• Hahnbee Choi, Cert. CN

How To Make DIY Treats & Chews

Updated: Apr 13

Homemade treats are super easy and fun to make, plus they take out all the worry of sketchy ingredients or sourcing from store-bought treats.

Supplies:

  • Any lean protein

  • Dehydrator or Oven

  • Knife

  • Cutting Board

Choose lean cuts of meat to use. Otherwise, they won't dehydrate very well due to the fat. Dehydrating bones should be avoided at all costs. Any time you add any heat processing to raw bones, there is always a risk of splintering and causing damage. Better safe than sorry!


Treat & Chew suggestions:

  • Heart (with fat trimmed)

  • Lung

  • Muscle meat

  • Liver

  • Kidney

  • Tongue

  • Gizzards

  • Mussels

  • Oysters

  • Trachea

  • Tendons

  • Pizzle

  • Ears (may take very long to dry depending on size)

  • Rabbit pelt

  • Backstrap

DEHYDRATOR

1. Cut the meat into slices or chunks. The thinner the cuts, the faster they dehydrate.

Pro Tip: Cut when the meat is slightly defrosted to make it easier to deal with!


2. Lay pieces evenly on the dehydrating rack. Ensure nothing is touching.



3. Place in the dehydrator for 12-24 hours (time will vary each time depending on size). Find a location where there is plenty of circulation, such as outside or in the garage.


4. Check for consistency often. The treats & chews must be completely dehydrated before being ready. This usually takes around 12-24 hours. If there is excess moisture in the meat, it will be prone to mold. A good telltale sign that they are ready is when the treats snap in half, not tear. And the chews should be an all-around dark amber/brown color and be solid to touch.



5. Then, when they’re done, place them in an airtight container and/or freeze them.


OVEN

1. Prep meat into thin slices.

2. Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature. This is usually 170°F (76°C).

3. Prep an oven sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

4. Place prepped meat evenly on the pan.



5. Let bake for 6-8 hours or until crisp and easy to snap in half.



6. Store in a cool, air-tight container.


Storage

Store the treats in an air-tight dry container. Dehydrating them completely and proper storage prevents molding. You can throw in a silica packet from a leftover bag for prevention purposes. Feed within a week, so they don’t have a chance to mold. But if you want to extend the shelf life, freeze them.


Dehydrator

A great all-around dehydrator is the Presto Dehydrator. It’s set to 73C/165 F, convenient because you plug it in, and it turns on. It comes with four stack-able tiers and a lid, which helps keep the dogs from stealing the treats, sometimes...


Look for something with stackable layers for the most space and a drying fan placed at the back of the machine. Another factor to consider is fan placement. Dehydrators with fans placed at the top or bottom will dry unevenly. To prevent that, interchange layers every few hours if possible. If not, remove the bottom layer when ready and leave the top layers to finish dehydrating.


Flash Baking

Flash Baking is when you place the treats into the oven to kill off any residual bacteria after dehydration. This is not an essential step, but if wanted, after the treats/chews finish, place treats in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for 3 minutes.



Homemade treats are so easy to make and allow you to customize your dog's treats fully. DIY treats are also a fantastic kibble booster. As always, thank you so much for stopping by & Always Keep Exploring!



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