Homemade Chicken Jerky Strips: Chewy Treats for Dogs and Cats
By Dr. Becker
Free-range, organic chicken is one of the healthiest treats you can feed your dog or cat. Packed with species-appropriate protein, B-vitamins, sulfur-containing amino acids, and minerals, chicken can give your four-legged family member extra strength and energy. Plus, most dogs and cats love the taste and aroma of this all-natural treat.
Because chicken is so healthy, you may have considered picking up a package of store-bought chicken jerky treats. They’re chewy in texture and last longer than cooked chicken, making them a favorite for many pets and pet owners alike.
However, store-bought chicken jerky treats, especially brands sourced from China, have been implicated in a shocking number of dog deaths and even the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned dog owners of their link to illnesses.1
Purchasing store-bought versions is simply not worth the risk to your pet’s health, especially when making a homemade version is incredibly simple. All you need is a basic dehydrator and a package of free-range organic chicken breasts to make homemade chicken jerky your pets will crave.
Homemade Chicken Jerky Recipe
- Free-range organic chicken breasts
- Slice chicken breasts into ½-inch strips and place on dehydrator tray
- Dehydrate at 145 degrees F for two hours
- Reduce temperature to 120 degrees F for another 4 hours or until meat is thoroughly dry
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks
More Than 1,000 Dog Deaths Linked to Toxic Jerky Treats
You can see from the recipe above how simple it is to make chicken jerky at home, so please don’t risk your pet’s health with imported jerky treats from China. Since 2007, the FDA has received about 5,000 complaints of pet illnesses (along with 25 illnesses in cats and three in humans) linked to toxic jerky treats, including more than 1,000 dog deaths.2,3 According to the FDA:
“Although it is impossible to determine in every case whether the events reported were in fact caused by eating jerky pet treats, FDA continues to believe that there is an association between some of the reports and consumption of jerky pet treats.”
Most often, dogs became sick after consuming chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats from China, although even treats labeled “Made in the USA” may contain ingredients sourced from China (or other countries).
The most common symptoms were gastrointestinal or liver disease, followed by kidney and urinary disease. In about 15 percent of the kidney and urinary disease cases, a rare kidney disease called Fanconi syndrome was reported. Symptoms that occurred less often (in about 10 percent of cases) included neurologic, dermatologic, and immunologic symptoms.4
Despite conducting “extensive chemical and microbial testing,” the FDA has yet to identify any contaminants in jerky treats tested, however they continue to receive complaints of dogs getting sick after eating such treats.
I recommend avoiding store-bought jerky treats for your pets until this “mystery” is solved, and this includes those imported from China and even those that say they are made in the USA. US country of origin labeling laws only require that products “made in the US” be put together here.
There’s no requirement for pet food manufacturers to identify where the ingredients in their products come from. So unless you have contacted the manufacturer and confirmed the product is truly sourced and made from US ingredients, avoid feeding them to your pets. Instead, make your own at home (and while you have the dehydrator out, try your hand at these homemade dehydrated liver chunks, too).
By Dr. Becker
Banana Nut Biscotti
- 2 overripe bananas
- 1/4 cup plain kefir
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- Blend all ingredients together, and then pour into a greased 5×7-inch mini loaf pan.
- Bake at 325°F for 1 hour. Once done, remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Flip onto a cutting board and slice into ½ inch strips.
- Bake the strips again at 250°F for an hour, or until hard. Remove from oven and let cool before giving to your pets.
- Store extra servings in the freezer or refrigerator and consume within one week. If stored in the freezer, this can stay fresh for up to three months.
All kinds of recipes here from dog food to mosquito spray. If you have a recipe for an item that you really like please share it. Homemade Green Chicken Crumpets: Healthy Pet Treats for Dogs and Cats By Dr. Becker
Liver Tater Meatloaf
- 1/3 cup beef liver, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup potato flour
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Pour into a greased 5×6-inch baking dish or loaf pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool before cutting into bite-sized pieces.
- Store in the freezer or refrigerator and consume within one week. If stored in the freezer, this can stay fresh for up to three months
There’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal and your pet certainly agrees. While it’s possible to find high-quality, healthy pet treats at specialty pet stores (and online), you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create your own homemade treats right in your own kitchen.
The recipe that follows, Green Chicken Crumpets, is packed with beneficial ingredients and flavors that will make your dog’s or cat’s mouth water. Best of all, it takes just four ingredients, and in about 30 minutes (including baking and prep time), you’ll be pulling these homemade pet treats out of your oven, and popping them into your waiting pet’s mouth. Be sure to let them cool before giving your pet a taste!
