Why are my gluten free dog treat recipes so crumbly?

by Sharon
(Murrieta, CA)

I am trying to come up with a few vegan dog treat recipes that I can feed to my little dog who has food allergies. I have to avoid wheat, oats, anything with gluten, corn, soy, dairy and eggs. The recipe I used came out soft and crumbly even after leaving them to air dry in the oven overnight. Can you offer any advice?

Here is the recipe I used:

3 1/2 cups of mixed gluten free flours (made up of 1 1/2 cups of Garbanzo bean flour, 1 cup of tapioca flour, 1 cup brown rice flour and 1/2 cup quinoa flour)

1 3/4 cups of brown rice flour

1/4 flax seed meal

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ginger

1 1/2 cooked sweet potato

1/4 cup safflower oil

1/4 cup molasses

I sifted together my dry ingredients and blended the sweet potato, oil and molasses, then added the dry ingredients a little at a time with a dough hook on my mixer. Then I kneaded the dough a little to blend in the flour that remained in the bowl. I rolled the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick, cut out 3 1/2" bone shapes. They were baked in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thank You,

Chef's Answer ~ I love that you have taken the initiative to create a recipe just for your dog with food allergies! :)

Crumbly dog treats is definitely not good dog treat eats. However, it sounds like the process you are going through is right on target. I would suggest increasing the amount of moisture in the treats. For example you could increase the amount of cooked sweet potato. You can also add applesauce, plain pumpkin or pureed fruits. Whatever you choose to add, do so gradually. Depending on just how crumbly the treats are, I would recommend starting with about 1/4 cup, maybe even a 1/3 cup. You can test the dog treat dough by taking out a pinch and squeezing it in your hands. How well does it stick together? It should at least keep its shape for a few seconds.

I hope this helps! Please let me know how it goes, and if there is anything else I may do to help! :)

Comments for Why are my gluten free dog treat recipes so crumbly?

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Gluten free doggie treats
by: Lydia

I just made my first batch of gulten free treats using the same flour that you used. I always make my own recipes as I go. I used four cups gluten free flour, one small can of pumpkin, 2 tbsp. cinnamon, one tbsp. baking soda and 1/2 cup peanut butter. They did come out different from my whole wheat flour treats. They aren't crumbly but they have hairline cracks on them. My pups love them though. I just hope the person I'm making them for don't mind.I know her pup won't care what they look like. I also don't like where the pumpkin appears as dark spots in a few places.

Pains of going Gluten Free
by: Anonymous

Gluten is a protein composite from processed wheat and like grains. In English - its the sticky binding component in many dough recipes and aids is fluffy and rising textures.

I bake my dogs GF treats using several alternatives for ALL ingredients. There are flour weights, elasticity, palatability blah blah blah.

My favorite flours are soy, white rice, buckwheat (its not wheat, really), flax seed meal, super fine brown rice and sorghum. Yes, I do taste my dog's treats before giving them. Best part of human quality ingredients.

Your recipe has MANY flours, try cutting down on how many. Each has a flavor and consistency that you'll have to play around with. Oils help big time: Olive, safflower, peanut and sesame work great.

Gluten like alternatives to help bind are Xantham gum and Guar gum; they sound crazy but they do come from plants. They mimic glutens for binding.

Fluffy textures come from baking powder or soda (depends on ingredients and acids wiki helps with those) the reaction causes bubbles and adds 'air' to the dough, nice and fluffy not door stop hard.

Eat a muffin made with GF ingredients, so gross and hard! I love the Gluten Free Goddess's website she is awesome and has so many alternatives available and will answer your questions too! I am a CVT and have done LOTS of research on glutens. I have about 50 main recipes and each ingredient has 3 or more alternatives to change things up. ALL gluten free! Years of research and testing. Beware of certain ingredients since many human foods are toxic like garlic, some say yes some say no, vets say YES!

I control my terriers seizures with GF diet (seriously) and the other three have their own random allergies. I have four dogs and they are on 3 different foods and home made dog treats. All of my ingredients are certified gluten/grain free so I know for sure they are safe for my kids. My baking powder is aluminum and grain free too. It made a HUGE difference! Good Luck!

Crumbly treats
by: Anonymous

It is all in the moisture. Adding more sweet potato even though your dough will appear a bit wet and sticky. For rolling the dough just pat each side with a little of the brown rice flour and it will roll out nice and easy.

We make our treats with 50% sweet potato by weight. If you can use gluten free rolled oats they also make a good binder and add to the consistency of the batter.

Remember you are making dog treats that are gluten free so the batter will appear much different then regular human cookie dough.
And slow cooking 300-325 degrees


Crumbly goods
by: Anonymous

Your error is common in gluten free cooking. You need to add a binder which gluten does. If not using eggs, then you should add xanthum or guar gum to add a binding agent. good luck

Thank You
by: Sharon

Thank you for your suggestion on how to keep my dog's treats from being so crumbly. I'm going to try that on my next batch.

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