Pet food, snacks for dogs

You are Fifi's personal homemade dog biscuit chef and she loves you for it. Unfortunately, you don't have time to make her a fresh batch every day. To keep those double batches of delish doggy delicacies from going bad, you have three options: freezing, vacuum packing or dehydration. To extend the life of the biscuits, you can add some natural preservatives, such as vitamin E, honey or citric acid, to your recipe before you pop them in the oven.

Freezing Your Homemade Doggie Treats

Cool the biscuits completely and let any icing decoration dry prior to storing. This will prevent moisture buildup and mold growth in the storage container.

Place hard dog biscuits into a zip-top freezer bag or a freezer-safe plastic container.

Close the bag or container, making sure to get out as much air as possible.

Freeze. Chewy dog treats in zip-top bags should be laid flat to prevent them from sticking together. Dry dog biscuits can be stored upright.

Vacuum Packing Your Hard Homemade Doggie Treats

Using recommendations of the manufacturer of your vacuum packing machine, cut a length of bag plastic about 12 inches long. Seal one end, as directed by the manufacturer.

Place the biscuits in the bag.

Seal the other end of the bag with your vacuum packing machine. Follow the directions that came with it. Keep the sealed bag in the freezer, refrigerator or in a dark, dry pantry. Dog biscuits will last about eight months in the freezer and two months in the refrigerator.

Dehydrating Your Hard Homemade Doggie Treats

Dehydrating removes moisture from food and inhibits mold growth; you can use a conventional or convection oven or a home dehydrator to do so. Using a dehydrator frees up your oven and minimizes heat, so you can bake in the summer.

Cook the biscuits at a lower temperature and extend cooking time to remove as much moisture as possible without burning them. Use a regular or convection oven.

Cook the dog biscuits according to the recipe. Once finished, place in a home dehydrator for six to eight hours, or overnight.

The length of time it takes to dehydrate depends on the thickness of your biscuit, its moisture content and the amount of moisture in the air.