Can Dogs Have White Flour in Treats?

overhead view of dough rolled out onto a marble slab with a rolling pin and dog bone shapes cut out of the dough

Although white flour is often used in commercial dog treats, it’s NOT a recommended ingredient for your pup. Wheat allergy is quite common among dogs and white flour can cause serious health hazards.  Even if your dog is not allergic to wheat, white flour isn’t the best option. This is because traditional flour is highly treated, and it doesn’t offer any nutritional value to canines.

Naturally, dogs don’t need to consume flour at all because it is not a part of their dietary requirements. Having said that, flour is included in several dog foods (biscuits, dry recipes, etc.) to bind ingredients. Similarly, it provides a good texture to dry dog treats.

Flour Types that are Healthy for Dogs

variety of flour types in different containers on a kitchen counter

Flour is not a natural diet for canines and it’s best to keep it away from your dog’s meal. However, if you have to add flour in your dog’s food, try to go for healthier options, like coconut flour. The following are some of the flour types that can provide good nutrition to your companion.

Whole Grain Flours

wheat and wheat flour in burlap sacks with wheat stalks on a wooden table

It’s always a better idea to use the flour in which whole grain is used. It will have an abundant supply of natural nutrients that are healthy for your pup. Some of the whole grain flours that are safe for dogs are listed below.

  • Brown Rice Flour – This gluten-free flour is made by grinding un-shelled brown rice. It is quite rich in folate and calcium.
  • Oat Flour – This easy-to-digest flour is an excellent source of essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The list of its most useful nutrients includes vitamin B1, copper, folate, and phosphorus.
  • Sorghum Flour – This flour is made by grinding an ancient grain called Sorghum and is naturally gluten-free. It is rich in antioxidants and is considered a very good source of plant-based protein.
  • Buckwheat Flour – This healthy flour is made from by using the whole seed (instead of grain). It is packed with several vitamins and minerals, like vitamin B6, phosphorus, and potassium.

Non-Grain Flours

half of a coconut and a bowl of coconut flour on a bright blue table

The problem with whole grain flour is that it can be difficult to digest for dogs with a sensitive stomach. If that’s the case, you can substitute the whole grain flour with a healthy non-grain flour. Many commercial dog food companies also use these nutritional alternatives for preparing their products. The following is a list of some of the non-grain flours that you can add in your canine’s food.  

  • Coconut Flour – This nutritious flour is made from ground coconut meat and is extremely high in fiber. Likewise, it offers a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, niacin, and potassium.
  • Almond Flour – This gluten-free flour is low in carbohydrates and provides a range of useful minerals, like zinc and magnesium.
  • Chickpea Flour – This protein-rich (plant-based) flour is one of the most nutritious flours. It is low in carbohydrates and is a rich source of selenium, magnesium, and manganese.

Flours to Avoid for Dogs

a spilled bag of cornmeal with a scoop of corn flour on a surface surrounded by whole corn cobs and kernels.

White flour is not the only kind of flour that is unhealthy for dogs. Corn and soy also provide very little nutritional value to dogs. In addition to that, both these flours are also among the most common food allergens for canines.

Due to their cost-effectiveness, wheat, corn, and soy are often used in commercial dog foods. Therefore, you must read the label carefully before purchasing any edible product for your pup. It becomes even more important if your pup has a history of food allergies. If you observe allergic symptoms (diarrhea, flaky skin, and itchy ears) in your dog, contact your vet immediately.  

Homemade Dog Treats with Coconut Flour

dough rolled out on green surface with dog shapes cut out of the dough and a dog cookie cutter.

Do you want to bake some delicious and healthy dog treats for your lovely canine companion? This grain-free recipe is not only tempting (for dogs) but also super-easy to make. The mentioned quantities of ingredients will make 48 medium-sized treats.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can Pure Pumpkin
  • ½ cup Pure Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup Pure Coconut Oil, melted
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups coconut flour, plus additional for rolling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, peanut butter, coconut oil, and eggs until smooth.
  3. Add in the turmeric, cinnamon, and coconut flour. Mix until well combined. Let rest for about five minutes to thicken.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a surface well-coated in coconut flour. Sprinkle top liberally with more coconut flour, and then roll until about 1/4” thick. Cut using cooking cutters, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Combine the dough scraps and re-roll until all dough is gone.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the cookies are dry and hard. Let cool completely.
  6. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.

Thank you to Wholefully for this recipe.

Homemade Dog Treats with Brown Rice Flour

bone shaped dog biscuits on a cooling rack.

Do you need a dog treat recipe that doesn’t include white flour because your dog is allergic to it? These rice flour cookies offer the solution you need as they are perfect to please your pet. The ingredients mentioned below will make around 34 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (480 grams) brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (64 grams) peanut butter (make sure your brand does not contain xylitol)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (15-ounce) sweet potato puree (not the sweetened pie mix) 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir all the ingredients until a soft dough is formed.
  2. Divide the dough in half. Using a brown-rice-floured rolling pin (or between two pieces of parchment paper), roll each dough half to 1/2-inch thickness on a rice-floured surface. Cut into the desired shape with a cookie cutter. Place the cutouts an inch apart on a lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Reroll any scraps.
  3. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until dry and golden brown. Cool for 1-2 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  4. Store the treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can also refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.

Thank you to Fountain Avenue Kitchen for this recipe.

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Hi! My name is Heather Hallman. I’m the mother of two beautiful girls and a MAJOR passionate pet parent. I can hardly wait to bring you the BEST resources and information that I've found for our fur-babies.