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I love baking. I’m always ready to whip up something sweet, whether that’s brownies, cookies, muffins, or breads; just toss me the chocolate chips, and let’s go! But as a dog parent, I always feel a slight twinge of guilt when my dogs look on longingly as I’m whipping up something I can’t share with them. I’ve thought about making homemade dog treats, but I never found the time with a busy schedule.
Recently, my dog Lucy started showing signs of a poultry allergy, so I’ve been obsessive about checking ingredient labels on treats at the store. Unfortunately, this has limited our treat options, so I started looking for alternatives. And then I learned about Dash’s Dog Treat Maker, and a whole new world opened up for Lucy and me.
How the Dash Dog Treat Maker Works
The Dash Dog Treat Maker looks like a standard (and very cute) waffle maker from the outside, but inside is a BPA-free non-stick griddle that lets you cook eight dog bone-shaped treats simultaneously.
Its claims to fame are speed and choice: its treat-making process is quicker than the oven and requires zero cookie cutters—plus it offers pet parents a fun way to control the ingredients in their dog’s treats with a wide range of customizable recipes. It even comes with a recipe book to get you started on your treat-making journey.
To use the Dash Dog Treat Maker, just plug the machine in and let it heat up. Once the light on top of the device turns off (usually after just two or three minutes), you’re ready to add your batter. Spoon it into the dog bone shapes, then close the lid with the latch and wait.
Cook times will vary a little depending on your recipe’s guidelines, but usually after just three to five minutes, it’s time to flip the treats. (We recommend tongs!) After letting the back side of the treats cook for a few minutes, open the lid, remove the treats, and let them cool on the counter before giving your dog a taste test.
Cleaning the machine is simple: Use a damp cloth or paper towel with some soap and wipe the inside clean. Once dry, it’s ready to be stored away—or you can leave it on your counter for style points.
We Put the Dash Dog Treat Maker to the Test
To say I was excited about using the Dash Dog Treat Maker might be an understatement. When it arrived, I literally jumped for joy. After looking through the Dash recipe book, I decided to test out a Pumpkin Peanut Butter recipe and an Apple and Carrot recipe. I also tested my own recipe to see if original recipes worked well in the machine.
Baking the Treats
Before I started to bake, I cleaned the machine with soap and water, then started mixing up the first recipe while waiting for it to heat up. I was shocked at how quickly the machine was ready to go—I had to mix faster!
Though the machine markets itself as having a non-stick coating, the recipe instructions told me to spray the inside with cooking oil before putting the batter in, so I did as instructed to avoid any messy disasters.
The instructions were a bit unclear on how much dough to add to each dog bone shape, so I eyeballed it and hoped for the best. When the time came, it was easy enough to flip each treat with tongs, and no food residue was left behind on any of the treat slots—though I did notice that the machine does an excellent job retaining heat, so you’ll want to be cautious when flipping to avoid burning yourself.
Once they were cooked and cooled, I picked the treats up with my hands and was surprised at how crunchy they felt. While they didn’t exactly resemble the perfect bone design on the machine, I think with time and some finesse, the ideal shape is achievable.
I continued with my other two recipes in a similar manner. I found that while the machine heats up and retains heat well, it continues to get hotter the longer it’s plugged in, so I made sure to keep a close eye on the treats as they baked to avoid burning them and used the recipe’s timetable more as a guideline.
All three recipes worked well in the machine, even the one I made up myself, giving me confidence that it’s up to the challenge of making a wide variety of dog treat recipes.
How did the treats turn out?
Overall, I was pleased with my experience using the Dash Dog Treat Maker. But that meant nothing if my dogs weren’t impressed. When the treats cooled off, I called Remy and Lucy over for a taste test. They sat patiently waiting for their first bite, and from my evaluation, they were not disappointed. They happily tasted all three treats and sat patiently waiting for second helpings. I’m pretty sure that means they approve of the treat maker.
Tips for Storing Homemade Treats
The best way to store homemade dog treats is in the refrigerator, or if you don’t plan to use them within a couple of days, to freeze them. You can store them in a bag or container on your counter if you’re going to use them within two to three days.
I chose to seal some in a plastic bag and leave them on my counter over the next few days to see how they held up and then froze the rest. After about 24 hours in the plastic bag, the treats were soft and lost their crispness. When I make them in the future, I plan to store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer.
Freezing dog treats is super simple. Just place them in a sealed bag (make sure to let all the air out) or container and pop them in the freezer. When you want to throw them into your treat rotation, let them thaw out on the counter for about 10 to 20 minutes before giving your furry friend a treat. Then put the rest in the refrigerator for later use.
Do We Recommend the Dash Dog Treat Maker?
I enjoyed using the Dash Dog Treat Maker and will continue to use it to make homemade treats for my pups. I liked that it’s simple to use, and I didn’t have to break out cookie cutters to shape the dough (which is a welcome relief). This treat maker is ideal for dog parents who love to bake, because they can experiment with different recipes and ingredients.
It’s also easy enough for those who might not enjoy cooking and are just looking for a straightforward solution to make homemade dog treats quickly—especially for a pup with dietary restrictions who needs a hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient diet.
Overall, we say this treat maker is a fun addition to any kitchen for both humans and pets.
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