Making homemade treats ensures that your dog stays away from weird chemicals in commercial treats and it can also be friendlier on the budget… but they don’t seem to last as long. Can you vacuum seal homemade dog treats?
Yes, you certainly can, and it’s a great investment for a number of reasons. Vacuum sealing and then sticking those treats in the freezer can make them last up to 1 or even 2 years. It also lets you send out treats to friends or family with doggies of their own or even to sell your treats as a side-business.
Today we’ll tell you more about vacuum sealing as an option and as a bonus, we’ll share with you a few ‘dog treat hacks’ that can help you to extend that shelf-life even MORE. Stay with us and read on because we’ve got a few treats of our own for YOU that are waiting below!
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Do dog treats need to be sealed?
That really depends. For instance, with meat treats, you can preheat the oven to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for chicken, 145 degrees for beef or fish, and then simply dry them for the same time as you would with a dehydrator (usually around 7 hours, until stiff but not fragile).
This will make the meat treats last about 2 weeks when stored at room temperature. Vacuum sealing can make treats last up to 6 months at room temperature and up to 2 years in the freezer, but you can also increase the shelf life of your treats with ingredient tweaks such as replacing your sugar with honey.
Dry commercial treats in their packaging will have their recommendations for shelf life labeled, though with homemade treats you should definitely play with the ingredients and consider dehydration, sealing, or at least a Tupperware solution. Otherwise, they can go stale or even bad fairly quickly!
The shelf life of homemade dog treats
With homemade dog treats on their own, it’s going to depend on the type of treat and the ingredients. 100% meat treats, for instance, might last a week or two in the fridge unless you dehydrate them, then they will last about 2 weeks at room temperature in a sealed container and up to 2 months in your fridge.
Baked treats, such as biscuits, can last 1 to 2 weeks in a sealed container if they’ve dried sufficiently in the oven or a dehydrator to remove the moisture from the inside. Add some vitamin C to your recipe, however, and you’ll supercharge the shelf-life, making them last up to 6 months in a plain, old cookie jar!
It all boils down to ingredients and drying, folks. Add some rosemary and replace your sugar with honey, and your treat will be more resilient. Dry out that same treat in the oven or a dehydrator, and you get even more. Mold inhibitors ad vitamin C or E added give you super-biscuits that last half a year.
Plan it out well and you can make a big batch of dog treats for your beloved ‘barkster’ that are healthier, tastier, crunchier, and can last as long or even more than commercial offerings. When you consider some of the weird preservatives in the commercial brands, homemade treats make good, solid sense!
Is dehydration better than vacuum sealing?
Vacuum sealing completely removes the air from the plastic bag housing your treats and, in most cases, this is going to last the longest. It’s basically the equivalent of storing your treats in outer-space, after all, and food will naturally last longer without pesky oxygen and contaminants.
That said, dehydrating is still pretty good and quite comparable. After all, you can dehydrate treats and block them off from outside air by sealing them up in Tupperware and chucking them into the fridge. So, why not choose BOTH?
Why can’t I vacuum seal and dehydrate?
Investing in a both a dehydrator and a vacuum sealer gives not only gives you amazing storage options, but it also makes it easy to give dog treats to your friends or even to market them on websites such as Amazon and Etsy if you get the required licensing.
Most dogs live for 10 to 13 years on average, too, so if your intent is to ensure that your dog is eating the healthiest treats by making your own, then getting both a vacuum sealer and a dehydrator just makes good sense and you’ll get years of use out of them both. Just a little food for thought!
What specific ingredients help preserve dog treats?
We mentioned in brief about ingredients that can add to the shelf-life of your homemade dog treats, but let’s get a little more specific. Here are some excellent options that can really help to make those treats last:
- Mold inhibitors – Dehydration and vacuum sealing aside, there are mold inhibitors such as Previon which you can purchase commercially that can add some serious mileage to shelf life – though you probably won’t need it unless you are selling or giving away treats.
- Vitamin C – Add in 1/8 of a teaspoon of citric acid into every cup of dry dog treat ingredients and then you can harness the 6 month shelf-life boost that comes from Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E, added in the form of 1 or 2 liquid drops before drying your treats, can add a month or more to the shelf life of your biscuit-style treats and promote healthy eyesight and a shinier coat. Win-win-WIN!
- Rosemary – Rosemary is safe for your dog and in treats, it adds a sweet scent while also helping to prevent oxidization occurring and spoiling your treats too soon.
- Egg whites – Dried egg whites are antimicrobial, so sprinkling them on treats before storing at room temperature can help to keep them fresh. They also add a negligible, but healthy little mini protein boost.
Vacuum sealing works – and you can even ‘upgrade’
Not only can you vacuum seal homemade dog treats, but with a little preparation you can make ‘supertreats’ that will possibly age better than your own favorite snacks. Vacuum sealing adds an appreciable amount of time on its own, but dehydrating and selecting the right ingredients will definitely unlock new levels.
So, purchase that vacuum sealer with confidence but just remember that it’s only one of your options – you’ve got a lot of ways to seal-up the freshness of those treats to yours (and your doggy’s) satisfaction.