Monday, April 16, 2012

Chips - for the dogs

My dogs have  been eating dehydrated chicken breasts for a few years.    The dogs love them, and they do wonders for their teeth.  Except, I have an issue with them:

These freeze dried chicken breasts seem very similar to the chicken jerky that has been killing dogs.  (See one of many articles on the subject HERE.)  Nobody seems to know how the jerky is killing dogs - they eat them for a while, and then suddenly become deathly ill.  I'm neither a vet nor a nutritionalist, but I personally think that dogs aren't built to consume the salt content and preservatives that go into these things... although, I suspect there's more to the problem than that.  Regardless, everything I've read has said that the problematic chicken jerky is coming from China.  I scoured the packaging for the dehydrated chicken that my dogs eat, and I couldn't find anything.  So, I called the manufacturer.  They said that their products aren't made in China; they're made in Taiwan.  Some people say Taiwan is a stand alone county.  China says it's a Chinese State.  Either way, I don't want to gamble with my dogs' lives over semantics.

In a perfect world, I'd make freeze dried chicken breasts for the dogs myself.  However, at the current price for chicken around here, that's not going to happen.  Looking for other options, I found dehydrated sweet potatoes for dogs in one store.  They peaked my curiosity, but seemed kind of expensive at $6 for a small bag.  Then, while grocery shopping, I found a fairly big bag of sweet potatoes for $2.99.  I bought them and googled to figure out how to dehydrate them.

It's dead easy:

  1.  slice them about 1/4" thick (mandolins are handy for this!)
  2. lay them out on a cookie sheet - no oil necessary 
  3. put into a preheated oven at 250 for two hours
  4. flip them over, then bake for another two hours.

I didn't think to take pics at the start.  This is after the first two hours.

This is after 4 hours

They shrink as they cook.  
I'd suggest doing at least a few cookie sheets' worth if you're going to run the oven for that long.

More importantly,  they passed the test.

Notice the poodle in the background.  
She snarfed her sweet potato chip too quickly for me to get photographic proof, 
and then thought she was entitled to Cotton's chip too.  

I'm not entirely sure if they'll do as good of a job at cleaning the dogs' teeth, but I'm told that much of Cotton's problem is his lack of chewing.  He chewed on these for almost as long as he normally chews on his dehydrated chicken, so hope it works.


  1. I wouldn't mind some of those myself but not if I have to chew forevah!

  2. This is a good idea! My dogs do love the chicken jerky. Yes, the kind I buy is the kind being talked about. No problems, but when you mentioned the salt content, a flashbulb went off. I think I'll give the sweet potatoes a try. Thanks!!

  3. Mine did not turn out as good looking as yours. I think I need a mandolin for even slices. Phoebe loved them, but then, she will eat anything. Zoe didn't much care for it. I'll keep working on her.