Skip to content
Home / Celebrate Dog Appreciation Month with Activity and Homemade Treats

Celebrate Dog Appreciation Month with Activity and Homemade Treats

Did you know that more than one-third of families in the U.S. have a dog, and most people consider their dogs as family members? As our furry friends are part of our family, it’s essential to take care of their health. Similar to humans, dogs can also become overweight or obese, contributing to chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. According to a 2018 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 55.8% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Just like humans, dogs’ exercise routine and diet play a crucial role in preventing diseases.

Making your own healthy dog treats can be easy and requires only a few simple ingredients. According to the American Kennel Club, these ingredients are great for your four-legged friend’s health:

  • Pumpkin – good source of fiber and antioxidants and may help relieve diarrhea and constipation
  • Berries – rich in antioxidants and fiber
  • Peanut butter – in moderation, it provides protein and healthy fats
  • Greek yogurt – great source of protein, gut-healthy probiotics and calcium

When purchasing ingredients for your dog, avoid those with added sugar and watch out for xylitol as it can be toxic and even fatal if consumed.

No-bake Pumpkin Bites

Serves: 2

Difficulty: Easy

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 60 minutes

These no-bake bites are made from healthy and delicious ingredients for your furry friend. The recipe comes together in just 5 minutes and is ready to serve within an hour.  


  • 1 cup 100% pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (no xylitol)
  • ¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2.5 cups old-fashioned oats plus ¼ cup for rolling


  1. In a blender, add pumpkin, peanut butter and Greek yogurt and blend until smooth. Alternatively, use a mixer. Move to a bowl.
  2. Add in 2 ½ cups oats and incorporate well.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, form into ~1-inch balls. Roll in ½ cup of oats to coat.
  4. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Blueberry Pup-accino

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Dogs go crazy over this recipe and it requires no visit to the drive-through. Simply add a few staple household ingredients to a blender, scoop and serve.


  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. honey


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, saving a few blueberries for topping.
  2. Add a ¼ cup to a dog-safe serving dish. Top with blueberries.

Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan based in Detroit. Passionate about the science of nutrition and behavior, Shanthi has experience working in clinical nutrition, public health and teaching in the university setting. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the outdoors, working on art and spending time with family. For more recipes and health information, visit

A Healthier Michigan
Author: A Healthier Michigan

Our mission is to help everyone in Michigan get healthier from the inside out. This means everything from giving you resources to help you make better decisions about diet and exercise, as well as information on creating and sustaining nurturing communities and successful businesses — everything you need to help create a healthier Michigan.