When Mum suggested Dehydration for our D in the 1st World Dog Foodie Friday A to Z of Dog Treats I was a little suspicious. Dehydration? What is it? What is she planning on doing to my food?
Well it turns out it wasn’t that scary after all…. and actually pretty yummy.
Dehydrating food is simply just drying it out. In the world of dog treats that is what a lot of the jerky and other chewy kinda treats are. The benefit is that dehydrating helps food keep for longer (hmmm not a big issue in this house… happy to eat whenever you need me to Mum) and also kills off things like bacteria and mould by taking the moisture out. With dog treats it also makes them smell really good. So there are lots of jerky things and stuff like that on the market but the thing is the commercial stuff tends to have extra preservatives and stuff in it. In reality it is pretty easy to do some dehydrated treats yourself.
There are dehydrating machine things that you can use that you simply put the stuff into them and away you go. Guessing if you own one of the machines than you are well into the dehydrating thing and now how it all works. We don’t have one…. although Mum is now checking them out.
An alternative is simply the oven. The cooking bit is a lot like when Mum does lamb shanks or a casserole kinda thing where she puts the oven on a low temperature and lets whatever is in there cook at this low temperature for a long time. So here is our tip…. pop something dog treat suitable on a tray (don’t forget the baking paper) and put it in at the same time as the family meal. Mum likes to keep the temperature at 100 – 140 degrees Celsius and let things cook for 6 hours-ish but this can vary depending on how much time she has.
What sort of things can make dehydrated dog treats. Well lots…. just cut things into reasonably thin slices (about double the thickness you want the final product to be) and place them on a tray lined with baking paper so they don’t overlap. Some recipes suggest a canola oil or similar but personally we don’t add anything. So some things that can be dehydrated:
- Personal favourite is chicken.
- Any other sort of meat…. even including things like liver (Mum isn’t so keen on cutting that up).
- Vegetables…. the good ol’ C is for Carrot makes an appearance again. Sweet Potato is another great one.
- Fruit…. those Apples make an appearance again.
As long as the food is dog friendly (no onions or garlic folks) than give it a try and see what new healthy dog treats you can come up with. This link has ideas written for humans but we think there is some great inspiration there. We would love to hear about any homemade dehydrated treats you have tried making or if reading this prompts you to try making some let us know what you made.
So now that Dehydrating doesn’t seem so scary Happy Foodie Friday.