Green Chicken Crumpets
- 1 cup ground chicken
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
- 1/4 cup plain organic, yogurt
- 1T hemp protein powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
- Drop into bite-sized morsels on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown.
Why Are Green Chicken Crumpets So Good for Your Dog and Cat?
Many commercial pet treats contain grains or unnecessary fillers, rendered animal byproducts, added sugar (sometimes hidden in ingredients like molasses and honey), chemicals, artificial preservatives, undisclosed contaminants, or ingredients known to be highly allergenic to pets.
In contrast, Green Chicken Crumpets contain just four health-promoting ingredients… and nothing more (no hidden fillers, sugars, preservatives, etc.).
Chicken is an excellent source of protein and it contains all B vitamins along with minerals like selenium. Other nutrients in chicken include zinc, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron, along with sulfur-containing amino acids like cysteine, which help thin mucus in the lungs so it’s easier to discharge.
Other amino acids in chicken, notably leucine, isoleucine and valine, are important for cardiac and skeletal muscle health.1 Ideally, choose free-range, organic chicken.
Basil contains iron, calcium, manganese, vitamin C, and potassium, along with vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting. The vitamin A in basil consists of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the cell lining and blood vessels against free radical damage. This essential vitamin also prevents the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood to avoid atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
Basil is also packed with DNA-protecting flavonoids and volatile oils such as estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene, which are important in fighting off different kinds of bacteria like listeria, staphylococcus, E. coli, yersinia enterocolitica, and pseudomonas aeruginosa. Basil also has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help provide relief from inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Grass-Fed Plain Yogurt
Yogurt is rich in high-quality protein, beneficial probiotics, calcium, B vitamins, and even cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (the latter of which is particularly found in grass-fed yogurt).
Your absolute best bet when it comes to yogurt is to make your own using a starter culture and raw grass-fed milk. Raw organic milk from grass-fed cows not only contains beneficial bacteria that support your pet’s immune system and can help reduce allergies, it’s also an outstanding source of vitamins (especially vitamin A), zinc, enzymes, and healthy fats. All you need is a high-quality culture starter added to a quart of raw milk, which you leave at room temperature overnight.
If you’re buying a commercial brand, seek out organic yogurt and that made from 100% grass-fed or pastured milk. And you’ll want wholemilk yogurt, not low-fat or skim.
Organic Hemp Protein Powder
Organic hemp protein powder is a high-quality source of plant protein that contains all nine essential amino acids vital for good health. In addition, it’s an excellent source of essential fatty acids (including omega-3 and omega-6), magnesium, iron and zinc, along with beneficial fiber.
* approx. 5lbs. of ground beef or chicken
* 3/4 cup canola oil
* 4-5 cloves of garlic
* 32 cups of water
* 8-10 cups processed vegetables
* (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, bean sprouts, potatoes, spinach, beets, tomatoes, etc.) Or a couple of bags of frozen mixed vegetables for the grocery store.
* NO ONIONS they are not good for dogs
* 2-3 cans of kidney beans
* 1/2 cup molasses (optional)
* 42-45 oz. quick cooking oatmeal
* eggs can be added for extra protein
Next, add the oatmeal. Frequent stirring is necessary at this point or the mixture will become stick. Remove from heat, cool and put in containers. This mixture will feed three medium size dogs for about 1 week. This food can as be mixed with dry kibble. Substitute brown rice for some of the oatmeal. It’s a very flexible recipe. Doggie Gravy for Dry Food
* 1 Bonesless/skinless Chicken Breast
* 4 cups of water
* 1 cup flour
* 2 whole eggs
* all items approx.
