Dried pig ears are a favorite treat for many pets. The preparation process for raw pigs ears to pet treats is relatively easy as a homemade dog treat. While raw pigs ears for dogs can give your pet hours of enjoyment, the treats can be expensive to buy commercially. Many manufacturers also use additives to preserve the ears. If you want a natural, cost-effective way to satisfy your pet, dry raw pig ears at home. The homemade treats are easy to make.
Cleaning, blanching, and preparation
Obtain fresh, whole pig ears from a butcher or local slaughterhouse. Pig ears are generally a little less expensive if bought directly from slaughterhouses. The ears will need a good cleaning in preparation for the drying process. Raw pig ears also may come covered in fine hair. Blanching in boiling water for 30 seconds and then submerging in ice water will help to remove the hair. This blanching also will soften the top layer of skin so you can scrape it off along with the hair. Choosing to skip the blanching and leave the fine hair intact is also an option.
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Don't be surprised if your dog shows interest in this entire do-it-yourself process. Be sure to keep the raw, fresh pigs ears out of reach from counter-surfing canines, and other pets in the home.It's probably not advisable to allow a pet to get their paws on the pig ears while you're preparing the ears for making dried treats. While dogs can eat raw pig ears, the treat is really high in fat. For that reason, you probably wouldn't want your pet to eat a large quantity.
Preparing raw pigs ears for dogs
Before drying pig ear treats, you can slice the pig ears into strips, cut them into small squares, or leave them whole. The smaller the pieces are, however, the faster they will dry. For whole pig ears, allow for extra drying time. Dehydrating is a convenient way to finish your pig ears, if you have a dehydrator. When you arrange the pieces in the dehydrator rack, make sure the edges are not touching. For strips and smaller pieces, it will take approximately 24 hours to dry. Whole ears can take up to three days depending on the thickness.
A regular oven also may be used to dry raw pigs ears for dogs. Arrange the ears on a cookie sheet so the edges are not touching. Dry them in a 175-degree oven for two hours. Whole pig ears may take up to five hours to dry in the oven. Test for doneness by trying to bend the pieces. A fully dried pig ear is hard and difficult to flex.
Drying and dehydrating pigs ears
Store the dried pig ears in a paper sack for up to six months. It is not a good idea to store them in plastic as plastic holds in moisture. Moisture will soften the pig ears and could cause them to mold or spoil. Dried pigs ears can be stored indefinitely by wrapping them in paper and freezing.
Dogs love to chew on pigs ears as a treat. Pigs ears for dogs will keep your pooch occupied for quite a while because the treats are long-lasting and satisfying. As with any treat, be sure your dog can tolerate pigs ears. There have been reports of harmful bacteria such as salmonella found in pigs ears, but these reports are rare.
Pigs ears are great for enthusiastic chewers! Pigs ears are generally thought of as a safe and healthy treat, that provide protein and nutrients not found in other long-lasting chews, such as rawhide. However, pork is high in fat, so these treats can be high in calories. As with everything we give our family pets, moderation is the key.