I have an Open Country dehydrator that I use to make jerky and fruit snacks for backpacking trips – it’s affordable and very efficient. Not interested in buying one? Totally fine. You can use your oven and achieve the same results! Dehydrated snacks have a long shelf-life and taste way, way better than anything you can find in a store.
So, what to dehydrate? I usually split our snacks into two bags/categories – sweet and savory.
To satisfy that sweet tooth, I’ll usually dehydrate strawberries and apples. It’s best to soak fruits in water with a hint of lemon juice first. When sliced thinly and placed on a pan lined with parchment paper, they’re ready within a couple of hours. I’d recommend 160° for either an oven or dehydrator.
For our more savory snacks, my favorite combination is chicken and bell peppers. What a fantastic combination! Red bell peppers, unlike their yellow and green friends, have the highest vitamin C and E (along with other essential nutrients). Slice them longways and thinly. These take a couple hours as well, at around 140°. They have a lot of moisture to lose and shrivel up quite a bit, but the flavor is still as powerful.
“They have a lot of moisture to lose and shrivel up quite a bit, but the flavor is still as powerful.”
If you’re using an oven, I’d recommend checking on your snacks periodically to ensure that they’re dehydrating properly. It’s usually a good idea to even leave the oven cracked open a little bit for ventilation. With a dehydrator, there isn’t as much oversight required. Toss those snacks in and let it get to work for a few hours.
It’s quick, simple, and most importantly a very affordable way for you and your dog to stay healthy and happy!
Do you make your own dog treats? Mine love avocado and tortilla chips, so they are super easy to please. Share your treat ideas below!