Boil chicken breast for about 1/2 hour, remove to cool. Add flour to chicken water. Beat out lumps. Add pre-beaten eggs. Cook on low heat until it’s done thickening. Pulverize chicken in food processor. Add to flour/egg gravy. May need to add more water. Unfortunately it won’t freeze. Using a few tablespoons daily, it should be used before it sours. Satin Balls If you have a dog that just doesn’t seem to hold its weight, is a picky eater, or has just experienced an illness that left it weakened, making satin balls for your dog can help bring him back to optimal condition. This recipe is designed to put weight on fast, and to be very good for making their coat shiny and soft. It is high in calories to give them an energy boost that is much needed in times of stress. And most important of all – they are extremely palatable. These are not a substitute for a nutritionally balanced diet for your dog, but they can be added daily as a supplement and make great treats for training. 1 lb cheap hamburger (for high fat %) 1 and 1/3 cups Total cereal 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal 1 raw egg 6 Tablespoons wheat germ 1 package Knox unflavored gelatin 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil 2 Tablespoons unsulfured molasses Cleo’s Pumpkin Dog Biscuits2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour *
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)Preheat oven to 350.In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in dry milk, sea salt, and dried parsley (if using, optional). Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (can use the brown rice flour) and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ – depending on your dog’s chew preferences, ask first – and use biscuit or other shape cutter to punch shapes, gathering and re-rolling scraps as you go. Place shapes on cookie sheet, no greasing or paper necessary. If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack before feeding to dog.* Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promotes better dog digestion. Many dogs have touchy stomachs or allergies, and do not, like many people I know, tolerate wheat
Dog Biscuits – Beef Flavored
Makes 74 2” cookies
* 2 cups all purpose flour
* 1 cup whole wheat flour
* 1 cup cornmeal
* 3/4 cup regular wheat germ
* 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
* 1 pkg. active dry yeast
* 1/4 cup warm water
* 1 can beef broth
* 1 egg, slightly beaten
* 1 tbs.. milk
Combine first 5 ingredients in very large bowl. Soften the yeast in the warm water
and add it along with the beef broth to the dry ingredients. Mix well with hands as the dough will be stiff. Divide dough into halves and roll each half out on a floured board to a 1/4” thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Place fairly close together on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and leave cookie sheets with cookies in the oven to harden overnight. If you lack room room in the oven for all of them, place them in a dry spot until they are quite hard. Dog Biscuits – Cheese Flavored
* 1 cup rolled oats
* 1/3 cup canola oil
* 1 cup boiling water
* 3/4 cup cornmeal
* 1 – 2 tsp. chicken or beef bouillon
* 1/2 cup milk
* 4 oz. (1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese
* 1 egg beaten
* 2 – 3 cups whole wheat flour
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, rolled oats, oil and boiling water, let stand 10 minutes. Stir in cornmeal, bouillon, milk, cheese and egg; mix well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition to form a stiff dough. On floured surface, knead in remaining flour until dough is no longer sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. Roll or pat out dough to 1/2” thickness, cut with bone shaped cookie cutter. Place 1” apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely. Store loosely covered. Makes 3 1/2 dozen large dog biscuits or 8 dozen small dog biscuits. Liver Bait
* Yields: 40 most or less depending on the size you cut.
* 1 LB beef liver
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup cornmeal/oatmeal ( half & half)
* garlic powder
Puree raw liver in food processor (can be done in blender but it’s pretty hard on the blender), add whole egg shell and all, a generous amount of garlic. Add uncooked cornmeal/oatmeal to meat mixture until it is the consistency of cookie dough. Grease and flour a glass baking pan and bake at 350 for about 15 min. Cool, slice and freeze. This makes a nice dry but palatable cookie that no dog can refuse. Bad breath Banisher
* 2 cups brown rice flour
* 1 tbs.. activated charcoal (find at a drugstore)
* 3 tbs.. canola oil
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 2/3 cup low fat milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil cookie sheet. Combine flour and charcoal. Add all the other ingredients. Drop teaspoonfuls on oiled sheets, about 1” apart. Bake 15 – 20 minutes. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. Aloe Vera Pet Shampoo
About as pure a shampoo as you ca get, this recipe is detergent-free; in addition, the healing properties of aloe vera gel helps to soothe skin irritations.
* 2 cups water
* 2 tsp. liquid Castile soap
* 2 tbs.. aloe vera gel
* up to 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin or vegetable oil Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake to blend. Get the pet’s coat wet, pour on the shampoo a few tbs.. at a time, lather as you go. Work the shampoo in with your hands. Rinse thoroughly. Unless you want the pet to shake themselves dry (and get you and anything else wet) towel them dry. Mosquito repellent For those of you with Mosquito invasions. Here’s an easy & pleasant repellent recipe you can make at home: Combine in a 16 oz bottle: 15 drops lavender oil … 3-4 Tbsp of vanilla extract 1/4 Cup lemon juice. Fill bottle with water. Shake and ready to use. Make some extra to gift to your neighbors, family & friends. Trust me.. it’ll be appreciated Eczema and itch Relief
* 1 rounded tbs.. dried chickweed
* 1 rounded tbs.. dried yellow dock
* 1 rounded tbs.. dried plantain
* 1 pt. boiling water
Place herbs in a teapot. Add boiling water and let steep, covered for 20 minutes
When cool store in the refrigerator until very cold. Apply the cold herbal infusion to the irritated skin area with a saturated cotton ball or cotton make-up remover pad. Apply several times a day as needed. Upset Stomach Remedy (for dogs & cats)
* 1 cup distilled or spring water
* 1 tsp. slippery elm powder
* 1 tbs.. honey (for dogs)
Place water in a small saucepan and mix in powder, stirring with a whisk to remove all the lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. After mixture reaches a boil, turn down to simmer and stir a few more minutes until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Allow to cool.
