Homemade Chicken Jerky Dog Treats
The benefits of making chicken treats for your pup at home.
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Dehydrating food is all the rage these days — great for meats along with summer’s fruit, berry and vegetable bounty, and for making sumptuous, healthy treats for your dogs. Making chicken jerky for your dog in your home means you control all of the ingredients (organic, free range, whatever) and don’t have to worry about contaminants or adulterated ingredients, plus, it’s pretty cheap too. Treats are a good place to start for anyone who is hesitant to make dog food. It doesn’t have to be complicated or gourmet.
Is Chicken Jerky Good for Dogs?
Chicken is a pretty common component in dog foods. Unless your pup is allergic to chicken, chicken jerky is a good source of protein and other key nutrients like niacin, selenium, and phosphorus.
While homemade chicken jerky is safe for dogs, there have been many problems associated with commercial chicken jerky treats in the past. As of 2015, the FDA has received 6,200 reports of illnesses (including over 1000 deaths) associated with commercial jerky imported from China. “FDA continues to believe that there is an association between some of the reports and consumption of [commercial] jerky pet treats,” reports the FDA.
“Buy American treats or, better yet, bake your own or buy locally made ones. Raw or cooked vegetables also make tasty alternatives and are especially good for pups who need to lose weight,” says Dr. Shea Cox, founder of BluePearl Pet Hospice.
How to Make Chicken Jerky for Dogs
While it’s possible to dehydrate food in an oven, it’s much more efficient and convenient to use a dehydrator. This recipe for homemade chicken jerky treats is a healthy yummy snack that your pup will enjoy.
Because of the varying dry times, you’ll need to check it often.
After the first hour, start checking the strips on an hourly basis. To determine the dryness level, remove one strip from the dehydrator, cut into it with a sharp knife and examine the inside.
How do you know when the chicken jerky is done?
When the meat is completely dried, you won’t see any moisture and it will be the same color throughout. If it needs more time, put it back in for another hour. As it gets closer to being finished, check every half hour.
How do you store cooked chicken jerky?
When your chicken jerky is done, store it in air-tight containers; zip-lock bags work great for this. Refrigerate the containers for an even longer shelf life.
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Claudia Kawczynska was co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Bark for 20 years. She also edited the best-selling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot.