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DIY Jerky Dog Treats

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Mary Nielsen

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DIY Jerky Dog Treats

Disclaimer: This recipe is from Will of Jerkyholic

Attention, dog enthusiasts! Pamper your beloved canine companion with delightful homemade, diy jerky dog treats. Crafting it is incredibly simple, and your furry friend will undoubtedly cherish you endlessly! Ditch the commercially available options packed with fillers and chemicals, and opt for a wholesome and nutritious treat instead.

What to use


Opt for ground meat when preparing your own dog jerky. Ensure you purchase a package with a fat content of 10% or less. Look for a label indicating 90:10, indicating 90% meat and 10% fat.

When grinding your meat or deer, consider incorporating organ meats like liver for an extra burst of flavor that dogs adore. Opt for a lean meat cut like a round roast. For the optimal texture, grind through a ⅜” plate followed by a ⅛” plate.


Flavoring or marinating dog jerky differs significantly from that of human jerky. Unlike regular beef jerky, which often contains excessive salt and spices, these should be minimized for canine treats to promote health. The Dog People recommend specific spices that are both flavorful and safe for dogs.

Ginger – Ginger not only adds a delicious flavor but also aids the digestive system and can be beneficial for alleviating nausea. It's an excellent spice to incorporate if your dog frequently experiences an upset stomach.

Cinnamon – Cinnamon possesses antioxidants and may assist in mitigating the effects of diabetes. Additionally, it can contribute to combating bad breath, addressing a common concern for pet owners.

Turmeric – Turmeric contributes to weight management and promotes overall canine well-being. Furthermore, it supports heart, joint, and brain health in dogs.

Enhance the flavor and health benefits of your dog jerky by adding several teaspoons of a spice or a combination of spices to 1lb of ground meat. Mix the spices with 2 tablespoons of water and incorporate them into the meat using your hands.

There are two methods for transforming the ground meat into dog jerky strips. The initial approach involves flattening the meat by hand or using a rolling pin to achieve a thickness of ¼”, then scoring it with a knife or pizza cutter. This method is suitable for smaller quantities of jerky, such as 1lb or less.

Utilize a blunt knife to transfer the jerky strips onto either a dehydrator tray or an oven tray with a cooling rack.

Alternatively, the second approach involves employing a jerky gun to extrude the ground meat into jerky strips. Load the jerky gun with the seasoned ground meat and dispense the meat onto either jerky trays or an oven tray with a cooling rack.

DIY Jerky Dog Treats 1



If using an oven, ensure the jerky strips are laid out on a cooling rack positioned over an oven tray, and set the dehydrator temperature between 180° – 200°F. Insert the tray into the oven and use a wooden spoon to prop the oven door open. This assists in releasing moisture during the drying process and facilitates thorough jerky drying.


When utilizing a dehydrator, ensure that all jerky strips are evenly arranged on the trays before placing them inside. Set the dehydrator to high, typically at 160°F, and allow the jerky to dry for a duration of 3-5 hours.

Is it done yet?

Dry the jerky until it reaches a point where it bends and cracks without breaking in half when bent. Given that dog jerky lacks preservatives like salt, over-drying is not a concern. Your dog won't be bothered by a slightly over-dried texture.

After removing a piece of jerky from the oven or dehydrator, let it cool for 5 minutes before testing. If you detect moisture or it doesn't appear sufficiently dry, continue dehydrating until it reaches the desired consistency. Once done, use scissors to cut it into 1-inch pieces, creating the perfect-sized dog treat.


The optimal storage location for dog jerky is the refrigerator. Due to the absence of preservatives, it has a shorter shelf life compared to jerky made for humans. Place the jerky in a ziplock bag and store it in the fridge. If preparing a substantial amount of jerky for long-term storage, consider using a vacuum sealer and store the jerky in the freezer for several months.

Homemade Dog Jerky

DIY Dog Jerky Treats

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 128 kcal


  • 1 lb Lean ground beef (10% fat or less)
  • 2 tbsp Cold water
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon  (ground)


  • In a bowl, combine ingredients and add to 1lb of ground beef
  • Mix the ground beef and seasonings thoroughly
  • Spread the ground meat on a baking sheet, cover with wax paper, and roll with a rolling pin until meat is ¼" thick
  • Slice the pan of beef into jerky strips 4-5" long and 1" wide and place on dehydrator trays or cooling racks
  • Dry on high in a dehydrator or in a 200°F oven for 3-5 hours until finished. Place a wooden spoon in the door of the oven to prop it open allowing moisture to escape.
  • Ground jerky is finished when it first starts becoming dry to the touch. It should bend without breaking in half. If it cracks in half when bent a little bit, it was over dried
  • Use scissors to cut the jerky strips into 1" square treats.

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