The Kitchens Have Gone To The Dogs: Jerky Treats For Your Pupster

As many of you know, I share my home with Max, a boxer-mix that, despite being 4 years of age, remains more puppy than dog. I’m told it is the boxer in him and that they never grow up. What luck! Now, I’ve no intention of using today’s post to detail his many transgressions. Rather, since tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of his adoption, I thought I’d share the recipe for one of his favorite treats, jerky.

When Max was a puppy, I decided to switch him to a grain-free diet once he outgrew his puppy food.  I regulate his diet in other ways but I’m no expert and this is not the forum for that discussion. (If anyone is interested, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to explain what Max is fed and why.) The only grain Max eats now is the wheat flour in the peanut butter biscuits I bake for him (recipe courtesy of Linda at Savoring Every Bite).  He, and all of his mates, love those biscuits and I’m not about to deprive him of them. Much to his delight, he also gets one “all natural” Bully Stick per day and a couple of jerky-type treats. It’s the jerky treats that bothered me. Speaking with my Traveling Companion, we were both concerned about the meat and preservatives being used to make them. The brand that I had been purchasing, for example, was an American-owned company but the jerky was processed elsewhere. I didn’t like the sound of that and decided to see if I could make my own. As it turned out, making dog jerky at home is a surprisingly simple endeavor, although some web sources insist on complicating matters. Some, for example, soak the meats in marinades and almost all season them  before baking in a very low oven. Although I tried one such recipe for my first batch, I never did it again. My jerky treats are 100% meat that is intended for human consumption and absolutely nothing else. The next batch I made was beef, followed by one of chicken. Both were baked on cooling racks that were placed on baking sheets. I thought that this would help the meat strips to dehydrate more evenly — and it did. The problem came when I removed the second batch, the chicken, from the racks. Some of the racks’ non-stick coating stuck to the chicken strips. It may have happened with the first batch but, being beef and dark-colored, I hadn’t noticed. So, rather than risk my canine tasters’ health, both batches of jerky and the racks were taken to the garbage. I now have new racks but they aren’t necessary to get the job done, as you’ll soon see.

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The Bartolini Kitchens’ Canine Tasters, Bea and Max

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Home-Made Jerky For Dogs

No matter what type of jerky is to be made, I find it easier to partially freeze the meat before cutting it into strips. I buy chicken tenders when on-sale and use them for Max’s chicken jerky, but any skinless, boneless part of the bird will do. Try to slice equally sized pieces and always cut with the grain. When using tenders, I cut each in half, creating 2 long strips of about equal size. (Exceptionally large tenders can be cut into 3 strips.)  When making beef jerky, use the cheaper cuts of beef. No dog will mind if you use chuck instead of tenderloin. Cut the meat against the grain into thin strips, equally sized. No matter the kind of meat you’re using, once it’s cut and fully thawed, place some of the strips, evenly spaced, between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Use a meat pounder, rolling-pin, or even a frying pan to flatten the strips until they are all of equal thickness. This will insure that they will cook evenly. Place the strips on baking sheets that have been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. If using racks, spray the racks with cooking spray, place on baking sheets, and place the meat strips onto the racks. In both cases, no strip should be touching another.  Place the baking sheets in a pre-heated 170˚F (my oven’s lowest temperature setting). Bake 6½ hours, turning over each strip every 2 hours while rotating the trays. When finished, remove, cool, and store.

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Notes

Being I don’t use a dehydrator nor preservatives, I’m very careful to ensure the jerky doesn’t spoil. Using airtight containers, I store in my refrigerator only as much jerky as will be used in a 3 day period. All of the rest is kept in the freezer until needed. Do not make so many that they’ll be in the freezer for more than a month. Of course, if your dog is at all like Max, there’ll be no need to thaw the treats. Now he comes running every time he hears me open the freezer door.

Every dog owner learns that abrupt changes to the pet’s diet can result in digestive problems. That’s because it takes time for a dog’s digestive system to develop the necessary bacteria to properly process a new food. Depending upon your dog and its diet, you may need to introduce these treats to it slowly to give its digestive system time to adjust. This is especially necessary if you’ve chosen to season or marinate the meat before cooking. It shouldn’t take any more than a couple of days for the dog to get “acclimated” and then you’re free to give your pet as many as you like.

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 The lion sleeps tonight.

