Dehydrating Dog Treats

I have to admit that I have never known that such a thing as a "dehydrator" ever existed.

I guess I supposed that perhaps somehow dehydrated fruit and jerky and stuff was magically created, I don't know, I am not proud of this.

Even when starting Treat Dreams, I started by baking them and then serving them fresh, like a cookie. And just a few weeks ago I was hit over the head with this idea of dehydrating them.

It has been the best.....idea...EVER!

It takes all the extra moisture out of the treats so they last longer. Mold is caused by moisture, so less moisture = less risk for mold. = longer shelf life. Even if you do not have a business, or sell anything, if you are making them for yourself or for friends, they are so much easier to manage.
They do not crumble as much and retain their shape better.

I have been dehydrating left and right! It is so easy and so fun!

What kind of dehydrator?

I did a lot of researching into what dehydrator to get and everyone seemed to recommend NESCO American Harvest Food Dehydrator. So that is exactly what I got! I think it's called the FD-37. It has four trays. And being as knowledgeable about dehydrators as I have confessed to be, I knew nothing about what it meant having "4 trays".

So here is the scoop. I am able to dehydrate (depending on the size of your treat) approximately 4-5 pounds of 2 inch dog treats at a time. If I have my bigger treats in there, it is considerably less, probably half as much.

Not all treats are dehydrated equally

So when I did my looking into this online, I saw that people said anywhere from 4-8 hours for dehydrating dog treats, and some of them said they dehydrated theirs overnight!?

I did this.......and I had the hardest and most breakable dog treats you have ever seen your life.


            Look at moisture: Keep in mind that every single treat is different! I have one recipe that has A LOT of moisture in it, and it can take up to 12 hours to dehydrate while another recipe has very little moisture in it and takes maybe 2 hours max!

            Look at size: I have small bones that are 2 inches long and bigger treats that are 5 inches long and that makes a difference even if they are the same recipe. The thickness as well will make a difference.

How long do they dehydrate?

Such a good question and one I never found the answer to until I had cracked and crumbled so many treats and probably almost chipped the teeth of many dear furry friends of mine.

So what is a good test? Try them yourself!! I know this is crazy, you don't have to eat them, but seriously, try to just see how hard it is to bite on!

Also, try pressing on them, or squeezing them and see if they give any. My treats are really squishy right out of the oven (like cookies) so I know when they are dehyrated enough when they don't "give" any when I press on them.

      Remember the size of the dog: I did not think of this aspect of dehydrating either. I have a huge 110 pound lab that can eat anything, but I also have friends who have a miniature dachshund and they need to be able to eat them too! So you need to find the right balance.

How long will they last?

That depends on the treat, the recipe, how long you dehydrate etc.

I have a sample going right now in my kitchen. A regular sized bone, about 3-4 inches, of a typical pumpkin recipe, moderately thick, dehydrated for 4 hours. We are going on 4 weeks and they are looking great! I can still open the bag and they still smell fresh and look wonderful. They show no signs of mold and they aren't cracking or breaking!
Normally they wouldn't last more than 4-5 days without molding.

And if you are like me, you need to write everything down to be able to remember. So I created a document that helped me keep track of what I was dehydrating, what time it started and how long it took.

So I shall share it with you to help you out! HERE!

You can dehydrate so many more things than dog treats! And many things can be dehydrated and use as dog treats! (I'll talk more about that later!!)

Good luck!!


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  2. Thank you the wonderful and useful treat on the dehydrating dog treats. It really helpful for understanding the condition of the dog here you tell everything about the dehydrator and about the dehydrating time also you are discussing. Its really nice. Keep sharing and keep posting with us.

    Dogs Treats Online

  3. Thank you for your tips! Do you bake the treats before you hydrate them? Or do you only dehydrate them?

  4. I meant to say do you bake them before you dehydrate them? Or do you simple dehydrate them? Sorry!

    1. Hi Selena! Yes I do bake them before I dehydrate them. I only bake them to bake them if that makes sense. I do not try to dehydrate them in the oven as I have read some people do. I simply bake them for 6 min each side (depending on type of treat) and then let them completely dry before dehydrating. Hope that helps you!

  5. Yes! That helps!! Thank you very much for your advice!

  6. What a fantastic recipe? Really good. Thanks for your giving tips of recipe.I love my pets. I want to offer this recipe to my lovely pets.
    Professional Dog Training

  7. I have a dog that has a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and all food/treats must have an enzyme AND it cannot be heated over 130 degrees or it will kill the enzyme supplement. I make/dehydrate simple treats of sweet potato, almond flour, peanut butter and enzymes. AND...I have one very happy dog for it! I saw your "dehydrate dog treats" and had to give a poke in... :-)

  8. Hi Kaitlin, may i ask at what temperature do you dehydrate them and also what kind of packaging do you use to store them for selling?

    1. Hi! We no longer sell them but we used bags from to store and sell them in. Our dehydrator did not have a temperature gauge, just an on/off switch so I'm sorry I don't know what the temperature was at!