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Top 5 best-selling dog treats (better than on) Amazon's list

great social dogs
great social dogs

Its always nice to have a sanity check to see how you are doing with the 'competition'.  And as the Amazons goliath is expected to rip through the Australian retail scene any moment now (2017), this article ties two needs into one.

Calling Amazon a competitor is a little rich, considering their massive size, they are a category killer. However since like eBay most of their sellers are often 'drop shippers' or warehouse affiliates, often without any actual product knowledge of handling, buying dog treats or dog food through a cut price directory is the last thing that we would do or recommend. 

We guarantee quality and service and know all about dog treats (and real dog nutrition) that is why we live in the dog service industry, its not just about the money.

What we have decided to do is the fun experiment of seeing what were amazons 2016 best sellers, and what ingredients they contained, and offering you a MUCH BETTER NATURAL alternative.

Read more: Top 5 best-selling dog treats (better than on) Amazon's list

Aafco - An 'independent' Govt Committee full of private company 'advisors'

aafcoIn the previous article we looked at the massive market power that the top 2 dog food companies exert in the world . They make up 90% of the revenues of the top ten global dog food companies. We also looked at why they prefer using inappropriate cheap grains, to genuine dog food like meat. 

In this article we look at the final piece of the puzzle, AAFCO. If you had a government body setting the Gold dog food standard wouldn't you want it to be completely independent and science based, not be driven by profit based companies?

You might think that, but here are some cold hard facts on how the major companies that are supposed to adhere to dog food standards are able to set those dog food standards to suit themselves, and their shareholders.

There is nowhere near as much money in dog food as oil and drugs, so this whole industry of collusion is usually allowed to self monitor, and in fact set standards that benefit setting up a monopoly.

In America "The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is responsible for regulating pet foods. The FDA monitors food branding to make certain that labels are not misleading and that the manufacturer is recorded on the label." REF 1

Read more: Aafco - An 'independent' Govt Committee full of private company 'advisors'

The Dog Food Company Monopoly and why your dogs eat grain.

globalfoodbrand-oligopolyThis is a story of market dominance and how a carnivore began to get fed so much grain, that people actually believed that it was good for them !

For any regulatory organisation (aafco) to be controlled by profit companies, they would have to have a lot of money at their disposal for lobbying. And yes they do. 

The dog food companies would have to spend many BILLIONS each year on advertising to make their subversive intentions mainstream. And they do. They would have to use a lot of images of puppies and dogs having happy times with their owners on all their advertising.

People would have to get too busy working or looking at their smart phone to look up and just wonder what happened.

We are well past that point.

We have told this news many times before but we once again would like to remind owners of the impact that global behemoth companies have on your dog's health.  The pervasive nature of these massive companies are the very reason that most owners don't know that their dogs need a meat based diet, so they don't bother with buying meat based dog treats as a supplement either.

Read more: The Dog Food Company Monopoly and why your dogs eat grain.

Why your dog food has so many ingredients and dog treats mostly have one

dog-in-the-dog-parkI was reading a dog food review by canstarblue called 'Dog Food Reviews'   the other day, and surprisingly they had only nice things to say about the products they were reviewing.

It might be true that 97% of dog owners in Australia feed their dogs a commercial dog food diet. And many of these owners proudly say how their product is ultra premium, they buy only the best. And the advertising on each of these massive public companies also tells you that.

And curiously when it comes to treats, I hear people say time and again how they demand Australian only treats, with no additives etc. And that is fine ..

However while owners are so apparently picky over their treats (even though Most of the leading supermarket treats are grain based), it is informative for us to remember several facts about dog food and why meat based dog treats are often superior, nutritionally.

Read more: Why your dog food has so many ingredients and dog treats mostly have one

Dog obesity and the real issue with dog food and dog treats

off-lead-dogs-being-fed-meat-based-treats.I recently viewed an article discussing dog and cat obesity and it funnily enough said that dogs and cats are both getting bigger, as are their human counterparts. It stated that in the US that " half the nation’s dogs and cats are overweight or obese". Ref 1

The reason would probably be the increasing sedentary life of owners, the increase of sedentary past-times (ie smart phones) and the lack of walking in off lead dog parks.

Just like humans,  dogs weight is a balance between exercise and food intake, as well as age/ genes etc.