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Before You Buy Another Bag Of Jerky Treats For Your Pooch

Although I wrote this entry several weeks ago, I scheduled its posting to coincide with Max’s adoption date. Unfortunately in the interim, a friend sent me a link to this MSNBC article of March 13th, 2012, which seems to confirm our worst fears about some brands of store-bought jerky treats. Be aware: just because the packaging says it is an American-owned company does not mean that the meat or finished product originated in this hemisphere, let alone country. Google is your friend.

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116 thoughts on “The Kitchens Have Gone To The Dogs: Jerky Treats For Your Pupster

  1. How very wonderful that you make Max home made treats. I agree that if we don’t eat the manufactured product ourselves, we shouldn’t feed it to our pets. It’s so gross that some of these brands don’t control their offshore manufacturing more tightly–I guess they feel they can lose customers and not affect their bottom line. So disgusting.
    My friend Kim has an English Bull Dog and she sometimes brings her into our studio. For some reason people just think they can give her any dog treats (weird isn’t it? You wouldn’t dare give a child a treat without asking the patents first). The result is a VERY STINKY studio. Thank goodness for the Lamp Berger and windows that open!
    Your Max looks like a bundle of mischievousness! Those eyes can certainly be used against you John, beware of the puppy eyes!

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    • Thanks, Eva, for commenting. Those eyes are what brought him here in the first place! He is, at once, the most mischievous and affectionate dog I’ve owned. And to think, I almost adopted his sister, as well. I don’t think I would have survived. Most who have met Max agree. :)

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  2. Aren’t you a wonderful dog owner! Max is blessed to have you adopt him. What care you take to feed him a sensational and varied diet. I’ve never thought of making my own dog treats but I do agree, we should all be doing it because it’s best to know where what you’re feeding your animal (or yourself) comes from. Lovely images of your dogs! xx

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    • Thanks, Charlie. Prior to Max, I had 2 dogs that died within a year of each other, of cancer. I’m bound and determined to give Max the best shot at a long life as possible. These treats are so easy to make and cost less than half of the store-bought. Best of all, as you’ve mentioned, I know exactly what Max is eating. The peace of mind is worth whatever little effort is required to make them.

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  3. Such commitment to your pooch to make these treats! Max is one lucky dog! I see from the video that, like my now departed feisty Miniature Schnauzer Fritz, he has no concept of relative size and will happily tackle dogs far larger than himself. Must be those treats that give him such a sense of invincibility!

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    • Thanks, Mar. Actually,in the video, Max is the larger of the two but, you’re right, he has no concept of size. He still thinks he’s the size of a puppy and will always seek out the smallest dogs in the dog parks and beaches. He’s very gentle with them, especially the puppies, but it sure does scare the owners to see this goliath charging their pups for the first time! Sorry to hear that Fritz is no longer with you. Do you plan on adopting another dog?

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      • Oops, my mistake! Well then, I agree, Max is a gentle guy. I had Fritz for 13 years and he died 2 years ago. I always said that with 3 teenagers in the house for many of those years, it was wonderful that at least Fritz was excited to see me come home! I offered to look after my daughter’s Black Lab once, and he never went home. After 5 years my son adopted him. No plans for another dog now, as my partner has bad allergies. We could look at a non-shedding dog, but life is too busy right now to give it proper attention. Some day in the future though it would be wonderful to have another dog! They are such steadfast, adorable companions (mostly!).

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        • No problem, Mar. As much as you may want a dog and allergies aside, I’m glad you realize that, for right now, you haven’t the time for one. Too many people don’t think that way and end up with a dog that deserves better treatment. As you say, though, they make great companions. As much trouble as he gets into, I cannot imagine this house without Max charging through it.

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  4. I read the linked article – it definitely sounds like you are doing the right thing. Max looks like a nice dog – Boxers have very friendly personalities and they love to play, as your video illustrates.

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    • Thanks, MD. What was particularly upsetting about the article is that Max had just finished a bag of the the same treats that were pictured in the article. That was it, for me. Making my own jerky is such a simple thing to do and mine are less than half the cost of store-bought. It’s really a no-brainer.

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    • Hello, Susan. No, there are no cats in my house now — thank goodness. At one time, I had 2 saltwater tanks, 3 cats, and 2 dogs. Now it’s just me, Max, and a parrot. And if you overlook the fact that Lucy, my parrot, absolutely hates Max, we’re one happy family. Sibling rivalry, eh? :)

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      • Oh, I love saltwater tanks, but what a project, and the fish are so expensive. Beautiful though. I had seahorses, and hermit crabs if I remember, and the most vibrant colors, but I go on.

