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Whether your dog, like mine, gets an upset stomach from commercial chews, or you just prefer an all-natural, healthy, or vegetarian alternative to store-bought goodies, try making your own sweet potato dog chews at home!
Standing in the pet food aisle of your local grocery store, staring down the endless array of treats, chews, and snacks for your dog can get overwhelming – especially if you start reading those long lists of un-pronounceable ingredients!
If your dog is a chewer, or if he prefers a crunch, this recipe from Dog Treat Kitchen is totally customizable – and totally delicious!
DIY: Sweet Potato Dog Chews
Since it’s one of the sweetest of all the vegetables, just like the name implies, you’ll have no trouble getting your dog to try this dog treat recipe.
Making your own all natural dog treat is an excellent alternative to rawhide.
- 1 Large Sweet Potato, washed & dried
- Preheat oven to 250° F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut off one side of the sweet potato lengthwise, as close to the edge as possible. Cutting the side of the potato first allows you to then turn the potato onto this flat surface that you have just created. Having a stable area to rest the potato will make it easier to cut the potato into slices. Don’t discard that first piece, it comes out just as yummy as the rest!
- Cut the rest of the potato into 1/3″ slices, no smaller than 1/4″.
- Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 3 hours, turning half way through.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
Storing – Although these treats are dried, you will want to keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. You can freeze them for up to 4 months.
Tips & Techniques
- Choosing a Sweet Potato – You want to find a potato that is as uniform in shape as possible. This will aid in the drying process as the pieces will be similar in shape and will cook through at the same time. Also, try to find one that has fewer blemishes or bruises. While you’re picking one to make a sweet potato dog chew, go ahead and pick some for the family, too!
- Knife Skills – If you are a pro with a knife, you may not need to cut off one side to stable your potato. If that’s the case, then by all means skip that step. However, for those of us who are more handy with a pastry bag, than a knife, having a stable surface makes all the difference.
- Cutting Even Pieces – One way to ensure your pieces are as even as possible, is to first rest your knife where you would like to cut. Then press down gently across the entire length of the knife. Make a slight cut, then press firmly on your knife from one end to the other, and cut all the way through.
- Degree of Chewiness – Baking for 3 hours results in a soft, but chewy dog treat. If your dog prefers more of a crunch, then bake for an additional 20-30 minutes. When you take the sweet potatoes out of the oven, they may at first appear to be too soft. Let them cool completely on a wire rack before you decide whether or not to bake them longer. This is because they will continue to dry or harden while cooling.
- Parental Supervision – This is not a dog treat recipe that we recommend for the kids. Please use caution while using a sharp knife, whether you are young or young at heart.
Whether your dog has a need to chew or not, she’ll love this all natural sweet potato dog chew. In fact, it’s such an easy dog treat recipe, I bet you’ll be making several batches at a time for your dog and all of his all natural dog treat loving friends!
Find more great do-it-yourself recipes for your dog here. Have you ever tried making your own sweet potato dog chews? Did your dog love them as much as mine does? Tell us about it, and your favorite other recipes in the comments below!
[…] treats but a fraction of the price. Dogs love these and they make a great gift! Inspired by The Dogington Post, Dog Treat Kitchen, Modern Dog Magazine, and food.com Prep Time5 minsCook Time3 hrsTotal Time3 hrs […]
I love reading all the different comments. I think you can learn a lot about something if you read the comments first from people who have done it. I’m buying sweet potatoes today and making them in my oven. If my Lucky likes them I may later invest in a dehydrater. Thank you everyone. Your comments have been most helpful..
I’ve been buying Healthfuls brand Sweet potato slices – which, incidentally, had the skin on. They cost something like $6 for an 8 oz bag, so I thought I’d make them myself. I’m making my second batch now – slicing them a little under 1/4 inch, since the first batch took something like five hours to bake! I’m also baking them on racks. Cooking them flat on a baking sheet doesn’t allow the air to circulate underneath. I think this “raised” method will help reduce the baking time.
Just made a couple batches of these yesterday, My veterinarian suggested them to help control tartar on my dogs teeth. Because of a Pancreas condition I have to be very careful with her diet and treats, so have started making my own. She loves her homemade treats, and stays by the oven when I’m making them, waiting for them warm from the oven !! I did find that I didn’t need the full three hours, only about 2 total and they came out perfectly crisp which is what I needed . Thanks again for the recipe, will be making more and freezing them, can’t believe how easy and cost effective they are.
I have a 40 pound box (for $22.!) of sweet potatoes I just got and plan on trying these today. I know 2 of my dogs love sweet potatoes but not sure about the others yet. I’ll stop back in in a few days for an update. Will be trying it in the dehydrator.
