Concerns Regarding 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 chemicals 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, plastic, or rubber chew products on their own or stuffed with goodies.
These dispensers often have lurid colours, our dogs chew on them or eat out of 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, nylon or plastic toy.
I also see owners feeding excellent dog food and then supplementing it with treats that are stuffed full of the very things they are trying to avoid in the dog food. 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 people are rightly concerned about. we are warned about artificial ingredients in our own food but this appears to be OK in dog food
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 are 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 one of the most popular treats on the market.
What surprises me is that people actually believe it is good for their dogs.
If you went out of your way to create the very worst dog treat and teeth cleaning product, then this is what the scientists would have come up with.
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. These are the main ingredients
Flours (maize, wheat), glycerine, maize gluten, gum, poultry liver powder (natural poultry flavour), sodium tripolyphosphate, fibre, calcium carbonate, gelatin, potassium chloride, preservative, flavour, zinc sulphate
If it states on the label meat and animal derivatives then what part of the animal is being used. It could be beaks, eyeballs, feathers or any part of any animal,
But it is the chemicals that really surprises me as a behaviourist I see what certain ingredients can do to a dogs health and behaviour. This product in my humble opinion is not fit for purpose. Avoid similar products like Whimzees and Greenie.
The problem with vague terms is that you can’t be sure if the quality is good or bad? What about the meat sources many dogs have food intolerances if you do not know the meat sources and that can change from batch to batch.
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’
What about White Treats: Do you ever buy treats that are white in colour like Rawhide? Is that white natural? No, it definitely is not natural by any stretch of the imagination. If you buy pig snouts or chicken feet or anything that is not the normal colour and especially if they atr called puffed. then they have been treated in a vat of chemicals.
There is nothing natural about them at all. My online and physical store does not sell any dog food, treats, or toys that have anything unnatural whatsoever including colours preservatives or anything that has been added to may it last longer.
Totally Natural Air Dried Dog Treats: In 2018 I decided to start my own brand of dog treats.
I wanted to be absolutely certain that the treats I was selling were ethical and truly natural.
I needed to be able to guarantee their provenance and I needed them to fulfil ethical criteria that I personally believe in.
For them to fulfil those requirements, they had to be from free-range animals,
All bred and kept as nature intended with no growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics and non-halal and from EU regulated livestock.
They also had to be totally natural without any additives colourants or even spices or smoked.
They also must be from human-grade animals, not the so-called 4-D meat
4D meat gets its name from Diseased, Dying, Disabled and Dead livestock, deemed unfit for human consumption.
I believe dog treats should be totally natural, not created by artificial ingredients and chemical reactions. I believe that I have created the most natural dog treats available.
©Stan Rawlinson (Doglistener)
September 16th 2018 Updated regularly the last update June 2020