Make Your Own Dog Treats

Last year I posted a blog discussing My Dog's Raw Food Diet. It's still one of my most popular posts, and I get questions about it all the time. In the post I stated that I am not a fan of store-bought dog food or even the commercially available treats. They all contain additives that I would not eat, nor feed my dog. There are a few organic treats on the market now, but most of them contain canola oil, which is a nasty, unhealthy fat. There is one good brand of organic dog treats but they are expensive. Now I make my own for about $2 a batch. My dog, Chief, loves them, and I feel better about giving him a nourishing, healthy snack.

The quality of ingredients is important for animals just like it is for humans! Use organic ingredients when possible. I recommend virgin, organic coconut oil, because it contains more nutrients than refined coconut oil. Real salt is good for dogs too! I use pink Himalayan salt but any real, unrefined salt will do (read: not white salt). Finally, I definitely recommend grass-fed liver over conventionally raised. Grass-fed liver has one of the highest nutrient contents per ounce than any other food! You can use beef or chicken liver - whichever is easier for you to get your hands on (I used beef).

3 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. unrefined salt
½ c. liver puree
½ c. carrot puree
¼ c. coconut oil

To make the liver puree, simply put raw liver in a blender or food processor, and puree. Making carrot puree is a lot like making mashed potatoes - chop the carrots into coins and boil them in water for a long time. It takes carrots a lot longer to soften, so I recommend doing a big batch at once. You can put any leftover puree in the freezer for next time. Once the carrots are fork tender, put them in a blender to completely puree. You can also substitute pumpkin or sweet potato puree for the carrots; it will be really economical when they're in season in the fall!

Put the rolled oats in a blender or food processor and process into oat flour.

Put the processed oats, unrefined salt, liver puree, carrot puree, and coconut oil into a mixer. You can also do this in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Gently mix for a couple of minutes until the ingredients are all combined.

Roll the dough out onto a clean surface. Use a cookie cutter to stamp out shapes. This batch makes about 20 treats.

Put the treats in a dehydrator at 155° F for 12 to 14 hours. The time may vary depending on the size of your treats and the thickness you rolled them out. To check that the treats are completely dry, snap one if half so you can see the inside. Do not rely on whether the outside looks dry. Properly dehydrated treats will be shelf stable for about a year. This is the reason why I dehydrate the treats rather than baking them. The low temperature of dehydration also preserves more raw nutrients.

Once treats are done, let them cool before storing them in a lidded container in the pantry.

Give one to your dog every day! I recommend doubling the batch so you don't have to make them as often.

Printable: Make Your Own Dog Treats

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