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My friends and I really love dehydrating treats for our furkids, be it dogs, cats, they really love them!

I dehydrate once every 1-2 weeks, my cats favourite have got to be the chicken breast strips, and I'm in love with eating them too!

I believe in raw feeding, and I go all the way, even with treats, thus I think treats should not be processed with heat as well.

Dehydrating =/= processing with heat, so the meats are all still raw, just in its' dried state.
Process takes 7-10 hours, it lasts longer the longer it gets dehydrated, but it also mean more nutritional values are lost.

These are some of the ones I've done thus far, you can pretty much do with any kinds of meats/offals or even fruits!


Raw Chicken breast strips.


Dehydrated raw chicken breast strips.


Raw pork.


Dehydrated raw pork.


Dehydrated raw grey prawns (I don't got the before picture for this, sorry!)


Raw Mutton.


Dehydrated raw mutton.


Raw Chicken drumsticks and wings.


Dehydrated chicken drumsticks/wings. (Since it's not cooked, bones are perfectly safe to digest.)


Raw whole Kunning fishes.


Dehydrated raw whole Kunning fishes.


Raw Salmon (Skins are dehydrated separately since they gets rancid fast, they get the skin the moment it's done.)


Dehydrated skinless raw Salmon.


Raw beef.


Dehydrated raw beef.


Raw Silverfishes.


Dehydrated raw silverfishes.

Hope everyone loved the pictures, and I'm working on more types of meats to dehydrate :)
 

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Thanks for all the pics. I find this an interesting concept.

Are there any other health benefits or cons to dehydrated treats? From your post, one con is lost nutritional value. Would this be good for dental benefits?
 

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Alpaca - Yes, nutrients would be lost in the process of dehydrating, but not as much as when they're processed with heat, so there are still a lot of nutrition left.

I'm only going with dehydrating treats because I'm worried about what people puts into their ready made treats.
Preservatives, colourings, additives, you never know what they put in etc.

With dehydrating real raw meats does you get ensured they contains nothing unnatural, and my dogs and cats went more insane over these than any of the petshops' treats, and it's suitable for humans' consumptions too, so it's all good :)

As for more cons, it takes hours - 7 hours - 10 hours depending.
I usually do 7-8, hardly 9.

And you'll have to fridge them.

Yes, not to mention bones are a source of calcium as well, and the pets can learn to eat bones while on dehydrated, since it tasted like it've been cooked but actually it's still raw but reduced in water quantities.
And yups, it's a good dental chew as well if your cats/dogs detest raw bones.
 

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I've just harvested my just done dehydrated treats again!


Raw Shisamo fishes.
Yes, those are their eggs.


Dehydrated raw Shisamo fishes.


Raw Beef lungs.


Dehydrated raw Beef lungs.
I did it half dehydrated - It's crispy on the outside and soft in the inside, since all dehydrated treats are kept in the fridge, it's okays to have it half dehydrated.


Raw pig's heart.


Dehydrated pig's hearts.

And shall post picture on the prawns.


Raw deshelled grey prawns.


Dehydrated deshelled raw grey prawns.
 

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Hmmm,
What a surprise to find my mouth watering due to your letter on dehydrated meats. mmmm

I'm not going to do it...cuz, I'm just not going to buy a dehydrater...at least not at this time of my life...maybe another time if there is time on my hands. ha ha. (Right now it is hard enough for me just to take care of myself. and you don't want that story..ha ha)

But there is one other thought here though. My vet made an impact me explaining one reason why I might like to go to raw feeding. That is, that they don't drink a lot and need the moisture from wet food.

And a question...just so I know, How long does it last? You said it needed to be refrigerated...so that sounds like its shelf life would not be very long....oh, I suppose you can freeze it.

Just visiting,
cuzmare (marilyn)
 

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I'm very intersted in this. How much did you pay for your dehydator and what constitutes a good dehyradator? Also would it be ok to freeze the treats? I think this would be especially good since store bought treats contains stuff we don't want our cats to eat.

Kathy
 

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Very interesting! I don't have a dehydrator, but I do have a convection oven... any thoughts on whether turning the oven on (low) with the fan on would work?

I suppose my real question is... does anyone know how hot an oven has to be to "cook" meat as opposed to "dry" it? ;-) I'd like to have a special treat available to help with training, but frankly I find the stuff in commercial cat treats somewhat frightening :shock:
 

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have you thought about cutting up the pieces of meat smaller and making it into a 'kibble' of sorts as an alternative to a raw diet?
Not sure why you'd bother to do that... bigger chunks = more shearing/tearing action = better dental hygiene (not to mention the hydration issue for kitties prone to UTIs).
 

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I think I am caving and buying a dehydrator. I find the kibble type treats to be horribly nutrient deficient and the commercial dehydrated treats outrageously expensive. I already feed raw and have the meat on-hand so it just makes sense. I am a bit nervous about how it will all turn out the first couple of times...lol. But, it does seem way healthier than the kibble type stuff.
 

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My cats liked it well enough. I have been lazy lately though. Have to get on the ball with my dehydrating :)

I just need to make smaller batches. It's really way more than it looks if you are feeding it as treats.
 

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No, mainly chicken breast strips and chicken heart halves. The breast lasted about 3 weeks and the chicken hearts about 2 weeks in the fridge. Quail and rabbit would be nice, but probably expensive.
 

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What an awesome idea, and for humans too! Good for protein-filled snacks...and I bet there are vegetarian things you can do with it as well! I didn't realize they were so cheap, I thought they were much more expensive! I might have to look into this....
 

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Wow, this brings back memories!

My mom went through a huge earth-mother hippy phase for most of my and my brother's childhood. (Which is why we were home schooled- she didn't trust the establishment to properly encourage individual creativity.) She had all sorts of 'do it yourself' equipment, one of which was a dehydrator.

Dad would make jerky, mom would make dried fruit snacks. And for christmas she would dry rings of fruit and cut shapes of fruit to tie onto the christmas wreath as decoration.

... Man, I want to get a dehydrator now.
 
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