Dehydrated Dog Treats – How to Make Delicious Snacks for Your Dog

Do you give your dog treats? Yes or yes? 

Dog treats come in many forms and serve various purposes. In any case, the way our furry friends explode into joy at the sight of yummy treats is a priceless sight to all dog owners out there. 

Out of many types of dog treats, dehydrated dog treats are a relatively new type. Let’s talk about what they are and how to make them at home! 

What are dehydrated dog treats?

Dehydration removes 80 to 95% of moisture from fresh ingredients while retaining the original nutritional content. That way, pathogens that cause food decay can no longer breed and harm your dog’s health. 

Dehydrated dog treats can be in the form of fruits, vegetables, and jerkies. 

Benefits of Dehydrated Dog Treats

Healthier

Minus the extensive processes that most other types of dog treats go through, dehydration preserves the food simply by drawing out its water content. That means no preservatives or additives are needed. 

Longer shelf life

The lack of moisture in dehydrated dog treats extends its shelf life, saving us the hassle of constantly replenishing our doggy pantry. 

Portable

As dehydrating removes the water from fresh ingredients, it becomes lighter and compact to bring around. As such, dehydrated dog treats are quite literally a life hack for moments when you’re on the go. 

Can dehydrated dog treats be made at home? 

Yes, of course. Dehydrated dog treats are not only easy but also fun to make. 

One of the main benefits of dehydrating your dog treats is that you can customize them to your canine’s liking and needs. This includes the flavor, texture, size, and even the nutritional ratio. 

What you need to get started

To start making your dog’s favorite dehydrated treats, all you need is a device that can effectively draw out moisture by heat, your ingredient of choice, and some time to spare.

Any of these appliances you have at home will do the trick:

1. Oven

Home ovens are a good choice if you don’t want the trouble of getting any specialized equipment. 

  • Arrange your fresh treats on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Turn the setting of your oven to the lowest it can go, or refer to our guide below for a more specialized option. Be mindful that too high a temperature will cook the treats instead! 
  • Leave the door slightly open to expel the moisture produced by the heat. 
  • Check the progress every 12 hours.   

2. Dehydrator

As the name suggests, an electric dehydrator can dry your chosen ingredient with ease. It’s equipped with an adjustable heating element as well as a fan to help circulate air efficiently. 

Nevertheless, it’s still best to check on the treats once every 12 hours to achieve the desired texture and doneness. This option is preferred to keep the nutrient quality high. 

3. Air fryer

Air fryers are the world’s favorite cooking device right now. It’s no surprise that you can use it to make delicious dehydrated dog treats as well. 

  • Arrange your fresh treats on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Set your air fryer’s setting according to the suitability of your ingredient (refer below). 
  • Allow it to run for 2-4 hours with regular checking. 

Tip: It’s important that you cut your fresh ingredients into similar sizes for each batch. 

Since heat is distributed evenly, you don’t want some of the pieces to be done faster than others. 

As moisture is gradually being removed, you will notice the treats shrinking from their original size. So, you might want to slice or cut them larger than how you’d prefer them when they’re done. 

How to tell when your dehydrated dog treats are ready?

The time needed to dehydrate your dog treats can vary (from hours up to weeks) depending on the type and size of the ingredients. 

As a rule of thumb, the treats are ready when they are stiff and can’t be bent into two. To be sure, you can always slice a few pieces in half to check for moisture. 

You can definitely leave them in longer if you’re going for a crunchy texture. 

Dog Treats

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

Delicious homemade dehydrated dog treats 

Now that you know how to make dehydrated dog treats, here’s a list of popular fresh ingredients. 

Meat

When dehydrating meat, set the following temperatures:

Poultry- 75°C

Meat- 70°C

Organ meat- 65°C

Pre-cooked meat- 60°C

Here are some meat treats you can dehydrate at home. 

  • Chicken/lamb hearts
  • Chicken feet
  • Liver slices
  • Chicken breast
  • Ground beef/turkey
  • Pig ears and snout

Fish

Fish could be the smelliest ingredient to dehydrate, but the health benefits and unique tastiness make up for the stink. Dehydrated fish are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Fish can be dehydrated at 70°C and are generally ready in 5 to 10 hours. 

Any lean and firm variety of fish on the market will do great when dehydrated, but here are a few suggestions.

  • Tilapia
  • Salmon
  • Cod
  • Sardine
  • Anchovies

Tips: It’s not advisable to dehydrate meat or fish high in fat. The moisture in fat doesn’t dehydrate well, so it may lead to the treats going rancid fast. Fatty fish like salmon can’t be stored for long unless frozen. 

Fruits & veggies

Fruit and veggie chews are a delight for your pup to munch on. 

Generally, you want to dehydrate your fruits at 55°C and veggies at 50°C. They are also quick to dry. To be sure, do check on them every 2 hours.

Here are some healthy choices that are nutritious for your dog.

  • Pumpkin 
  • Yam 
  • Sweet potato
  • Green beans
  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Peas
  • Carrots

You can freeze your homemade dehydrated dog treats and keep them for up to a few weeks or 6 months. 

Where to buy natural dehydrated pet treats? 

Even though homemade dehydrated dog treats are a great choice, not all ingredients are easily sourced where you are. 

PetCubes offers a variety of dehydrated dog treats that your best friend will love! Moreover, all these treats are 100% natural and preservative-free. They’re sourced directly from Australia, giving your pup the freshest flavor from down under. 

Conclusion

As we all know, dogs simply can’t resist the temptation of treats. As such, dehydrated dog treats are a convenient and hassle-free option while making sure your puppy is in good health. 

Reviewed by:

Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.

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