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        • Yes, there’s nothing quite like a marine tank. Mom would visit, pull up a chair in front of one, and sit there as if watching TV. It was all going “swimmingly” until one of the cats jumped on top of the tank, knocking the light into the water, and electrocuted everything in it. It was just too costly to start over and I gave the tank away. Even so, I must say that I enjoyed the tanks very much.

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  5. I love your dog Max. I had a boxer growing up, we called him Skipper. What a wonderful owner you are to treat your dogs so special. Personally making their treats is priceless. I know the dogs enjoy them. How could they not feel the love shown towards them.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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    • Thank you, Francine. Funny. When I was a young boy, my first dog was a puppy named Skipper. How I loved that dog! Making these treats is such an easy thing to do and I have peace of mind knowing that Max is getting “good” food and not garbage. It’s well worth the effort.

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  6. Those eyes, so mischievous, hard to not give in when they are staring at you. Then looking so angelic when sleeping.
    If only more people would read the label on processed food packages, whether for humans or pets. Max is so fortunate and you obviously enjoy cooking for him.

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    • Thank you, Norma. You are so right. We all need to pay closer to the labels of all of our food, human or pet. You are, also, right about Max. He can be both angel and demon within moments of each other and, as much trouble as he’s caused, I wouldn’t trade him for the world. :)

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  7. Dear Max, we r ritting 2 tell u we luv yur doggi treets and that r Mamma Chica duz nut mek theez 4 us yet. Until she lerns 2 mek them, we want tu cum and vizzit u and yur frenz Bea and Mr John. Sorri 4 spelin, we dont go tu skul yet. Luv Alfi & Luna xxx

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    • Oh, Tanya. This was good. ((laughing)).

      Tell Alfi & Luna that I read their note to Max and he liked it very much. Unfortunately, he’s no longer allowed access to my Mac or to the internet ever since I caught him looking at poodle porn. You can imagine my disappointment — and then anger when the the charges hit my credit card account. And to think, I almost got him an iPhone for his birthday! :)

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    • Thank you, Sharyn. A border collie? That will be fun. They’re such smart and energetic dogs. If you — or your brother — decide to make treats for the pooch, you can’t go wrong with Linda’s peanut butter recipe or this jery. Max and his buddies all love them.

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    • Thanks, Claire, and I’ll be sure to pass along your birthday wishes. In an odd way, paying closer attention to his diet has caused me to be more careful with mine. I am much more cognizant of labels than I was BM (Before Max). It struck me as being somewhat foolish to be so attentive to his diet while being relatively lackadaisical with mine. Besides, I’ve never cooked for anyone as appreciative as Max. Burnt or raw, he just gobbles it all up! :)

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    • Thank you so much! Max is one energetic dog and certainly leaves an impression with all he meets. One of these days I’l devote a couple posts to him but that will be a tough project. I try not to think of all of the mischief he’s gotten into. And, believe me, that’s a whole lotta mischief! Still, I do consider myself the lucky one. :)

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  8. Oh I just love Max! Bea is pretty great, too! This is so fun to read, although the MSNBC article is really awful…I have heard about these so-called “mysterious” deaths. I think that making your own jerky is an act of love and I’m going to take heed! I am aunt to three wonderful dogs and I’m at my brother’s house at least once a week loving on them! They range in size, but one, an Olde English Bulldogge is like a small pony! I can’t wait to arrive at their house with homemade treats! It’s also a good way to gain points with my brother…win-win! Debra

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    • Thank you, Debra. Yeah, Max is something else and that Bea is a real sweetie. I was quite upset when I read that MSNBC article, especially considering Max had just finished a bagful just like the one pictured. Now that I know how easy they are to make — and relatively inexpensive — there’s no reason to buy them ever again. If you Brother’s dogs and “pony” :) are like Max and his chums, they’ll love these jerky treats. Of course, they’ll probably bother you no end once you bring them some.

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  9. It seems like only yesterday that Max the puppy rode back in my lap on the car ride to your home. (Sunrise…Sunset…Sunrise…Sunset)…I think I’d need surgery if he tried to sit in my lap today. What a cute baby, tho. He’s worth all the time and trouble to make those puppy treats.

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    • Yes, he is and it’s so much healthier for him. And, really, it sin’t much trouble. Slice & bake. Cheese making is harder! Thanks for sending me the link to that article.

