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Homemade Trout Jerky Dog Treat Recipe

Homemade Trout Jerky Dog Treat Recipe

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I’m not really the outdoorsy type.

Jessica from You Did What With Your Weiner took me “hiking” once and I almost died. DIED.

OK, confession: it was a somewhat easy, albeit long, walk through X̱wáýx̱way (Stanley Park) in Vancouver, but we got lost and I got tired. It was beautiful to walk through the forest and along the sea, but frankly, the Tap House is more my speed.

So you can imagine my thoughts when one of my friends emailed me asking if I had any ideas to turn the fish her kids and husband catch on their fishing trips into dog treats.

Y’all, I don’t FISH. I mean, I like to eat fish and chips and I’m always up for a nice fish taco, but oh my dog! The idea of catching a fish and preparing it myself was very intimidating. I was fully prepared to respond with a resounding “HECK NOPE”, but then I got my grocery store email. Trout was on sale. The Universe was mocking me and I decided to give it a try.

I WAS NOT EMOTIONALLY PREPARED FOR THE INSTACART DRIVER TO HAND ME A WHOLE FISH WITH THE HEAD ON.

I’m going to go ahead and admit it. I had a bit of a breakdown.

But, by that stage? I was in it to win and it trout jerky was happening, no matter how upsetting that fish was.

And in the end? It wasn’t so bad. The fish was easier to prepare than I imagined. It didn’t smell as “fishy” as I had thought it would and Kol is definitely a HUGE FAN of the finished dog treat.

How to safely make trout dog treats

There are definitely a few things you need to know before jumping in to make your own DIY Trout Jerky treats for your dog. While this sustainable, low-mercury fish is a great choice to add to your pet’s diet. Here’s what you need to know

Trout can carry the same parasites that salmon do which can cause Salmon Poisoning Disease, particularly west of the Cascade mountain range.

Salmon Poisoning Disease is fatal in nearly 90% of cases, causing vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weakness, and more. It’s scary and absolutely not worth risking.

The good news is that it’s very easy to protect your dog from Salmon Poisoning Disease by freezing the fish at -4F or colder for at least 7 days. If you do not have ample freezer space, you can also kill off harmful trout parasites by cooking the fish before you dry it. Cook the fish to an internal temperature of 145F for at least 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

You can also protect your dog by ensuring your trout is well cleaned and scaled and discarding any problematic areas. ofthe fish, such as the belly.

I have anxiety and am 100% overprotective of Kol, so I did ALL of this before I made turned my fish into trout jerky.

How to Make Trout Jerky Dogs Treats

a close up of dehydrated trout jerky pieces

Add some healthy fish to your dog's diet with this homemade dehydrated jerky made from sustainable, low-mercury trout.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 - 5 lbs of trout (You can either use whole fish or pre-cut fillets from the grocery store)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400F

2. If you are using a whole trout, ensure it is well cleaned. I won't pretend to be a fish cleaning expert, but I found this video on how to easily clean a trout extremely helpful.

2. Once your trout is cleaned, cut it into fillets. Jamie Oliver knows how to make filleting a fish look easy, but I was surprised that even I was able to do it in just a few minutes while crying. You want to be cautious to use your fingers to guide you in removing all pin bones.

a plate of poorly cut raw trout fillets sits on a square white platter on a marble table
(Look, it's ugly and not perfect, but all the bones are out and there is very little waste, so I'm taking the win.

3. Spray or brush a piece of foil with a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking. Place your trout fillets on the foil in a single layer and fold the foil into a closed packet.

trout fillets sits in an oil-sprayed tin foil pouch

4. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, until fish turns an opaque reddish colour and juices run clear. We recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure the fish has reached a minimum internal temperature of 145F to kill off any parasites. Allow fish to cool enough for handling. Do another check for pin bones you may have missed.

5. Place fish fillets in your dehydrator.

a food dehydrator filled with small pieces of trout jerky sits on a marble table

PRO TIP: If you have an insatiable puggle like who knows that most dehydrator food is destined for his mouth, plug the dehydrator in out in the garage or on the deck. It stops your house from getting all full of trout smell and keeps your dog away from the trout while it dries into jerky.

A black puggle with his tongue out stares intently at a dehydrator filled with small trout jerky pieces

6. Allow fish to dry for approximately 6 hours. At the size hour mark, it should be firm enough to break into smaller chunks with your hands. Break up the trout into bite-sized pieces.

a food dehydrator filled with small pieces of trout jerky sits on a metal stool outdoors

7. Turn the dehydrator back on and dry for another 2 hours or so, until the fish is crisp and dried fully through. (If it is not dried through the moisture and fat will cause it to spoil)

a white ceramic plate with a pile of trout jerky pieces sits on a marble table

8. Store in a cool, dark, dry place in an airtight container. This is how much jerky 1 small trout yields.

a vacuum sealed storage jar with a black lid half filled with trout jerky pieces sits on a marble table

And the best news of all? Kolchak LOVES trout jerky.

Do you make dog treats using trout? What kind of things are you making?

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