Sardine oatcakes

by | Dec 6, 2012 | 102 comments


The original sardine oatcake recipe. 

This is personally my favourite recipe on my blog.  If you are in need of super high-value treats – you just found them!  Your dog will love these oatcakes, they are tasty, healthy, smell great, and just so easy to make!  And from preparation to cooking time they take less than one hour! When I was thinking about what I could cook to make a dog food recipe to make at home I thought about making doggy flapjacks then found that oatcakes were even easier to make and the perfect treat recipe to use fish!  I’ve taken these out with me several times when I’ve been dog walking and they are great for getting the attention of a dog who’s mind wanders when out for a walk! Very simple to make, all you need is 6 ingredients you probably already have and a biscuit cutter.

The dough is more like paper mache than biscuit dough.  So alternatively you can use a silicone mould instead of a biscuit cutter.

For a more traditional looking oatcake replace 1 quarter of your rolled oats with pinhead oatmeal – but not necessary.


  • 2 tins of sardines in oil (2x120g)
  • 1 crushed garlic clove (or 1 small teaspoon of crushed garlic.  No powder)
  • 60g (1/3 cup) of wholemeal flour
  • 300g (1 1/3 cups) of oats
  • 150ml Chicken broth (homemade is best)
  • 1 egg


broth in a jug

Make around 150ml (1/4 pint) of stock.  Chicken will do.  If using cubes get the low salt ones.

sardines in a mixing bowl

Add the two tins of sardines to a bowl (including the oil)!

mashed sardines

Mash the sardines thoroughly with a fork!

mashed sardines and garlic

Add 1 crushed garlic clove or 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic


Add an egg

oatcake ingedients in a bowl

Add the 300g (10oz) of oats and 60g (2oz) of wholemeal flour

adding broth to mixing bowl

Add a little of broth to bowl.  To start with try adding 1/3 of your broth.

sardine oatcake dough ball

Mix ingredients with your hands and make a dough ball!  Too dry?  Add more broth.  Too wet?  Add some flour or oatmeal.

rolled out oatcake dough

Roll out and cut out biscuits!

freshly baked sardine oatcakes

Place dog biscuits on baking tray and place into a preheated oven at 190°C (370°F) for around 20-25 mins.

oatcakes on cooling rack

Yum, that’s them cooked and they smell great!

4 dogs sitting for a treat

If you’ve made these before, you will know what to expect

How to store

As a general guide if meat protein is present in recipe then it will last around 3 to 5 days stored in a cool place.  If it has second class protein in it eg. cheese, lentils, eggs, etc, then they will store for about 10 days in a cool place. You can use cake tins lined with baking paper – greaseproof. If there is no meat or second class proteins present then it will last around 3 weeks before they go soft like human biscuits.

Buy the book!

These dog treat recipes are now available to buy in book on Amazon.   An ideal gift!

dog treat recipe book

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By Jamie Shanks

BDWS is owned and run by me, Jamie Shanks. I’ve been a professional dog walker since 2010. When I’m not walking dogs, I’m usually at home entertaining my three dogs and attending to five hens and my vegetable garden. 


  1. Sardines in sunflower oil or brine?

    • oil, never brine. dogs dont do salt well

  2. I been making a variant of these for years the dogs devour them, try mixing it up and adding grated carrot, potatoes even for an added boost grind your egg shells into a powder and add some . Such healthy treats

  3. Hello can these be frozen please? X

    • Yip!

  4. Just made a new batch today, Dog’s go crazy for these.

  5. I have made these for the last 3 years for Christmas presents for all the dogs I walk-the owners are wowed by the effort made,the dogs adore the biccies and I love making them.

    • thanks Viv, I am currently making these right now. The smell is so strong, I have 4 dogs here now and am really getting pestered. This is prob my favourite of all the treats.

  6. My friend brought some of these biscuits she made for one of our little cavaliers getting over a major life saving op ,but she had used mackerel
    He absolutely loved them and so did the other 5 waiting at the side lines

  7. I’ve made these countless times, sardines in tomato work well too. Tomorrow I’m replacing the sardines with finely chopped Chicken livers, I’ll let you know how well they work

  8. Wow! Just made a batch of these for my Cocker Spaniel. He never left my side all the time I was in the kitchen, and even tried to pinch the dough off the worktop before I baked them! Once they came out of the oven, he was in doggy heaven.
    I only had sardines in tomato sauce, and wholemeal spelt flour, so I substituted those. I had no garlic, so I put in a big spoonful of mixed dried herbs instead. I put in two eggs to bind, rather than water, and sprinkled with a tiny amount of grated cheese. I used a shot glass to cut them out about the size of a £2 coin. The recipe made 130 biscuits. I will definitely be making them again, thank you!

    • I’ve just made a batch of these sardine biscuits and Kudu sat by my side smelling the kitchen air as they cooked. He loves them, and I’ll share them with Kudu’s lovely doggie walker tomorrow so that the other dogs can enjoy this superb treat.
      Thank you Jamie.

  9. Is there a way to make this a hard biscuit? I made these and while they seemed firm when my dog ate one it just crumbled into crumbs in her mouth.

    • Hey, you could try cooking them longer at a lower heat to help dry them out, that would make them harder.

    • When I made them I accidentally transposed the amounts for the whole wheat flour and the oats. Mine were made with 1 1/3 cup flour and only 1/3 cut oats. They came out perfect. Took an extra splash of water to make it dough.

  10. Hi Jamie fab recipe for sardine oatcakes thank you. My dog was 2 today so made this as a treaty does cooked it in a tin then cut up like flapjack!! Max (lab)loved it as did our springer Myah. Gave some little bits to their puppies who are only 5 weeks old they loved it too. 🙂

    • Hey Melissa. Thanks for your feedback and happy birthday to Max. This is my fave recipe!

  11. I’ll give these a go tomorrow I’ve always got sardines in oil in as I feed some feral cats by me ( they are only 39p from b&m) . Let’s see if my girls like them the 10 week old puppy will eat anything she can but the 5 year old is more selective x

    • Hey, I’m certain your 5 year old will love these, they are a favourite of all dogs, choosy or not.

  12. ohhhh I’m going to try this, my boy loves sardines…….. i guess i can use spelt flour or coconut flour? i buy the ones in spring water, so can i use coconut oil and or flaxseeds? to bind?

  13. Is garlic toxic to dogs? Some say yes others say it’s a myth? I really want to make these. Help please?

    • Only in stupid quantities, Sophie.

  14. I’ve just made my first batch of these. Definitely a new favourite. I shall have to bulk-buy sardines in the future, I think!
    Willow and Shadow say thank you 🙂

    Next stop, tuna loaf…

    • Hey Fiona. Aww thanks for that. I’m so glad Willow and Shadow like them.

  15. Sardine oatcakes – fantastic! – say Belle & Coco.

  16. just gave these a go for our Westie – without the garlic and she went nuts for them!


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