Friday, December 2, 2016

How to Make Dried Butternut Squash Dog Treats

Most days, Lacey has her anxiety and behavioral issues in check thanks in no small part to the work our fantastic dog behaviorist helping Husband and I help Lacey with her issues.

But, my friends there still are things that throw Lacey is a blind panic tizzy. The best way to snap her out of it is with a positive distraction like her Buster Cube.  If you aren’t familiar with it, a Buster Cube is nothing short of a miracle because it the treat dispensing puzzle changes every time the dog plays with it and holds her attention longer than the toys Lacey has already figured out.

What can I say? Lacy is a genius.

Who needs a bunch of healthy low calorie dog treats for her Buster Cube to cope with the holiday madness.


Butternut Dog Treat Recipe


After a quick check with Lacey’s veterinarian they confirmed butternut squash is safe for dogs to eat. Lacey later confirmed that dogs like to butternut squash. It’s a win - win!
 
 Pin this easy dog treat recipe for later!


If you don't have a dehydrator (Husband bought me a Nesco Dehydrator and I love it! IMHO it is much better than the Excalibur) you can make my butternut squash dog chews in the oven although they may be a little less dry as the dehydrator method. I would store them in the refrigerator or freezer just in case.
 

You will need to make this recipe

 Disclosure: I added affiliate links in this post for your convenience.


Butternut squash

Food Dehydrator or oven

Clean a Screen dehydrator trays – optional but highly recommended. They are much easier to clean than trying to clean all of the dried goo stuck between the slots in in bare dehydrator trays.

Vegetable Steamer

Knife and cutting board

Vegetable peeler

Spoon

Dog Project Manager desperate for yummy treats!

 Could that possible, maybe, I hope, be for me?

Step by Step How to Make it Tutorial


1. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

2. Use the vegetable peeler to remove the skin of the butternut squash.

3. Use the cutting board and knife to slice the butternut squash into dog chewy size slices or small dog treat size cubes.

4.Butternut squash is dense so we need to steam it to soften it up so it will dehydrate evenly and in a timely manner. Steam the sliced or cubed butternut squash over boiling water for 10 minutes. We are not trying to cook it, just trying to make it a little less dense so it will dehydrate more quickly.


 Steamy!

5. Place the steamed butternut squash on either a dehydrator tray (dehydrator method) or baking sheet (oven method.)

 If you don't have enough Clean a Screen trays, a fruit roll tray will work in a pinch for easy clean up

6. Dry the butternut squash into dog treats.


  • Oven method: Place the butternut squash slices on the cookie sheet and bake in a 250 degree oven for two hours. Remove the butternut squash from the oven and turn them over on the cookie sheet. Bake the butternut squash for two more hours. 

Total baking time: four hours or more depending upon the thickness of the slice. Note: the oven dried pumpkin treats may have a similar consistency as my homemade sweet potato dog chew recipe. You should store the oven dried butternut squash chews in an airtight container in the refrigerator or for a little longer in the freezer so they will not spoil.

  • Dehydrator method: Dry the butternut squash at 135 degrees (F) for six to ten hours or more depending upon the thickness of the slices and how much moisture (or not) you want your homemade dog treats to have. Rotating the trays in the dehydrator will make sure everything dries evenly and may speed up your drying time.

I usually run my dehydrator overnight because it is often humid where I live and I want these dog treats to be as try as possible so they will survive the beating Lacey will give them in her Buster Cube.

 Lacy says my dried butternut squash dog treats make great dog Christmas gifts too!

7. After the butternut squash jerky treats cool, treat your pup right!



 I made Lacey's fancy dog treat jar by decorating a re purposed empty glass mayonnaise jar with glass paint markers and glass craft paint. Lacey lives large!


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