With all of the recent pet food recalls, one way to make sure that your furry loved one is getting the highest-quality food is to make it yourself. It’s easy to whip up wholesome and delicious treats—with no additives or preservatives—in your own home.
Using a food dehydrator is ideal. It uses an extremely low level of heat, which helps preserve vitamins and minerals. However, most dehydrated snacks also can be made in an oven on very low heat for several hours. Once you and your pet get hooked on these nutritious treats, you may want to splurge on a dehydrator!
Check out these easy recipes that are sure to have your dogs and cats begging for more:
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, sliced into strips about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick*
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Dog-friendly seasonings such as parsley, rosemary, and sage
* Pop the chicken into the freezer for about 15 minutes before cutting, so it will be easier to slice thinly. The thinner you slice the chicken, the less time it will take to dry.
Rinse the chicken breast and remove any fat, since fat slows the dehydrating process and will make your chicken jerky spoil faster. Slice the chicken with the grain, to make the jerky even chewier for your dog. Next, coat the chicken slices with oil, then sprinkle with salt and seasonings.
Place the chicken breast strips evenly on the dehydrator trays, making sure that the strips do not touch each other. It is important to have airflow in between them while they are drying out.
Set your dehydrator to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It will take between 3 and 12 hours for the chicken strips to fully dry. After the first hour, open the dehydrator, take out a slice of chicken and cut it with a sharp knife. When the chicken is done, it will have no moisture and it will have the same color throughout. If it is not finished, put it back in, checking every hour until it is done.
Store your chicken jerky in sealed containers in the refrigerator.
*If cooking in a regular oven, set temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 2-4 hours.
Simple Sweet Potato Chews
Thoroughly wash and peel sweet potatoes. Slice the sweet potato into 1/4-inch slices, or, if you prefer, cut down the middle lengthwise and slice into 1/4-inch strips.
Dehydrate at the highest setting (145 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit) for approximately 6 to 8 hours to achieve a chewy texture. For crunchier treats, dehydrate longer until the desired consistency.
*If cooking in a regular oven, set temperature to 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 6 to 8 hours.