This one’s for the dogs

9 Jan

Many of you know how obsessed I am with my dog Flynn. He is, after all, my heart on four legs. When we rescued Flynn, he was in bad shape in the sense that he had a raging episode of malassezia dermatitis (MD). MD is a common fungal skin issue among Westies, and is a manifestation of underlying chronic allergy issues. Thus, a poor diet (which Flynn had prior) can be a culprit of ongoing skin condition. With years of rehabilitation and allergen-limited, Flynn’s coat has never looked better. Like us, dogs are what they eat: don’t fill them with junk!

Like me, Flynn loves sweet potatoes and these sweet potato (or yam) chews are a healthful alternative to conventional rawhides. The concept of the rawhide is to increase jaw strength, minimize anxiety, and keep teeth clean. However, rawhides are notorious for several drawbacks: contamination, potential choking hazard, and digestive irritation. And as pet obesity is (sadly) increasing, adding too many extra calories from treats and bones should be minimized.

So, what is a dog owner to do, short of sifting through the aisles and aisles of dog treats? Answer: sweet potato chews. These starchy tubers are my favorite for dogs because the orange color means the powerful antioxidant vitamin A, which helps in overall skin health and cell turnover. In addition, sweet potatoes have gut-friendly fiber which dogs need, too!

IMG_3539IMG_3541

Doggie Sweet Potato Leathers

3 sweet potatoes (or yams)

Preheat oven to 250° F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or Silpat mats).Prepare potatoes: cut off one side of the sweet potato lengthwise, as close to the edge as possible. Continue cutting the potato lengthwise in strips, as if you were going to make french fries. There’s no right or wrong “look”, it’s a rustic attempt! Just ensure that the rest of the strips are no smaller than 1/4″. Place slices on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 3.5 hours, turning half way through. Cool completely on a wire rack. They will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge; up to 4 months in the freezer.

flynnster

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3 Responses to “This one’s for the dogs”

  1. Juggling With Julia January 10, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    Definitely will be making these for my mum’s pooch, Jazz. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Shari January 30, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Oh, these sound great! I’ll have to make a batch for the ‘Hounds of Bowbell’!!!

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