Pet dogs are always on the lookout for their favorite treats. There are so many types of treats that are now available and one of these are dehydrated dog treats.
Dehydrated dog treats are made using a dehydrator that removes the water from any meat, fruit or vegetable that is placed inside. It is a process of preserving food and increasing its shelf life. Since the water content has been removed, dehydrated treats are easier to store. The process also removes pathogens that are present in raw meat. As the food dries, it undergoes a light cooking process (at low temperature and not too long) to change the cellular structure of the ingredient/s. Dehydrating foods differ from the process by which kibbles are made because dry pet foods are cooked at high temperatures (in a process called “extrusion”).
The shelf life of a treat generally depends on the type of ingredient, how it’s made, how it’s packaged, and what ingredients are included in the recipe. As a rule of thumb, dog treats should have a shelf life between six months to three years. With much of the moisture removed, dehydrated dog treats don’t spoil easily.
Are dehydrated treats good for dogs?
Yes, they are. Because of the process by which it is made, dehydrated dog treats are healthier than highly processed pet food and treats. Also, they don’t contain any preservatives that are present in kibbles. When meat is dehydrated, all the nutritional benefits of raw meat remain intact.Dehydrated fruits and vegetables
Here are the important reasons why dehydrated vegetables and fruits should be a part of your pet’s nutrition:
- Rich in antioxidants - Yes, they tend to contain more antioxidants than fresh ones
- High in fiber content - Fiber is beneficial to digestive health; it can also help lower blood cholesterol
- Harmful microorganisms that are present in raw fruits and vegetables are killed during the dehydration process.
- Rich in Potassium and Glucosamine
- Excellent alternative to fat-rich treats as they promote quick energy
- Contain Iron which is beneficial to anemic dogs
- Helps control diabetes and obesity
Are dehydrated vegetables good for dogs?
Take note that dogs are omnivores and at least 20% of their diet should be fruits and veggies! Vegetables that are great for dogs include squash, cabbage, carrots, green beans, and leafy vegetables. Whether dehydrated or fresh, give your dogs some vegetables!
How long do dehydrated dog treats last?
This is dependent on whether the dehydrated dog treats are commercially made or homemade. Commercial dehydrated dog treats typically have a longer shelf life, whereas homemade dehydrated treats can usually be kept for about 2-3 weeks.
Pro tip: Do not store in the fridge. With Singapore's high humidity, and by taking in and out of the fridge, condensation occurs and will cause mold to form quickly! Instead, store in an air-tight container and keep in a cool, dry place.
How long does dehydrated meat last?Similar to any dehydrated dog treats, commercial dehydrated treats have a longer shelf life. You may follow the packaging expiry's date! Of course remember to follow our pro tip above and remove any unwanted air from the packaging. Homemade dog treats should only be kept for about 2-3 weeks,
Tips for choosing the best dehydrated dog treats
- Choose single-ingredient dehydrated dog treats -- named whole food ingredients are preferred over by-products. For example, “beef” is better than unnamed meat, or “wheat” is better than “wheat flour”. Remember that the risk of adulteration, contamination, and nutrient loss increases as ingredients are subject to more processing and reconstituting.
- Check the list of ingredients for substances that may be harmful to dogs such as onion, garlic, artificial colors, chemicals, and preservatives
Dehydrated dog treats are easy to make. Many pet owners now choose to make them at home. When it comes to vegetables, most need to be blanched before they are placed in the dehydrator. The blanching process helps slow down or cease the activity of important enzymes that is responsible for unwanted changes in the treats’ flavor and texture during storage. Blanching also relaxes the plant tissues making it dry faster, helps lock in vitamins and preserve the color of the vegetable even when it’s over a year in storage. There are many easy DIY recipes that you can check out online. The most popular on the list include dehydrated carrot dog treats, sweet potato dog chews, dried banana treats, and green bean cruncher dog treats.
Dehydrated bone treats
There are pet owners who have concerns about feeding bones to their pets. This concern is associated with giving cooked bones to dogs. Cooking can cause bones to become brittle and increase the risk of splintering when chewed.The splinters can cause serious injury to any part of the gastrointestinal tract.
But when bones undergo dehydration, the moisture is removed to dry them out rather than cook them. Dehydration hardens the bones which equates to long-lasting chewing entertainment and dental benefits to your dog. Being dried means dehydrated bone treats will just break when chewed rather than splinter like cooked bones do. This makes dehydrated dog bones a safe, natural treat for dogs.