Homemade Chicken Jerky For Dogs in 7 Steps – A DIY Dog Treats Recipe

Most of us would do pretty much anything for our dogs. They are our furry companions until the end — and even at the end, we never forget them for as long as we live.

We are just as protective over them as they are over us. That said, it only makes sense that we reward this loyalty and give them a tasty treat once and awhile, am I right? But, the question is… what is the perfect treat for your beloved canine?Well, for my dogs, the answer is an obvious one — it’s homemade chicken jerky dog treats. In fact, if your dogs tries the diy dog treats recipe I’ve listed down below, I guarantee that these chicken jerky treats will be their new favorite snack forever.

My Great Tasting Homemade Chicken Jerky For Dogs…

What You Need:

  • 3lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Meat Slicer and Sharp Fillet Knife (Meat Slicer Is Optional)
  • Oven or Dehydrator

Step 1. Wash the chicken thoroughly and then remove all traces of fat with the knife. Pat them dry.

Step 2. Place pieces of chicken on a plate or cutting board and put them in the freezer for about 1 hour. Prepare your cutting station during this time.

Step 3. If you’re using an oven, remove the racks, turn it on and set it to 160 degrees (or the lowest possible setting, no less than 160 degrees). If you’re using a dehydrator (which is recommended), then you don’t have to prepare anything.

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Step 4. Remove chicken from freezer. Chicken should be hard but not frozen solid. This makes it much easier to work with.

Step 5 (No Meat Slicer). If you don’t have a meat slicer at home, first I recommend that you get one. Makes things so much easier and you can slice everything from ham to chicken to pork to beef to veggies. Costs about $60 for a home slicer. Anyways…

Take your fillet knife and slice the chicken breast from top to bottom. Each slice should be about 3/8 or 1/4 of an inch in thickness.

Step 5 (Meat Slicer). Place the chicken breast on the slicer with the top of the breast toward the blade. Set the blade to about 3/8 of an inch. Turn on and start slicing. All of the slices will be uniform which makes for much easier dehydrating.

Step 6 (Using Oven). Place the chicken fillets on the racks. Place them as close to each other as possible without touching. Slide them in the oven. Close the oven most of the way. Leave open about 2 inches (use balled up aluminum foil to accomplish this). Should take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to finish — depending on your oven. Flip chicken fillets halfway through.

Step 6 (Using Food Dehydrator). Place the chicken fillets on the food dehydrator racks. Turn it on and set it to 160 degrees. Set a timer for 3 hours and walk away. Check back when the buzzer goes off.

Step 7. Make a Decision

Do you want hard jerky or soft jerky? My dogs enjoy the softer type of jerky so I take out the chicken when it’s still pliable — not rock hard. It doesn’t last as long on the counter, but my dogs really love it. They eat the hard stuff, but they don’t go after it with the same type of “animal” hunger like they do the soft homemade chicken jerky dog treats.

If you want the hard stuff, just keep it in there for longer. If you want the softer homemade chicken jerky for dogs, keep checking on it until it’s done (30 minutes per check roughly).

How to Know When Your Homemade Chicken Jerky Dog Treats Are Done

Soft Version. There won’t be any mushy parts to the chicken. It will be an orangish color all the way through and it will be fully “cooked”. By that, I mean there won’t be any raw chicken visible. Think of a soft, orange piece of leather — that’s what it will look like.

Hard Version. It’ll be very hard and pretty brittle and be approaching a darker orange color. You should have no problem telling when it’s done.

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Quick Note…

  • For chewier chicken jerky, make the chicken fillets thicker. This increases dehydrating time.
  • 3lbs of chicken will net you around 1lb finished product.
  • You can add a preservative if you want the jerky to last longer; lemon juice. This will add a few days to the shelf life.
  • Vacuum sealing your jerky is the best way to keep it fresh. If you know it will be gone within the week, then this is unnecessary.
  • Hard jerky can be left on the counter. Soft jerky should be refrigerated prolong freshness.

Why You Should Choose Homemade Chicken Jerky For Dogs…

Simply put, for the health of your dog. There have been recent reports these past months of dogs being poisoned (some even dieing) from name brand dog treats imported from china. These china imported treats are not regulated nearly as thoroughly as you think they are. They can and do contain many ingredients that are HARMFUL to your dogs and can damage their health.

