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I've had my Excalibur food dehydrator for more than a month and I love it. But I suck at making dog treats. In my mind, I thought that I'd toss things into the dehydrator whenever I had fruit or veggies and make fun things for our dogs. I was going to be dehydrating green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, and all kinds of squash.
So far, I've made some yummy, soft apple and pear chips, crunchy flavorless sweet potato chips, hard as a rock venison jerky, and some dried leaves that used to be kale. But I won't give up. Our dogs are going to eat and love all my healthy treats. Dammit!
So instead of winging it, I decided to look up some recipes. There are loads on the Excalibur food dehydrator website and they're ranked by users. And Mr. Google was helpful too when I asked him to show me some dehydrated dog treat recipes. Dammit!
This weekend, our dogs are going to enjoy some yummy treats. I think I'll have some too.
Dehydrated Kale Chips for Dogs
- Wash kale, remove stems, and tear leaves into large pieces.
- Massage olive oil (or coconut oil) into the leaves; be conservative.
- Sprinkle kale with salt (or other spices if you're more experienced).
- Place prepared kale on an Excalibur food dehydrator trays with a regular mesh sheet.
- Dehydrate on 105 degrees for about 12 hours.
According to SlimDoggy.com, Kale is “a great source of Vitamins A, C, and K as well as the minerals copper, potassium and iron to name a few.” Kale is also an excellent source of anti-oxidants, but I think that with any greens (spinach, greens, etc), these should be given in moderation until you know how your dog will do with them. I've read that some dogs struggle with eating greens. I know that our dogs love them.
Dehydrated Apple Chips for Dogs
- Peel, core and slice apples about 1/4 inch thick.
- Soak in a mix of lemon juice and water (to prevent browning).
- Remove apples from liquid and place on Excalibur food dehydrator trays.
- Dehydrate on 135 degrees for 6 hours (I was dehydrating our apples for too long).
Apples are a low calorie, healthy treat for dogs that's high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Just like with the humans, too much fruit can have an unwelcome outcome when it's on its way out (yep, I went there). Always rememeber that apples are chalk full of fiber – be conservative with this treat, because it is yummy.
Dehydrated Sweet Potato Chips for Dogs
- Wash and peel 2 sweet potatoes.
- Slice then thinly; I use a slicer, because it's easier and faster than using a knife.
- Soak the sweet potatoes in a bowl of water for 30 minutes; change the water and soak for another 30 minutes (this is the step that I missed)
- Drain the water and towel dry the sweet potato slices and lay flat on a cookie sheet.
- Drizzle each sweet potato slice with melted coconut oil.
- If the chips are for humans, sprinkle with sea salt; I leave them salt-free for the dogs.
- Arrange the slices on the trays of the Excalibur food dehydrator.
- Dehydrate for 12 hours at 145 degrees.
I've read that we shouldn't feed our dogs white potatoes; but sweet potatoes are the good potatoes. These are also fiber rich; they're also a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese.
DIY Chicken and Beef Jerky Treats for Dogs
- Open and wash a family size pack of boneless chicken breasts or beef.
- I don't have a meat slicer, so I use a fillet knife (that I bought for cleaning fish – that so didn't happen), slicing 1/4″ thick slices from top to bottom.
- Place chicken slices on the Excalibur food dehydrator trays.
- Dehydrate for 3 hours at 140 degrees F and then check on them to see how they're coming along.
I like my jerky treats to be chewy. I made really hard venison jerky once and although the dogs ate them, they weren't gung-ho about them. They love the chewy jerky.