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How to Make Turkey Jerky Treats for Dogs

how to make turkey jerky for dogs

Learn how to easily prepare turkey jerky treats for dogs. In addition, discover how to easily steam the turkey gizzards (that you never know what to do with) for your best friend!

We’re not the only ones drooling Thanksgiving day with all those mouth watering smells lingering in the air. Yep, our dogs are too! Dogs are all about smell and sadly there’s a big misconception out there that dogs shouldn’t eat people food. That is far from the truth! HOWEVER, it’s the type of people food that you feed your dog that matters more than anything.

Raw and homemade diets for dogs are much healthier than the majority of dog foods.

Before the great depression in the 1930’s, many family dogs ate the scraps left over from dinner, etc.

Times were very tough back then and the simplicities that we have available today; weren’t available back then. This is not to say that every table scrap is healthy for your dog, because it’s not. As mentioned above, ideally dogs should be fed a raw or homemade diet that consists of the right foods that are species appropriate for canines.

What is Jerky?

Jerky is a formed of dehydrated meat made by trimming and slicing the meat and drying the meat out at a low temperature. In commercial products, salting the meat before the dehydration process is often used to prevent bacteria growth.

Making turkey jerky for dogs is not only easy, but it’s high in protein and low in fat and dogs love it!

Get the Most Out of Your Thanksgiving Turkey

If you have one of those families that has lots of leftovers and are willing to share the leftover turkey; making turkey jerky treats for dogs is simple! You can store it in the fridge for a couple of weeks or better yet, freeze the jerky by placing several bite size pieces into a freezer bag and freeze for 6-8 months.

Don’t Forget to Save the Turkey Giblets

If you’ve cooked a turkey before, you’re aware that the gizzards are often used to make the gravy and give it lots of flavor. But many cooks don’t really do this anymore and opt for jar gravy.

If you’re one of those households that opt for the jar gravy; hang onto those turkey gizzards for your dog. Don’t forget to hang onto the heart and other organ meat as well.

How to Steam the Turkey Organs for Your Dog

Turkey Jerky Treats for Dogs

The best way is to cook the turkey gizzards, heart, etc. for your dog is to steam it.

Steaming is the most gentle form of cooking, leaving fifty percent of all vital nutrients intact and keeping the meat moist.

So, here’s how to steam those vital organs for your dog to enjoy on Thanksgiving day:

  • You’ll need a medium size pot with a lid or a pan with a rack.
  • Pour enough water in the pan so that your steamer basket or rack sits ABOVE the water (not touching).
  • Place the meat in a steamer basket or on the rack.
  • Cover and cook over medium heat allowing the water to come to a boil and allow to steam for 10 minutes. *Note: if you open the lid before the meat is cooked, the steam will escape. You should be able to hear the boiling water. Allow the meat to steam once the water is boiling for roughly 10 minutes.

Recipe for Turkey Jerky Treats for Dogs

turkey jerky recipe for dogs
  • 1 or 1-1/2 lbs. dark or white COOKED Turkey.
  • Thinly slice and place on a cookie sheet on the highest rack in the oven.
  • Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder over the turkey slices. Read about dogs and garlic safety here.
  • Bake @ 150 degrees or 170 for electric ovens.
  • Bake with door slightly open for 2 hrs. Don’t burn! If browning, oven is too hot. Turn the oven down or turn it off for 1/2 hour then turn it back on.
  • Test the jerky after 2 hrs.  It should be crispy NOT leathery and NOT moist or tender.
  • Cool and then store in an airtight container for 2 weeks or freeze.

As  you can see, this is a great way to use up that leftover turkey for your best friend!

Article updated June 8, 2020

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