When you make your own homemade chicken jerky dog treats (or at least buy them from someone who makes them), you’re ensuring that your dog gets only the absolute best; 100% healthy and 100% safe treats. For me, this is a no brainer. There’s no filler, no chemicals, and no perservatives. It’s just completely natural and healthy and it’s what every dog deserves

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61 Responses to Homemade Chicken Jerky For Dogs in 7 Steps – A DIY Dog Treats Recipe

  1. Shamim Khan says:

    Hello – I am new to this! My daughter brought home a toy poodle who is now 4 months old – weighs about 3 lbs. I ‘m not sure if he would choke on the chicken jerky – never know whether the bigger size is better than a smaller one – please help!

  2. Terry says:

    As an added safety feature to kill bacteria, I put the finished jerky in a 275F oven for 10 minutes. Probably better to do it at start to kill bacteria but one university ag site says it makes jerky too crumbly….

  3. Shasta's & Aureabella's Mom says:

    You are a life savor. I have 2 golden retreiver / german shephard mixes, one leans a lot more on the GS side – huge. They love their chicken jerkey at night as they go to bed, but the cost is about to do me in. Plus, I do not like the store bought kinds, but didn’t realize I could make i

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  5. Robbie-Ann Oliveira says:

    It says to FREEZE the chicken 60 days before using in the dehydrator . Do you all do this to prevent bacteria ?
    I am making Dog treats and cannot take a chance as she has a very sensitive stomach , currently eats organic chicken jerky no problem but not homemade with no CURE being used , please reply . Thank you all

  6. Kelly says:

    Is this the same method you use for all your jerky ? I’m trying your recipe today and was wondering if it would work with some Venison..

    • Just Jerky Treats says:

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t. We use the same method for all our jerky. Should work just as well for venison too!

  7. Carolyn Curran says:

    Thanks for the great information for beef and chicken treats for dogs. I bought the dehydrator and I feel pretty confident using it. My dogs LOVE their new treats!! Now I need the sealer.
    My next project is drying herbs from my own organic herb garden. Thanks for getting me started!
    I wonder where I can purchase buffalo and venison meat?

  8. Peggy says:

    I’ve been using the Nesco dehydrator for years to make homemade chicken jerky for my toy poodles. I use only Perdue brand boneless skinless chicken breasts, slice it by hand, but I bake mine in the Nesco for 7 hours at 160 degrees. I have 8 trays on the Nesco and store the jerky in Ziploc freezer bags. I always have at least 2 or 3 bags in the freezer and it thaws very quickly so they never have to eat the overpriced store bought version. I know it is only chicken with no additives and Ace & Deuce love it.

  9. kristin howard says:

    I have been making my furbaby’s chicken treats in my dehydrator for years. I love knowing what he is eating and he loves the treats. My wallet especially loves the savings!

  10. Thanks for the tips! I’m going to make them for my dog!

  11. Len says:

    I have been dehydrating chicken for my two dachshunds for years. I buy chicken tenderloins and pound them with a meat hammer/tenderizer. This takes alot of the moisture out and makes them thin enough to dehydrate quicker.

  12. Nancy says:

    My dogs can not eat chicken. Is there other meats you can use

    • Just Jerky Treats says:

      Yes, any meat. Beef, pork, venison, turkey, I’ve even hear hotdogs can be done; though I have not looked into that and would caution it due to the sodium and nitrates which are used to create hot dogs.

  13. Jeannie Atkinson says:

    I’m so impressed that the dog owners above are willing to make the jerky treats themselves. My dog loves, loves, loves your product, so I don’t dare to tamper with something he is so crazy about. He is only 12 pounds and he would willingly eat the entire package when it arrives. He sits by the fridge every morning and night until he get his treat. I will keep buying from you. Thank you for a great, safe product.

  14. Roger Ross says:

    How much lemon juice do you use per pound.

  15. viv boardman says:

    hi could you tell me if it is at all possible to make chicken jerky treats in a halogen oven,,, if so how thankyou

  16. Irma Hosseinzadeh says:

    I have a chihuahua with an enlarged heart . Is chicken jerky for dogs bad for her?

    • Just Jerky Treats says:

      I couldn’t say. If she is allowed to eat chicken, then I’d say our treats are perfectly fine for her. But I would consult with your vet first to see what type of diet she needs.