I’m SO glad I found this!!! My dogs LOVE dried sweet potatoes…well, the 1 year old just tried his first today from a bag I just purchased and I’m sure he will love them (he’s one that eats anything and loves it!). With 4 dogs this will save so much money, thank you so much!! I love the comments and the great ideas!! Thanks!
[…] & beta carotene – essential nutrients your dog craves. Slice sweet potatoes and dehydrate or bake them for a low-fat […]
[…] Homemade dehydrated sweet potatoes are cheap and easy to make even if you don’t have a food dehydrator. Click the link to find instructions for making them in your oven. Cut slices thicker for chewier treats, thinner for crunchy treats. These could keep a small dog entertained for a while! For larger dogs, they’re more of a snack than a long lasting chew. Refrigerate extras and treat as a perishable food. […]
I’ve been making my own food mix and treats for years for my food sensitive terriers. I find baking the sweet potato slices in my convection oven at 200 degrees for 1 to 2 hours before I dehydrate them for about 6 hours makes a very good colored, crisp treat that stores well in a jar. I also sprinkle the sweet potato rounds with cinnamon or parsley before I bake them (they will stick well to the raw potato) is an added bonus (it’s good for them too) This addition makes them special for my Christmas cookies for my dogs.
I LOVE the idea of adding cinnamon to them as well! We have been making food for one of my dogs for a little while now because she has begun to get a sensitive stomach and can’t handle kibble anymore. I’m curious as to what you are doing for a food mix for your dogs. I have a pit/shepherd/lab mix and we have been doing a mix of chicken (breast and thigh), pork shoulder, sweet potato, carrot, green beans or peas, spinach and kale.
I also make food for both my chihuahuas.. I use some of the same things as you do. Chicken breast, thighs, sweet potato or carrots, green beans or peas or spinach or kale.. I also add steamed rice. I portion them into meal size patties, place on a cookie sheet and freeze so I have them for a couple of weeks at a time. I switch off sometimes and give them a scrambled egg with green beans or another vegetable. I’ve added cooked oatmeal a couple of times. Sometimes I throw in chopped boiled eggs.
I buy the organic sweet potato fries in the frozen section.. then bake them till crisp.. and cool.. they love them.. =)
You also prepare the same and set in the sun on a hot day. Takes the whole day though
Never mind…I found it. Oops!
Never saw a baking temp
Kat Ferguson, I don’t believe that sweet potato skins are toxic. But I”m glad you mentioned it because apparently the green skin of a white potato can be.
“There is a little confusion about dogs being fed white and sweet potatoes. White potatoes are from the plant family Solanaceae. The green coloring that you sometimes see in the peel and the sprouts of a white potato are poisonous and should definitely not be fed to dogs. Solanine is not deactivated even with cooking at high temperatures.
“Sweet potatoes and yams, on the other hand, are from a different plant family called Convolvulaceae. Solanine is not produced in sweet potatoes and yams. Do note, however, that raw sweet potatoes or yams should not be fed to a dog. Uncooked they contain an substance that will inhibit the enzyme trypsin which is needed for digesting proteins.
“If the sweet potatoes are well washed and sprouts removed and fully cooked, there is no reason why your dog cannot have the cooked peels in limited quantities. (Do monitor the dog’s stool after offering any new food to insure that your dog is developing diarrhea from the change in diet). Best wishes. -PetCaretaker”
Oh Gosh!! I didn’t see anything in the instructions about peeling the potato. Sweet potato skins can be toxic to dogs. This is especially true if they are raw, but if you are dehydrating instead of dying in the oven…beware. I don’t take any chances. I peel. It only takes a minute.
I use a dehydrator as opposed to the oven. They can be purchased online for around $30.00 and last forever. I also buy skinless, boneless chicken breasts, run them through a food slicer (works best if they are slightly frozen) and use the dehydrator as well. Uses less electricity (takes a little longer) but they come out better than store bought. And I don’t worry about what other nasty chemicals have been added. He wasn’t too keen about the carrot strips, but loves his chicken strips and tolerates the sweet potato strips. Took some to work for a friend’s dog and now he wants nothing else. Try a food dehydrator. It’s more than worth the cost.
We did the chicken jerky as well. We made it in the oven and coated the strips in a mix of peanut butter, liquid aminos (soy sauce) and a little bit of water. My parents’ dog will no longer eat any of her food unless they add some to it.
I am going to make these to-morrow, so tired of paying high prices for healthy treets. thanks
Me too. I use a Supreme Slicer and thin sweet potatoes. I slice them thin,but not too thin,from the top down to the bottom of the potato. Then I dehydrate them for 2 hours. It makes a lot of round chips for the dogs. I usually do 6 sweet potatoes at a time. Then I baggy them and freeze them. They come out like potato chips. I foster dogs and these are money savers for sure.
I use my dehydrator to make these. My dogs love them.