Dogs love sweet food. Unfortunately for them, most sweets are not good for them. Dehydrated sweet potatoes can fill your dog's desire for sugary snacks, while at the same time giving him something to chew on. Fortunately, it is both easy and inexpensive to dehydrate sweet potatoes, even without using a dehydrator.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, which makes them good for your dog's digestive tract. In addition, this fiber reduces the rate at which the potatoes break down into glucose, lowering their glycemic index. Sweet potatoes are also good for your dog's immune system, for reducing inflammation and for improving his eye health. They are also a good source of the antioxidants vitamins A and C. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin B6, beta-carotene and manganese.
Prepare the Potatoes
Thoroughly wash two sweet potatoes under running water. Remove all eyes, sprouts and green spots. Peel if desired. Use a sharp knife to slice the potatoes into pieces approximately a quarter-inch thick. Slicing the potatoes lengthwise generally will result in longer slices more appropriate for medium-sized to large dogs, while cutting them crosswise will result in chips more appropriate to smaller dogs. Steam blanching your potatoes aids in the dehydrating process. Add safe seasonings your dog may like, such as basil, parsley or rosemary. Thicker slices will result in chewier treats; however they will not stay good as long as thinner, crispier treats.
Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Place potato slices in a single layer on the sheet. The slices can be close together, but to ensure even cooking, their edges should not be touching. Dehydrate the slices for approximately three hours or until the desired texture is attained.
Set the dehydrator to 135 F. Place the potato slices on the dehydrator rack, close, but not touching, as above. Dehydrate for 6 to 14 hours, until the desired texture is attained.
Storing Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes
Dehydrated sweet potato treats should be sealed in an airtight container or zipper-type plastic storage bag. The treats must be refrigerated or frozen. Treats can last about a week in the refrigerator or up to approximately six months in the freezer.
- Dr. Jean Dodd’s Pet Health Resource Blog: Sweet Potatoes versus White Potatoes: What is the Difference for Your Pet?
- Modern Dog Magazine: DIY Eat – Sweet Potato Chews
- PetGuide.com: Dehydrated Sweet Potato Dog Treat Recipe
- Mother Earth News: Dehydrated Sweet Potato Chews Recipe
- DehydratorBook: A Site about Food Dehydrators: How to Dehydrate: Online Reference Guide