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  10. I hope all the dogs in your neighborhood don’t read this or they will all be at your door! Max is a lucky pup and a very cute one too! Love the video of them playing! I’m so impressed too when I saw that pop up! My pups love those jerky treats but I did hear of the warnings and sadly stopped giving it to them. But now… they are going to be so excited and happy when I tell them John has the answer!! Home made jerky! And I my corporate kitchen has a sheet pan!
    I’m glad Max enjoys the peanut butter biscuits, thanks for the mention. I miss you and all those blogs I faithfully followed every day. It’s a good feeling to be able to stop by and feel like I’m “home” again with friends :)

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    • Well this is a pleasant surprise! Glad to hear from you, Linda. I thought you’d be too busy to comment but would one day when things calmed a bit for you. Yeah, Max is a good pooch — even if he insists on trying my patience at every opportunity. These treats are so easy to make and, best of all, my kitchen stays pretty cool in the Winter. Having the oven on, even at only 170˚, warms it quite nicely. So, I make jerky whenever we have a really cold day. I’m so glad you dropped by and hope all is going well for you. Feel free drop a line whenever you feel like. Take care, Lynda!

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      • I cant even explain how my whole life has changed but each day its getting better. Not being able to feel settled is hard for a “home n family” girl like me! Being in Atlanta now I CAN have my oven on low for hrs!! It would have been painful to do so in Florida!!

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        • I can only imagine the mayhem! I was 25 when I moved here and that was bad enough — and I didn’t have 10% of the possessions I do now. I hope you find and move into your own home real soon, Lynda, so that you can get settled and establish a normal routine. Good luck!

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  11. Happy Adoption Day dear Max. You know by all the wonderful comments what a fortunate pup you are. You sure are cute.
    I would eat your treats and know I was getting good stuff! Perhaps appetizers for guests.
    What acute hearing you have to respond to the freezer opening.
    On Saturday I was at a party and the host had a photograph from an old journal. It was a picture of Pavlov and his dogs. Seriously.
    I know you would have liked it, Max.
    I am forwarding your post to the Paleolithic Diet men/dog lovers.
    I know they have made their OWN jerky but why not for their dogs?

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    • Thank you, Ruth. I’d let Max type his own thank you but he’s banned from my Mac and the internet. I caught hom cruising poodle porn sites. These are so easy to make. Just slice, pound, and bake. And they’re not just healthier but cheaper, too. I’m sure your Paleo People will love ‘em for their dog(s), too. :)

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  12. Max (and Bea) is so adorable and even though I have pussycats instead of dogs, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Happy adoption anniversary day to Max! We do owe it to our pets to give them food and treats that are as carefully thought out as our own diets. You just can’t beat making your own dog treats and I’m sure in addition to them tasting better and being better for your animals, they know you made them especially for them…and they feel the love! You’re a good daddy, John! :)

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    • Thanks, Betsy! Once I read how bad the store-bought jerky could be, finding out how to make them myself became a priority. I’d no idea it would be so easy and the results so good. Max absolutely loves them. I,too, owned cats when I lived in apartments. They eventually gave way to dogs when I bought my home. I really miss cats but, at this point, I’ve enough heartbeats in this place. :)

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  13. That’s it! I’m smitten with Max.. and so is my dog Lucky and he wants a play date! And he’s asking me why I don’t make him such nice treats as you do for Max. I’m also contemplating the taste of those peanut butter biscuits and thinking if it’s good for puppies.. it might be good for me?? Every post you write, John, is filled with detailed descriptions of each step to take, possible foibles (like those cooling racks) and the cutest of photos.. today you’ve included videos!! of your pups. Adorableness + an excellent treat recipe = puppy heaven:D xo Smidge

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    • Thanks you, Barb, for leaving so nice a comment. Max is really my child, no doubt about it. Oh, don’t worry. I’m not one of those that consider my pets people but I do dote over them. These treats are about the easiest to make and Max and his buddies all love ‘em. As for Linda’s peanut butter treats, they are good enough to eat. Every time I bake them, I have to resist the urge of sampling one when they’re cooling. Max has the same problem and, more than once, he’s wolfed down cooling biscuits while I was distracted in another room. He’s something else! If only he’d use his powers for Good rather than Evil … :)

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  14. Like us, the best for your dog would be home-made, preservative-free food. I do not have a dog yet, but I am keeping this recipe on hand for when I do. Thanks John for sharing this with us.

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    • Things today are so different than when I was a boy with a dog. Now, we can search the internet for the proper food and diet for our dogs and to learn if there are problems with a particular food or treat. And we have much healthier dogs as a result. Thanks for stopping by today, Colline.

