How to Freeze-dry Chicken Treats

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Items you will need

  • Chicken

  • Large pot

  • Cutting board

  • Knife

  • Large plastic bowl with locking lid

  • Perforated metal tray

  • Screwdriver

  • Rubber mallet

  • Dry ice

  • Vacuum sealer

  • Food storage bags

Your dog isn't likely to become a survivalist with a bag at the ready for quick departure, but he can benefit from the process of freeze-dried foods. Freeze-drying is the process of removing moisture from food, allowing it to be rehydrated for later use. You can freeze-dry chicken treats, or treats made from other meats, to toss to your four-legged friend whenever his behavior makes him worthy.

The Dry Ice Method

Boil your chicken by placing it in a large pot of boiling water. Make sure your chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Allow chicken to cool completely.

Cut your chicken into bite-size chunks, appropriate for your dog's size and weight.

Prepare your plastic container by poking holes in the lid with a screwdriver and rubber mallet. Wash the lid thoroughly after you poke the holes to remove any debris left by the screwdriver. The holes in your container's lid will allow any gasses from the dry ice to escape.

  • Line the bottom of your container with a layer of dry ice.
  • Add a layer of chicken.
  • Repeat the process by alternating with the chicken and dry ice, until the container is full.

Place the container in the freezer to extend the life of your dry ice. Check the container every day until the dry ice is completely evaporated. At this point your treats should be freeze-dried.

Store your treats by placing them in a food storage bag and removing the air with your vacuum sealer. Unsealed treats only have a shelf life of one to two weeks, so it's beneficial to increase their shelf life with vacuum sealing. There is no need to rehydrate your treats. Your dog will enjoy them without rehydration.

Using the Freezer

Prepare your chicken according to Steps 1-3 listed above.

Place your bite-size chicken on a perforated tray.

Put the tray in the freezer. This process will take about one week to accomplish. After a week's time, check the treats by allowing one treat to thaw. If any moisture is released when the treat thaws, it is not fully processed.

Store your treats according to Step 7 above.

Tips

  • Consider using liver as an alternative treat. Liver is gentle on your dog's digestive system.

Warnings

  • Keep knives away from children.

    Always make sure meat is fully cooked before freeze drying.

    Always add your dog's treats to his daily caloric intake. Giving too many treats can lead to obesity.

Photo Credits

  • EmilySkeels/iStock/Getty Images