Dehydrators are relatively inexpensive to buy and have very low running costs. I’ve been researching their uses for quite some time and decided to buy one. I’m very impressed with this new appliance and would recommend its use to make home-made doggy treats. The results give a dry, clean dog treat, that’s brilliant for putting in your pocket when out walking the dogs, not to mention the fact that my dogs absolutely love these natural snacks.
Tips for using a Dehydrator
- Always wash your hands when handling raw meat products
- Trim off as much fat as you can from the meat product as fat cannot be dried and you won’t be able to store the snacks for as long
- Read your user manual – drying times vary depending on the thickness of the food and the amount of food placed in the machine
- It takes longer to dry thicker cut portions of meat, cut your snacks into thinner slices
- Food will shrink after being rehydrated, but remember the flavour is more concentrated, so smaller portions are recommended
Here are some suggestions for meat and other products you can rehydrate for your pet treats:
De-hydrated chicken livers
These treats are super simple to make and the dogs really love them. Spray the trays in the dehydrator, with a non-stick spray and place the chicken livers onto the shelves, cutting any large pieces. If the pieces appear to be chunky, flatten them slightly with a fork. Place in the dehydrator for around 4 hours, then switch the shelves for a further 4 hours. Obviously timings may vary depending on your specific appliance. When cooking time is complete, allow to cool and store in the fridge, where they will keep for up to 4 weeks, unless they are all eaten before then!
Sweet potato dog chews
Take 2 organic sweet potatoes, peel and slice into thin ¼ inch chunks. Dehydrate for around 6-8 hours, for a chewy texture. If your dog prefers a crunchier snack, increase the dehydration time. Other vegetables and fruits, such as bananas and apples could be used in a similar process.
Meat jerky treats
It’s possible to use a variety of meats to make these delicious, healthy dog treats. Choose from duck, turkey or chicken, venison, rabbit, lamb or beef, or for a fish option, trout, salmon or tuna. Opt for cuts of meat with little visible fat.
Cut the meat into slices of even size and place into the dehydrator. Try to cut across the grain of the meat to give a chewier texture. Depending on the type of meat or fish, it will require anything from 3 to 12 hours to completely dry out. Store jerky treats in the fridge, as they contain no preservatives.
It’s a fantastic way to ensure that your dog is eating grain-free, natural, gluten-free snacks, and also to save some money in the process.