Commercial dog chews can drain your wallet and may contain chemicals or additives that aren't good for your pup. If you have a food dehydrator, or are willing to take the time to make them in the oven, you can substitute healthy homemade chews for rawhide and other commercial chews.
Turkey, chicken and beef dried into jerky pieces make natural and nutritional homemade dog chews. Thinly sliced unprocessed meat can either be dried in a dehydrator or placed in a 200-degree oven for about two hours. Meat slices should be cut about twice as large as the desired finished size. Dry the slices longer for crunchier chews, or a little shorter for a chewier texture.
Sweet potato is a safe and healthy alternative to meat. Sweet potato chews are made in almost the same way as jerky. Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise into strips about 1/3-inch thick. Dehydrate them in a food dehydrator or bake them in an oven set at 250 degrees for about three hours. Cook longer for a crunchy texture. Store the sweet potato chews in the refrigerator or freezer.
A cow's trachea makes a great dog chew if it has been dehydrated. Ask for them at a butcher's shop, meat processor, raw food co-op, slaughter house or independent grocery store. Put the tracheas in a food dehydrator for about eight hours, or until they are dried.
Livers and Hearts
Cattle and poultry organs can be dried to make chewy dog treats that are also high in protein and full of vitamins. Livers and hearts should be sliced between one and 1/2-inch thick and dried in an oven set to 300 degrees for one hour. Like other treats, they can be cooked longer for a crunchier texture or shorter for a chewier one.
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