Dry Dog Treats – Recipes for Natural Treats

As dog parents, who doesn’t love spoiling our pups with delicious treats? 

However, with so many dog treats in the market today, it can be confusing to decide which is the best. 

As such, let’s talk about dry dog treats and the different varieties under this category. Psst, you will also learn how to DIY some for your furkid at home! 

Dry Dog Treats

Photo by Honest Paws on Unsplash

What are dry dog treats?

Dry treats include dehydrated, freeze-dried, air-dried, and baked dog treats. 

The concept of dry dog treats is similar to the dry food that we humans consume - they are food from which most moisture has been extracted. This process prevents the growth of harmful bacteria, mold, and yeast. 

Are dry dog treats good for dogs? 

Dehydrated, freeze-dried, and air-dried dog treats are usually naturally produced from whole foods and raw meats alone. Thus, no preservatives or artificial additives are needed to extend their shelf life, making them safe and healthy for your canine to consume. 

Since they usually contain a single ingredient only, they also make a scrumptious snack for dogs with allergies or food sensitivities. Air-dried does contain some amount of heat, therefore the protein and nutrient quality of these isn’t as high as dehydrated or freeze-dried. 

Baked dog treats like biscuits tend to contain unnecessary calories and fillers, so it is not advisable for dogs who need to watch their weight. 

How are dry dog treats made? 

To break down the different ways dry dog treats are made, let’s compare them one by one. 

Dehydrated dog treats

Dehydrated dog treats are fun to make at home. All you need is a heating device like an oven, air fryer, or a dehydrator. Learn more about how to make dehydrated dog treats

Process : Fresh ingredients are slowly dehydrated under low heat with ample air circulation. 

Time needed: 6 hours to 2 weeks.

Pro : Easy to make at home. 

Con : Heat-sensitive nutrients may be degraded during the process. 

Freeze-dried Dog Treats

Most veterinarians and experts agree that freeze-dried dog treats are the best dry dog treat option out there. However, it requires stringent conditions to produce and is therefore not the easiest to DIY. Learn more about freeze-dried dog treats

Process : Water is extracted from flash-frozen ingredients under a vacuum. 

Time needed: 24 to 48 hours. 

Pro : All nutrients are retained, including delicate vitamins and enzymes. 

Con : Difficult to make at home. 

Air-dried dog treats

As opposed to the two methods above, air-drying does not require any heat. The key in this process is low humidity and a good amount of airflow. 

Process : Moisture is removed via evaporation from fresh ingredients at room temperature. 

Time needed: Few days to a week. 

Pro : No energy consumption and no equipment is needed.  

Con : Only suitable for dry climates. 

Natural air-dried dog treats recipes 

Air-dried dog treats deserve more recognition and hype in the healthy-DIY snack category. 

Air-drying does not require constant checking nor any heating equipment. Additionally, all the nutrients will be locked in and flavors are concentrated from the lack of moisture. 

Here’s how to make some healthy small dry dog treats your furry best friend will enjoy. 

Prepare your fresh fruits

  • Wash and slice them thinly into equal sizes for even drying. 
  • Apple, watermelon, strawberry, and kiwi are great snacks for your dog.
  • Be sure to remove the seeds and pits if there are any.

Air-dry your treats

  • Ensure the humidity is below 60% and the temperature is at least 30°C. Check your local forecast.
  • Line your fruits on a drying rack with a food-safe screen material such as plastic or stainless steel. Avoid copper and aluminum. 
  • Pick a spot with good ventilation that’s easy for you to keep an eye on. 
  • Remember to take your treats indoors at night. 
  • Your air-dried dog treats will be ready after 2-6 days of drying outdoors. 
  • Do check for moisture by slicing a few pieces or bending some. They shouldn’t be sticky to the touch. 

Storage 

  • Freeze the treats for at least 48 hours.
  • After that, you can opt to transfer them into an airtight container or bag.
  • You can now store them somewhere cool and dry for up to a year. 

Tips: High acid foods such as fruits can be air-dried outdoors since the high sugar and acid content can withstand exposure to sunlight. Dehydrating or oven drying is advised for low acid foods like veggies. 

Where to buy the best dry dog treats? 

Although homemade dog treats will ensure that your dog gets the healthiest snacks, it does take time to prepare. 

If you’ve got no extra time to go the homemade route, PetCubes offers a large selection of natural dry dog treats for your furry pal. From protein-packed jerkies to mineral-rich organ meat, all the ingredients are freshly sourced from Australia with no added preservatives. 

Conclusion

Dry dog treats are truly the best of both worlds - they are hassle-free for dog owners while your pup can enjoy an explosion of nutritional goodness. 

After learning the benefits and drawbacks of the types of dry dog treats, you’ll have no worries picking out the best one for your pooch the next time you’re dog treat shopping.

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.

You have successfully subscribed!