Have you been on the search for healthy, tasty pet treats without breaking the bank? Homemade dehydrated dog treats and cat treats are surprisingly easy and can be made with as little as one ingredient. Check out this easy-to-follow dehydrated salmon treat recipe as well as a wide variety of different substitutions to drive your pet crazy (in a good way)!
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In recent years, we have seen several high-profile pet food and treat recalls. This has led to many dog and cat owners re-examining the treat options currently available on the market.
While some have found high-quality pet treat brands that they can trust, others have chosen to make their own treats at home.
Not only do homemade treats address these safety concerns, but they also provide many other benefits including lowering the cost and making it easier to navigate food allergies and sensitivities.
From baked treats like cookies and ‘pup cakes’ to frozen treats and ice cream for a hot summer day, there are many different options available depending on your pet’s personal taste and your own comfort level in the kitchen.
Today, we’re going to look specifically at the world of dehydrated dog treats, an incredibly easy way to make nutritionally packed treats that your dog and/or cat will LOVE.
Just ask our pack! They all get excited the moment that I pull the dehydrator out of the cupboard.
The best part about making these treats is the ‘set it and forget it’ approach. (Okay, maybe not ‘forget it’ entirely, you will need to check on them occasionally…)
This makes dehydrated dog treats and cat treats the perfect option for pet lovers that are interested in making treats for their best friend(s) for the first time.
Ready to get started? Let’s go…
Easy Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats
You Will Need
- Salmon filet (check for and remove all bones)
- 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
- Dehydrator (capable of reaching temperatures of 160F+)
- Ziplock Bag
- Paper towel
- Air-tight container for storage
- Check your salmon filet for any bones, carefully removing them using tweezers.
- Freeze your salmon for 1 hour to make it firm enough to cut easily. Cut the filet into thin, uniform slices to ensure that they will dehydrate fully and at the same speed. If you are making these treats for a cat, make sure to cut the salmon into smaller ‘bite-sized’ pieces.
- Place your salmon filet in a Ziploc bag with the pineapple juice, ensuring that everything is evenly covered. Place the bag in the refrigerator to marinate for 12-24 hours.
- Preheat your dehydrator to 160F. Strain your salmon pieces and pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess marinade and fats from the salmon. Place the sliced pieces on the trays, spacing them out to allow for airflow.
- Place only the trays containing salmon in the dehydrator, sitting all the rest aside.
- Check every 4 hours until the salmon is dry and reddish-brown in colour without being crunchy.
- Use the technique of oven blasting (as explained below) to make sure that your dog’s treats are safe for YOU and your family to touch while spoiling your pet.
- If kept in an air-tight container, the treats will last up to 1 month in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer.
Does your dog have an allergy or intolerance to seafood? Does your cat prefer the taste of a different ingredient? Were you looking for the opportunity to add a fun extra, like catnip, to your treats?
One of the great benefits of dehydrated dog treats and cat treats is the ability to swap out the ingredients to find a combination that best suits your dog(s) or cat(s).
Note: Making changes to the ingredients used will also take the time required to dehydrate your treats fully. As mentioned above, be prepared to check on your treats regularly to ensure that they aren’t over or under-done.
Main Ingredient Options
- Lean beef
- Organ meat (liver, hearts, kidneys)
- Plain, unspiced low-fat sausage
- Pig’s ears
- Chicken feet
- Sea Bass
- Salmon skins
- Wild game (rabbit, bear, moose, etc.)
Fruits and Vegetables
- Sweet Potato
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
Related: ‘Easy Homemade Cat Treats with Pumpkin‘
When making the marinade for your pet’s treats, you can use a single ingredient or try mixing up a fun combination that he/she will enjoy.
Here are some options to consider:
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 drops liquid smoke
- Splash of fish sauce
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- Juice of half a lemon
- Add dried catnip to the marinade to give your cat a bit of ‘spice’
Oven Blasting for Your Safety
Depending on the protein source that you have chosen to use, there may be surface pathogens still existing on the surface of your dog’s new dehydrated treats.
These pathogens likely aren’t going to impact your dog’s health in any way (unless your pup suffers from a compromised immune system for any reason). However, they can pose a risk for any people that may be handling the treat to give it to your dog.
The risk is particularly high for the elderly, children, or those with compromised immune systems.
Lucky, there is an easy (and quick) way to remove these surface pathogens known as ‘oven blasting’.
Heat your oven to 150C or 300F. After the oven has come to temperature, put the treats in for 3 minutes without opening the oven door or compromising the heat. Allow to cool and you’re good to go!
Have you ever tried making dehydrated dog treats? If so, what options did your dog love most?