10 Foods Perfect for Dehydrating

Make your own inexpensive treats and chews with one whole food ingredient.

Dehydrated, healthy treats work well for training if they’re small bits, or dehydrated “chews” like those from sweet potato and chicken can keep your dog busy.

How to Dehydrate the Food

It’s easiest and most energy-efficient to dehydrate in a dehydrator, but if you don’t own one, you can accomplish the same thing in your oven with the temperature set as low as it will go (usually around 200ºF). Cooking times vary widely—for example, strawberries take about three hours in the oven, while sweet potatoes can take more than five—so be sure to start this project when you plan to be home all day.

Before you get started, remove choking hazards like leaves, stems, seeds, or, in the case of the meat, fat and bones. Other than that, this cooking project takes almost no effort. Choose from this list of 10 for drool-worthy single-ingredient snacks.

The Best Foods:

  1. Sweet potato: Slice into long, thick pieces to dehydrate long-lasting sweet potato “leather.”
  2. Green beans: Trim the ends first, then use the whole pod.
  3. Carrot: For bite-sized treats, cut into rounds. For a chew-style treat, slice lengthwise.
  4. Apples: These make delicious, crunchy treats that you’ll enjoy, too!
  5. Squash: Try pumpkin or butternut, especially for dogs who experience anal gland problems.
  6. Strawberries: Most fruits are great for the dehydrator, but strawberries make the perfect little chewy snack.
  7. Chicken: Slice into strips or tiny, bite-sized bits for training.
  8. Turkey: Same as chicken: adjust the size for the use.
  9. Liver: Once it’s dehydrated you can use liver as a treat or sprinkle bits on top of your dog’s food for a burst of nutrition.
  10. Leftovers (with some caveats): Obviously you want to avoid any food that’s dangerous for your dog. However, lots of leftovers can be formed into “meatloaf” bites and dehydrated for snacks. Pasta, meat, and most vegetables can be squashed together to form patties your dog will love.

Meet the Author: Maggie Marton

Maggie is a writer and author, whose first book, Clicker Dog Training: The Better Path to a Well-Behaved Pup was published by Open Air Publishing. When she's not writing (or reading books about grammar), she teaches writing courses to college students and professionals who want to nail down the basics of communication. Outside of work, she hikes, throws dinner parties, plays with her three dogs and cat, and travels as much as possible.

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