Chicken Jerky Recipe for dogs
Yummy super-simple treat… and it’s also super-popular with dogs and healthy. Chicken Jerky is a Treat made from thin strips of chicken slow baked to almost the point of crispness.
1 pound chicken breasts (I baked three pounds!)
Start by preheating your oven to 170 or 180 degrees, depending on how low your oven will go. While that’s preheating, assemble the chicken. I used frozen chicken breast tenderloins (this is a great way to use any chicken you’ve got that’s become freezer burned!)
I had thawed the frozen chicken breasts by putting them in the refrigerator overnight…and woke up to find they were still frozen! I put the chicken in a big bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes which thawed it enough to slice with a sharp knife. TIP: It’s easier to slice the chicken when it’s semi-frozen rather than completely thawed; you can use the heel of your hand on the knife to “chop” the slices rather than trying to saw through thawed meat.
The only difficult part of this dog treat recipe is the slicing; you’ll want to slice the chicken no more than about 1/4 inch wide. Slice with the grain of the chicken, rather than against it; this will make the treats a little chewier and make them last a LITTLE bit longer when you give them to your dogs.
Slice up the chicken and place it on a greased cookie sheet; be sure to use one with a slight edge because there will be water and juices from the chicken during the first hour of cooking. Leave about a 1/2 inch or so between slices and just make sure they’re not touching.
Once you’re finished slicing, pop the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for two hours. After two hours, check the slices and see if they’re dry. You don’t want them to be crispy to the point of snapping but you do want them to be very chewy. (They should look like a very done french fry.) Because I baked three pounds of chicken at once, I had to bake my treats for an 90 minutes and I flipped the slices with a spatula after two hours of baking.
When they’re done, remove the treats from the oven and cool on a drying rack. If you don’t have one (I don’t), just flip a dish drainer over and drape with a dish towel then put your treats on the towel to dry. (You just want to get the treats up off the metal cookie sheets so they’ll cool crispier. A wicker basket flipped over and draped with a cup towel work work great, too.)
When the treats are completely cool, bag them in zippered bags or pop them in an airtight container and refrigerate. You can also freeze the treats for several months. Be warned, though: these are VERY popular treats…they’ll go fast! (Cats also love them!)
Dog owners cautioned about chicken jerky treats
Chicken jerky treats may be behind illness and even death in hundreds of dogs nationwide, and the FDA is urging dog owners to beware.
After receiving hundreds of reports of sickened or killed dogs, the FDA has issued a warning about the treats after they were linked to a disease similar to Fanconi syndrome, which can be fatal.
Veterinarian Dean Aldridge of Flathead Pet Emergency explained, "That’s a syndrome where the kidneys are unable to retain electrolytes, so you get electrolyte imbalances that can be fatal. For example, the potassium rates could drop to the point where the heart stops."
No cases have yet been diagnosed in the Flathead Valley, but there have been hundreds of cases nationwide and several in Montana, including a golden retriever that belongs to the Lacopini family in Billings. Aldridge says if it’s caught early, this condition can be treated, but warns that’s not always the case.
Aldridge said, "In most cases with the jerky treats, it’s a correctable syndrome. It’s just that it takes a lot of work and a lot of care. Measuring electrolytes, supplementing electrolytes, until the time that the kidneys do come back around. In some cases it is fatal though, you just can’t get ahead of it."
Aldridge told us this is not the first time vets have seen this problem: "In 2007, there was something that came across, and then in June, we got another alert from the AVMA, that there was some more of it, and that there may be recall’s on the treats, so we’ve been aware that it’s out there since about June."
Here is the full text of the press release from the FDA:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to caution consumers about a potential association between the development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products. The products-also called chicken tenders, strips, or treats-are imported from China. FDA continues to receive complaints of sick dogs that their owners or veterinarians associate with eating chicken jerky products. FDA issued a cautionary warning to consumers in September 2007.
Australian news organizations report that the University of Sydney is also investigating an association between illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky in Australia. At least one firm in Australia has recalled their chicken jerky product and the recall notification stated the product was manufactured in China.
What is FDA Doing?
FDA, in addition to several veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the United States, is working to find out why these products are associated with illness in dogs. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a precise cause for the reported illnesses.
FDA has conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified any contaminant.
FDA continues to actively investigate the problem. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky.
Tips for Consumers
Do not substitute chicken jerky products for a balanced diet. The products are intended to be used occasionally and in small quantities. Owners of small dogs must be especially careful to limit the amount of these products.
If you choose to feed your dog chicken jerky products, watch the dog closely. Stop feeding the product if your dog shows any of the following signs, which may occur within hours to days after feeding the product:
- decreased appetite, although some dogs may continue to eat the treats instead of other foods
- decreased activity
- diarrhea, sometimes with blood
- increased water drinking or increased urination
Call your veterinarian if signs are severe or last for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose).
Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to FDA have involved dogs that have died.
Consumers and veterinarians should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods or treats to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator listed for their area.
Pet parents… stop falling for the pet food myth (the baby food myth). Real food, natural food, raw food, home-cooked food is the answer. Commercial pet food in an invention to make people/large companies money, not to make your pets healthy. Start cooking for your pets, at least one meal per day to start with and check the labels. Do not buy products for consumption for your pets, animals, children or yourselves… and that includes toys and objects your animals and kids could put in their mouths that are made in China.
March 2, 2012 - Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet Recipes, Pets | chicken jerky, Chinese products, commercial pet food, cooking for pets, cooking for your dogs, cooking for your pets, dog food recipes, doggie recipes
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Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!