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  15. Hear hear! People get all fussy about their own diets then buy a bag of dry food and fill the dogs bowls to overflowing with rubbish. Our dogs are very lucky to have meat. Their tummys are designed for meat, I have a freezer full and so that is what they eat, with vegetables left over from the table. Though the Big Dog will pull his lips back and using his teeth, carefully extract any broccoli from the dish and lay it on the floor before he begins to eat. I have never given them treats. Because I simply could not see buying the rubbish that was offered. And if I won’t eat anything I cannot identify why would I feed something like that to the dogs. Why did I never think of jerky! What a fantastic idea. And you are right, it is simple. I am going to get some beef out of the freezer right now and thaw it out. Partially thawed will make it easier to slice thin.. excellent.. have a great day John.. c

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    • I had expected you to tell me that you’d been doing this for years, Celi. Well, no matter. My last 2 dogs died of cancer within a year of each other. I saw Max’s pup pic, fell in love, and adopted him. I learned later that cancer is the number one killer of dogs and boxers have the highest incidence rate. Max, even though a mutt, is half-boxer and is at risk. So, I started doing some investigating and over-hauled his diet. Making jerky treats was the last piece of the puzzle. I don’t know if any of this will extend his life but I do believe it won’t shorten it. I hope TonTon and Big Dog like these as much at Max does. Enjoy today’s warmth, Celi!

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      • It is lovely and warm today. Terrible for you to lose two dogs within a year. There is a lot to be said for a good diet for dogs, i shudder to think what is in those cheap dog feeds. I am sure you have extended his life plus they are brighter and happier when well fed! c

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  16. Okay how cute is your Max!!! I just want to reach through the screen and hug him. I think it’s so cool that you make his jerky. He’s one lucky and well-loved pup. :)

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    • Thanks, Kristy. Yes, Max is all that you said — and so much more. It’s the latter that has given me fits, at times, but now we’re stuck with each other. I can’t see this house without him charging about.

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  17. The pictures and video are adorable…what sweeties! We love Boxers. Our Vizslas love to play with them at the dog park because they have similar play habits. Our dogs are also grain free and eat bully sticks. They also have daily raw, organic, carrots. I’m going to have to make them some home made jerky! I had no idea it was this easy. My convection oven’s lowest setting is 300 degrees but they tell me I can use the warming drawer (that also has temperature settings) to dehydrate “things”. I’m going to give it a try!

    Have a lovely day! ~ April

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    • Thanks, April. Max has his Vizsla buds at the dog park and, you’re right, they play very well together. And although Max is grain-free, I switch his food monthly to a totally different company and ingredients. One month it’s seafood, the next red meat, and the last poultry. I’ve also kept a few proteins completely out of his diet in case he develops allergies. I want to have alternatives available. I buy hos bully sticks when on sale at an online company. They usually end up costing less than half what I was paying at the pet store. If interested, I’ll send you a link.

      I, too, was surprised to learn how easy jerky was to make at home and the cost is about half of the store-bought product. As I recall, the lowest temp setting I saw was 150˚ and it took about 7 hours to dry the meat. The main thing is to ensure that the meat is as dry as possible so that the meat lasts longer without spoiling. I hope you pupsters like them as much as Max & his buddies do. :)

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        • Even when not on sale, they are cheaper than when bought at a pet store. I look for the sales and then stock up. Max is certainly big enough for the 12 inch size but I usually get him the 6 inch — they’re cheaper, unless I see a great sale in the 12 inch. I hope this works for you. Some friends and I use this site all of the time.
          http://www.bestbullysticks.com/

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      • We do a grain free food with venison and sweet potato. Abigail, our female Vizsla was having major kidney issues and that cleared her right up. It was so serious that they thought we would have to take her to Washington State University to figure it all out. Luckily, after talking to a lot of people and finally speaking to a very well educated small pet feed store owner, we came to the conclusion that the food that we were feeding her (which was still a very high quality food and grain free) was too high in ash. Of all the things! So thankful we were able to get it figured out.

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        • I know what you mean. Max was getting constant ear infections until I switched one of his foods. After losing my last 2 dogs to cancer, I decided to try a different path. Feeding Max the same thing his entire life may open him up to eating some ingredient which in 5 years may be found to be cancer-causing. So, I switch him between proteins and companies each month. If “ingredient a” is found to be cancer-causing, I hope it will only be present in 1 of the foods, thereby cutting his exposure to it by 2/3. He’s used to it and it only takes me 2 days now to convert him from this month’s food to the next. Time will tell whether this will work. So far, though, he is one healthy, active dog.

