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Turkey Jerky Dog treats

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My dogs love me. Lately they love me a LOT. They are both Magnets to my side whenever I move in the direction of our doggy treat jar for any reason. Want to get popular in your favorite canine group? Need an effective low fat low carb training tool for your pups? Turkey Jerky Dog Treats are your answer.

Turkey Jerky Dog Treats

Turkey Jerky Dog Treats

There once was a turkey. In my freezer. That came to me free…and was over two years old. I thought about that turkey a LONG time. Thanksgiving came and I bought a fresh Turkey and Brined and roasted  it for the family. I’m Not feeding an old (probably freezer burned and dried out) bird to the family. But I’m NOT throwing it out either.

Here’s what I did do.

I thawed that old bird out, roasted it in my oven and deboned the carcass. The bones went into my handy dandy instant pot for bone broth. Seriously, if you do not have an instant pot I highly recommend you get one. They are so useful in the kitchen!

I REALLY could not justify eating freezer burned meat. But I noticed both my dogs were GLUED to my side every minute of the roasting and bone broth operation. As I moved around in the kitchen dog noses sniffed. Very hopeful Liquid brown canine eyes were focused on my every gesture. I got the message.

Turkey Jerky dog treats arranged around a treat jar lid.

Turkey Jerky dog treats are one of my better ideas. No carbs. Just healthy turkey dried and ready to eat.

I do love my pooches. I want them to feel loved. Store bought Doggie treats can make dogs fat! And give them unhealthy carbs. Store bought doggy biscuits make my fur babies chubby and lazy. Turkey Jerky dog treats won’t do that. And they are cheap to make! Especially if you find the meat for free.

Whenever the grocery store is having a promotion on turkeys take a look. you might find one really cheap or free with a large purchase. THAT’S how I got mine. I thought I would use that extra turkey, but honestly… turkey is not our favorite meat. Dave and I eat it exactly once a year. On Thanksgiving with the family.  Do you have turkey leftovers? Make turkey jerky dog treats. It’s SO healthy for them and cheap for you!

Sherman And Carson

Sherman And Carson. Who can resist em? 

So I turned my extra turkey meat into dog heaven. My pups make like the old Hanna Barbera cartoon dog Snuffles ( see Snuffles eat a treat here) whenever they get a Turkey Jerky yum yum. Snuffles is one of my favorite childhood TV cartoon dogs. I think of him whenever my doggies eat a piece of this Turkey Jerky.

Turkey Jerky Dog Treats in a glass embossed treat jar

Turkey Jerky Dog Treats can be safely stored at room temperature for several days.

Turkey Jerky  Dog Treats:

Keep in Mind these facts:

  • Dogs do NOT need carbs or fillers. They are well designed to metabolize meat proteins cooked and raw.
  • Turkey is a healthy meat for dogs. It’s a lean, highly digestible protein meat that helps dogs build muscle.
  • These homemade  turkey jerky strips have NO SALT or other added chemicals. This is much healthier for the dogs.
  • NOTE: Commercial jerkies use salt for preservatives.
    • Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death. Beware of overdosing your dogs unintentionally with salty people food too.

      Sherman

      Sherman looking hungry.

TIPS:

Leftovers are great for this recipe IF THEY ARE UNSEASONED. Beware highly seasoned meats for dogs. Onions are NOT good either. Try buying some extra meat when you want a turkey dinner. Cut a hunk off to dry for these treats before you season it for dinner.

How do you know when the turkey strips are done? Dry them to a hard consistency for short term room temperature storage. The strips lasted for me at room temperature in my treat jar a week with no problems. I did notice they were starting to soften quite a bit from absorbing the moisture in my house (humid climate here). So I put mine into a ziplock bag and set them in my fridge. They will be fine in the fridge for weeks if kept in an airtight container. For freezing you can allow the treats to be softer as they won’t mold.

To defrost. Just set them out until they get to room temperature before use. Don’t feed these frozen solid to dogs. They may choke on them.

The best tool for a large load of Turkey Jerky is  a food dehydrator like this one. My food dehydrator is an old Harvest Maid (maybe 20 years old and still works great.) but they aren’t around anymore. This one I’ve linked is similar. A food dehydrator is a handy tool in the kitchen for preserving the harvest too and making people treats like fruit leathers. We love Homemade apple Chips and Dried tomatoes are fabulous dried.

No food dehydrator in your circle? You CAN use your oven too. Just a bit more fooling around and maybe less food value retained at the higher oven temps of 250 degrees.

FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Cool your finished dried turkey jerky dog treats to room temperature BEFORE putting the pieces into a vacuum sealer or ziplock bag to ensure low moisture content.(Moisture builds bacteria).
  • Remove as much air as possible from your container or ziplock bag prior to freezing to maintain freshness.
  • Defrost on the counter of in the fridge.
  • Avoid refreezing already thawed meat over and over to keep the bacteria from building in your dog jerky.

    Carson our Chiweenie in his hoodie.

    Carson our Chiweenie in his hoodie. all set for treats!

Turkey Jerky Dog Treats Instructions:

Prepare the strips:

*GRINDING UP cooked turkey  in your blender or food processor is an option for dogs with teeth problems. Dry it spread on a (fruit leather tray) tray like fruit leather and cut up the leather into tiny pieces.

RAW MEAT: dogs love and digest raw meat just fine if you want to dry it and use it. Be SURE to follow all applicable food safety standards. For raw meat I recommend you slice up whole chunks of meat (like the breast) rather than ground to protect against a high bacteria count.

