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Feeding our dogs homemade dehydrated dog food can help improve our dog's health. We all want what's best for our dogs. This includes the best quality of nutrition from their dog food.

Dog foods can be costly and have a limited shelf life. Choosing the dehydrated food route is an excellent alternative as it is easy and cheap.

How about dog treats? You can also give your dogs homemade dehydrated dog treats. We will share some easy dehydrated dog treats recipes.

Dehydrating dog food can be a timesaver. Are you too busy at work? Don't worry. One day of meal prep and dehydrating dog food and treats saves time and money in the long run.

Let's discuss the process of dehydrated dog food.

Only Natural Pet EasyRaw Dehydrated Dog Food
Photo: Samantha Randall

What is a Dehydrated Dog Food?

Dehydrated dog food is an easy process. It is a healthy option for dogs of all ages. This dog food is rich in flavor and nutrients and is an excellent alternative to kibble or dry foods.

Preparing it is as easy as dry food with the benefits or nutrition of raw food. When food is dehydrated, it means moisture is removed from the ingredients. This process keeps the nutrients and other health benefits from the natural elements.

Unlike dry food or dry kibbles, which remove many essential nutrients, dehydrating foods keep the nutritional benefits from the ingredients.

Preparing Already Dehydrated Dog Food?

When it's time to prepare the dehydrated food, all you need is warm water. The amount of water will depend on the amount of dog food. You will find the feeding guide on the bag.

Once you add warm water, wait 2-3 minutes. This rehydrates the ingredients present in the dog food. All the nutrients and flavors are back.

You'll notice your pup enjoying their dog food more than ever.

Mix Dehydrated Dog Food

How Is Dehydrated Dog Food Made?

Dehydrated dog food is made by using a low heat drying method. Food dehydration is used to preserve the food and its nutrients inside.

The removal of the water helps sustain the nutritional values of the food. When the moisture is eliminated, it also reduces the chances of the growth of pathogens or microorganisms that can harm our dogs.

DIY Dehydrated Dog Food Step-By-Step

Step #1

Gather all the ingredients that you need. We all want what's best for our pups, aiming for a 100% nutritional balance in their meals.

To make your dehydrated food, you'll need a dehydrator. If you are on a budget, you can use a regular oven.

Step #2

Once you've gathered all your preferred ingredients, trim excess fat or anything you don't want on your dog's meal, wash and pat dry the ingredients.

Ingredients can be cooked or raw before dehydrating.

Arrange the food or slices in a dehydrator tray. If using your oven, place the food on a cookie sheet.

Step #3

Once you've arranged the prepared meal on a dehydrator tray, it's time to put it in the dehydrator. The average time allotted for it to finish is about 6-8 hours. But this will depend on what recipe or ingredients you've used.

Homemade Dehydrated Dog Food Recipes

Dehydrated Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

In this recipe, all you need to have is chicken breast. In dehydration, lean meat is best-advised because fat contains too much moisture and can damage the drying process and storage time.

If you don't want any excess fats, use skinless chicken breast and chop any other remaining pieces of fat and skin.

Step-By-Step Instruction

  1. Before anything else, ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST
  2. Chop up unwanted fat from raw chicken breast
  3. Slice the meat for about 1/8″ to 1/4″ inch thick
  4.  Prepare the sliced meat into the dehydrator trays
  5. For 8-12 hours, dehydrate the meat between 155F and 68-70C
  6. To make sure no bacteria are remaining, bake in an oven for 10 mins at a temperature of 175F

dried chicken jerky for dogs

Dehydrated Sweet Potato Dog Treats

The only ingredients you need are raw sweet potatoes.

Step-By-Step Instruction

  1. Again, always wash your hands first
  2.  Wash sweet potatoes and pat dry them after
  3. There's no need to peel these potatoes, only chop them into 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick slices.
  4. Prepare them in the dehydrator trays.
  5. For 8-12 hours, dehydrate the potatoes between 120F and 130F

Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes

How to make Dehydrated Dog Foods in a Regular Oven

If you're a bit curious and want to try out dehydrated dog foods without looking to invest in a dehydrator, you can make these with just a regular oven.

All you have to do is preheat the oven at a low temperature. For most fish, use 145F and use 160F for poultry. After that, please wait for it to cook for the same amount of time recommended in a dehydrator.

How to store Homemade Dehydrated Dog Foods

The key to storing homemade dehydrated dog foods is keeping them in an airtight container. Ziplock bags, screw-top jars, and plastic or glass Tupperware work great in these foods.

But if you don't have those, you can always buy sealable storage bags on Amazon.

After that, you can store the containers in your refrigerator or even at cool room temperature for about two weeks. Just remember that the container must be airtight.

Are Dehydrated Dog Foods Safe For Dogs?

Yes, it is! Dehydrated foods are one of the safest options for dogs. The removal of moisture from the food increases its chances to last longer.

Dehydrating dog foods ensures that the food is safe and healthy for dogs. Homemade dehydrated foods will give you the power to provide no additional chemicals in the meal.

