A while back we repawted on natural yumminess for your furbabies by using dehydrators.
After too many sleeps, plays, eats etc, our pawrents finally made the purchase of a dehydrator. These can vary in price but we have heard that the rough price our pawrents paid was around £40 in hooman money.
We know it is thanks to a hooman friend from our Facebook group; she spoke to mum about hers and it spurred mum on to finally buy one.
It didn’t take long for the dehydrator to turn up…..one night’s sleep to be more precise. When we heard the doorbell ring, we stood waiting to see what our mum was going to bring in. The door opened and mum shuffled a large box through the door. She then said, “Looks like the dehydrator is here boys – you are going to have some yummy treats!”
As our mouth started to drool at the thought of what treats we were going to get, we couldn’t wait for mum to get started.
The dehydrator mum bought has 5 trays; each tray has a divide. You can either make 5 different large amounts or 10 different small amounts and so on.
Mum unpacked the box and brought out this weird looking thing; it was definitely something we couldn’t play with. Next we saw mum put everything except the base in the dishwasher. We gave a woof of disppointment and mum said, “Boys, I know you want those yummy treats, but we have to wash it all first to make sure it is nice and clean to use. I don’t want you having upset tummies”. As we looked into our mum’s eyes, we knew she was just thinking of our welfare. To wait a bit longer won’t harm us, considering we’ve waited so long to get one in the first place.
FINALLY the day came when mum was getting some yummy food ready to put on the dehydrator. She had already looked up about some of the foods, but some were trial and error.
At first, mum tried dehydrating mackerel fillets and sardines. After A LOT of hours, mum felt it was all crispy. She placed them in an air tight container but the next day the contents ended up in the hooman food bin. Through trial and error mum found out the sardines were way too oily and the oil didn’t fully evaporate and therefore made everything soft and gooey. She knew the mackerel would’ve been ok if it wasn’t for the sardines, so we think she will be trying the mackerel again. Plus, she was saying words we cannot repeat when it came to cleaning the base of the dehydrator!
Our mum doesn’t give up easily and that experience was put down to learning what she can and cannot do. So, the next thing to be trialled was some salmon.
Mum placed salmon strips about ¼ of an inch thick onto the trays. She set the temperature at 70°c and set the time to 16 hours. Everytime she went into the kitchen she checked to see whether they were done or needed to keep dehydrating. She would turn each one over.
Our pawrents had to open a window as the smell was oozing through the house; our mouths just drooled. We could taste the yummy treats before they were ready; with every sniff we were getting excited to taste these yummy treats our mum had made.
FINALLY, we saw the treats were ready….or so we thought. Groooof they have to cool down – how much more mouth drooling can we possibly do?
After a couple of hours mum asked us to sit, with wide eyes we saw she was giving us the salmon she had dehydrated….nom…drool…nom…..drool…nom..drool …. these taste so nice.
We couldn’t wait to see the next yummy treat that would come out of the dehydrator.
To our drooling delight Mum had made some more yummy treats. Beef jerky, chicken jerky & liver!!
All fat was trimmed off as it doesn’t dehydrate or store very well. The beef and chicken were cut into thin strips about ½ inch wide, but some odd bits were a bit thicker.
The liver was sliced into 3mm thick slices. Each one was placed on their own tray so that foods that did not dehydrate quickly were not contaminating foods that dehydrated quicker. Now you understand why our mum chose the dehydrator with 5 trays that had a divide.
All three were dehydrated at the same time on 70°c for 6 -7 hours, turning every so often. Also, mum checked on the liver to see when it was done. Once everything was all smaller and still smelling yummy, mum placed them in the oven on 160°c for 10 minutes. By placing in the oven it makes sure any bugs are killed off.
You can find so many different recipes for doggy treats made in a dehydrator. As we are on a raw diet, our pawrents have tried to keep our treats as natural as possible which is why the dehydrator is such a big hit in our house. Not only are they getting natural treats, our pawrents also know what ingredients go into the treats made.
I suppose we should woof about this part……depending on what you dehydrate, it can be consumed by hoomans as well. If they get a look in that is, BOL.
You can dehydrate fruit and vegetables as well. Be careful of natural sugars in fruits. For example – apples can be very sweet, when you dehydrate Gala apples they become sweeter, so the best apple to dehydrate would be Granny Smiths. If you wish to dehydrate certain berries, such as blueberries, after prepping, dip into boiling water until their skin cracks – it helps with the dehydrating process.
Vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes make some very yummy and healthy crispy snacks for your furbaby.
If you want to be really adventurous, you could make fruit leather for your furbaby (fruit leather is like the hooman fruit rolls).
Just remember to check what fruits and vegetables your furbaby can and cannot eat!
As we stated in an earlier repawt on dehydrators, they are so much cheaper to run than an oven. A dehydrator typically costs less that £1 to run for 24 hours which means a nice saving for our pawrents, so they can buy even more stuff for us – woofywoofwoof.
Every dehydrator may give different dehydrating times. Our mum has started a book where she writes down her temperature and times of each thing she dehydrates. If you have the time and don’t mind trial and error, you could end up with some nutritional healthy treats.
You can make treats in the oven, but it is recommended to keep the oven low and the door slightly open. We dread to think what the cost would be in electricity!!!
You can store all the new treats in air tight containers, or if you are really posh you can use one of the food vacuum sealers on the market. Whatever you use, remember to put on the date you made the food.
Cons: taking the time to prep the foods and length of dehydrating times (only because we are impatient, BOL), intial cost of dehydrator. Worktop space for the dehydrator, unless you have a shed or garage where you can put the dehydrator.
Pros: once the dehydrator has been bought, the cost of buying ingredients and making the treats are so much cheaper then ones bought from a shop. You know what ingredients are in the treat. Getting the nutrition from raw meat without all the extras that companies use to make the shelf life longer.
As always, these are our thoughts and opinions – everyone is entitled to their own opinion. For us, dehydrators get the double paws up.
Thor & Loki
Health and Lifestyle Repawters for The Barking Bugle.