These dog treats are easy to make, healthy for dogs, and inexpensive. Also, Maizy has a sensitive stomach and these are easy on the digestive system. We got the idea to make our own after we had spent $15.99 on a single bag of dehydrated yam treats for dogs. We don’t have a dehydrator, so I used our oven to do the dehydrating and it worked splendidly!
You can cut the yams in whichever shape you prefer. Each will yield slightly different results: Thicker, larger slices will take longer to dehydrate, but will result in a chewier treat. Small pieces will be quicker to dehydrate and will often result it a crunchy chip kind of treat. And long thin pieces will result in more of a jerky. Experiment to find which ones you like best, or cycle through them so your canine friend has a surprise shape to eat.
2 organic yams
Set oven to lowest setting (on mine, that’s 200 degrees F). Wash yam and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Prior to roasting, cut out any bad spots from the yam (i.e. anything you wouldn’t want to eat yourself). Slice yams in thin 1/8-1/4 inch slices (note: this is where you can get creative and cut them however you like):
For the treats I made yesterday, I cut the rounds into quarters. Maizy goes outside a lot and likes to have a treat everytime she comes in the house, so these end up being a great size for frequent treat eating:
Use a large baking sheet. You should not need to put anything on the baking sheet (except the yams!). Lay out yam pieces in a single layer:
Place the pan in the oven, and crack the door to the oven (to allow moisture to escape). Let dehydrate for an hour and then check them (the first time you may want to check more frequently, just until you’re familiar with how your oven does the dehydrating). They should look dried out on top, like this:
Flip them over and return the pan to the oven for another hour or so. For small pieces, 2+ hours should suffice for the entire drying process. For larger pieces, it will take longer. They will feel dried out and light when finished. Let cool and then place in a dry airtight container, like this recylced pickle jar:
Obviously, this recipe requires the oven to be on for hours at a time, so you wouldn’t want to do this on a hot day. Yesterday was cool in Seattle, and I was around the house all day cleaning in preparation for my mother’s visit, so it was the perfect opportunity to dry some yams in the oven. It was a nice day taking care of putting our house in order, and spending the day with the animals. Eden even helped me put clean sheets on the guest bed:
Oh Eden, you are so cute! Good luck on your house preparations…ours are – as always – going to go on right until we leave for the airport to pick up our guests!
I do have a square dehydrater; do you have a safe method of making chicken breast
jerkey for a dog? Thank you for the idea of different cuts of yams.
Adriane, I’m not familiar with dehydrating chicken, though I imagine there would be certain safety precautions you would want to follow to prevent disease/bacteria.
Adriane: I used to buy “Chicken Jerky Treats” and the expense was too much to handle. I then went to our whole foods warehouse and bought raw chicken in bulk and sliced it thin to dehydrate. If I can tell you, every time I used the dehydrator for chicken, for 2-3 days, it would smell like a dead body in my house. I stopped dehydrating chicken because of that. However, to answer your question, it can be done. It takes 24-48 hours in a dehydrator to achieve the consistency of chicken jerky. Good luck…
My dehydrator user’s manual says to cook chicken and turkey before dehydrating it for safety reasons.
what temperature do we dry them at??
I use an oriental food slicer and slice a couple of oven racks full of yams at a time. Set the temp to 190 for 7 or so hours. They come out like chips and my pooch will do anything for them. Loves them. She has happy feet all afternoon in anticipation.
So simple, so good for them and so loved by our furry friends and much much cheaper than store bought possibly chemically filled products or hard to digest hide based treats.
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