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How To Make Your Own Dried Chews
Interested in a healthy natural chew for your dog? Dehydrating your own fruit and vegetable treats can be a healthy and low calorie way to provide tasty chew options for your pet.
How should I dehydrate the fruit or vegetables?
A few options include:
Oven Drying: You can set your oven between 140˚ and 150˚ and keep the oven door open 2-3 inches to let the moisture escape.
Sun Drying: Only works in dry climates and is typically not recommended.
Commercial Dehydrator: These are rather inexpensive appliances and can be purchased on many online websites.
Process for Dehydrating
- Peel the fruit to make it less tough.
- Slice fruits and vegetables into thin pieces to allow them to dehydrate properly.
- Cut them into similar shapes and thickness for even drying.
- Arrange pieces on drying rack so they do not touch.
- Place in preheated dehydrator or oven set between 140˚ and 150˚ (follow the directions that came with your commercial dehydrator).
- After an hour reduce the temperature to 135˚ until they are finished drying (the total time will vary for each fruit and could be many hours).
Tips for Better Chews
- You can make chips with some vegetables and fruit, such as apple and zucchini, if they are sliced very thin.
- It’s critical to reduce the temperature when drying. If you dry them at too high a temperature for too long, it will harden the fruit or vegetable surface which then prevents dehydration.
- Always avoid foods that are known or suspected to be toxic to dogs like onion, garlic, avocado, grapes, and raisins.
- Fruit will discolor as it dries, but adding lemon juice can help with this.
- For more details, you can go to: https://extension.psu.edu/lets-preserve-drying-fruits-and-vegetables.
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