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    • Thanks! Yeah, Max is something special and that’s a friend’s dog almost 2 years ago. Keep these treats in your recipe file for when youget your pooch. They are much healthier and cheaper than anything you’ll find in a store. :)

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    • Thanks, Giovanna, and I’ll be sure to pass along your well wished to Max. :)
      Yes, that articles subject matter is terrible and all the more reason to watch what we feed our pets.

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  18. What a great post! I will forward this to my dog lovin’ friends. Some of them buy doggy treats from a local doggy bakery in town. But now they can make their own! I will have to read the MSNB post, it’s sad that these they allow these things to happen. I know, when I do nutrition counseling with my clients. I tell them just b/c Kellog is a Michigan based company doesn’t mean the ingredients to their products (including Morning Star Farms products) are US grown food ingredients. Many of the ingredients come from other countries b/c it’s cheaper.
    BTW Bea and Max are adorable! One day I’ll break down and own a pet dog for my boys sake!

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    • Thanks, Lisa. If anyone would know of the prils within our food supply, it would be you. That article really confirmed my worst fears, especially when one of the brands pictured was one that I bought for Max. THat was enough for me. now I make all of his treats or he’ll go without. I’m sure your boys would love a dog but, for now, I think you’ve got your hands full as it is, especially considering that Mom is usually the one caring for the pup. You’ll know when the timing is right — unless one “follows” one of the boys home. :)

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  19. John–Such a sweet dog you have! Max would surely scare away my skiddish Italian Greyhounds though. I think there are many chef/dog owners out there who would like to try making their own pet food. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    • Thanks, Michael. Yes, he’s a great dog — a little trying at times, but a good dog most often :) These jerky treats are a snap to make and, after reading that MSNBC article, I’ll never buy them for him again. Italian greyhounds are such beautiful dogs. A couple go to the dog park and they make quite a pair. I bet yours do, too.

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  20. Of course I open your post in front of Liz (who has been bugging me for two years about adopting a dog) and we see one of the cutest pics of man’s best friend. 10 minutes of we need a puppy now I’ve had to endure.

    When we are settled we’ll reenter the doggy world and thanks you are well prepared with safe treats for him or her.

    Hope you’re doing well my friend. cheers!

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    • Yeah, Jed, your life is a bit too hectic for a dog right now. Wait until you’ve moved and settled into your new place before adopting. That pic is what sold me on Max — and I almost ended up with his equally cute sister. The 2 of them together would have killed me; Max is more than enough dog for me. He was supposed to grow to “35 or 40 pounds. 45 at the most.” He’s 80 pounds now. On the plus side, given my back issues, at least I don’t have to bend over to pat his head. :)

      Thanks, Jed, for stopping by. I realize how busy you both are and hope things are going well for you. Hang in there!

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  21. What a fantastic treat! I can’t have a dog in my tiny apartment, but I think I’ll make a batch of these jerky treats for my dad’s dogs. I enjoy spoiling them. :)

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  23. Oh my gosh!! Max is soooo cute! I have to make these treats for my dogs. We used to get the chicken jerky strips until there were so many dogs dying from ones that were made in China. Looks like I can make them at home for them now! :)

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    • That article and reports since really scared me, Christina. In fact, I had a bag of those pictured in the article on my counter. I finished reading it and immediately threw the bag away away. This jerky is very easy to make and about half the cost of store-bought. I store them in the freezer and used to thaw them before giving them to Max. Now, I just give them to him straight from the freezer. He likes ice cubes so he probably thinks he’s eating meat-flavored ice.
      Yes, Max is a looker, that’s for sure, but he’s also been quite the handful. Still, I wouldn’t trade him for any other dog in the world. We’re stuck with each other now. :)

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    • Thanks, Judy. Yeah, Max is something else and the little one is a friend’s dog, Bea. She was only about 6 months old then and has grown a bit since then. Since that post, more evidence has surfaced about health issues with foreign made jerky strips. I’ve not bought any in some time now and Max thoroughly enjoys those that I make. And with Winter approaching, the warm oven keeps my kitchen warm, too. :)

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      • John,

        I can only imagine having owned pets my entire life that every time you begin to prepare the ingredients that Max must be excited knowing what treat is coming up!

        You are a good pet owner!

