What better way to spoil your pups than with homemade dehydrated dog treats?!
They’ve always been a favorite with my pups, and today I’m sharing one of my recent batches of liver, hearts and gizzards that I dehydrated for Wally.
Besides pictures & instructions on how to make these dog snacks, you’ll also find my input about the following in this blog post:
- Benefits of homemade dehydrated dog treats
- What you’ll need for these goodies
- Other meats & vegetables you can dehydrate
- Shelf life of dehydrated dog treats
- The one downside of this type of treats
- Store-bought dehydrated treat alternatives
Spoil Your Dog with Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats
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Benefits of Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats
The number one benefit of homemade dog treats in general is that you know what’s in them and that you won’t have to study a long ingredient list.
Since these particular dog treats are dehydrated, they only consist of one single ingredient, so they’re great for dogs with lots of food sensitivities.
Obviously, there’s also no preservatives in these!
If your pup’s a picky eater and not a fan of specific raw meat textures, dehydrating them is one workaround.
You can also use them as a:
- food topper
- training treat
- gift for furry friends, especially around holidays, birthdays and gotcha days
Obviously, they’ll also taste extra good to your pup(s) because they’re made with love by you, their favorite human 🙂
What You’ll Need for Your Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats
Here’s what you’ll need to make these treats:
- Cutting board
- Raw meat or veggies
- Airtight storage container(s)
The more trays your dehydrator has, the larger the batches you can make.
My current dehydrator has 5 trays.
For this particular batch, I went with beef liver and ostrich hearts & gizzards.
Learn more about the benefits of liver and hearts in my blog posts:
- Raw liver for dogs: All your questions answered
- Why raw hearts for dogs are a powerful raw organ meat
I got the beef liver at a local grocery store here in Germany and the ostrich hearts and gizzards from a German raw dog food retailer.
In the US, I either got my beef liver from grocery stores, Raw Paws Pet Food or Raw Feeding Miami.
I was able to find ostrich hearts and other cuts of ostrich at a local ostrich farm in NC, Misty Morning Ranch.
There’s quite a few ostrich farms in the US, just do a Google search for one near you and you’ll probably get lucky!
Ostrich is a great meat option for dogs with lots of food allergies, like my pup Wally.
It’s one of the novel protein sources I feature in my raw dog food recipe e-book 10 Raw Dog Food Recipes for Dogs with Skin Allergies.
Other ideas for cuts of meat you can dehydrate are:
- Small fish likes anchovies
- Green lipped mussels
- Fish skins
- Fish meat
- Breast meats
- Chicken or duck feet
You can also dehydrate veggie slices. But know that dogs don’t have the enzyme that takes care of breaking down plant cell walls.
That’s what ensures that they can properly use all of the nutrients, which is why we purée plant matter in raw feeding in the first place.
However, they’ll still make a really good chew, so here are a few veggie and fruit ideas:
- Sweet potatoes
- Red beets
How to Make the Dehydrated Dog Treats
These treats are pretty straightforward to make:
(1) Slice the ingredients up
(2) Load the dehydrator trays
(3) Start the dehydrator
(4) Check on the treats every so often
As far as how long exactly it’ll take for the treats to dehydrate depends on the:
- Type of food you dehydrate. Foods that are more dense will take longer to dehydrate than those with more water content. For example, sweet potato slices take longer than banana slices or beef liver slices.
- Thickness of the cut. The thicker the cut of the food, the longer it takes to dehydrate. Try to cut your food in even slices if you want everything in your batch to be done at the same time.
- Temperature setting on your dehydrator. The lower the setting, the longer it takes. I personally opt for the lowest setting because I want to use the least amount of temperature as possible to preserve all the nutrients as best as possible.
This recent batch of beef liver, ostrich hearts & gizzards took about 27 hours.
I didn’t cut them super thinly and also went with the lowest temperature setting on my dehydrator, 40C (=104F).
So it took a little longer.
Shelf Life of Dehydrated Dog Treats
Dehydrated dog treats last about 4 days in the fridge, similar to raw meat.
If you let them cool off properly and then store them in an airtight storage container, they’ll be good for 2-3 weeks at room temperature.
For any larger batches, let them cool off and then store them in the freezer until you’re ready to feed them.
For this particular batch, I filled one medium size glass jar with as many treats as I could fit in there.
The remaining ones went into ziplock bags and into the freezer.
The only con I can think of is that these treats take some time to make, at least 12 hours but closer to 24 hours if you’re looking for the real crunchy deal!
So if you’re looking for a super quick fix, you’ll have to buy some at the store instead of making your own.
Check out the store-bought treat alternatives in the next section if you’re looking to go that route.
Store-Bought Dehydrated Dog Treat Alternatives
- Open Farm Dehydrated Cod Skin Dog Treats
- Fit & Fed Puppy Dehydrated Turkey Breast Dog Treats
- Jack & Pup Dehydrated Duck Feet
- Olewo Dehydrated Red Beets Itch & Allergy Relief
- Wholesome Pride Dehydrated Apple Slices Dog Treats
- Dr. Harvey’s Sweet Potate’r Chews Dehydrated Dog Treats
Spoil Your Dog with Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats: Bottom Line
If you have a little extra time one of these weekends, why not make your pup(s) a batch of your very own single-ingredient dehydrated dog treats?
You can dehydrate a large variety of meats as well as veggies and fruits.
If your dehydrator has more than just a couple of trays, you could dehydrate one type of meat and/or veggies per tray, that way you’ll have a variety of treats.
Have a fellow dog friend who may want to make some dehydrated treats? Feel free to share this blog post with them 🙂
- How to make dehydrated Sweet Potato dog treats
- How to make healthy banana tripe dog treats
- 20 easy no bake Valentine’s Day dog treats
- Best training treats for tiny dogs & puppies