Healthy Home-Made Treats for Dogs
Our dogs are our kids. We love and cherish them with all our hearts; their health and happiness are our priorities. I make healthy homemade treats for our dogs with my trusty dehydrator.
INCONSISTENCY WITH STORE-BOUGHT TREATS
I used to buy beef and liver jerky for our dogs ensuring it was Australian-made and preservative-free.
Each morning they would get a couple of piece each for their breaky and they’d chew to their heart’s content.
However, I started to find inconsistencies each time I purchased a new bag. Sometimes they were lean and easy to snap, other times they were covered in fat which I had to then scrape off, sometimes thick and tough. Yuk!
I’d been thinking about investing in a food dehydrator for way too long. Procrastination be gone! I ordered one online and I’ve been working it hard ever since at making healthy home-made treats for our dogs!
The Excalibur 9-Tray Food Dehydrator 4926T in black from Sprout in Australia is the one I chose and I love it.
Beef jerky is a favourite for the our dogs using topside which I freeze and then allow to thaw enough to slice easily with a mandolin or a sharp knife (very carefully).
Here are the steps to my chicken jerky which I make once a week from free-range human-grade chicken breast for both our dogs, and my dog photography client sessions.
Freeze overnight or for about 6-8 hours.
Slice with the mandolin in the morning before it freezes rock hard.
Remove any fat and then lay the slices out onto the trays of my dehydrator pre-lined with baking paper.
Set the dehydrator to about 75 degrees celsius for about 6-8 hours and the result is perfect chicken jerky with absolutely nothing added. This is what I use for my client shoots too… I haven’t met a dog yet who doesn’t go wacko over it!
OTHER PROTEIN OPTIONS
- Chicken wing tips
- Beef hearts
- Smoked trout skin, head and tail
- Salmon skin
- Prime 100 Rolls – Lamb and Rosemary or Wild Boar and Pumpkin – Just cut into strips 2cm wide.
I purchased a bag of small sweet potatoes and made Sweet Potato Jerky. This was a hit with ours, so I went out again yesterday and bought three more bags! Finding the petite sweet potatoes is hard, but they are often in the “reject” bags of veg that aren’t picture perfect, but they work well for this. If you’d like to make your own, keep an eye out for them at your local fruit and veg store.
Wash the sweet potato with fresh cold water and a vegetable scrubber, then place them in the steamer with about a litre of water in the bottom pan.
Put the lid on and set the timer for 30 minutes, depending on the amount you are steaming. This particular batch was huge and took about 30 minutes. You just need to steam them until you can firmly put a fork through them. Don’t overcook; they will become too soft to cut for the jerky.
Once your sweet potatoes are tender, remove the lid and allow them to cool down enough for handling and peeling.
Cut them into 50mm rounds. I just use a sharp knife and place each sweet potato on a wooden chopping board. After slicing each one, I place the slices onto a dehydrator tray lined with baking paper.
Set the dehydrator at around 52 degrees Celsius and leave them for about 8-12 hours.
When cool, place them into a paper-lined storage container and keep them in the fridge.
While I am doing this, I have my dogs at my feet begging for a slice… they absolutely love it!
Healthy home-made treats for our dogs
So there you have it! Some quick insights as to how we keep our little dogs healthy and happy with the peace of mind of knowing exactly what they are eating.
I carry a little zip-lock plastic bag with me on our walks each day with some of these treats, and it still amazes me how excited they get when I yell out the word “treats”. They come rushing back to me no matter what they are doing, and the smiles of joy are heartwarming.
Here is Little Luna taste-testing this latest batch of sweet potato jerky.
What is your dog’s favourite treat? Do you have any great recipes to share? I’d love to read them if you do, so please share them here in the comments, or post them on my Facebook page, and I will add them to my list of new recipes to try and maybe even feature your recipe in future blogs if they are a hit with the #3dogkateers.
ALWAYS READ THE LABELS!
Please take care when purchasing treats for your precious dogs.
Always read the pack to find out the country of origin and the ingredient listing. If I do purchase treats, they must be Australian-made.
What is my go-to brand for treats when I go to the animal shelter each week, or run out of my home-made treats?
Businesses who support animal rescue such as SavourLife and their Australian Chicken Training Treats. Apart from being an awesome product, they donate 50% of their profits back to animal rescue organisations to help rescue dogs. That’s the kind of organisation close to my heart!
AN ETHICAL CHOICE WHEN FEEDING YOUR DOG
Aside from my holistic treats, I feed our dogs ethical food by Frontier Pets; you can learn more here about this amazing choice.
If you would love some stunning portraits of your dog for your home, get in touch, and we can chat about planning the perfect photoshoot on our farm.