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Have you ever made your own dog treats? There are many, many recipes out there with all different ingredients. I’ve found my favorites are these sweet potato chews, as they are cheap, easy to make, and dogs love them.
Feeding a Dog With a Sensitive Stomach
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen plenty of pictures of my Superdog, Ozzie. He’s an adorable Labrador Retriever/Carolina Hound mix (we think, anyway – like every dog we have had, he was a rescue).
While Ozzie is perfect in almost every way, he has an extremely sensitive stomach. He was a stray for several months as a puppy, and we will never be sure if that affected his digestive development.
All we know is that we have to be very careful what we feed him, or he will get very gassy, refuse to eat, and quite possibly leave a mess on the new carpet for me to clean up. That’s not real cool.
Ozzie is eight years old and he’s had these stomach problems on and off pretty consistent in the seven years since he joined our family. We’ve seen several vets, and have been assurred that he’s just got a sensitive digestive tract, as some dogs do.
With quite a bit of trial and error, we’ve gotten the meals pretty well figured out. He eats half Hills Science Diet Sensitive Stomach kibble, and half Ollie fresh chicken dinner. Have you tried Ollie? It’s a delivery service of top-quality dog food – I highly recommend it for any dog!
We also add K9 Natural Green Tripe Booster to every bowl Ozzie eats for a dose of probiotics. They make me think of stinky green Cheetos, but he loves them. And anything that helps his stomach stay calm is a win, regardless of the smell.
The Need For a Better Dog Treat
But snacks? Dogs love snacks! We’ve had our share of ups and downs with snacks, but we knew we had to find something for our guy.
Ozzie likes crunchy or chewy snacks, and many of those are hard on his belly. Typically the low-protein, gentle snacks are soft cookies. He’s not as interested in them, and let’s face it, if he’s going to snack, I want him to be excited about it!
Our vet recommended sweet potato for Oz when he goes off his regular food, and he loves it. He will often eat that even when he turns up his nose at his regular food. So we tried the dried chews from the pet store, and they were good – but, geez, they are so expensive!
Fortunately, I’ve found a really, really simple way to make my own sweet potato chews. Success! Ozzie gives them two paws up!
The directions are so simple!
How to Make Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Wash a large sweet potato and cut it into slices about 1/8-1/4″ thick. There is no need to peel the sweet potato. Thinner slices result in a crunchier treat, and thicker slices turn out chewier.
Be careful not to cut them too thick, though, or they will spend forever in the oven!
I cut my very large sweet potato in half, then sliced the long way. You may prefer to slice crosswise into rings, especially if you have a smaller dog.
Spread the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Do NOT add oil or any spices, you want plain sweet potato. One sweet potato will cover an entire baking sheet.
Place the sheet in an oven on 200-250 degrees.
Check on them after about 2 hours to see how they are coming along. Flip each slice. Return to oven.
Cook for another hour – 3 hours. I’m aware that this time frame is pretty vague, but it really depends on how thick your slices are, and how consistent your oven temperature is. Also, it takes less time to create chewy treats and longer for crunchy. What you want is a nice dehydrated chew.
When you think they are done, turn off the oven and let them absorb the last of the heat as the oven cools. Remove the pan and store the treats when they are completely cooled.
You know the rest of it. Sit. Shake. High five. Good boy!
Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Wash one large sweet potato. Slice it into 1/4-1/3″ strips.
Spread in single layer on baking sheet.
Bake in oven at 200-250 degrees for 2 hours.
Turn strips, return to oven.
Check strips again starting in 1 hour.
Total time is determined by preference for chewy or crunchy strips.
Turn off oven and allow strips to cool inside.
Dogs can eat anytime after the treats have fully cooled.
Treats will last about a week.
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