Alton Brown’s Healthy Dog Treats That Will Keep Your Dog Out of the Cat Litter


Dogs love used cat litter. It is their most delicious treat. However, as caring pet owners, you and I know it is neither healthy nor sanitary. The last thing I want is a poop-mouthed dog licking my face. I am shocked that the billion-dollar pet industry hasn’t found a solution to this problem that is good for dogs, clean for both us and them, and less traumatizing for our cats.

While we wait for the industry to catch up, we can turn to our friendly food scientist, Alton Brown. Brown had the same problem we do, but has the ingenuity and the knowledge help to solve the problem. He created a healthy treat from normal foods that has a bit of a stink and a litter-like consistency to draw your dog away from the cat’s toilet. He explains how he fixed his problem with his stuffed animal of a dog, Sparky.

Alton is a fast talker and the video moves quickly, so I have added the recipe below. Here’s to happy and healthy pets!


1 small sweet potato

3 cups rolled oats

3 ounces oil packed sardines, drained

1 large egg

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 teaspoons fish sauce for that (optional) pungent smell dogs love


1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees
2. Cook the sweet potato by piercing it several times with a paring knife or fork, then microwave on high for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.
3. Blend the oats in a food processor until they reach the consistency of flour. Remove the oats from the food processor and set aside. This is what will trick your dog into thinking it’s eating litter.
4. Mix the inside of the sweet potato, sardines, egg, and peanut butter in food processor. Pulse to blend the mixture into a thick paste.
5. Add 2 cups of the powdered oats and pulse to blend them into the paste.
6. Sprinkle a work surface with the remaining oats and roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. You can cut them into treats or roll them to look like cookies.
7. Bake on a parchment paper-lined half sheet pan for 30 to 40 minutes or until treats appear dry and lightly browned on the bottom. If you are using the fish sauce, brush the treats immediately after baking while they are warm. Leave the treats in your turned-off oven for another hour to dry.

These treats are perishable, so be careful. Don’t feed your dogs rotting food.