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        • Oh, Judy. Max is “special”, a label first applied by his trainer. Yes, it’s true Max gets excited when I’m baking his biscuits or jerky but he is forever by my side when I cook. There is no 3 second rule here because he is always there to grab any and everything that may fall to the floor. Sometimes, his greed gets the better of him and he’ll grab something off of the counter, out of a serving platter, and a few times I’ve caught him lapping food from a pan on the stove. To say he is “food motivated” doesn’t begin to describe him. Still, I wouldn’t trade him for the world. :)

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  24. Hi John, I read this post a couple of weeks ago and decided to follow your example and make some for my troops. I usually dry liver for them but I thought they may like a change. I cut the meat very, very finely and dried it in the dehydrator. It didn’t take too long at all. Thanks for the idea. My darlings love it.

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    • Hello, Glenda!
      Another article was just posted that warned about the evils of some dog jerky treats. It just doesn’t make sense to take the risk. I make all of Max’s now and he loves them. Best of all, I buy the meat on sale and it ends up costing me half the price of the manufactured jerky.
      I’m glad your “darlings” love it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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      • Hi John, We have bichons and they are renowned for being prone to getting allergies. Luckily mine don’t. I am not that sure whether it is luck, or the fact that I make all their food and treats (except the dry biscuits they have for breakfast). Why risk it?

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  25. Pingback: Beef Jerky for Puppy Dogs | Passion Fruit Garden

  26. Thank you so much for this recipe. I have made my Isabev chicken Jerky but as you said people on the web love to complicate things. I can’t wait to make these beef jerky for my girl. Again thanks.

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    • I’m so glad you found this post useful. Jerky treats are so easy to make and, considering all of the problems being reported about the manufactured treats, it’s well worth the time to make them. Thanks for visiting and taking the timt to comment.

      Like

  27. This is great — I also am increasingly concerned with the stories I have been reading about sources for dog treats, in particular. I try to read the labels but as you point out, they are not always fully forthcoming. Thinking the dog treats will be a good project for my boys to tackle!

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    • Just weeks ago, I saw more reports about dogs still dying because of imported jerky strips. Unless I make them, Max goes without. Your idea of getting your boys to make these is a good one. At least you’ll have all of the mischief makers in the same room. My dog knows when it’s “jerky day” and will not leave my side as I cut and put the meat on baking sheets, hoping for a dropped morsel. :)

      Like

  28. Glad to see I’m not the only one taking closer looks at my dogs diet. Maverick is a flat coat retriever mix rescued over a year ago, he’s now also mostly grain free and finally found a food he likes and is SO much healthier on(Nature’s Praire Raw Boost). Making jerky is a good stress reliever, lol because after cut I pound the heck out of it to be thin and dry fast, but in reality it is also VERY cost effective. I was doing chicken, then found turkey tenderloin is often cheaper. Pounded out and cut into strips (or sometimes I wrap skinny rawhide bones) it is much healthier, no hidden preservatives and I can get 3-4 bags worth of one purchase. I haven’t made beef yet(for the dog anyways) but if I can get a good piece soon will try it. His FAVORITE is the turkey, or salmon(buy fresh on sale then freeze) but wow does that give him stinky breath. lol

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    • I agree with everything you’ve said. Making Max jerk is not just cost-effective but so much safer. I’ve read too many horror stories about jerky that’s not manufactured in the US and Canada. I just don’t want to risk it anymore. Thanks for the tip about salmon jerky. I hadn’t thought of that one but I do know what salmon does “for” his breath. And yes, I buy all of this stuff on sale and freeze it until I need it.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It sounds like we’re both on the same path. :)

      Like

  29. This looks easy enough! I scrutinize what my pooch eats infinitely more than my own meals, so the store-bought jerky is a no-no. Also, at four years old my pooch is still very much a puppy, too. Gotta love ‘em. :)

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    • Thanks, Susan. My “pup” is 5 years old and just starting to slow down. This jerky really is easy to make and a prior commenter makes salmon jerky, in the same way. My Max loves them and I’ve no worries about what I’m feeding him. I hope they put tighter controls on pet food. This kind of stuff cannot go on.

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  30. Although we’re owned by a cat, we certainly are pals with plenty of dogs. I had no idea about the dangers of jerky treats! I’ll be spreading the word to a bunch of people, along with your recipe. Really great recipe, and a real eye opener. Thanks.

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    • Your welcome, John. When the news first broke last year, I was shocked to see a bag of the “alleged” bad treats on my kitchen counter. I checked with friends and many had the same product. I thought I was buying an American product but it was an American company selling a foreign product — and not a good one, at that. Seeing the issue resurface in the local and national news surprised me. I thought it was properly addressed. I hope the gov’t does step in and regulate pet food. This kind of stuff cannot go on. I hope your friends find this post useful. I’m sure their dogs will love it. ;)

      Like

  31. This is great; I’ll be making these for our dogs, too. As I’m trying to keep our meals as non-chemical laden and fresh as possible, so it is and shall be for Toby and Trixie. Thanks for this recipe!

