After spending a ridiculous amount on dehydrated green beans and dehydrated sweet potato dog treats, I purchased a a dehydrator to make my own healthy treats. For not very much money, I can make crunchy dehydrated green beans and carrots that my dogs adore. It didn’t take long for my dehydrator to pay for itself from the savings. Here is how you can make your own dehydrated dog treats. Cats love these too!
Choosing a Dehydrator
Picking out dehydrator is pretty simple because there really is not much to them. A dehydrator is essentially a plastic shell with some trays and a heating element. My research revealed that there was no reason to buy a very high end model either. However, it i important to get one with a fan. By having a built-in fan, you won’t need to rotate the trays while using it. I ended up buying the NESCO FD-60($62.99) which happened to be on sale when I got it. I like is just fine, but honestly, just look for an affordable dehydrator or one on sale that has a fan.
How to Make Dehydrated Dog Treats
Using a dehydrator is amazingly simple. For sweet potatoes, slice them thick (over 1/4 inch) and blanch them slightly. Then, line the trays and plug it in. Next, set the dehydrator to the appropriate temperature for vegetables. In my case that is 135 degrees. Wait 6-8 hours, or until the items are completely dry and crunchy, and you are done! I store mine in a plastic ziplock bag.
For green beans and other vegetables, there is one very important trick to getting crispy treats: Use frozen vegetables. Using fresh green beans often results in leathery, more chewy treats (which is fine if you prefer that). Frozen vegetables end up crunchy, which my dogs love. If using fresh vegetables, it is important to blanch them in hot water for a few minutes first to remove the enzymes that cause spoiling, while not actually cooking out the nutrients. By using frozen vegetables, that has already been done for you.
Be sure to stick to fruits and vegetables that are known to be safe for pets. Carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, and bananas are all safe options that pets tend to like. Some items, such as onions and grapes, are toxic to pets and should not be used. See this list of fruits and vegetables for more information on what is and is not safe for your pet.
Pets Love Dehydrated Dog Treats
Vegetables shrink substantially when dried. For example, a large bag of frozen green beans fills a small ziplock bag after dehydrating. I give the dogs a few at a time, and they totally love them. I love them too, since I know that the treats are natural, low calorie, and healthy. They are also the perfect size to use as training treats. At about $1.99 per bag, over time the dehydrator will pay for itself in savings. As an aside, you can eat these too. I like putting dehydrated green beans on my salads for extra crunch!