How to Make Valentine’s Day Snacks for Your Dog

Delight your dog with homemade Apple-Cinnamon Pupcakes and Pigskin Surprises. Yum!


It is said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But what about a dog? Is the way to his heart through his belly, too?

Of course! So why not consider a meal to show your cupid canine exactly how much you love him (or her) this Valentine’s Day? Steering clear of the foods and ingredients you should never share with your dog, here are some recipes for your pampered pooch.

Apple-Cinnamon Pupcakes

This treat was created by Domestic Dogdess, Zoe Sorensen. Zoe happens to be marrying my dog, Dexter, in a fun fundraiser this summer. One of Zoe’s hobbies is cooking, and she created these Apple-Cinnamon Pupcakes with sweet potato icing. Zoe’s mom rescued her in conjunction with Life’s Little Paws the very day she was scheduled to be euthanized. This recipe has been sampled and tasted by my pooch, Dexter, with rave reviews.

Makes 24 mini Pupcakes.


  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbs whole flax seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten (shells reserved)
  • Shells of the eggs finely ground in spice grinder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  • In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
  • Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
  • Pour into greased mini-muffin tins.
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
  • Let cool and top with sweet potato icing. (See below.)

Sweet Potato Icing


  • 1 large sweet potato


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pierce sweet potato with knife and bake until it is very soft, approximately 30 minutes.
  • When cool enough to handle, remove skin and place sweet potato in a medium bowl and whip with electric mixer until light and smooth.
  • Spread on pupcakes, or pipe on with a large piping tip.

Some folks really enjoy cooking for their dog year-round but find it too hard or too expensive. For many of us, the processing can be quite confusing. Paris Permenter and John Bigley, founders of Dogtipper, are authors of 28 books and more than 2,500 magazine articles. Permenter loves to cook for her dogs, and the duo share recipes from their kitchen (as well as the kitchens of many other pet parents) in their latest book, My Dog Says I’m a Great Cook!

Pigskin Surprise

Many dog moms and dads probably have a Kong toy or another similar stuffable dog chew. This recipe is designed for snacking and keeping dogs active. Permenter loves how simple the ingredients are.


  • About one cup of chicharrónes or pork rinds
  • 1 egg
  • 2 to 3 soft dog treats


  • Soft-cook the egg by whipping it and microwaving it on high for a minute. Alternatively, you can soft boil the egg. The goal is to have an egg that is still runny in the center. Allow the egg to cool completely.
  • Start with a clean Kong and plug up the small hole at the end of it. Permenter says to use soft training treats or a bit of lunchmeat or cream cheese to plug up the hole. You want to prolong your dog’s chewing enjoyment.

  • Bring out the stuffing. Permenter uses chicharrónes and recommends using plain ones (not barbecue flavored or other varieties). Chicharrónes are also called pork rinds and are found in the chips section of grocery stores.
  • Start packing in the pork rinds. About one-third of the way through, add a portion of the egg. Indeed, the egg is basically the glue holding the whole thing together. Resume the stuffing, alternating layers of pork rinds and egg until the Kong is filled.
  • When you reach the end, plug the larger opening in the Kong. Again, you can pack it with soft treats. If that doesn’t work, you can top it with some cheese or peanut butter.

If you’d like to make the Kong ahead of time, you can freeze it until game time (the egg will freeze, and your dog’s response won’t quite be a slow-motion replay, but it will buy you a little extra time). Whether you serve the Kong fresh or frozen, you’ll definitely score big points with your dog.

Outside of snacks, there are also meals you can serve to your dog on Zoe’s Domestic Dogdess blog and Paris’ Dogtipper website.

Bone appétit!

Do you plan to make a special treat for your dog for Valentine’s Day? Got a favorite recipe? Share it in the comments below!

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