Their specific advice is " feed a low-calorie diet and “exercise more."  And just like the owners its wise to use methods where  " weight loss is one that promotes fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass. They say " I typically favor a therapeutic higher-protein, low-calorie food as a starting weight loss diet." REF 1

"Don’t trust the bag; pet food feeding guides are formulated for adult, un-spayed or un-neutered active dogs and cats. That means if you have an older, spayed or neutered indoor lap potato you’ll probably be feeding 20% to 30% too much if you follow the food’s instructions" Ref 1

Read more: Dog obesity and the real issue with dog food and dog treats

The toxic amount of onions and garlic for dogs is surprisingly small

dogs-without-onionsRecently I had a client tell me that her naturopath recommended garlic to use with her dog, and she also fed her dog foods containing onion.

Here are some real reasons why you should avoid all vegetables belonging to the allium family of plants

  • onions
  • garlic.
  • leeks
  • shallots
  • chives

"Onions, garlic and other members of the allium family are toxic to dogs. This is called allium species toxicosis, or onion toxicity.   The dangerous chemical is N-propyl disulfide.

Plants in this family contain organo-sulfur compounds that are metabolized into highly reactive oxidants which can damage the red blood cells (erythrocytes) of dogs.  As the oxidant level within erythrocytes become higher than the cells’ antioxidant metabolism capacity, a condition called oxidative hemolysis results which affects oxygen transport and causes red blood cells to rupture and be destroyed." REF 1

Read more: The toxic amount of onions and garlic for dogs is surprisingly small

Did you know that Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) might be linked with grain dog food?

large-dogIn this article we consider a controversial, however very plausible hidden cause of chronic Autoimmune pancreatitis - the use of high carbohydrate dog food.  The reason this is controversial is not because it is not possible, but because grain diets are so wide spread and so many people make money off feeding dogs inappropriate diets.

But first a few definitions: Pancreatitis - when dogs have severe adnominal pain, vomiting, weakness, depression  (when poison has been ruled out) these are often symptoms of (acute or chronic) pancreatitis. 

Pancreatitis means the inflammation of the pancreas in dogs, and that it has stopped functioning normally - producing enzymes to help with the digestion of food.  Usually it is the early release of the enzymes that begin to digest the pancreas itself that causes the pain and inflammation in the dog.

There are acute (sudden) and chronic (long term inflammation) of the pancreas. The immediate acute form is life threatening and should have a vet treating the dog immediately.

Read more: Did you know that Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) might be linked with grain dog food?

Functional Dog Treats Health Benefits for: digestion, joint care, skin & coat health

dogs-in-a-carThe previous article we published on functional dog treats took care of dental care, bad breath and obesity, so today we tackle the often more serious issues of digestion, joint care, skin and coat health.

Functional treats are just a fancy name for dressing up healthy meat based dog treats.  If we didn't mess with a dogs natural and original diet, many of the issues they have would go away. 

That is particular true of many digestion issues, however joint care and skin and health often need a lot of extra help because our dogs are living longer and breeding techniques often breed skin allergies into dogs.

In this article we look at how Functional dog treats, or healthy dog treats as we call them, can assist you in your specific dog health areas:

Read more: Functional Dog Treats Health Benefits for: digestion, joint care, skin & coat health

Functional Dog Treats for Health Benefits: Dental care, bad breath & managing obesity

dogs-loving-play bullarab and vizslaTo make new media, many people think you need to come up with new buzz words.  The concept of functional dog treats has been around for a while, but what does it really mean?

Functional treats claim to solve the following issues :  dental health, weight loss, allergies &  immune health, joint function but what else do they have in them?  Is functional dog treats really a thing and are they different from healthy dog treats?

The theory is that Functional dog treats are ones with much more substance than just a junk food treat or 'empty calories'.  Each functional treat is supposed to support a specific health purpose in your dog.

Some say that they need to contain a high level of these treats contain vitamins, essential oils, pro-biotics and amino acids (protein) that benefit your dogs specific well-being.

From the get go, you should know if you have read any of the other articles on this site, this is exactly why we always recommend MEAT based dog treats. They are species (dog) specific. with the minerals and vitamins not just in some chemists wish list, but in actual natural correct amounts, and ratios.  They are also bio available so that your dog will actually be able to use them, not pass them straight through or struggle to convert them to something useful.

