NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links or links to Amazon. If you choose to purchase anything through these links, I may earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for supporting my blog. See my disclosure for details.
Have you ever made your own dog treats? I make homemade sweet potato dog treats for my dog Ozzie all the time. They are surprisingly easy to make, good for him, and SO much less expensive than store-bought treats.
My dog is not a fussy eater, but he does have 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!Jump to Recipe
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.
Although Ozzie is perfect in almost every way, he does have an extremely sensitive stomach. We adopted him 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 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.
The Best Food 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! So I needed 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!
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 bake/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 200-250 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!
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.
- Life Lessons from my Dog
- Feeding Your Dog During COVID-19: Ollie Dog Food Review
- 19 Easy Ways to Organize Dog Supplies
- Homemade Dog Treats: Friday Favorites
Other Products You May Like:
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 when he gets all excited for them, but at the same time, you know that you’re providing him with healthy nutrients and fiber!