Our dogs and cats love treats. The crowd gathers round dancing in joy whenever they hear a bag opening or see me opening the treat cabinet. But with eight furry faces begging for goodies, a bag of treats doesn't last long. Rather than depriving them of their favorite snacks, we save money by making some treats ourselves. Of course, they are more in favor of instant gratification, rather than waiting for me to bake up a tray of goodies.
A few years ago we bought a small dehydrator, thinking it would save time and effort. It now sits in the back basement collecting dust. I've just found it easier to put a tray in the oven while I'm working in the kitchen or office.
Here's my favorite recipe:
Cut strips of meat, liver, kidney, lung, heart, tripe, sweet potato, apple, pineapple, banana, green beans, mango, papaya, or whatever ingredient your pet likes. All pieces should be about 1/4 inch thick, but can be as long and wide as you choose.
Place the strips or pieces on a wire rack placed on a cookie sheet.
Slide the tray into the oven and set at 170 degrees. Allow the trays to stay in the oven for 8 to 12 hours or overnight. In the morning, remove from the oven and blot any excess moisture with a paper towel. Allow to cool.
Dehydrated treats should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used within a week. They can also be frozen and thawed as needed. The less moisture remaining, the harder the treats and the longer they will last.