Monday, 23 January 2017

{RECIPE} Yogurt Gelatin Healthy Heart Gummy Dog Treats

These little hearts are so easy and our dogs LOVE them.  Made in two steps to protect the probiotic content of the yogurt, these gummies are quick and healthy treats that you can feel good about sharing with your dog...even literally if you'd like to sample! I'm not into eating gelatin myself, but it's great for humans as well as dogs. :)  When made with plain yogurt, these gummies are naturally a creamy white, but the mixture can also be tinted with either compatibly flavoured natural colourings or food colouring before pouring into your molds if you wish.

Yogurt Gelatin Healthy Heart Gummy Dog Treats

1/2 cup cold water* (or alternative dog-friendly liquid)
3-3.5 tbsp gelatin powder
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt (see tips below) 

*Note: You can use more water and less yogurt if you prefer, just keep the total liquid ratio at 1 cup per 3 tbsp of gelatin. More starter liquid can be easier for blooming.  I also like to use a pan instead of a pot, as it's easier to sprinkle the larger surface area to hydrate and bloom.

Measure water into a small pot/pan. Sprinkle the surface with gelatin powder and let sit for approximately five minutes or longer for the gelatin powder to bloom/gel.  Gently stir the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Take care not to shortcut with high temperatures or overheat, as this can reduce the setting strength of your gelatin.  Remove from heat. Check that your liquid temperature is below 50C (120F) to protect your probiotic content (allow to cool a little if needed), then add the yogurt and stir to thoroughly combine. Pour into your molds (or a pan if you prefer set-and-cut treats). Chill to set fully before removing from molds.

Tips and Tricks:
  • If you are using a thick-style yogurt, you may find it helpful to water it down for easier mixing.  I also find measuring the yogurt and letting it sit to warm a bit while I prep the rest of the gummy base can be handy for smoother blending than straight cold yogurt.
  • Remember to go natural or take care when shopping to avoid artificial sweeteners in ingredients like yogurt for your dogs – xylitol (also identified as sweetener E967) is particularly dangerous for dogs. If your dog is sensitive to dairy, check out our other gummy recipes for alternative ideas.  
  • These are firm gummies, since I like to supplement my dogs with gelatin, especially my senior.  If you prefer, you can use less gelatin for a jigglier jelly treat. Individual gelatin powders may be a little stronger/weaker. Find a ratio that works for your preferences and, of course, your dog.
  • Yield will depend on your treat size and thickness, but in my experience a cup of gelatin mixture will make roughly a dozen large (like those shown) molded gummies. Volumes are easily scaled.  If you want a precise measure of a specific pan/mold capacity, you can do a test pour from a measuring cup of water to measure the volume required to fill.
  • If you're using shaped pans, keep them simple for easy breakage-free removal. I find that flexible molds work best as stiff molds can be tricky for removal. Supple silicon molds are tricky to move when full of liquid, so place of a portable surface to help you get things into the fridge without mess and stress.
  • Once set, they are now ready to eat, but for an even better "real" gummy texture/feel, after you have taken the treats out of the mold (or cut into pieces from your pan), return them to the refrigerator on a plate/tray uncovered to dry for a day before normal container storage.
  • These treats should be kept refrigerated and can be frozen for longer storage, although this can affect consistency. If gummies are frozen, I find that defrosting in the fridge uncovered on a plate or dishtowel helps to make sure that they thaw semi-dry instead of getting a little slippery. Freezing causes gelatin to separate which tends to bleed out some liquid content in addition to condensation factors. 

Hungry for more tasty treats?  See all of our recipes here. Remember, treats are for spoiling your pup in moderation. Some dogs have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt, have a chat with your vet.


  1. Can you keep these treats at room temperature?

    1. They should be stable in terms of the gummy texture, I wouldn't keep a yogurt treat at room temperature for very long - better to play it safe. Even without the yogurt, I like to keep all of my gummies refrigerated (or frozen, although this does affect their consistency a little).

      At warmer temperatures, the gelatin in the gummies will start to melt back into a liquid. The melting temperature depends of a lot of other factors (quality, concentration, other ingredients, etc) but this is typically well above room temperature, except perhaps if it is a sizzling summer room. :) Hope that helps!

    2. Thank you! :-)

  2. These were fun to make. However, after refrigerating overnight, they wouldn't come out of the molds without breaking. I ended up freezing them still in the molds, and when they were frozen hard, they came out nicely. Now they're thawing in the refrigerator. Is that common?

    1. Hi Kate,

      Sorry for the slow reply - we've been offline during a move. Bummer for breaking gummies! It isn't a problem that I've encountered much, but it could be the mold, the bloom/dissolve, or the gelatin.

      Sometimes, a mold can be great for a hard-set use like ice, chocolate, etc but tricky for softer gummies. I do have one mold that is particularly pesky - too firm to easily pop the gummies out. Boo. I like using very flexible smooth silicone molds, and I don't coat them but commercial gummy makers use starched pans.

      The most common culprit is something going awry during prep (which for us usually means I've been impatient...). The bloom liquid needs to be cool and the sprinkled gelatin should slowly hydrate and plump up into a thick grainy gel (soft of reminds me of applesauce...but with surface wrinkles). Don't be tempted to stir it during blooming. :) Once fully bloomed, the mixture can be slowly heated to dissolve the grains. It needs enough heating to fully dissolve (mine usually measures around 50C plus or minus a little at this stage), but you don't want to cook the mix as high temperature can also weaken gelatin's ability to gel.

      This quantity of powder-to-liquid is generally great for us and we've tested with multiple brands, but gelatins do have different strengths, so if things are consistently soft with good bloom and dissolving, try using a little more for a firmer set.

      Hope that helps!


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