    Like

    • You’re very welcome! I was horrified when I read the first reports of the problems with imported jerky treats. The fact that they have re-surfaced now is appalling. I hope your pupsters enjoy these as much as Max does. :)

      Like

  32. I just came across your recipe and definitely am going to make it. Our dog is a little 11lb Pomapoo and is already about 11 years old (collapsed trachea, deaf, etc.) He requires a lot of attention due to the cough, am and pm hydrocodone syrup, etc. making my wife unwilling to replace him when he’s gone (she also has an older cat, which she will replace, assuming we don’t need replacing).
    We fed our little dog the Chicken treats from “that” company for many years before they removed it from the market, with no observable ill effects. Relatively cheap from Sam’s. All the US made Jerky is way too expensive, and you recipe appears to be relatively simple. My main concern is that our “Punky” wants nothing but Jerky to eat. I believe that I have spoiled him and should be restricting the amount of Jerky he gets. He has dry food out all the time, but hasn’t been eating any of it if he gets lot of Jerky. Lately, I have only been giving him one stick in the AM and one at night. Hard to do, when he loves it so much. How much Jerky do you give your (big) baby (realizing the difference in body weight)?

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    • Welcome, Ted! My Max is an 80 pounder. (He’s a rescue and I was assured he’d grow to 35 pounds, 40 at the most. Guess again!) I give him about 3 jerky treats a day. He loves them and, at his size, they do little to affect his appetite.
      I, too, bought treats from that company and was appalled to read that first article. I’ll never buy another jerky treat, no matter how safe they are supposed to be. When I first started looking up recipes, I was surprised how many people were adding spices and salt to their dog jerky. Max could care less if I marinate his jerky. The fewer additives the better, as far as I’m concerned. I hope this helps and that you find a way to get your dog the nourishment he needs.

      Like

    • I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. It is so ridiculously easy to make these treats — and cheaper, too — that there’s simply no reason to risk buying them. And if your Gidget is at all like my Max, she’ll be at your side the entire time you’re preparing them. He knows the routine now and, suddenly, he is the best behaved dog in the world. :)

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  33. Awesome! one for the books. will be preparing this soon. I totally agree that our animals should eat healthy too. I grew up with dogs and we cook them food every day. Our German Shepard loves watermelon for treats and our flat coat retriever loves mango and avocado. We never bought dog treats because there is so much junk in them. Let’s see how they like this…. I’m guessing they’ll love it!
    Talking about treats, these treats sound like a great way to train my puppy beagle.

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    • I’m so glad you like this post. Max loves these and they couldn’t be easier to make. He recognizes when I’m making a batch and stays at my side during the entire process. Thank heavens he lacks opposable digits or he’d be opening the oven door to steal a few. :)

      Like

  34. io ho 5 gatti, ma nessun cane, ne vorrei perché li amo moltissimo, ma assentandomi spesso per lavoro non potrei accudirlo come vorrei, i gatti sono molto più indipendenti ed ho una persona che pensa a dare lo il cibo, credo che un essere umano non possa considerarsi tale se non ha animali per amici, quindi sono molto lieta che anche tu condivida questo amore!
    I have 5 cats, but no dog, I would because I love them so much, but often assentandomi to work I couldn’t look after how I wish, cats are more independent and I have a person who thinks to give it food, I believe that a human being cannot be considered such if it has animals for friends, so I’m very pleased that you share this love!

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  35. Popular guy you are, on this one especially. As you should be, such a meaningful post. I am so appalled by the things people find acceptable to feed “dogs”. Your devotion is endearing and rewarded.

    Buddy and Ginger just ate two-finger toro tuna and louvar fish cooked in foil in the oven, sans seasoning. They were the cut ends of our dinner pre-spice. Most would find this outrageously indulgent but we find it to be smart, healthy and part of the “family” meal. :-)

    Like

    • Thanks, Stacey. Since the bad treats came back into the news, this post has become one of my most read posts. They’re so easy to make and there’s no risk of anything improper happening to your pupsters.
      I agree with your food philosophy, too. Unseasoned people food is great for our animals. Table scraps, however, are just as unhealthy for our pets as they would be for us. How could they not be?

      Like

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