Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Homemade Dog Treat: Sweet Potato Chews

Trigger Warning:
This dog has no idea what he's doing...
There's nothing out there quite as awesome as the humble sweet potato.  This common vegetable is packed with nutrients, and can be baked, fried, put in a pie.  Whatever the hell you want to do with a sweet potato, you can do it.  You can even find sweet potatoes as ingredients in most high-end dog foods.  Of course you'll also find pet store shelves jam packed with sweet potato dog treats of all kinds.  Whether dried or baked into a biscuit, most dogs love chowing down on a few sweet potatoes.

The problem with all of these store-bought sweet potato dog treats, though, is they're freaking expensive as hell.  The top search result for "sweet potato dog treats" on Petco's website, for example, turns up a bag of Dognation Sweet Potato Dog Chews for a whopping $7 for 6.5 ounces.  I don't know about your dogs, but mine would go through that in about a day.  Is there a way that you can make your own sweet potato dog chews for much less than the store brands?

Why yes, yes there is, and I've got the perfect recipe for you right here.

 Sweet Potato Chews
FYI, I got 2 of these giant sweet potatoes for $2.02 at a local Spanish market.
What You'll Need

1 Sweet Potato
1 Sharp, Big Ass Knife
Cutting Board
Baking Sheet
Wire Rack
Oven
Step 1
You'll want to wash and clean your potato before you do anything.  Go ahead and preheat your oven to 250 degrees as well.  Once you've done that set your potato down on your cutting board.  Take your big ass knife and slice off the end of the potato.  Make sure the slice is about 1/3" to 1/4" thick, and set it off to the side.  We'll stick it in the oven with the rest of the slices later.  Waste not and all that.
Step 2
Stand your potato up on the sliced end.  The flat surface will help you control the potato as you're slicing it up.  Slice the potato lengthwise, making sure to keep all the slices between 1/3" and 1/4" thick.  Keep slicing until you can't slice anymore.  If you've purchased any other sweet potatoes set them where they can watch.  Show them what happens when they displease you.  Potato morghulis, bitches.

Note: you can slice your potato by length or width.  Either way is fine.  You'll get more wafer size treats if you're slicing by width.  Wafer-style dog treats can also be easier for smaller pups to get a hold of as well.  The key is to make sure the slices are 1/3" to 1/4" thick.  
Step 4
 Lay out your dog treats on your baking sheet.  You might need more than one depending on how many you ended up with, and how big they are.
Step 5
Place the baking sheet with your dog treats in the oven.  I put mine on the top rack.  Set your timer for about 3 hours if you want some chewy treats.  Add a half hour if you want some treats that are crunchier.  I set mine for 3.5 hours.  Turn the dog treats halfway through cooking.
Step 6
 Remove your sweet potato dog treats from the oven.  Place them on a wire rack to cool. The dog treats will dry and harden as they cool, so the longer you leave them the drier they'll get.

Once your sweet potato treats are ready the only thing left to do is feed them to your pups.  My dogs, Troy and Enrique, absolutely love these treats.  It's to the point where Troy kept trying to get at the treats while they were still cooling.  I tried to take a halfway decent picture of them enjoying the treats, but they were...uncooperative.
This is either a picture of Enrique, or the Loch Ness Monster.
There's a little room to get creative with this dog treat, although not much room.  You could always try basting the sweet potato slices with broth or a bit of olive oil before baking.  I've sprinkled them with a touch of cinnamon before.  In the end, though, this is a very simple dog treat to make.  The only time you put into it is slicing up the potato.  It's easy as long as you don't plan on using your oven for a few hours.

Try this easy dog treat recipe out and let me know how your pups liked it in the comments below.

Share your thoughts and comments below.  Follow me on Twitter @trigwarnblog, or check out my Facebook page.  

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