How To Make Dehydrated Dog Treats: Cost, Pros, Cons, Recipes


Rectangular Digital Food Dehydrator from Andrew James

Rectangular Digital Food Dehydrator from Andrew JamesWhat are Dehydrated Dog Treats?

Making treats for your dog can be fun but also time-consuming. However, dehydrated dog treats just involve slicing up the meat, fruit or vegetables and putting them into the dehydrator and leaving them for a certain length of time.

Note- Please make sure that anything you dehydrate is suitable for your dog. Some fruit and vegetables can be poisonous to your dog.

In case you didn’t know when you dehydrate something you are removing the water from it in order to preserve and store it. You have probably seen dehydrator fruit snacks in the supermarket or beef jerky snacks.

Benefits of Dehydrated Dog Treats

When you dehydrate meat you are getting all the nutritional benefits of raw meat, but you are removing any dangerous pathogens often found in raw meat.

Dehydrated treats are also much easier to store than raw treats and last a lot longer if stored correctly.

Pros and Cons of Making Your Own Dehydrated Dog Treats

Cost

The cost of making your own treats is much less than bought treats. Once you have covered the cost of the dehydrator you will be saving money for years to come.

For example, 350g of beef cost me 3 euro, whereas 100g of bought dehydrated treats cost around 4.50 euro.

Obviously not included in the costing of making the beef treats is my time and also the electricity to power a dehydrator.

If you want to work out how much it costs to run your dehydrator then this website will help you work that out.

Ingredient Source

When you are purchasing your own ingredients, especially meat, you know exactly where it has come from. You can trace the source of the meat and know that it’s a reputable supplier and safe for your dog.

Beef Dehydrated Treats

Convenience

The whole process is actually really simple, just slice and pop in the dehydrator. Of course buying a pack of treats is always going to be easier for most people.

Ease of Use

What I love about dehydrated treats is that there is very little washing up! Compared to baking cookies or muffins for your dog, there is nothing much to wash up. Just the knife and then the trays of the dehydrator, which are really easy and quick to wash.

Also, the dehydrator has a timer and turns itself off when it is done, so you can put them on overnight and wake up to very happy dogs.

How Long Does It Take to Make Dehydrated Dog Treats?

When you look for an answer to this online it’s always quite a vague answer. A lot of it depends on how thick you slice things, so listed timings online can range from 5-30 hours.

The general rule of thumb is that for crunchier treats leave them in the dehydrator for longer.

For each of the recipes below I have included my exact timings to help you get started.

Can You Make Dehydrated Dog Treats In The Oven?

It is possible to make treats in the oven, although I didn’t try that myself. The process is very much the same, just use a baking tray lined with grease proof paper to place the meat or veg on.

Keep the oven as low as possible. Some people also recommend that you leave the oven door open slightly.

You then need to keep turning them every half hour until they are dry.

Dehydrated Dog Treat Recipes

Dehydrated Beef Dog Treats

• Slice the lean beef 1/8th of an inch thick
• Cut into thin treat size strips
• Place on the dehydrator tray with a small gap between each slice
• Turn on to 70 degrees and set the timer for 6 hours.

After 6 hours they were bendy but didn’t snap in half. I wanted them to be chewy so they would last longer.

I did try them for 12 hours initially and they were too brittle and the dogs ate them in seconds.

Note – you can always test them after 5, 6, 7 etc hours and see whether you are happy with them and take them out.

Dehydrated Beef Dog Treats

Dehydrated Liver Dog Treats

• Slice the liver 1/8th of an inch thick
• These will be smaller treats so you probably won’t need to cut them into strips or pieces
• Place on the dehydrator tray with a small gap between each slice
• Turn on to 70 degrees and set the timer for 7 hours.

I left these in slightly longer as they still felt a bit moist.

You could, of course, cut them thinner so they dehydrate quicker.

Dehydrated Liver Dog Treats

Dehydrated Lambs Heart Dog Treats

• Remove any fat from the heart
• Slice to 1/8th of an inch thick
• I left these in circled shaped treats, but you could cut into smaller pieces
• Place on the dehydrator tray with a small gap between each slice
• Turn on to 70 degrees and set the timer for 7 hours.

Note – If you are making really small treats keep in mind the size of the holes in the dehydrator tray or they may fall through.

Dehydrated Lambs Heart Dog Treats

Dehydrated Sweet Potato Dog Treats Recipe

• Wash and pat dry
• Slice thinly, just under 1/8th inch.
• Place on the dehydrator tray with a small gap between each slice
• Turn on to 70 degrees and set the timer for 5 hours.

Dehydrated Dog Treats Sweet Potato

How Much Does a Dehydrator Cost?

The cost of a dehydrator does vary from around 45 euro upwards. We looked at 2 sizes, the square model and then the rectangular model.

Square DehydratorReview of Rectangular Digital Food Dehydrator from Andrew James

We were sent the Rectangular Digital Food Dehydrator from Andrew James to make our dehydrated dog treats with.

The machine is a really good size, meaning you can make lots of treats all at once. With 6 trays it also gives you the opportunity to make 6 trays of the same treat or 6 different ones.

The air circulation feature in the machine means that all items are uniformly dried and there is no rotation required. An obvious benefit that you don’t get when you use your oven to dehydrate treats.

You can set the temperature from 40-70 degrees and the timer goes up to 48 hours, meaning it’s perfect to leave on overnight and turn itself off.

It’s also very easy to clean, which for me was a huge bonus. The trays all come apart and I washed them all in hot soapy water.

It’s also easy to store on a wide shelf or worktop. You could even set it up permanently in a utility room or garage if you were going to be using it a lot and didn’t have space in your kitchen.

Rectangular Digital Food Dehydrator from Andrew JamesDehydrated Dog Treats Review

From the moment I started preparing the meat Coco and Joey never left my side. Watching and waiting to see what was going on. The smell of the liver and heart was driving them crazy!

They much preferred the meat treats than the sweet potato treats. If I had only done veggie treats they would have probably eaten them, but once they knew meat was on the menu they passed on the vegetables and waited for the good stuff.

It’s so easy to make them. No cooking or washing up to do and I now have a nice stack of treats to last them a few weeks.

This will definitely be a regular event at our house. Something I am sure the dogs will love me for!

Let us know in the comments below if you have tried making your own dehydrated dog treats.

Note: I received the Rectangular Digital Food Dehydrator from Andrew James mentioned above for free to assist in an article we were writing about the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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