Sunday, September 22, 2013

Homemade Dehydrated Chicken Dog Treats

I decided to use my new Presto food dehydrator again today, this time to dehydrate chicken hearts.  I previously made beef lung treats using it.  Off to a nearby ethnic grocer I went, where one can purchase packages of chicken hearts only, as opposed to a mix of hearts and gizzards, that seems to be mostly gizzards.

Yummy chicken hearts.  My dogs eat these raw on occasion.
 I purchased two packages of chicken hearts, about 2.25 lbs, or 36 ounces.  This completely filled three of my four trays, and the top tray was over half full.  Note the varying sizes of the hearts, and the fat caps present on some of them.

I put the lid on the dehydrator, and plugged it in. 
About 30 minutes in.  Of course I could not resist peaking.

After about four hours.  At this point, they were still squishy when pressed upon, and quite moist.  The house did smell faintly of cooking chicken.
I ended up letting them dehydrate for about 11 hours. 

 After 11 hours, they were firm, slightly crunchy/crispy feeling.  I unplugged the dehydrator, and let them cool.
After cooling, I weighed them.  36 ounces of chicken hearts (according to the weight on the packages) netted me a little over 11 ounces of treats.
The woofers love these!  I will be sharing some with a friend of mine at work. 
A couple of things I figured out today as part of my dehydrator learning curve: 
  1. I should have removed the fat.  Some of the treats are kind of "greasy" because of this.  But neither I, nor the dogs, are complaining.
  2. Next time I dehydrate chicken hearts, I will cut them into smaller, uniformly sized pieces.  Because the dogs ADORE these, they will make great training treats, and I want them to be a bit smaller for that purpose.
Because of the fat, and the fact that they contain no preservatives, I will be storing these in the refrigerator. 
I really feel good about giving these treats to my dogs.  No questionable ingredients, preservatives, or fears about how the treats are made.  Now that fall is here, I will be making/baking some cookies for the as well.


  1. WOW! TASTY. Don't forget to add this post on our Tasty Tuesday blog hop. ENJOY. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  2. The first time I made chicken hearts, I trimmed the fat and cut them into smaller pieces. The dogs really enjoyed it!

  3. Yum this is so enticing! My sapiens have made jerky and sweet potatoes/yams. But chicken hearts...GIMME!

  4. I tried this idea myself. My dog has a sensitive digestive system and I feed him Pioneer, grain free Venison dog food. I cooked the hearts first then dried them. Cooper loved them but then got a bad case of diarrhea. I'm not sure if the chicken hearts caused the problem or not. For now I've stopped giving them to him and he's back on dry food only... :-(


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