How to Make Beef Jerky for Dogs – The Ultimate Guide for Homemade Dog Treats

Dogs love treats, and homemade beef jerky can be a healthy, nutritious option for your pup. Beef jerky for dogs is easy to make at home, cheaper than store-bought treats, and you can control the ingredients. This ultimate guide will teach you everything you need to know to make the perfect beef jerky for your dog.

Why Make Homemade Dog Jerky?

There are several benefits to making your own beef jerky treats:

  • It’s cheaper – Store-bought jerky can be expensive. Making it yourself saves money.

  • You control the ingredients – Commercial jerky often contains preservatives, artificial flavors, and other additives. Homemade allows you to leave those out.

  • It’s healthier – You can use lean cuts of beef and avoid unhealthy fat and salt.

  • Dogs love it – The natural meaty flavor will drive dogs wild. Homemade jerky is a special treat they’ll get excited for.

  • You can customize flavors – Add spices like turmeric or ginger that provide health benefits.

Choosing the Right Meat

The first step is selecting the right cut of meat. You want a lean beef that will dry well.

Good Meat Choices

  • Flank steak
  • Sirloin tip
  • Bottom round
  • Eye of round
  • Top round
  • London broil

What to Avoid

  • Fatty cuts like ribeye or brisket
  • Pre-marinated meats containing salt or spices
  • Meat with a lot of connective tissue

Look for beef that is 90/10 or leaner. Cut off any thick bands of fat before slicing. Choose fresh, high-quality beef whenever possible.

Slicing the Meat

Slice the beef into long, thin strips. This increases the surface area and allows the meat to dry evenly.

  • Partially freeze the meat for 30 minutes to make slicing easier
  • Cut against the grain into 1/4 inch strips
  • Slice lengthwise with the grain into 4-6 inch strips
  • Remove any fat or gristle

Use a sharp knife or meat slicer to cut uniform strips. Consistent thickness and shape will ensure even drying.

Dehydrating the Meat

Drying out the meat transforms it into jerky by removing the moisture. You can use a dehydrator, oven, or smoker.


Dehydrators allow precise temperature and airflow control for perfect results.

  • Arrange strips on trays without overlap
  • Dehydrate at 155-165°F for 2-5 hours
  • Rotate trays and check for doneness


To use an oven:

  • Place strips on a wire rack atop a baking sheet
  • Prop oven door open with a wooden spoon
  • Bake at 180-200°F for 2-3 hours


A smoker infuses jerky with delicious flavor.

  • Keep temp under 200°F
  • Use wood chips like hickory or apple
  • Smoke for 2-3 hours until dry

Monitor jerky closely and remove from heat once dried.

Testing for Doneness

There are a few ways to test when the jerky is fully dried:

  • It will darken and stiffen as it dehydrates
  • Small cracks form on the surface
  • It bends but doesn’t break when folded
  • Internal temperature reaches 160°F (for food safety)

The jerky should be dry but still pliable. If it’s crispy, it’s overdone.

Flavoring Your Jerky

To add flavor, you’ll need to use spices safe for dogs. Avoid salt and herbs like onion or garlic. Some good options:

  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Parsley
  • Mint

Mix spices into ground meat before dehydrating. For whole cuts, make a marinade with 2 tablespoons water per 1 teaspoon spice. Soak strips for 30 minutes before drying.

Storage and Serving

Properly stored, homemade jerky will last around 2 weeks.

  • Let jerky cool completely before storing
  • Place in an airtight container or bag
  • Refrigerate for maximum freshness

Slice into bite-sized pieces to serve. Watch your dog’s joy as they nibble these tasty homemade treats!

Safety Tips

When making your own dog jerky, follow these safety guidelines:

  • Always use fresh, high-quality meat
  • Freeze meat for 2 weeks or heat to 160°F to kill bacteria
  • Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly
  • Don’t allow jerky to sit at room temp more than 2 hours
  • Refrigerate promptly in airtight container
  • Discard if mold appears or smells “off”

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best meat to use?

Lean beef like flank steak, sirloin tip, or London broil works well. Look for 90/10 ground beef. Avoid fatty cuts.

Do I have to use a dehydrator?

No, an oven or smoker will also work. Just prop the oven door open and use low heat around 180°F.

How long does it last?

About 2 weeks in the fridge or 2-3 months in the freezer. Discard if moldy or smells bad.

Can I use turkey or chicken?

Yes, you can follow the same process with lean ground turkey or chicken breasts.

What if it’s too dry?

Dogs won’t mind if it’s a little over-dried. But for best texture, stop dehydrating once stiff but still pliable.

Make Fido Happy with Homemade Jerky

Beef jerky is an awesome treat for dogs. Making your own using healthy ingredients saves money and lets you control the flavor. Follow the steps above for how to slice, season, and dehydrate the perfect homemade jerky. Your dog will be thrilled with these special meaty treats!

Frequency of Entities:

Beef jerky: 21
Dog/Dogs: 19
Meat: 16
Dehydrate/Dehydrator: 11
Oven: 7
Spices: 6
Store-bought: 3
Smoker: 3
Jerkyholic: 1
Fakeginger: 0

Easy and Healthy Dog Beef Jerky


Is homemade beef jerky healthy for dogs?

Salt, garlic, onion powder, and black pepper can be potentially harmful to your dog. Every dog is different and we would never want to upset a stomach, or even worse, make a four-legged friend sick. We recommend erring on the side of caution. We do not recommend feeding your dog beef jerky made for human consumption.

What is beef jerky for dogs made out of?

This jerky is the ultimate high value reward, packed with 90% beef from the finest Finnish grass fed cows and slow dried over 24 hours at low temperatures to lock in nutrients and moisture, your pooch’s mouth will water at the meaty taste, leaving tails wagging for more.

What is the safest way to make beef jerky?

The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline’s current recommendation for making jerky safely is to heat meat to 160 °F and poultry to 165 °F before the dehydrating process. This step assures that any bacteria present will be destroyed by wet heat.

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