DIY DOG TREATS! RUUUUUFFFFF! (A very excited ruff ruff)
I consider myself a very educated Aussie. I hope you are aware, that I am one of the smartest breeds in the world, not to brag or anything… (I’m bragging). Anyway.. I was reading Natural Dog Magazine (oh yes I read!) this morning and got very excited about some new DIY (d0-it-yourself) dog treats. I of course immediately brought the magazine over to mom.. hint hint. She was pretty pumped herself!
Let me educate you first…
Benefits of dehydration:
Dehydration is a method of preserving foods by removing moisture, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Because the temperatures used are significantly lower than those used to cook foods, most of the nutrients in dehydrated foods stay intact. Foods that are cooked can also be dehydrated to extend their shelf-life. (several brands of small dehydrators are reasonably priced and easy to use).
Can you make DIY treats for your dogs and not use the dehydration method? Yes, but they won’t last as long, which means you need to make small portions so your pups eat them in a timely manner and they don’t go to waste and mold.
Another option to check out and do would be to solar dry. (Ummm awesome-sauce!) Using mother nature at her best! As long as you live in a warm, dry climate this method has and can be used. Nothin’ like some good ole’ sunshine to dry and preserve our foods! I would love to just roll around in the sun and just lay for hours sunbathing right now… sighhh… winter…
Okay back to dehydration …
We have recipes for Beefy Dog Biscuits, Flaxseed Salmon Treats, Sweet Potato Dog Chews, Dehydrated banana chips, and Chicken Jerky Strips! Ohhh which one to share….
Um.. chicken jerky.. WHY? Because of all the poor dogs getting sick and even fatal incidents from chicken jerky on the market!
Chicken Jerky Strips
(The thinner you slice the meat, the less time it takes to dry. Pop the meat in the freezer for 15 minutes beforehand makes it easier to slice thinly)
-1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast tenders, sliced into strips about 1/8th to 1/4th thick
- 1/4th inch thick
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
-1 tablespoon salt
- Dog friendly fresh or dry herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, and sage
1. Rinse off chicken breast and remove any fat. Fat slows down the dehydrating process and makes your jerky spoil faster. Slice the chicken with the grain. This will help make jerky even chewier.
2. Coat the chicken slices with dog friendly herbs.
3. Place chicken breast strips evenly on tray, leaving space between them so they are not touching.
4. Once they are in the dehydrator, turn it on and set the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The jerky will probably take anywhere between 3-12 hours to fully dry. Start checking it once every hour after the first hour. To check it, simply open up the tray and take a slice out. Cut it open with a sharp knife and examine. (Don’t eat it silly.. although you may be tempted). You should see no moisture at all and it should be the same color throughout. If its not finished, put it back in for another hour. Once it gets close, check every half hour.
Once your chicken jerky is done, store in an airtight container. Write the date you made them on it. Out of the refrigerator, the treats last about 10 days in an airtight container. They’ll keep for approximately 3 weeks with refrigeration. They can also be frozen for up to eight months.
(Store dehydrated foods in airtight containers in refrigerator or freezer. It’s important to protect these foods from moisture and humidity or they will absorb the moisture and spoil) – resources: Natural Dog Magazine, Liz Palika- author of The Ultimate Pet Food Guide and several other books, more info http://www.lizpalika.com , and dogchannel.com
NOW… this may seem like quite the process, but with all the crap that is being put into our treats and food these days, if you are trying to get back to the basics and feed us the healthiest of healthiest, why not have complete control over what you are putting into our bodies! Plus, how cool is it to say.. I made these! :) Kinda makes you feel like a badass.
Cool beans… hit us up if you want more recipes or.. just go out and buy the magazine with them in it. We love Natural Dog Mag!
Happy Tuesday! Paw-nuckles…