Is your dog always begging for a taste of your chicken dinner? Why not give them their own dish by dehydrating chicken feet? Not only will they love the taste, but these little snacks are packed with nutrients that are great for their health!
How do you make dehydrated chicken feet? You can use a food dehydrator at 200°F for 24 hours to dehydrate chicken feet. Alternatively, you can also bake chicken feet in the air fryer or oven at 140°F for up to 8 hours to dehydrate them.
If you are intrigued, let’s learn how to make this delicious treat for your dog!
Why Make Dehydrated Chicken Feet?
Dehydrated chicken feet make excellent dog treats for a number of reasons.
First, they are entirely edible, which means that there is no risk of choking or indigestion.
Second, the bones are soft and safe for dogs to chew on, making them an ideal choice for teething puppies or older dogs with sensitive teeth.
The crunching action helps to remove plaque and tartar, and the chewy texture is gentle on the gums.
Chicken feet are high in protein, with no added ingredients or preservatives, making them a healthy and nutritious treat.
In addition, these treats are packed with naturally occurring collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and natural minerals, all of which are great for your dog’s joints.
They can help to reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness, especially for aging dogs. This is a natural and healthy way to keep your dog’s joints in good shape.
By dehydrating chicken feet at home, you can also make an all-natural, sugar-free, and preservative-free treat that’s perfectly safe and highly nutritious for your dog.
Dehydration preserves many of the nutrients and antioxidants found in fresh foods, making dehydrated chicken feet a healthy option for dog treats!
If you are unsure whether dehydrated chicken feet would make good treats for your dog, check with your veterinarian, especially if you have a young puppy for an older dog who needs a special diet.
Where To Buy Chicken Feet
It can be difficult to find chicken feet in your local grocery store since it is not commonly used in most households’ cooking. However, chicken feet can be found in your local butcher or specialty supermarket.
When purchasing chicken feet, it is important to look for fresh, plump feet that are free of blemishes.
Getting them at your local butcher will also ensure that they are fresh and juicy, which will make delicious treats for your dog.
How To Prepare Chicken Feet For Dehydration
If you’ve never cooked with chicken feet before, there are a few steps to prepare the chicken feet before cooking them:
- First, it’s important to give them a rinse in salt water. This will help to remove any bacteria that may be present on the chicken skin.
- Next, you’ll need to clip the toenails on each foot. They can be quite sharp, and you don’t want your dog to get hurt when enjoying this treat. You can use kitchen scissors to remove the toenails and any sharp bits that may hurt your dog.
- Finally, use a paper towel to pat them dry, which will minimize the moisture on the surface and make dehydrating them much faster.
Once you’ve prepped the feet, they’re ready to be dehydrated!
How To Dehydrate Chicken Feet In A Food Dehydrator
A food dehydrator is wonderful for preparing chicken feet! The food dehydrator will remove any moisture from the chicken feet, which will keep dangerous bacteria at bay and allow the chicken feet to last longer.
Here’s how to do it:
- To dehydrate chicken feet in a food dehydrator, set your dehydrator to 200°F.
- Arrange the chicken feet on the dehydrator tray so that they are spread out evenly without overlapping.
- Dehydrate the chicken feet for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, check on the chicken feet to see if they are ready. If they feel dry to the touch and crispy, they are ready.
If the chicken feet are a bit larger, they may take more time to dehydrate. Similarly, if the humidity in your home is high, the drying time may be longer.
After they are completely done, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature, and they should stay fresh for up to two weeks.
How To Dehydrate Chicken Feet Using An Air Fryer
Alternatively, you can also use an air fryer to dry the chicken feet! An air fryer is basically a miniature convection oven, so it does a great job of drawing moisture from the chicken feet, making the skin extra crispy.
Here’s how to do it:
- To prevent the chicken feet from sticking to the basket, you can spray the basket with a little bit of cooking oil, but make sure that the oil is safe for your dog to enjoy.
- Line the air fryer basket with the chicken feet, making sure that they don’t overlap.
- Set your air fryer to 140°F, and fry the chicken feet for up to 8 hours. Check on them after 4 hours and flip them to make sure that each side dries evenly.
- After 8 hours, remove the chicken feet from the air fryer and allow them to cool to room temperature.
They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
How To Dehydrate Chicken Feet In The Oven
Last but not least, you can also dehydrate chicken feet by baking them in the oven!
Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 140°F.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper to prevent the chicken feet from sticking to it.
- Spread the chicken feet evenly across the entire tray, making sure that they don’t overlap.
- Bake the chicken feet for 8 hours, rotating the pan after 4 hours to make sure that all the sides are cooked evenly.
- After all the chicken feet have become dry and crispy, remove the pan and let the chicken feet cool down to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container.
How To Store Dehydrated Chicken Feet
Dehydration removes most of the water content from the chicken feet, leaving behind a concentrated form that can be stored for longer periods of time.
That means dehydrated chicken feet do not require special storage conditions and can be kept at room temperature. As long as they are kept in an airtight container, they will stay fresh for a few weeks.
If you want the dehydrated chicken feet to last longer, you can also store them in the fridge for up to a month or freeze them for up to a year. The fridge may dry them out further and make the texture chewier.
Now that we’ve learned about dehydrated chicken feet and a few methods to make them at home, here are some additional questions we thought you might have.
Are dehydrated chicken feet safe for dogs?
Most dog owners know not to give their dogs cooked chicken bones because they are prone to snapping into sharp pieces that can cause choking or intestinal blockages or punctures.
However, you don’t have to worry about giving your dog dehydrated chicken bones! The dehydration process makes the bones crunchy and crumbly, and your dog can enjoy them without any issues.
In addition, the bones are full of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for strong teeth and bones.
However, young puppies with developing teeth may not be able to fully enjoy the crunchy texture. Similarly, dogs with pancreatitis and weight issues may not benefit from the high-fat content of the chicken feet.
It’s best to only give your dog 1–2 dehydrated chicken feet a day to prevent any digestive issues.
How long do dehydrated chicken feet last?
Dehydrated chicken feet are amazing treats for your dog, so your dog will finish an entire batch of dehydrated chicken feet in just a few days.
You should store the dehydrated chicken feet in an airtight container and keep them in a dry and cool area — they will stay fresh for up to two weeks.
During the summer months, make sure to store them in the fridge to keep dangerous bacteria at bay.
What are some alternatives to dehydrated chicken feet?
Dehydrated chicken feet can be a delicious treat for your dog, but they can be difficult to find in the supermarket. If you cannot find chicken feet, here are a few alternative treats that you can consider making for your dog!
You can also dehydrate chicken necks, which are also delicious and nutritious treats for your dog. Chicken necks are also packed with nutrition, plus crunchy and chewy textures that are quite enjoyable for dogs.
However, the bones in chicken necks are much bigger than chicken feet, so they are more suitable for large and mature dogs.
Pig ears can easily be found at your local butcher, and they can also be dehydrated to become delicious dog treats.
Pig ears don’t have any bones, only skin, and cartilage, so your dog will still enjoy the chewy texture, but you don’t have to worry about the bones harming your pet.
However, pig ears have a higher fat content compared to chicken feet, so you should not give them to dogs who have pancreatitis or overweight dogs.