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Have you noticed that we don't see chicken gizzards as a dog treat option in stores? When I was shopping recently, I noticed that the three foods left behind in the meat department are chicken hearts, liver, and gizzards. I decided that this would be a great time to make dog treats and purchased all of the hearts and a few of the gizzards. Why not all? Because I began to wonder if dogs can eat chicken gizzards. I mean, I know they can, but are gizzards good for dogs? If I make a ton of dehydrated gizzard dog treats, will my dogs develop some random health issues?
So I did a Google search and this is what I learned…
- Gizzards are rich in cartilage and glucosamine, which makes them a great food to support joint health.
- Gizzards are also a great source of protein, zinc, Vitamin B12, and iron.
So I returned to the grocery store and purchased all of the gizzards too. Some people stock up on toilet paper and water, I stock up on hearts and gizzards. I left the liver behind because dehydrating liver makes the house smell like liver – for days. We're already stuck inside and it's going to be challenging – no point adding the smell of liver to the list of hardships.
Dehydrated Chicken Gizzard Treats
This past weekend, I made dog treats. I've spent a serious amount of money recently in preparation for being locked down during the coronavirus pandemic and so now I'm doing my best to save money and DIY dog treats is a step in the right direction.
- chicken gizzards
- oregano (optional)
- I lined dried chicken gizzards in my food dehydrator and sprinkled them lightly with oregano.
- I set the dehydrator at 155 degrees F and let it do its thing for 10 hours.
- I store the treats in the fridge and shared some with friends.
Note: Oregano isn't toxic to dogs, however, too much can lead to liver or kidney issues. You can go easy on the oregano as I do, you can choose a different spice (parsley is a good one), or you can forgo the spice all together because I doubt that my dogs care.
I don't know how long these last in the fridge. With five dogs, it's easy to go through a bag of treats quickly. And while I'm okay with making dog treats from gizzards, I wouldn't make these a steady part of my dogs' diet (replacing meat with gizzards, for example).
Other Treats I'm Making
During our local Shelter in Place order, I've decided to get a lot done at home and one thing I need to do is clear all of the grass-fed beef a friend gave to me out of the freezers. So I'm dehydrating beef and a few packages of chicken hearts and oysters too. It's less expensive than buying dog treats and it's easy to do since we have a food dehydrator. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can also use your oven at low temperatures. The oysters are filled with water, so I prefer to bake them at 200 degrees F in the oven for 90 minutes.