Friday, December 28, 2012

DIY Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

Dogs love chicken jerky dog treats because they satisfy the chewing urge.  A thick, crisp piece will keep a dog entertained. It is easy to digest. These jerky treats are healthy all natural dog treats - simply pieces of dried chicken with no added ingredients.

Make your own chicken jerky for dogs using your own oven if you do not have a dehydrator. Takes little preparation and even less effort!

chicken jerky dog treats
Chicken jerky dog treats

What you need:
  • Frozen baked chicken cut into 1/4 inch strips. Some bakers recommend baking it first to make sure that the meat is not raw prior to drying, which could be a source for bacterial contamination. Sometimes frozen meat is easier to cut. Make sure to remove all the fat (which will keep it moist and prevent drying.)
  • Place chicken strips on a baking sheet. 
  • Leave strips in the oven. (Some bakers recommend leaving the door slightly ajar for ventilation.) Set your timer for at least 4 hours. Depending how dry you want the jerky, you may need to leave it in longer. 
As you can see in the image of the dog jerky above, I did not dry the chicken out completely. (That was because I ran out of time and did not feel comfortable leaving the oven on.) Those strips were in for approximately 4 hours, but I did not remove all the fat which is glistening in the photo. The end result was a chewy treat, but would have been chewier had I dried it out a little bit more. Needless to say, my dogs did not care...

A dehydrator runs at a lower heat setting - 160 degrees F - using less energy. You can leave it without worry. The professionals use dehydrators and dry the chicken for a very long time to ensure there is no bacterial contamination, and to prolong shelf-life. 

However, if you are making this for your own pets, you are not going to be concerned about packaging and shelf-life. Just make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way through.

If you would rather let someone else do the work, please buy jerky treats made in the USA. We can recommend a dog bakery close to you or one that will ship so you can get freshly made all natural chicken jerky treats. Be wary of those that say "made in China" on the package. The manufacturing plants in that country are not regulated and there are too many reports of dogs becoming seriously ill from undisclosed additives.

See Chicken Jerky Treats for Dogs with Struvites for a recipe modification for dogs with that particular health issue.

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