Some of us now have some extra time at home with Covid-19 and don’t want to expose ourselves by going out to the pet store for extra dog treats. This is a great time to learn a new skill and make at home pet treat to show our pets some extra love!
There are many treat recipes available online, many made with wholesome human grade ingredients so you can feel good about what you are giving your pet. You can also control the size of your treats- if your pet needs to watch their waistline, just cut them up smaller with a pizza cutter once you’ve made the dough. Or if you have a large breed dog, you can use cookie cutters in cute shapes. You can choose to leave them as a plain treat, or even go the extra mile and decorate with pet safe icing. This is a great project to get the kids involved in and let them decorate the treats for Fido.
There are also different methods that you can use. If you want long lasting treats, you can dehydrate treats. These treats will generally last 3 weeks (sometimes longer!) if stored in an airtight jar and completely dehydrated. Good options for dehydrated dog treats are chicken- thinly sliced, bananas- thinly sliced, and apples-core and seeds removed, thinly sliced. Cat treat options are chicken-thinly sliced, canned salmon or tuna, or canned food!
Below are some options for you to try in your dehydrators or in your oven.
1 (3 ounce) can wet cat food 1 teaspoon catnip (optional)
1.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
2.Place the cat food and catnip into a blender. Cover, and puree until smooth and looks a little like frosting. Spoon pureed cat food into a resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.
3.Squeeze 1/2 inch kisses onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. Can dehydrate for 6-8 hours instead of baking as well.
6-ounce can of salmon in water
1/3 cup cat grass
1. Drain the can of salmon thoroughly. Pour the salmon into a bowl and tear into very small pieces.
2. Cut cat grass with scissors, creating pieces that are between 1/3 and 1/2 inch long. Mix the grass and salmon together thoroughly.
3. Spread the mixture in a food dehydrator and dehydrate for two to three hours. Once it is thoroughly dried, break into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container
Dehydrated Chicken Dog Treats “Jerky Style”
1 1/2 lbs. Chicken Breast or Turkey
Olive or Canola Oil
1. Rinse off chicken breast and remove any fat.
2. Slice the partially frozen chicken (having meat partially frozen helps make it easier to cut thinly) with the grain. Cut to about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. The thinner the better and make sure to cut each slice as closely to the same thickness as possible. Pat dry.
3. Lightly coat your strips with the oil. Place the strips in an even layer across the dehydrator tray, leaving an equal amount of space between pieces, making sure they are not touching. This helps keep the air flow moving while being dehydrated.
4. Load the dehydrator. Depending on the type of dehydrator, use the meat setting or set at 140 degrees. Cook 3 to 6 hours to fully dry. Let your jerky cool completely. Store them in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. For longer storage, use vacuum seal bags and store in the freezer for up to 8 months
Sweet Potato Dog Treats
3 Large Sweet Potatoes Uniform in size, washed and dried
1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F
2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper
3. Microwave sweet potato for 2-3 minutes, then lay it down lengthwise on a cutting board and cut off one side close to the edge of the fattest part. This will create a flat stable surface and make cutting easier so it won’t roll all over the place. Slice sweet potatoes 1/4″ thick.
4. Submerge the slices in cold water for about 1-2 minutes to help keep their color. Remove and place the sweet potato slices on your baking sheet.
5. Bake for about 3 hrs., turning the slices 1/2 way through. This will give you a soft, but chewy dog treat. For a crunchier treat, cook an additional 20-30 minutes. If using a dehydrator-dehydrate approximately 10-12 hours.
6. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Your sweet potato dog treats me seem a little chewy when you first take them out. Let them cool completely. Store in a ziplock baggie in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.