Read more: Functional Dog Treats for Health Benefits: Dental care, bad breath & managing obesity

Why REAL healthy, natural dog treats are mostly generic and meat. Not frosted biscuits!

Happy schnauzer and cavoodleI was looking at a high ranking article on healthy dog treats and came across one by aunty (abc) and if this kind of misinformation wasn't so common, I would be shocked.

It was a puff piece on couple that makes good by baking dog biscuits (with high margins). The Irony of the uneducated reviewer was to brag about how these treats were 'good enough for humans to eat'.

Irony in that humans are omnivores, and very often humans like a savoury cake, made mostly of grain. ignoring completely the fact that dogs are 90% carnivores (have a tolerance to grain and vegetables) they go on to explain this remarkable innovation of a couple as an "up-market dog biscuit".

Grain is still grain - sans any extra actual healthy additives like minerals and vitamins included in our basic range.

Don't get me wrong, we sell dog biscuits on our site, but they are by far and away NOT the focus of our site. They are included because of demand (relatively low) and providing a complete range of treats. You should also understand that our dog biscuits are not disguised as cupcakes for the owner's benefit. They are usually also vastly less expensive.

Read more: Why REAL healthy, natural dog treats are mostly generic and meat. Not frosted biscuits!

Why 'regular' dogs benefit profoundly from meat based dog treats

Happy Healthy Dog Treat fed dogsTypically I am told NOT to advertise my treats as "meat" based, because its not sexy and people don't get that dogs need meat.

In some kind of bizzaro universe, people are now convinced that dogs evolved on grain, and meat should only be given in moderation. Every bit of real science shows that the opposite is true, but really how much benefit can one dog get?

Why feed a dog expensive treats when they aren't a show dog?

I am regularly amazed at how much money people spend on going out, or buying their dogs a regular grooming session or a $400 dog bed made of $10 stuffing.

The thing is, that if a person isn't religiously looking after their own nutrition health, if we have too many treats ourselves, we often think we are doing the best for our dogs by restricting their treat intake. AND If its garden variety supermarket treats full of grain or fat, or anything but quality meat, then that makes sense.

Read more: Why 'regular' dogs benefit profoundly from meat based dog treats

Healthy dog treats, organic dog treats, natural dog treats - who buys these in America & Australia and why - 2017.

dog-treats-main-American-metro-searches-2017In this article we look at what people might perceive as the difference between healthy dog treats, natural dog treats, organic dog treats and more generic offerings when searching on Google in America. 

And we then extrapolate that to the reasons dog treat shoppers have in Australia.

As you will see from the first map,  the whole of the American map is lit up for METRO regions looking for generic "dog Treats" but when it comes to healthy or natural version, people are much more picky.

We use American Google trend data because Google Australia doesn't provide this data down to this level for us to see.

We are using Google metro trends to see WHERE people in America are searching for their SPECIFIC NICHE dog treats and what conclusions can be drawn.

Firstly we look at the three main niche dog treat searhes people make online:

Read more: Healthy dog treats, organic dog treats, natural dog treats - who buys these in America & Australia...

Healthy Natural dog treats (meat) or grain based dog treats, your choice.

Healthy dog treats max-dog.The free dictionary says propaganda is "information or ideas methodically spread to promote or injure a cause, movement, nation, etc."

Unfortunately history has shown that much propaganda has been created as intentional misinformation by those in charge, to make bad things the norm. To desensitise us.  To change our common belief systems from something that is natural and obvious so a lie becomes the norm.

And so it is with dog food and dog treats.

Isn't NATURAL healthy dog food and dog treats obvious when you think about it?  Besides science and nutritionist and tests on bio-availability showing that dogs process meat much better and their systems are still based on processing meat, why do people still think its cool to mostly feed their dogs vegetables ????

Think about this, Vets who sell grain dog food might tell you that grain is good for dogs, but they will never tell you that meat is bad. They just don't mention it. They don't want you thinking about it - because they DONT SELL IT (or if they do they have a massive mark-up that you might not buy). They might say that raw meat is bad, but isn't that curious considering that dogs evolved on raw meat then? 

Read more: Healthy Natural dog treats (meat) or grain based dog treats, your choice.