Mix in food at mealtime. Give 1/2 tsp. 3 or 4 times a day to a cat. Give 1 – 3 tsp. (depending on your dog’s size) 3 or 4 times a day. If dog or cat will not eat, you can give it with a tsp., syringe. If you are worried contact your vet. Motion Sickness
* B -Complex, low-potency vitamins (5-20 mg)
* 1/16 tsp. sodium ascorbic powder (250 mg vitamin C)
* 10,000 I.U. vitamin A capsules (with 400 I.U. vitamin D)
* Peppermint tea or capsules
Starting two weeks ahead of your trip, give your pet the B-complex and vitamin C every day. Give about 5 milligrams of B complex to a cat; 5 to 20 milligrams to a dog, depending on the size. Give a single vitamin A and D capsule once a week. Double these dosages for large dogs.
If motion sickness begins to occur during the trip, give your pet some peppermint tea or peppermint capsules, which will help to settle its stomach. Use one capsule for a cat; 1 – 3 capsules for a dog depending on it’s size. I’ve got tons more recipes, let me know what you are looking for and I’ll do my best to find it and I’ll get back to you ASAP Antiseptic Ointment Here is an easy recipe for a DIY Antiseptic Ointment to apply to a wound or cut in a pinch.
1-1/2 ounces beeswax
1 cup olive or coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon liquid vitamin E (helps repair damaged skin)
1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil (antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-fungal)
10 drops lavender essential oil (relaxant, pain reliever, antibacterial, anti-fungal)
10 drops lemon essential oil (antibacterial, antiviral)Grate beeswax and melt with olive or coconut oil over low heat in a double boiler. Remove from heat and stir in the Vitamin E an essential oils. Pour into a small glass jar and cool. Store in a cool, dark place.Homemade Chicken Jerky & Sweet Potato Chews
Dehydrating food is all the rage these days — great for summer’s fruit, berry and vegetable bounty, and for making sumptuous, healthy treats for your dogs (not to mention yourself). While it’s possible to dehydrate food in an oven, it’s much more efficient and convenient to use a dehydrator. And making it in your own home means you don’t have to worry about contaminants or adulterated ingredients. (We hear you can also make yogurt in a dehydrator — wouldn’t your dog love that!)
Here’s a recipe for every dog’s favorite: chicken jerky. Before you start, make sure you have a very sharp knife. Also, partially frozen meat is easier to slice, and the thinner the slices, the less time they take to dry.
• 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• Your choice of dog-friendly seasonings: parsley, rosemary, sage (preferably fresh and chopped very fine)
• Rinse the chicken breasts and remove any fat, which slows down the dehydrating process and will shorten the jerky’s shelf life.
• Slice the chicken into strips about 1/4- to 1/8-inch thick; slicing with the grain will make the jerky even chewier.
• Coat the strips with oil and seasonings.
• Place the strips on the dehydrator tray, spacing them evenly; make sure they do not touch. The drying process depends on adequate airflow between the strips.
• Put the tray in the dehydrator, turn it on and set the temperature for 140 degrees.
It will probably take between 3 and 12 hours for the strips to fully dry, depending on how thick you cut them and the exact temperature of your dehydrator. After the first hour, start checking the strips on an hourly basis. To determine the dryness level, remove one strip from the dehydrator, cut into it with a sharp knife and examine the inside. When the meat is completely dried, you won’t see any moisture and it will be the same color throughout. If it needs more time, put it back in for another hour. As it gets closer to being finished, check every half hour.
When your chicken jerky is done, store it in air-tight containers; zip-lock bags work great for this. Refrigerate the containers for an even longer shelf life.
Sweet Potato Chews
Thoroughly wash and peel sweet potatoes. Slice the sweet potato into 1/4- inch slices by cutting down the middle lengthwise.
Dehydrate at the highest setting 145-155 until done. Drying approximately 6-8 hours will leave them with a chewy texture. For crunchier treats dehydrate longer until the desired consistency