Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Potato Treats!

I am always looking for natural dog treats to spoil Milly with. About a month ago I picked up a bag of dehydrated sweet potatoes for her. They are cut into strips, and the perfect treat to give her – it takes her longer than a small biscuit would to eat, but it isn’t a chew treat that she would spend a significant amount of time on. She goes bonkers for her sweet potato treats, but they aren’t cheap. My bag was $9, and I now have 3 treats left in it. It probably had about 2 or 3 sweet potatoes worth of dehydrated strips in it when I originally bought the bag.

For a long time I have been thinking about purchasing a dehydrator to make my own jerky treats, but right now my next big dog purchase is going to be a professional dryer, and so I’m putting the dehydrator on the backburner for now. But, I really can’t justify or afford regularly spending $9 on bags of dog treats that won’t last that long, and to me the price seems somewhat steep, so I decided to see if I could make these myself.

A few days ago I bought two sweet potatoes ($.99 each) and scrubbed them very well. I then thinly sliced them, and laid them on a cookie sheet (I lightly greased the cookie sheet with oil, but I don’t think I will do that in the future), and pre-heated the oven for 200 degrees. The hardest part was thinly slicing the potatoes, and I found the thinner slices the better. I then laid my sliced potatoes on a cookie sheet (1 potato sliced perfectly fit 1 cookie sheet) and put them in the oven, and waited. Every 30 minutes I flipped the potato slices, and back in the oven they went. I waited, and waited, and waited… after almost four hours in the oven I was tired of waiting. The thinnest sliced potatoes I removed at about 2.5 hours (they were potato chip thin), but the larger strips (like the dehydrated bag I bought) were not yet crispy. I cranked up the heat to 350, and gave them another hour and a half in the oven. The results were great! I actually tasted the chip thin ones, and loved them. Totally baked, all-natural, healthy, easy and satisfying, but would Milly like them? I always ask her to perform a task before she gets a treat so I asked for a “down” and then handed her the potato, and she gobbled it right up, and wagged her tail asking for more. I still have a few left from my homemade batch, and all-in-all I think it was a success.

In the future I plan on doing this on a weekend when I have time to be at the house with the oven on. I will set the oven to 200-250 next time, and give them 6-8 hours at this low heat. Other than wanting to cook them for more time at a lower heat to really dry them out, I was very pleased with my cost-saving healthy alternative to buying dog treats at the store. Milly seems pleased too.

If you have a dehydrator I totally suggest doing them in that, but if you don’t have one, give it a whirl. It’s a great treat for dogs on a grain free diet too! I am saving about $7 by making these myself, and that is $7 I can put towards either a puppy, or the dog dryer I am lusting after! :)


  1. That's a lot of power to use to cook these for so long! I have purchased these from Drs. Foster & Smith online & they're not that expensive. But then again, by making them yourself you cut out the preservatives too - a definite benefit!

    I've done carrots this way too - my dogs loved them. Just don't give them too many because they are pretty high in sugar. :D

  2. Hi Miss MP! I am soooo excited! My mom read your article on the sweet potatoes in the oven and she promised me she would try this recipe as soon as the weather permits. You need smell-a-vision!

    Hugs and smooches! xoxo