If you’ve read my posts for awhile, you know I’ve got a pup. She’s very old, 13 for an Akita, which is old indeed. And she has cancer. And there’s nothing we can do at this point except keep her comfortable. Which we are doing and grateful for every minute we get.
Here she is, a little pissed off because she wanted to go for a walk but didn’t realize it was snowing.
She’s also been, historically, a very picky eater. And now she’s gotten to the point where she’s super super picky. The doctor has told us to go ahead and feed her anything she wants to eat, table food and the like, as long as it’s not harmful to her. At her age, with her condition, it’s not like we are worrying about obesity. As long as it’s not upsetting her stomach or bad for her, it’s fair game. Her appetite waxes and wanes, but when it’s waxing she’s LOVING the fact that we are now her slaves and will feed her half of our dinner if she’ll eat it.
She’s not been a big fan of the normal doggy snacks I’ve give her. But she loves my jerky. Jerky has to be one of the most natural things for a dog to snack on. It’s basically meat and that’s it. Mind you, you’ve got to cut the nitrites and the salt and seasonings, but they love it. Old or not, jerky is one of those awesome “I can share this with you” snacks while you and Rover are chillin’ watching TV. So I made her a big ole pile of it.
First, you don’t HAVE To use ground beef. I use grass fed ground beef though. It’s softer for her, not quite as chewy. Grass fed is also leaner, and fat is a bad idea when making jerky. It makes it go rancid.
You also don’t have to marinade it. Most dogs will eat it totally plain. But since she’s picky, I marinade it in low sodium natural beef broth.
Then I whipped out my jerky gun. Gadget alert. However, it’s a needed tool when you are making jerky from ground meat. Otherwise you will spend forever forming weird patties that won’t be of a consistent size and basically end up drying at different rates.
Shove the meat into the gun.
Now squeeze it all onto the dehydrator trays. It’s sort of vulgar and gross and kind of fun to do this.
Mine generally only takes about 4-6 hours to dry totally. But I have a bad ass dehydrator so that could be why. It comes out fabulous.
Pat it dry with a paper towel to get off an excess fat that could make it go bad. I store mine in the fridge. And the pup LOVES it. Thank goodness!
It gives her a lot of natural calories and proteins and it’s something she almost NEVER turns her nose up at even when she won’t eat anything else.
I see no reason why you couldn’t give this to a healthy young pup as well. I give these to my 3 year old border collie all the time as well, after clearance from the doc. He said as long as there’s not tons of salt or seasoning, and it’s properly dried, it’s actually a pretty healthy snack for a dog. So I’m thrilled.
This will definitely be on the menu for my pups as a permanent item. It’s fast and easy, plus it’s tasty and I can eat it too (YAY! A blood sugar friendly food!).
I’m sure if you make this for your best friend, you’ll get a lot of tail wags and probably be followed around the house for the rest of your life. I think it’s like doggy crack, they absolutely love it!