Artisanal Treats for Pets

Jerky Treats For Dogs: Are They Safe & How To Choose The Best?

Jerkies make an energizing snack – for both humans and pets. Ones made for human consumption are usually spiced and should be kept away from the reach of our beloved pets. On the other hand, real-meat jerkies made for canine consumption are completely safe. They are highly recommended as a good source of nutrition and a healthier alternative to complex, commercial dog treats.

Let’s break down what chicken jerkies are, what makes them the best dog treat, and how you should choose one for your best friend.

What are Chicken Jerkies?

Jerkies in the doggie-world have gained popularity only recently. It would be an understatement to say the dogs, cats, and pet parents are now obsessed! They are safe, they are healthy, they are delicious, and there is not much to not like about them.

A Brief History of Jerky

The oldest and most widespread form of food preservation known to mankind is drying. The method of drying provided a way to utilize an entire animal without the hassle of spoilage. The first application of drying for preserving food dates back to over 40,000 years ago. 

The name “jerky” originated back in the 1500s from the Inca tribe of South America. They called their dried and salted meats “char’ki”, which literally translates to ‘dried meat’. Jerkies proved to be an opportunity to store meat at the time of food scarcity. 

Jerky has been a valuable source of protein for centuries because it is nutrient-dense, lightweight, and makes a great low-fat snack. 

Mummified Beef Jerky found in Ancient Egyptian Pyramids
Mummified Beef Jerky found in Ancient Egyptian Pyramids | Source: American Chemical Society

How are Chicken Jerkies made?

Meat is cut into strips and dried to be made shelf-stable. The modern-day jerky goes through a process of dehydration over 12-24 hours. Through this duration, hot air passes through a dehydrator removing moisture from the meat. The end result is dehydrated strips that started as 1 kilogram of meat but are now 200-225 grams of jerky.

As of today, jerkies are consumed worldwide and undergo countless innovations in terms of taste and style, to cater to different palettes- human and pet alike. What makes jerkies widely popular is the fact that they never compromise on the nutritional value of the meat, making them an attractive low-calorie, on-the-go snack or treat.

Chicken Jerky Treats for Pets

You can easily buy chicken jerky treats for your dog or cat online or at your nearest store, thanks to their recently gained popularity. What sets them apart from other dog or cat treats is that they are far more rewarding, and in most cases healthy- when made from quality ingredients.

Benefits of Chicken Jerky to Pets

  1. Aids Weight Management
    Chicken Jerkies are usually made from chicken breast. They contain high levels of protein and low levels of fat. This makes chicken jerky an ideal choice to supplement your pet’s protein requirement and keep their weight in check.
  2. Improves Dental Health
    Jerkies are tough and chewy due to their low moisture content. Chewing on dehydrated meat helps support overall dental hygiene as the process involves the removal of tartar build-up and plaque. 
  3. Keeps Skin Allergies Away
    Gluten is a common ingredient in most pet treats. However, most pets are allergic to gluten. These allergies give rise to skin issues and digestive problems. High-quality chicken jerkies are completely gluten-free.
  4. Provides Essential Nutrients & Vitamins
    Most commercially used processes of making dog treats like baking or cooking destroy the ingredients of any nutritional value. Dehydration, being a low-temperature process, preserves vitamins and other essential nutrients. 

How to feed Chicken Jerky to Pets

  1. Dog jerky treats taste great and provide our pets with a pump of protein. This makes them a good option to use as snacks or meal toppings.
  2. A flavor-dense, low-calorie treat like chicken jerky also works great as reward treats and training treats for your dog’s or cat’s training lessons.
  3. Due to the low water content in jerkies, your pet may get thirsty after eating them. Always ensure access to drinking water after treats.
  4. Jerky treats are not made with the intention of replacing your pet’s diet as a whole and should not account for more than 10 percent of your pet’s overall calorie intake.

Chicken Jerky vs Traditional, Commercial Pet Treats

Source: Unsplash

Many times, an attractive packet of treats catches our attention and even makes us think they are good for our pets. In reality, the truth lies in the ingredients that go into making these treats. Most of the commonly found treats in the market are full of synthetic additives and added artificial flavors.

Harmful Ingredients in Pet Treats

  1. Corn, Wheat, or other grains
  2. Xylitol, Sorbitol, or other sugar alcohols
  3. Salt
  4. Vegetable Oil
  5. Propylene Glycol or Ethylene Glycol or Glycerine
  6. Corn Starch
  7. Artificial Flavors
  8. Artificial Colors
  9. MSG/Taste Enhancers
  10. Preservatives

Rawhide vs Chicken Jerky

In terms of chews for pets, Rawhides are a popular choice. They keep our pets engaged for a long time and they seem to enjoy it too. But is it worth the risk they hold to our pets’ lives?

Rawhides are made from the inner soft layer of an animal. This layer is chemically bleached, preserved, and pressed into shapes. Toxic chemicals present in rawhides can lead to severe vomiting and diarrhea in pets.

Apart from the chemicals, rawhides also carry the risk of choking and digestive obstruction. If your pet swallows a large chunk of rawhide, there are chances of it getting stuck in the esophagus, intestine, or other parts of the digestive system. This can cause extremely serious consequences.

All-natural treats like Chicken Jerky make for the perfect, far safer alternative to rawhide. They still allow for chewing while ensuring no harm to our beloved pets.

How to Choose the Best Chicken Jerky

The popularity of chicken jerky has also meant a wide variety of brands and options to choose from. This can make the decision of picking the best for your pet complicated. However, it needn’t be! Choosing the best Chicken Jerky treat for your pet is simple when we break it down into the main attributes to look out for.

  1. Spot the Meat
    Good quality jerkies are made with pure, real, boneless meat- no by-products or meat meals. Look for jerky that mentions a specific type of meat (chicken, fish, goat, beef, etc.) as the first ingredient.
  2. Read the Ingredients Label
    Go for a brand that transparently mentions a complete ingredient list. The best quality jerky will have the shortest list of ingredients. Steer clear from any sketchy-sounding ingredients and synthetic additives.
  3. Know the Source
    Recent events have highlighted the risks of being unaware of the sources of your pet’s treats. When the cost to pay is as high as your pet’s life it only makes sense to double-check every decision you make. Treats from China are notorious for being harmful and should be avoided.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that Jerky treats are a great option for pets. Premium, natural chicken jerky treats are safe, nutritious, and a better alternative to popular dog/cat treats. However, it is always advisable to do your due diligence before choosing a snack for your pet.

Opt for a pet treat you can trust, Pawcrafted. Our jerky treats for dogs and cats are made with real meat, no preservatives, and no synthetic additives. All the ingredients are 100% grown, sourced, and processed locally in India. Treat your pet to the healthier, juicier, meatier jerky today.

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