Dehydrated Dog Food

Benefits of Dehydrated Dog Foods

Health Benefits

When making dehydrated food for dogs, all the nutrients stay right into them because the only thing removed is water.

It is best advised to use raw vegetables or raw meat to dehydrate. This is much more tasteful for our pups, and it is also low in calories.

With the dehydration process, you will be preserving nutrients, but you can also eliminate bacteria that can be dangerous to your dogs.

Easy To Make

If you're a pet parent busy with work, you can benefit from dehydrated foods.

All you need to do is gather all the ingredients you need and put them in a dehydrator tray. After that, set the appropriate temperature and continue your work.

Dehydrated Food Last Longer

Since these types of food are moisture-free, you can seal these foods in an airtight container to keep for several weeks.

But keep in mind that you have to make sure that the containers are airtight. If stored in the refrigerator, it can be preserved at room temperature for two to four weeks or two months.

Homemade Dehydrated Food is Cheaper

On a tight budget, homemade dehydrated dog food is cheaper than buying online or in-store.

It'll be cheaper, but if you make your dog food, you'll be able to ensure that there are no hidden additives or ingredients that you don't want your dog to take.

If you're planning on switching to the dehydration diet, you can invest in buying a food dehydrator for about $60 – $150.

Can a Dog Lose Weight with Dehydrated Foods?

Some of us dog owners want our dogs to be “chunky,” but at some point, that is not healthy at all. We all want to maintain our dog's health.

Obesity in dogs can be caused by overfeeding, poor nutritional diet, and lack of exercise. If you're trying to help your dog lose some weight, start with giving them a healthy diet.

Dehydrated dog foods are a great way to start as it consists of natural food ingredients rather than foods that have empty calories.

Remember that overfeeding can also happen if you're on a dehydrated dog diet. To make sure you don't overfeed. A great technique is to have feeding schedules on your food containers.

Can Dogs with Allergies eat Dehydrated Dog Foods?

Are you concerned about your dogs potentially having allergies to dehydrated dog foods? This will all depend on the ingredients present in the dog food.

Dogs can be allergic to grains, specific vegetables, and other meat proteins. You, as the dog owner, have the power to analyze the food label for the ingredients present in the product.

On the other hand, this is where making your own homemade dehydrated dog food comes in handy. In making your dog food, you have complete control over the ingredients and nutrients you'll give to your pups.

Why Should I Switch to Dehydrated Dog Food?

You may be curious or need some convincing on whether you should try out dehydrated dog food or switch to homemade food. Well, the short answer is that you should do it!

Most dogs tend to love dehydrated dog foods. But not only that, they can gain multiple health benefits from it.

Switching to dehydrated dog food can also benefit you, the pet owner. Since it is easier to prepare, you can quickly get on with your daily activities without taking too much of your time cooking your dog's meals.

Can Puppies Eat Dehydrated Dog Foods?

Dehydrated dog foods are suitable for all ages, sizes, and breeds. A nutritional diet started at a young age can have considerable benefits in the long run.

And you don't have to worry! Some formulas are specifically for puppies, and there are some for stages of life.

If you want to make sure that you'll give your pup 100% balanced nutrition, you can consult with your vet or a vet nutritionist. Of course, we want our dog to have all the necessary nutrients, proteins, and vitamins.

In choosing the right product or ingredients, remember to pick the best quality to cover all their needs.

Commonly Asked Questions

How to serve dehydrated pet foods?

Since the meal is concealed in an airtight container, it will not spoil quickly. To serve dehydrated dog food, you need to add some water to rehydrate the food.

With this method, you'll get the texture and added moisture that wet food has, but it is less processed food in this case.

How long will dehydrated chicken last?

This will all depend on making and sealing the meat after dehydration.

You can store dehydrated meat in an unrefrigerated area for no more than two weeks. Products with the least moisture content will last the longest.

If adequately prepared, stored, and dehydrated, it can last for about five years, but the flavor might be bland if kept too long.

Which is better freeze-dried or dehydrated?

Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are the same. It is the process of removing water to preserve perishable foods. The difference is that with dehydrating food, all you need to use is warm air to remove the moisture.

Freeze-drying requires a freezing phase, a drying phase, and a second drying or absorption phase. That means freeze-drying preserves more of the nutritional benefits of the food than dehydrating.

Dog Sniffing Homemade Dehydrated Food

Homemade Dehydrated Dog Food Final Thoughts

If you're looking for easy and cheap food for dogs, make homemade dehydrated dog food. Preparing a dry meal for dogs will not only be cost-effective but will be less time-consuming.

If you're planning to switch your dog's diet to a dehydrated one, a significant investment would be buying a dehydrator. If you already have one, all you need to do is prepare the ingredients, put them in dehydrator trays, and you're good to go.

In addition, you can also make homemade dehydrated dog treats. It's healthy, it's easy, and it's flavorful. Dehydrated dog treats recipes are similar to making meals.