Sweet potato chews offer a healthy alternative to rawhide chews, made with just one ingredient for ease. Perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Be cautious to only feed raw sweet potatoes to your dog as these may become lodged in their throat or digestive system and block up digestion. Instead, always boil, bake or dehydrate sweet potato slices before giving them to them.
They are easy to make
Sweet potatoes offer a healthy and delicious alternative to rawhide dog chews, making them easy and cost-effective to make at home. Since there’s no preservative required and they last up to 7 days in the fridge – these make great training treats or gifts!
Start by selecting a large sweet potato that has as uniform a shape as possible – this will aid the drying process and ensure all slices cook at roughly the same rate. Also look for one with less blemishes or bruises.
Cut your sweet potato into 1/4-inch slices and arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet before placing in the oven for 2 1/2-3 hours. After baking, they should have shrunk and become dry; some may still be slightly crispy; these treats can then be stored in an airtight glass jar in your refrigerator for up to one week.
They are healthy
Sweet potatoes (also known as yams or spuds) are rich in antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients that may benefit your pet. Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A as well as beta-carotene for immune support and contain other important components such as fiber, potassium and copper that provide valuable health benefits to dogs.
These treats are low in calories, making them an excellent training reward. A dehydrator will take two 1/2-3 hours to dry these sweet potato chews while baking may take longer depending on how thinly sliced your sweet potatoes are and your desired crispyness level.
Remember, however, that sweet potatoes are starchy carbohydrates and should only be fed to dogs in limited amounts. Too many carbs can lead to weight gain and an elevation in blood sugar levels for some dogs as well as feeding bad bacteria or yeast that causes itching. While sweet potatoes should form part of a balanced diet plan for dogs, their use should be controlled to avoid unnecessary health complications.
They are low in calories
Sweet potatoes provide your dog with essential vitamins and minerals. Low in calories and packed full of natural dietary fiber that aids digestion, sweet potatoes are an ideal treat to provide essential nutrition for their wellbeing. Sweet potatoes also boast beta-carotene and vitamin A which play key roles in eye, skin, bone/tooth development as well as calcium, potassium and iron intake for their development.
However, as sweet potatoes are starchy carbs that break down to sugar in the body and feed bacteria or yeast that could contribute to these symptoms of yeast or candida infections in dogs, such as excessive itching or ear infections. Sweet potatoes should therefore be avoided by those whose pets suffer from them.
Homemade sweet potato chews are easy to prepare and provide your pet with more nutritional treats than store-bought treats like rawhide, jerky or biscuits. Not only can homemade treats promote digestion while providing fullness feeling for the dog, they can also serve as training treats!
They are easy to digest
Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, which helps support digestive health in dogs. In addition, sweet potatoes provide essential vitamins A, C, calcium and potassium essential to your pup’s wellbeing.
Starchy foods, such as sweet potatoes, are generally safe for dogs in small doses; however, their consumption should not be the focus of your pet’s diet. Excessive consumption could cause yeast overgrowth that leads to itchy skin issues which could develop into serious medical conditions in later years.
For tasty yet nutritious sweet potato treats, peel and cut slices or coins of sweet potatoes into slices or coins before placing on a baking sheet or dehydrator for baking or dehydration. However, make sure that any green parts contain solanine as this contains glycoalkaloid poison. Dehydrated chews will last three weeks in the fridge and can be used as training treats or to add flavor to kibble diets.