Healthy Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats are easy to make, inexpensive and good for your dog.
I haven’t posted about our puppy in a while so I thought I’d give you an update and share some recent photos of our dear Sunny.
Sunny just turned one year old in October and she has been a wonderful addition to our family. She’s an Australian labradoodle which means she’s a mix of labrador retriever, poodle and cocker spaniel. At 35 pounds, she’s a medium size dog, although a little bigger than we expected. Her fur is exceptionally soft and she does not shed (although she does require quite a bit of brushing to keep her from getting matted). We’ve had a few grooming mishaps so finding a groomer that listens to what you want is really important.
Sunny has a wonderful disposition – she is really sweet and affectionate. Although she’s not lap dog size, she loves to cuddle with us on the sofa. I have to admit I was against letting her on the furniture to begin with, but have gotten used to it now. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s near impossible to train a dog to do things your way if no one else in the family enforces it.
She is a very athletic and active dog and needs lots of exercise. Her favorite past time is playing fetch with her ball (we found the ChuckIt! Ultra ball to be the most durable) and running around in the backyard. We’ve had to install a fence to keep coyote and fox out of our yard – Sunny had an encounter with a rabid fox in our yard several months ago and had to get a rabies booster and was under house quarantine for 45 days.
Although she is not a trained therapy dog, she certainly provides our family plenty of comfort and knows when we need some extra hugs.
Here are a few things to consider before getting a puppy (which is why it took us so long to get one for our family!):
- What type of puppy fits your lifestyle? (active dog = needs lots of exercise; shedding dogs = lots of vacuuming; traveling families = finding pet friendly places to stay or boarding your pup).
- What size pup does your family want? (we had a great dane growing up and she was so big that there wasn’t enough room in the car for the rest of us; we love being able to take Sunny in the car with us – she’s not too big)
- Choose a puppy with a good temperament (we had a dog that bit our son when he was a toddler, so finding a dog with a good temperament was at the top of our list this time around)
- Decide ahead of time who will help take care of the puppy (although kids will say they will help out, this usually ends up being the mom primarily, so make sure you know what you’re getting into)
- Puppies are expensive to raise (consider the cost of food, vaccines, supplies, doctor visits, toys, pet sitting/boarding/travel)
- The first year in a puppy’s life is like having a baby/toddler – potty training (which means you cannot leave your puppy for very long by herself), behavioral training, lots of love and attention
Taking care of a puppy is a lot of work, especially during the first year, but it is well worth it if you are ready for the responsibility. Many years ago, before we had kids, my husband and I had a puppy and were both working long hours. In hindsight, that was a mistake – it was unfair to the puppy. We ended up giving the puppy to a family that had the time to take care of her properly.
It’s hard to believe how big Sunny has gotten over the past year, especially after looking through these photos of her.
Recently, I’ve been making Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats for Sunny. It’s so easy to make your own dog treats. I’ve seen chicken jerky, salmon jerky, sweet potato treats and so many more items in the store. They can be pretty pricey, so if you don’t own a dehydrated, it might be worth looking into. A dehydrator is also great for making kale chips and for drying out your iPhone if you get it wet (yes, I’ve tried it and can tell you it does work!).
I dehydrated sweet potato slices, banana slices and even Thanksgiving trimmings (turkey trimmings, sweet potato, celery and carrots that I used to make the turkey broth for my gravy).
You can also dehydrated roasted sweet potatoes. After scooping out the flesh from some whole roasted sweet potatoes, I dehydrated the extra pieces (including the fibrous pieces) for our pup.
The best part about making your own healthy homemade dehydrated dog treats it that you know exactly what goes into them. Plus, it’s so much cheaper.
Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats
- Sweet Potatoes sliced
- Bananas sliced
- Leftover chicken or turkey cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, and celery from making soup (no salt added)
If using leftover chicken/turkey, carrots, sweet potatoes and celery from making soup, place these ingredients in a food processor and process until pureed. Spread on a silicone sheet that has been placed on a dehydrated rack (I used an Excalibur ParaFlexx Ultra Silicone Re-usable Non-stick Sheet). Place sweet potato slices and banana slices on separate dehydrated racks. Bake overnight at 125 degrees. Cut pureed chicken/turkey mixture into strips and lay them spread apart on the silicone sheet. Continue to bake until everything is dried to your liking, removing pieces that dry faster than others.
The drying process can take up to 24 hours.
For more puppy posts, you might like to read these:
Puppy Love #1
Puppy Love #2
Puppy Love #3: Puppies and Parenting
Puppy Love #4: Puppies and Different Parenting Style
Puppy Love #5: Forgive and Forget
Puppy Love #6: Enjoying the Simple Things in Life
Puppy Love #7: Are You Chasing Your Own Tail?