Have you ever made dog treats? I’m going to share with you a foolproof way to make your own sweet potato dog treats. They are surprisingly easy to make, really nutritious for your dog, and so much less expensive than store-bought treats.
My dog, Ozzie, is not a fussy eater, but he does have issues with a sensitive stomach. I put a lot of thought and research into everything he eats, including snacks. Fortunately, Ozzie absolutely loves these homemade sweet potato treats!
He’s shared these treats with several of his canine buddies, and they have all loved the crunchy goodness of a sweet potato treat. These things are a guaranteed hit!Jump to Recipe
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Treats for a Dog with a Sensitive Stomach
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen plenty of pictures of my Very. Good. Boy. Ozzie. He’s an adorable Labrador Retriever/Carolina Hound mix (we think, anyway – like every dog we’ve ever had, he was a rescue). The sweet guy has always had a sensitive stomach, but it seems to be getting worse as he ages. He’s 8 years old now, for the record.
“Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong.”W. R. Purche
We adopted Ozzie from a rescue when he was about a year old, and they in turn had pulled him from a shelter. He was a stray for several months prior to that, as a puppy, and we will never be sure if that time “on the streets” 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 (it’s disgusting), refuse to eat or drink, and quite possibly leave a mess on the new carpet for me to clean up.
Not cool; not cool at all.
We’ve consulted several vets, and they have all assured us that it’s nothing life-threatening; he’s just got a sensitive digestive tract, as some dogs do. Apparently, it’s pretty common in labs. Common or not, I needed to find a solution.
The Best Foods for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs
With quite a bit of trial and error, we’ve got his regular food pretty well figured out. He eats half kibble – Hills Science Diet Sensitive Stomach – 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.
At least for now, his two daily meals are pretty well set.
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. If you do your research, you’ll find that a lot of commercial dog treats are not healthy at all. Some are basically the equivalent of feeding your dog a Snickers bar! (Now, I like Snickers as much as the next person – but not every day!)
Ozzie prefers his treats to be crunchy or chewy, and many of those are hard on his belly due to high protein and artificial ingredients. Typically the low-protein, gentle snacks are soft cookies. He’s not very interested in them, and let’s face it, if he’s going to snack, I want him to be excited about it!
I needed to find a snack that was both good for his digestion and crunchy for his happiness.
Sweet Potatoes are Good for Dogs
Our vet recommended snacks based on sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, which helps the digestive system function more effectively. Sweet potatoes are low in fat, rich in vitamins A, B6, and C, calcium, potassium, and iron. Because they are a single ingredient food, they are also less likely to cause an immune response in dogs. Sounds pretty perfect, right?
I initially purchased some at the store, but, geez, they are expensive! I’m talking eight bucks for a small bag of about a dozen treats expensive! There had to be a better option.
“If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.”Phil Pastoret
Fortunately, I’ve found a really, really simple recipe to make my own sweet potato chews. And Ozzie gives them two paws up!
The directions are so simple, and you’ll only need one ingredient – sweet potatoes! They do take a while to dehydrate, however, so you’ll want to plan ahead for that.Jump to Recipe
How to Make Sweet Potato Dog Treats
NOTE: Never feed your dog raw sweet potato as it may cause intestinal blockage.
I usually do two sweet potatoes at a time. I choose fairly large ones, and once sliced, each sweet potato fills one baking sheet.
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.
I like to use a mandolin to make nice, even slices, but a sharp knife works just as well.
I cut my very large sweet potato in half, then slice it 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 a plain sweet potato. As I mentioned above, one sweet potato will cover an entire baking sheet.
Place the sheet in an oven on 200-225 degrees.
Check on them after about 2 hours to see how they are coming along. Flip each slice and place them back in the oven.
Cook for another hour (or so). 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 a longer time for crunchy. What you want is a nice dehydrated chew, with no mushy orange center.
When you think the chips 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 in an air-tight container when they are completely cooled.
I find that the chewy (less-cooked) treats last about 5 days. The very dry, crispy treats will last a lot longer, although we run out before they ever have a chance to go bad.
These treats can also be frozen to extend their freshness, but, again…never had the chance.
You know the rest of this story.
Sit. Shake. High five. Good boy!
Here’s a printable version of this recipe (is it even a recipe?):
Sweet Potato Dog Treats
- Cutting Board, Knife or Mandolin
- Baking Sheets (2)
- 2 Sweet Potatoes (large)
- Wash sweet potatoes. Slice them into 1/4-1/3″ strips. (Thicker = chewy treats, thinner = crunchy treats)
- Spread in single layer on baking sheet.
- Bake in oven at 200-250 degrees for 2 hours.
- Turn strips over, return to oven.
- Check strips again starting in 1 hour. Timing is approximate based on thickness of strips and oven temperature. Strips should be dry, without soft orange center.
- Turn off oven and allow strips to cool inside.
- Store in tightly sealed container.
Read More About Simple Living with Dogs:
- Happiness Lessons from my Dog
- 19 Easy Ways to Organize Dog Supplies
- Easy and Tasty Homemade Dog Treats
Final Thoughts on DIY Homemade Sweet Potato Chewy Treats for Dogs
If your dog has a sensitive stomach – or if you just want to be very conscious of what he/she eats – then give these easy sweet potato treats a try. You’ll feel like you are spoiling him every time he gets all excited for them! At the same time, you know that you’re providing him with healthy nutrients and fiber, all for a fraction of the cost of store-bought snacks.