The days of relying on highly processed and grain charged treats are long gone, much to the excitement of both owners and dogs alike! Dog jerky treats are becoming the preference of many today, so we wanted to dive into all there is to know and watch out for with dog jerky treats.
Benefits of jerky treats for dogs
Dog jerky treats are a healthy and all natural (in the case of Safe Bones Co) alternative to providing your dog with heavily processed and unnatural products. With the advent of modern technology, we’re more capable of handling products with care for even our animals.
At Safe Bones Co we only hand trim our meats and subscribe to the highest level of food safety practices in the U.S.A. Unlike many of the imported treats we see dogs having trouble with, our jerky treats taste great and provide our canines with a boost of protein.
Much like humans, dogs aren’t meant to have a grain-focused, heavy diet. Traditionally a dog’s diet in the wild contains little to no grains at all. Instead, they’re left foraging for vegetables and meat, often digesting whatever is in a prey’s stomach, including its meat as well.
Offering our dogs jerky treats removes another potential source for grain consumption, bringing them closer to what is naturally meant for their diet, and further away from the processed goods that we’ve seen in the market for so many years.
Concerns about dogs eating jerky
Many of the concerns surrounding dog jerky stems from digestion issues, and an even larger concern surrounding contamination in brands importing products from China (see the following section). But like any treat we offer to our furry friends, we must be watchful pet owners and monitor our dog(s) while they consume any kind of food item.
With jerky specifically, be sure the product isn’t too brittle or sharp, providing the opportunity for your dog to vivaciously consume the treat and potentially attempt to digest sharp pieces.
A simple recommendation is to provide your dog a treat after they’ve eaten, so they’re less likely to eat it as fast as possible. Just like dog bones, and even toys, being aware of the risks is an important factor when taking care of your animals, no matter what you’re giving him or her!
Cases of contaminated dog jerky
There have been hundreds of cases of contamination in dog jerky treats over the past decade, with a common link pointing back to low quality imports from China. Since the early 2000s, the FDA has reported that jerky snacks coming from China can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, and potential death if the animal is left unattended and untreated.
The common thread in these concerning cases has been contamination, so the bottom line is simple: know where your jerky treats are coming from, and how they’re prepared, before buying just any ‘ole brand you see at a local grocery or pet supply store.
Homemade dog jerky treats recipe
Want to prepare your dog his or her own special treats? Make your own from time to time and mix it up! We recommend only using the best quality meat you can find, while following this homemade jerky recipe for your dog. Here’s what you’ll need:
2-3 pounds boneless chicken breast (or meat of your choice)
¼ to ½ teaspoon soy sauce to preference
Optional: a dollop of creamy peanut butter
Sharp filet or slicing knife
Dehydrator or home oven
1. Put your meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours so it’s just firm enough for slicing. It makes a big difference when trying to slice meat at room temperature, trust us!
2. When the meat is ready, start by preheating your oven to 150, or the lowest setting possible. We recommend a jerky maker or dehydrator, in which case you won’t have to use your oven. If you have a dehydrator, simply follow the recommend time table for meats/jerky for your specific unit.
3. Slice the meat thin; as thin as you can without the meat falling apart. Thicker slices will mean longer cooking times and chewier jerky. Then, move all meat into a mixing bowl, adding the soy sauce (and peanut butter mix, if desired) to the meat. Mix thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes.
4. If you have a dehydrator, place the meat on its racks and set the timer as indicated for your unit. If you’re using a home oven, cover baking sheets with parchment paper and lay out the meat in rows, careful not to overlap or stack.
5. Set the oven timer for 2-4 hours depending on your oven, seasonal humidity, and desired hardness/softness of treats. Flip them once during baking and use that opportunity to check on the dehydration progress.
6. When the jerky is to your desired dryness, remove and let cool. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place, and never leave out the meat on a counter. Vacuum sealing large quantities of jerky is the best way to keep meat like this, but a simple storage container is just fine if the treats will be consumed within a few weeks.
Good luck and have fun—it’s that simple! Give your dog a special treat he or she loves without the chemicals, additives, or risk of imported jerky. Don’t want to make your own jerky all the time? Check out our hand trimmed American Made jerky treats today!
Hey! Don't forget.
All of Safe Bones Company dog bones and dog treats are 100% Natural and Made in the U.S.A. at our facilities in the beautiful state of Nebraska.
You’ll never need to be concerned with low quality imported products, or overly processed dog bones, jerky, or other treats. Shop now and treat your dog to something special.
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