  17. Donna Bradley says:

    Made this for fussy toy yorkies. They love the chicken jerky. Have never liked any treats in past, but one off the shelf that eventually sickened one of them. Checked out back of bag. Made in China. Recipe so easy. Buy tenderloin filets. Am so happy. Finally a treat they love. Thank you.

  18. Maureen says:

    I have been making chicken jerky for my dog since the recall on the bagged stuff you would by in pet stores that was killing animals. I purchased a dehydrator, hand slice the chicken, set it on 160 and let it run. Not only does she love the treat…it is good for her.

  19. margie says:

    Thank you for the “how to”. Other than the fear of the imported, I think my dog may be allergic to something in the store bought. She seems to itch the days I give her the store bought jerky. Going to give this a try

  20. Maria Staffieri says:

    I wonder if I need to use the jerky cure before putting the new on the dehydrator or if I can just put it without it.

  21. Jen Haley says:

    What is the recommended storage and shelf life?

    Thanks, Jen

  22. Valerie Shipley says:

    I wanted to provide the feedback for people that are buying treats made in China. My two female chihuahuas recently had a terrible bout of diarrhea and vomiting for a good 5 days straight. I felt absolutely horrible when I realized that it had to be coming from the treats that I bought them that were made in China. Now granted, I have bought these before and never had a problem but after doing some research I felt like a horrible pet owner for having given it to them. So please Beware of any doggy treats that are made in China.

  23. Marie Ziniti says:

    I’ve been doing this for many years. I finally bought a good meat slicer this year, and it’s so easy to use it! I leave my chicken in the dehydrator for 12 hours. I then vacuum seal it. I make it for my dogs and the dogs of family, friends and neighbors. ALL the dogs love it. I also make beef and liver jerky the same way. Liver is the favorite, but they only get a small amount WITH a warning about vitamin A toxicity. I find that the ratio is 5 lbs of boneless skinless chicken makes 1 lb of jerky. I make 10 lbs of chicken at a time to make 2 lbs of jerky.

  24. Anne says:

    Have been buying your treats for >1 year, and my dogs love them! 1 lb lasts about 2 weeks with my 2 dogs. Looking forward to trying to make them at home. Thank you for such a great product!!

  25. Betty Jo says:

    Thank you for sharing your instructions! I have a batch in the oven as I type and am super excited to be able to feed my four legged kids treats that I know where they came from! Not to mention this is so much less expensive than buying them in the store.

  26. oke olayinka says:

    I will definitely try it. But can salt or pepper or ginger be added to the jerky?

  27. susan says:

    ty ever so much!!!! I will try this & always looking for safer healthier treats for my rotweiller!!! She thanks you also!!!

  28. JB Goode:-) says:

    If you are doing this yourself home, buy yourself a dehydrator. It will pay for itself the first time. Also, I buy the Chicken breast bone-in. A good share knife and anybody can strip off those rib bones. Saves at least $2 a pound verses the cost of boneless skinless.

  29. Mary Ellen says:

    Thank you so much for this site. My Puggle Princess will only eat Chicken Jerkey as a treat. I always check to be sure it is not from China. My heart goes out to those who lost a beloved pet from poison. I will now only make my own chicken jerkey with your recipie. Thank you again for this and making my love, Princess soo very happy and me too.

  30. Julie says:

    I have been making chicken jerky for my dog for about a year, with dehydrator, due to all of the concerns and problems from store bought treats. He LOVES them and I no longer have to worry about what he is eating from treats made commercially. I dehydrate thin sliced strips for almost 8 hours, and have found longer is better, rather than the usual 4-6 hours recommended. I ziplock and refrigerate and they are good for weeks! They are yummy for human snack too!

  31. Shekaib Arian says:

    Love your product. One bag lasts a long time for a small dog under 10 pounds.

    By the way, you might want to fix the top of the page – “Your dogs will love it…” not “YOU’RE dogs will love it…”

    • dddtvlr says:

      I have been making chicken jerky for over a couple of years now, my dog loves them , so do i, I make the treat for her and myself , she knows when i grab the dehydrator its time for treats.

    • Dime says:

      *You are* dogs will love it??? I don’t think so…

    • Tim says:

      “YOU’RE” not YOUR an idiot. Somehow the dog jersey is better, with less grammatical errors.
      Thanks spelling cop.

    • Randy says:

      And the saying is : “once in a while” not “once and awhile” . LOL I know I’m really being petty; but I really have a “thing” about using correct grammar.