  • Use FRESH good quality raw meat. Throw out the green smelly, slimy stuff from the back of your fridge. It might digest well for a dog but I’m NOT recommending it and DON’T bother trying to hold it dried. It won’t go well.
  • Wash and dry off the meat
  • Wash and dry your hands WELL.
  • Dry the meat to whatever doneness you choose but ONLY very hard jerky can be stored short term at room temperature.

Raw OR Cooked meat:

  • Pull the meat off the bones. Do NOT give all the skin and fat to your dogs. It’s NOT good for them in large quantities.
  • Cut (or hand pull) the turkey meat into long strips. This means you cut WITH the grain, not against it. I wound up with jerky of both long and short lengths. I cut most of them down to two inches or so. My little Chiweenie, Carson, only gets tiny chunks. Sherman our big guy is rewarded with the longer pieces when he’s really really good. 🙂
  • Lay the strips onto your un-greased trays.

For the oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  • put the tray in and set the timer for an hour.
  • Check the strips and turn them over as necessary for even heating.Repeat as necessary.
  • When the strips are dried remove the tray and cool on your counter. Freeze in ziplock plastic bags or avacuum sealer.
Turkey Jerky Dog Treats laying on a food dehydrator tray

Turkey Jerky Dog Treats dry well on a food dehydrator.

FOR the food dehydrator:

  • Lay the meat strips on your dehydrator trays for your brand dehydrator and stack the trays.
  • Set the heat for 145 degrees F.
  • Set your timer for 60 minutes.
  • Check the meat strips and turn them over as necessary. Repeat until the smaller pieces dry.
  • Pull the small pieces out and set aside as the longer strips dry (sort them by size if you prefer). Combine the drying turkey strips free up your lower trays. Add the remaining undried turkey strips to your lower trays and continue drying for another hour.
  • Repeat this process until you have all you strips dried. Store at room temperature for several days. They last in the fridge fine for several weeks and will freeze well for long term storage.

    Turkey Jerky Dog Treats in a dog treat jar.

    Turkey Jerky Dog Treats can be big strips like this or cut them small for tiny training treats.

Nutritional Information: (FYI-This is for people)

36 CALORIES/serving

  •  Fat               2%   2g
  • Carbs           0%   0 g
  • Protein          9%  5 g
Turkey Jerky Dog Treats
Yield: 20 strips

Turkey Jerky Dog Treats Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Do you have extra turkey? Dry it into turkey jerky for a healthy cheap dog treat! Fido will love them. Use up your unwanted leftovers and gain a training tool.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. raw or cooked turkey meat

Instructions

Prepare the strips:

  1. Pull the meat off the bones. Do NOT give all the skin and fat to your dogs. It's NOT good for them in large quantities.
  2. Cut (or hand pull) the turkey meat into long strips. This means you cut WITH the grain, not against it. I wound up with jerky of both long and short lengths. I cut most of them down to two inches or so. My little Chiweenie, Carson, only gets tiny chunks. Sherman our big guy is rewarded with the longer pieces when he's really really good. 🙂
  3. Lay the strips onto your un-greased trays.

For the oven:


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

  1. put the tray in and set the timer for an hour.
  2. Check the strips and turn them over as necessary for even heating.Repeat as necessary.
  3. When the strips are dried remove the tray and cool on your counter. Freeze in ziplock plastic bags or avacuum sealer.

FOR the food dehydrator:

  1. Lay the meat strips on your dehydrator trays for your brand dehydrator and stack the trays.
  2. Set the heat for 145 degrees F.
  3. Set your timer for 60 minutes.
  4. Check the meat strips and turn them over as necessary. Repeat until the smaller pieces dry.
  5. Pull the small pieces out and set aside as the longer strips dry (sort them by size if you prefer). Combine the drying turkey strips free up your lower trays. Add the remaining undried turkey strips to your lower trays and continue drying for another hour.
  6. Repeat this process until you have all you strips dried. Store at room temperature for several days. They last in the fridge fine for several weeks and will freeze well for long term storage.

Notes

Please discuss any special needs your pet may have with your vet. I don't have veterinary training. I do this for my dogs and am passing it on for those of you that can benefits from it.

Nutrition Information


Amount Per Serving Calories 36

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Sherman Sitting for fetch game.

PLEASE make me treats. Sherman needs the big strips after playing his favorite game. FETCH! He loves ball time!

PIN IT:

Turkey Jerky Dog Treats recipe. Dry cooked or raw meat in strips for yummy healthy dog treats and training tools.

Turkey Jerky Dog Treats

FYI: I’m NOT a vet. Your dogs are no doubt different from mine. PLEASE discuss this with your vet if you have any questions about the information in this post to determine what are the best treats for your dog. I can say that at Christmas I gave these treats as gifts and ALL the many dogs that received them ate them, LOVED them and had no adverse affects.

*This is  good article for those of you looking for further info on ground meat treats.  Manual of Man Ground Turkey doggy treats.

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Barb

Monday 15th of June 2020

I can’t see anywhere that says what the oven temperature needs to be.

Diane

Monday 15th of June 2020

Hi Barb, Thanks for bringing this up. I mention in the post to bake the dog jerky at 250 degrees F until your jerky is as dry as you want it for your dogs. But that info did not get into the recipe card. I'll update the printable recipe card. Thanks for bringing this up. Please let us know how your dog jerky turns out. Our pups go crazy for it. Have a great day!

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