Serious Concerns About Many Popular Brands of Dog Treats
There has been a tidal wave of concern about the ingredients in dog and cat food, now treats are also coming under scrutiny.
As Bob Dylan would say "The times they are a changing".
Those products are often based on profit and gain. Without apparent concern about the effect, they may have on our domestic animals.
Sometimes we do not realise or consider that the treats we are giving our pets could have a seriously detrimental effect on them.
We often feed them in rubber, synthetic and plastic containers. For instance, treats or food stuffed in Kong’s or other synthetic toys.
Plus many of the containers we keep them in can leak chemical into the food or treats.
Certainly, artificial/synthetic chew toys can have a pernicious effect on our pets.
I have always been concerned about giving synthetics, nylon, or rubber chew products on their own or stuffed with goodies.
These dispensers often have lurid colours and our dogs chew on them daily.
Yet the colours are not natural, neither are the products, Many are made by chemical synthesis.
Feed treats in something natural like a calves hoof or cows horn which is natural and also edible. Not some synthetic rubber toy.
I also see owners feeding excellent dog food and then ruining that by supplementing it with treats that are stuffed full of the very things they are trying to avoid. It is vitally important that food and treats are genuinely good for our dogs, not just the manufacturers and shareholders pockets. I have written extensively about the impact that dog food has on the health, behaviour and wellbeing of our dogs. (1) Dog Food and Behaviour
I have also written about dog treats and obesity, especially treats made by the big four manufacturers. Mars, Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive and Proctor & Gamble.
These companies also manufacture most of the UK's processed pet foods, such as Bakers, Pedigree, Hills, Science Plan, Royal Canin, Purina and Eukanuba to name but a few.
I have also written articles about most of these brands and they are a real eye-opener. (2) Bakers and Pedigree and (3) Royal Canin, Burns and Hills Science Plan The big four mentioned above also make many of the bestselling treats; some with unhealthy fats plus very high-calorie contents.
However, it is not just the calorific content that concerns me, It is the ingredients that read like a who’s who of what not to put in dog food or treats
Read my article. (4) Dog Treats and Obesity. One of the worst, in my opinion, is Pedigree Gravy Bones.
But may I say it is not alone amongst the many processed treats that are made and sold in their millions by the pet food industry.
Gravy Bones have a whopping 343 kcals per 100g. deemed to have one of the largest caloric uptakes on the pet treat market.
The ingredients include cereals, vegetable derivatives, animal derivatives and fats.antioxidants, preservatives, and colourants. They have now renamed them Biscrok.
I wonder why? Could it be the numerous negative reviews? Changing the name does not make the problem go away. Why not actually improve the ingredients rather than fiddling about with marketing ploys? Now that would be a step in the right direction.
The ingredients in gravy bones/biscrok are in my opinion appalling, all but one are deemed contentious, according to one of the leading experts and reviewers of dog food and treats (5) All About Dog Food
In fact, it only gets 1 out of 5 in the rankings and that was only because they do not have anything lower. There are many other treats that are also contentious and deemed to be poor quality they include Winalot Shapes, ( Nestle) Bakers Sizzlers, Bakers Allsorts (Nestle) and Markies (Pedigree Mars).
Every one of them is part of the big four manufacturers mentioned earlier. Are you aware that Mars who own and make all pedigree products, also own James Wellbeloved and Royal Canin?
Pedigree Dentastix: This is another that is an absolute shocker. It is frightening what's in it, yet it is one of the most popular treats on the market. What surprises me is that people actually believe it is good for their dogs.
Natural Poultry Flavor is made from animal digest that has not yet undergone decomposition or rotting. The ‘digest’ is chemically treated with heat, acids and enzymes to produce the final concentrated flavour found in Dentastix.
When you read between the lines on your current pet food labels, you may find that the end product does not contain any real or fresh meat at all. This clever, but I believe unscrupulous trick, is used by a number of pet food manufacturers. That fact is that only a small amount of ‘chicken digest’ is needed to make a ‘chicken flavoured dog treat’
It was with all this in mind that made me decide to start my own individual brand of natural dog treats (6) Doglistener's Totally Natural Air Dried Dog Treats.
To do this I researched and spoke to many producers and suppliers. I finally decided that I would only buy from specific EU manufacturers that fulfilled these criteria.
(1) Free-range animals.
(2) Human grade livestock.
(3) Allowed to mature naturally, with no growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics.
(4) Fresh from pasture to driers, then to me. Not stored in warehouses for months and sometimes years.
(5) Meat must be non-halal.
New laws have made the EU the finest regulated livestock and meat producers in the World, ensuring hygiene across all stages of the production chain,
I have tested all these products on my own dogs and numerous others in our two cafes (Paws for Coffee) in Hampton Hill and East Sheen and our training and puppy classes including one to one behaviour and training. I believe that these will be the best treats you will ever feed your dogs.
Doglistener' natural dog treats are gently air-dried in specialised ovens with no additives, chemicals, preservatives, colourants or spices.
We never bleach our products in vats of chemicals that turn them white. You will probably have seen adverts and perhaps bought treats like rawhide or pigs ears and snouts that are white. There is nothing natural about those treats though they are sold as totally natural when they are nothing of the sort.
Think of chlorinated chicken but far worse, that practice is banned in the EU but not in America. All our products are from EU animals under strict guidelines and from human grade meat. They are gently air dried to hold in all the goodness, vitamins, and nutrients.
They are great for the dog's teeth and their health and wellbeing, these are also suitable for cats, or for a training or behavioural program such as (7) Separation Anxiety. Most are OK for puppies as well as adult dogs.
My clients have asked for a wide range of treats and we are now in a position to supply them. We will be adding new products on a week to week basis, including special puppy packs with mixed air dried treats that aid teething and training, also adult packs in beef, pork, and lamb.
I have started to sell a Puppy Pack which is a mixture of different treats to give variety and to also test which are the favourites. The treats will all be suitable for any age of puppy or adult dog. I will also be creating a similar concept for adult dogs encompassing various selections which will grow as i add new lines. Those should be available in the next week or so. I believe I have created a range of wholesome treats as nature intended.
©Stan Rawlinson (Doglistener)
September 16th 2018
Updated regularly the last update April 2019
Strange as it may seem, if you put in any of my links below by just typing the words into Google search, I will come first in every case except for Separation Anxiety Dogs, where I come second.