Today’s entry is on how you can make pork dog treats for Valentine’s Day!
Or any time of the year you feel like whipping up some homemade dog treats, really.
The particular pork dog treats that I made for Wally this time around are pork jerky dog treats and dehydrated pork kidney dog treats.
So if you were ever wondering if pork dehydrates well ~ it sure does, and yes, you can dehydrate pork for dog treats!
Why did I decide on these particular cuts of meat?
No specific reason other than that I had the meat readily available in Wally’s raw dog food freezer.
Yep, for anyone who doesn’t know me yet, I’m a raw feeder and a sucker for single-ingredient treats.
And of course pork is one of the (cooling) proteins that work for Wally.
Since he has lots of food sensitivities, for example to chicken, salmon and grains, I’m truly happy that he does well with pork.
So coming up is my dehydrated pork dog treats recipe which consists of 4 easy steps!
Making Pork Dog Treats For Valentine’s Day
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Step 1: Go Pork Meat Shopping
You can either pick some up locally or from a retailer.
For example, pork meat from your local grocery store or pork kidneys from Raw Feeding Miami if you’re in the US.
For this particular batch, I used discounted pork meat that was on sale at my grocery store, and pork kidneys from my local butcher.
Just a quick note on the food safety of pork for dogs – it’s perfectly fine if you source it from grocery stores or raw dog food retailers.
At least here in the Western parts of this world, including North America and Europe.
FYI: I live in Germany these days and lived in the States for over a decade. And yep, I’ve fed raw pork in both countries for many years.
Step 2: Cut The Meat Into Chunks
Next, pull out a cutting board and a sharp knife and cut up the meat.
The thicker you cut it, the longer it’s going to take to dehydrate, so that’s up to you.
I went with thick-ish cuts this time around for both the meat and the kidneys. They were about half an inch thick.
Fun fact: I got to break in the K9sOverCoffee wood cutting board that friends of mine had custom made for me for Christmas!
Really cool gift, although I usually prefer plastic cutting boards to cut up meat.
So I made sure to hand-wash it and treat it with a special mineral oil for wood cutting boards right after.
Step 3: Dehydrate The Meat
Now it’s time to evenly place the cuts of meat onto your dehydrator trays.
And no, you don’t have to cook meat before dehydrating it for dogs.
But anyways, I made 2 trays of pork jerky dog treats and 2 trays of pork kidney treats.
As far as how long you should dehydrate pork ~ anywhere between 10-20 hours, depending on your temperature setting.
This time around, I dehydrated the pork dog treats at 40 C (104 F) for about 12 hours.
I usually go with a lower temperature to preserve as many of the nutrients as possible, but I wanted treats asap.
Hence the higher temps.
(Not so) fun fact: I broke one of my dehydrator trays this time around while washing them.
So now I’m down from 5 trays to 4.
Step 4: Let The Pork Dog Treats Cool Off, Then Store
Make sure you let the pork dog treats cool off all the way before you store them in a glass jar or a food storage container.
I just leave them on the trays in the dehydrator because of the great air circulation.
After Wally got to taste-test a bite of each treat, I stored them all together in a glass jar.
Since it was a small-ish batch that won’t last any longer than 10 days, I didn’t freeze any.
But if you make a large batch, you can freeze as many treats as you want in reusable food storage containers or ziplock bags.
Store-Bought Pork Kidney Dog Treat Alternative
You can also buy pork kidney jerky treats for dogs if you want a quicker treat fix.
The ones I link to above are made in the US from pastured pigs at Joyce Farms. That’s a family farm in Winston-Salem, NC.
Fun fact: They supply a lot of the meat for Raw Feeding Miami!
How To Make Pork Dog Treats for Valentine’s Day: Bottom Line
It’s really easy to make your own dehydrated pork dog treats. All you need is the meat and a dehydrator.
Well, and some time to dehydrate, so I either make mine on a weekend or start a batch in the late afternoon during the week.
That way, they’re done the next morning.
You can either source the pork from your local grocery store or from a raw dog food retailer.
If you only make a small batch, you can store the treats in a glass jar up to 2 weeks. Use food storage containers or zip lock bags to store larger batches in the freezer.
As far as what I use the pork dog treats for, I use them inside the house:
I also bring them along on our walks and hikes in my dog treat pouch to:
- Reward my pup for listening to my obedience commands like sit, stay and down
- Distract him from oncoming doggie traffic and cats
So there you have it, that’s how easy it is to make your own homemade dog treats.
Have you used pork before to make treats for your pup(s)?
Let me know in the comment section below this blog post if you’d like.
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