September 19 2014
Dehydrating food is all the rage these days — great for summer’s fruit, berry and vegetable bounty, and for making sumptuous, healthy treats for your dogs (not to mention yourself). While it’s possible to dehydrate food in an oven, it’s much more efficient and convenient to use a dehydrator. And making it in your own home means you don’t have to worry about contaminants or adulterated ingredients. (We hear you can also make yogurt in a dehydrator — wouldn’t your dog love that!)
Here’s a recipe for every dog’s favorite: chicken jerky. Before you start, make sure you have a very sharp knife. Also, partially frozen meat is easier to slice, and the thinner the slices, the less time they take to dry.
It will probably take between 3 and 12 hours for the strips to fully dry, depending on how thick you cut them and the exact temperature of your dehydrator. After the first hour, start checking the strips on an hourly basis. To determine the dryness level, remove one strip from the dehydrator, cut into it with a sharp knife and examine the inside. When the meat is completely dried, you won’t see any moisture and it will be the same color throughout. If it needs more time, put it back in for another hour. As it gets closer to being finished, check every half hour.
When your chicken jerky is done, store it in air-tight containers; zip-lock bags work great for this. Refrigerate the containers for an even longer shelf life.
Sweet Potato Chews
Dehydrate at the highest setting 145-155 until done. Drying approximately 6-8 hours will leave them with a chewy texture. For crunchier treats dehydrate longer until the desired consistency.
September 1 2014
We’re about to usher in fall, our very favorite season, and are so relieved to bid farewell to summer’s hot, slow days. Like yours, no doubt, our dogs really do seem to perk up in the crisp autumn air. We have an especially content-rich issue for you. Among our new contributors is Sara Greenslit, DVM, who will be covering the integrative veterinary front; she leads off with an article on the “hot” topic of the gut and about its relationship to inflammatory bowel disease. Jessica Hekman, DVM, looks into the studies that examining the reliability of behavior-assessment tests, which many shelters use to make life-and-death decisions about a dog’s future. Martha Connors takes a look at current thinking on spay/neuter; while in terms of the big picture, it’s certainly the most effective way to reduce the number of homeless dogs, individual dog guardians now have other options and issues to consider.
Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Laurel Braitman, author of the highly recommended book Animal Madness; we talked about her investigations into commonalities in mental health issues among humans, canines and other species. Another first-time Bark contributor, Jessica Miller, looks at anxious-dog behavior and provides pointers on how to navigate life with a nervous pup, while Karen London addresses the commonly held belief that all fearful dogs have been abused (hint: not true).
Our happy cover dogs, Indie and Bogart, the Beagles, are poster pups for the successful rehoming of lab dogs, and for canine resiliency. They highlight our feature piece by Konnie LeMay reporting on the Beagle Freedom Project, a rescue group that works with the friendly, gentle dogs so commonly used as test subjects; many of the group’s charges, who have spent their lives in kennels, have never walked on grass or had any loving attention from a human. We welcome this opportunity to showcase the work being done by many humane groups in supporting legislation that allows for rehoming of lab companion animals.
It’s great to have acclaimed writer Susan Straight back in the magazine with her account of how an ordinary dog walk along the river turned into a too-close-for-comfort encounter with her dog’s canid cousins. Ben Spencer recalls a white-knuckle race to the vet ER with his bee-stung pup, and Ellen Cooney reveals a secret training technique she employed with her rescue dog (be sure to pick up her new novel, Mountaintop School for Dogs, one of our year’s-best lit picks).
We hope you enjoy this, our 79th issue, and stick around for many more. Explore all things dog, check out our new store, Barkgoods.com, and spread the word that The Bark is the best place to celebrate the world’s oldest friendship! On that front, we would like to thank all of our “fans” who pushed our Facebook page up to, and beyond 280,000—with your help, let’s see if that mark can be doubled by 2015!
It’s a Dog’s Life
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