Dogs love biscuits of all kinds. If you're looking to make homemade dog biscuits, you will find a seemingly endless selection of flours at your local grocery or health-food store. Options don't stop at white, wheat or all-purpose. Other choices include flours made from rice, nuts and more.
When it comes to baking, wheat flour is one of the most commonly used. Varieties of wheat flour that can be used in baking include white, wheat, all-purpose, cake and pastry flours. Using wheat-based flours for dog biscuits can work for many dogs; however, like some humans, some dogs are sensitive to wheat. If the dog you're baking for is okay with wheat, you can use it to bake treats. You can also use it in combination with different flours.
Rice flour is also good for baking, and it's a good alternative for dogs who are sensitive to wheat products. Regular rice flour is made from long-grain or medium-grain rice. Sweet rice flour is made from short-grain rice. It's not actually sweet, but it does have an almost milky flavor and a higher starch content. This starchiness works in the baker's favor, helping biscuit ingredients stick together. Other rice flours include brown rice flour, made from the whole rice grain.
Nut Flours & Other Options
Nut flours are high in protein, low in carbs and rich with essential fatty acids like omega-3s. Examples of nut flours include almond and hazelnut flours, both suitable for baking dog biscuits. Additional flours include the high-protein garbanzo bean or chick pea flour, along with oat flour and barley flour. Two flours that you should avoid in excess are soy and corn: Many dogs are sensitive to soy and corn, and can't properly digest them.
Buying and Storing Flours
Regardless of which flour or flour combinations you use for your dog biscuits, proper buying and storage practices will lead to fresher, tastier biscuits. When buying, choose only tightly sealed containers. Torn bags or flours from bins are vulnerable to bugs and contamination. Generally, shelf life is a few months in the cabinet, or six months to a year in the freezer. Refrigerated flour falls somewhere in between. Store flour in a covered container. If flour changes color or smells off, toss it.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.