In this day and age, pet owners have to be very careful that the treats they are giving their pets are not only healthy, but safe. We know all about the nasty chemicals the Chinese put into dog treats and avoid those. Many US companies make excellent treats for pets, but if you look at the ingredients, salt / sodium is usually high on the list. Too much sodium is not good for the kidneys or for heart conditions.
I had a little Japanese Chin named Mitsi Mai and she developed congestive heart failure about 4 years ago. She was on many medications to help control the disease, but I found the biggest help for her was to avoid salt. After an exhaustive search, I discovered there are very few treats that do not contain salt. And the commercially-available ones that don’t contain salt, the dogs won’t touch!
So my husband started making treats for all of them.
Recipe for Healthy Chicken Jerky for Dogs and Cats
He gets chicken breasts (no bone or skin) and freezes them. Once frozen, he uses a meat slicer to cut them into thin strips. Then they are placed on shelves in a dehydrator with about 10 levels and they “cook” for about 6 hours to make them dry and crisp. They will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks, but they don’t last in my house longer than about 4-5 days. The dogs LOVE them — nothing added, just pure chicken breast! What could be healthier?
And surprise, surprise…my cat, Mr. Muggles, absolutely loves them. The dogs and Mr. Muggles all line up on my bed at night to get their treats.
If I don’t distribute them fast enough, I have a riot on my hands, especially from the cat! He will get up on the table where I keep them and steal them if I’m too slow for him. He sits there and eats it just like a dog with the treat in his mouth, supported by his paws. Pretty funny!
If you don’t have a dehydrator, these healthy chicken treats bake up fine in the oven. Just slice super thin and put on cookie sheet. Bake at about 250 degrees until crispy.
Give it a try and let us know how your dogs (and cats) respond! I predict their reaction will make you smile too!
Carole Tomas is the owner and president of Pet Pleasers, Inc. She is a graduate of Ohio University and a Charter Member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. When she began Pet Pleasers in 1985, business was conducted Old School via a landline, snail mail and an answering machine the size of a breadbox. No internet, email, text messaging, digital photos, social media or mobile phones! What has remained constant over three decades: Carole’s love of animals and an unwavering passion for professional pet sitting.