Homemade Dog Treats

As you may or may not know, in December, my partner and I got a dog. She is an adorable 3 year old Beagle/Cocker-spaniel cross who has completely won over our hearts and taken over our lives. Here is a poor resolution photo.

We've been trying out all kinds of treats on her to see what she likes, but of course you know my main goal was to see what I can make for her myself to reduce waste, save money, and control ingredients.

It turns out what she really loves are the raw-hide twisty chews. You think when you give it to her that she will chew on it for hours and hours, but actually she devours it in about 45 seconds. She's a maniac with those chews! However, I'm pretty sure raw-hide chews are about 75% fat, they're pretty expensive, plus for some reason they often come in a plastic wrapper.

Doing some research, I found that a lot of people make chews for their dogs out of yams. The benefit of yams is that if you don't dehydrate them too long, they stay nice and chewy. Having recently received a food dehydrator for Christmas, I made up a batch. Basically, you just cut yams into 1/3'' strips and dehydrate them until they're still a bit bendy. I did mine a bit too long so I would recommend checking on them after about 4 hours to see how they're doing. You can also follow one of the many recipes for this that you can find on Google.

Boudi had a limited interest in the first batch of yam treats. She chewed on them for a bit and then got bored. Certainly not the reaction I was going for. I decided that the yams needed a bit more flavor: beef stock!

Not wanting to soak her treats in packaged beef stock that would be really high in sodium, I sought out some beef bones to make some from scratch. It turns out that Calgary Meats on Edmonton Trail sells beef bones for $3 a piece.

I made the stock by boiling down the beef bones for many, many hours until the stock was a nice brown color. This took a long time because I only bought one bone, so it had to reduce for a long time. I threw my previous batch of dehydrated yams back in the pot to rehydrate in the stock, since my dog didn't love them any way. In hindsight, I should have cooled the stock first and skimmed the fat, because it globbed all over my yams and had to be wiped off.

After dehydrating them again, Boudi was much more interested! She has only had a couple of them since I completed them on the weekend, but she seems to enjoy them a lot more, and even spends some time licking them before she gets down to chewing.

I still have some improvements to make when it comes to chewiness, but overall, I think it was a success, and relatively waste-free.

Do you make your own dog treats? Leave a comment!


  1. This is a super great idea.
    Would you be interested in selling or trading for some for my dog?

    1. Hey, I'd be happy to make you some. I will pick up a couple yams the next time I grocery shop. :)


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