to form a ball.
  4. Place the remaining flaxseed meal on a breadboard and spread it out. Place the dough on the flaxseed meal and roll out the dough until it’s about a quarter of an inch thick. Thicker is fine for larger dogs.
  5. Using a ruler or another straight edge and a knife, cut the dough into strips.
  6. Place the strips onto a greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Baking times will vary according to the thickness of the dough so check the treats as they are baking.
  8. Remove from the oven, flip the strips over, turn the oven off, and put the strips back into the oven for several hours as the oven cools. This will make them crisper.
  9. When cool, break the strips into training treat size according to your dog’s needs. Store treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life.


My dogs enjoy this recipe and, since they do, I make it often. I also vary the recipe to keep it interesting for my dogs. There are several ways this recipe can be adapted to different dog’s tastes and needs. If your dog is sensitive to potatoes, eliminate the potato flour and use 3 cups of garbanzo flour instead. If you want to add more scent to the recipe, add a dash of cinnamon to the dry ingredients as you mix them. You can also use chicken or beef broth (low sodium) instead of water.

As an additional variation, when you cut the dough into strips, you can also cut them crossways to that they are training treat size when you bake them.

This recipe makes training treats; not a daily diet food. A handful of treats (less for tiny dogs and more for larger ones) used for training throughout the day will not upset your dog’s daily nutrition. However, do not feed this as dog food. 

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