  32. John Major says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your methods with us. I love your products and will never buy any food made in China for my pets. We all appreciate your care for our pets.

  33. Barbara Ish says:

    I have been buying your treats for about 6 months now. My pups simply love all meat jerkeys. The sweet potatoes are not as likable. The beef is there favorite. Look forward to all the new flavors you are working on. So glad I found your company.

  34. Adalie says:

    Cant wait to try this!! How long would you typically say the jerky is good for. Both kinds soft and hard?

  35. Karen says:

    Thank you for sharing your recipe for homemade dog treats. Homemade treats are the only kind that will ensure what your dog ingests. Our beloved German Shepherd, Kiara, is now a statistic of the tainted dog treats and dog food that came from China 7 – 8 years ago. She died at age seven of kidney failure due to the tainted Ol Roy dog biscuits we bought at Wal-Mart.

    • Bob Roberts says:

      Old Roy Dog Biscuits are, at least now, made in the USA! Check the package

    • Seba says:

      I bake biscuits every monring for my dogs. I set up a Google Alert once for dog food recall and received alerts of bad dog food on the market daily without exception. I use chicken, fish, eggs, veggies, legumes, along with wheat flour, wheat and oat bran.

  36. Sandra Mitchell says:

    My dehydrator says 2 cook the meat first for a few minutes. With ur recipe is this step necessary? TY…sm

    • Lee Venard says:

      Just found Just Jerky Treats website…It’s been several months since you posted your question, did you get a reply? I just posted how I’ve been making mine for years in a dehydrator….I don’t precook my chicken. I slice up chicken breast (semi frozen easier), drain liquid, sprinkle with garlic powder & dehydrate about 12hrs (crispy). It does turn “orange” in color, prefer mine crispy/crunchy. Store in a air tight container. Grandkids & dogs LOVE IT, never will go bad cause it don’t last very long.

  37. gary says:

    My dogs loves the dried chicken. Both of them guard the dehydrator as long it is working.

  38. KA says:

    Thanks for your instructions! Im giving it a go this afternoon! My beagle just LOVES the homemade ones we get, so Im anxious to try it!

  39. Ashley says:

    You actually don’t have to wash the chicken, the heat will kill surface bacteria which is all there is unless you’re using ground turkey to make more of a patty. Washing has just been proven to spread the germs around more. The CDC recently changed their guidelines to advocate against washing chicken.
    Otherwise your post is spot on. I’ve also done this with thin sliced sirloin or you could use any other thin slice of meat, from pork to fish (the smell though…eww). No good reason to buy the crap from China.

  40. Kristy Musselman says:

    My St Bernard loves these! He is a picky eater, but this was right on for him! Thanks for sharing.

  41. Orlando says:

    Why can’t a person use chicken breast lunch meat?

  42. :D says:

    How do you store the jerky? Fridge? What is the shelf life?

  43. :D says:

    When you say to slice the chicken from top to bottom, I’m assuming you mean with the grain.?

  44. Linda Hart says:

    I’m going to try this today My dog will eat nothing but chicken jerky and they have been pulling it off the store shelves I am at my wits end. So I am doing this

  45. Charles Tepe says:

    Best product I have ever found, your web page is 100% accurate, my dog loves them, and I will not buy… ever again… crap made in China, that includes other products too, ever try to buy an American Made wall clock???
    My first time purchase of your Chicken Jerky, recently, was thru Amazon, shipping and packaging was good, no problem there, but…. every time I open the fridge, I get special attention and wagging tails.. hee…hee..
    Thank You!

    • Debby says:

      I have 2 Lhasa Apso’s…i make home made treats all the time:
      whole wheat flour
      1 egg
      peanut butter
      pumpkin (canned or fresh that’s cooked)

      Dough should be stiff. Roll out in flour for either thin or thick slabs. Use a pizza cutter to slice into pieces. Slow bake in a low oven until hard. My guys know the smell and they’ll patiently wait in the kitchen. You can mix this up with all different types of flavors. Cheap, easy and nice to know you’re giving your friends something healthy.

  46. Pahnea says:

    I just received 1lb. of the natural chicken jerky dog treats. Packages are vacuumed packed. It says to refrigerate. Just the opened bag? Or, keep both packages in the refrig.?

    • Just Jerky Treats says:

      Once a bag is opened, yes, it must be refrigerated. Unopened bags don’t have to be, but we still recommend doing so anyway if you’ve got the room.

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