The Visiting Vet - Treats

Homemade Jerky Treats

You can use a dehydrator or a long stint (about six to seven hours) in your oven at a low temperature (170°f. works nicely).

Cut meat or sweet potatoes into strips of even thickness; place on baking sheets (use non-stick spray); and check every hour or so, turning each strip over so that all of them dry evenly.

One advantage of making your own jerky is that you can stop the process when the jerky gets to the texture (chewiness) that you desire. Most commercial jerky products are excessively dry and hard; this is done to reduce the opportunity for bacterial growth.

However, one area of investigation into illness caused by these treats focuses on the potential for physical injury caused to the digestive tract by extremely hard, sharp edges or jerky treats. As long as you refrigerate and feed the treats within a few days of making them. These are an improvement on the commercial products: chewier, more delicious, and far safer.

London Broil Treat

London broil can be bought on sale for $3 to $3.50 a pound. London broil is used because it’s a lean cut of beef with good, solid texture. Fat is on the outside of the meat, and is easy to trim off. Visible fat must be trimmed. High-fat treats must be fed in limited amounts and are at greater risk of rancidity if not fed within a few days.

After visible fat is trimmed, place the meat flat into a pan of boiling water until it firms up. This step is not essential; but it speeds the dehydration process, and makes it less messy as well. Cut the firm meat into cubes, between 3/8 and 1/2 inches square, and then place the cubes on a cookie sheet, not touching each other. Put the cookie sheet into the oven at an ideal temperature of 150°-200°F. Check the treats every half hour or so, move them around on the cookie sheet, and if there is a lot of liquid on the cookie sheet drain it off. The treats need to be really, really dry; as dry as kibble.

Pumpkin-Liver Cookies

Can of plain pumpkin (not pre-seasoned for pies)
Equal amount of pureed lightly broiled liver

  1. Mix the liver in food processer with pumpkin
  2. Spoon drops of mixture onto parchment paper covered cookie sheet or lightly greased cookie sheet
  3. Flatten out the drops so they are an equal height and will bake evenly.
  4. Bake 325°-350°f for 20 minutes or until firm
  5. Remove and cut the spoon dropped pieces into size of treat you want
  6. Place pieces back into the oven and continue to bake them until they are dry.
  7. Store in refrigerator or freezer. They can be layered with wax paper separators