Homemade dog food horror stories (full of grain and veggies) and little nutritional value

Healthy happy dog JesseThis article looks at some of the ridiculous notions regular dog owners are swapping around about what is good or acceptable ingredients and what are bad.  Yes, they all love veggies and forget that dogs are meat eaters.

Here are some simple facts.  Domestic cats are 100% carnivore (require and only MEAT diet) yet most cat food has a substantial amount of grain in it for profit. IF Vets sell anything but 100% meat to your cat, don't trust what they will sell you and your dog- or at least add some 100% meat healthy dog treats to your dogs diet.

As a perfect example I have found these comments by readers about Homemade dog food and dog treats ...

MISINFORMED 1

" My vet said "no bacon for dogs", is this correct? He said it causes Pancreatitis, which I had to give antibiotics to my dog for"

Read more: Homemade dog food horror stories (full of grain and veggies) and little nutritional value

Healthy dog treats in America 2017, Why Fort Lauderdale searches the most ...

Fort Lauderdale Florida Leading Healthy Dog Treats Google search region America 2017The image at the start of this article is of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over the last year (up to June 2017) Google trends has pinpointed this American County to have had the most searches for "Healthy Dog Treats" out of everywhere else in America per person.

Any guesses why?

HINT - " five of the seven metro regions that searched most for HEALTHY DOG TREATS in America were in democratic presidential counties and two were trump.  Of the two counties that were Trump, they were in Democratic States.

Overwhelmingly  interest in Healthy Dog treats seems to be a Democratic thing.

This has strong implications of the type of person who buys healthy dog treats, and who that might be in Australia in 2017 !

Read more: Healthy dog treats in America 2017, Why Fort Lauderdale searches the most...

Healthy dog treats why the main metro regions align with politics - 2017

In our last article we looked at "Healthy Dog treats" trends in America and which states and metro regions searched the most for them on Google in America in (averaged between 2010 and 2017). We did this because Australia Google doesn't exist down to this level. 

If a trend is going to catch and turn mainstream we have also learned in the cognitive dissonance article about the bass model of diffusion and why it takes both mass media and 'word of mouth' to really make any trend take off. 

It still feels kind of weird having to call meat based dog treats a trend, since that is what dogs have eaten for tens of thousands of years, and their wolf ancestors ate for millions before then.  The species ideal food of meat has become so lost in commercial interests, selling wheat as dog food, that many people now think of meat as an occasional treat ! 

We listed the states and metro American places that ranked the highest per capita searches for 'healthy dog treats' between 2010 and 2017.  These are the areas that had the biggest search interest in healthy dog treats, and based on economic factors alone, it was difficult to understand the interest of the most significant states. 

BUT below we find a VERY strong correlation between heatthy dog treat searches and Demoocratic metro areas.

 

Read more: Healthy dog treats why the main metro regions align with politics - 2017

Healthy Dog Treat trends in America by State & Metro region 2017

Healthy dog treats state trend america 2017You might ask why trends in America would be of interest in Australia, but the simple fact is that because we follow so many of their trends, its a very important indicator of Australian uptake.

This data is pulled from Google Trends data, so you know that it accounts for at least around 60% of what Americans are searching for online. The reason that I am not putting up data for Australia is that due to the relative small size of our country, there isn't enough data in Google's opinion to generate maps or tell you the leading states.

The last article considered the bass model of diffusion and how it can apply to something like healthy dog treats and the uptake of them. The reality is that its not a NEW product so much as a niche within an existing product range that has still to gain significant traction, in Australia at least. 

Google trends graphs for both Australia and America show a fairly flat trend search for healthy dog treats, however which states are trending most might have you understand why.  In this article you will see exactly which states and Metro regions in America really care for their dogs with Healthy Dog Treats !

Read more: Healthy Dog Treat trends in America by State & Metro region 2017

Are healthy dog treats a dirty little secret, or your cognitive dissonance?

How products trends grow - healthy dog treatsAs an industry grows there are many societal factors at work impacting on the take up of the core products. People that take up a product or service early are called innovators, early adoptors, or trend setters. These people regularly are the first to pick up new trends, and in a very immature industry can pay a large premium in doing so.

You see I learned all of this and about the 'bass model of diffusion' when I was studying business years ago in Canberra.  A lot of these words will mean little to most people, however I am going somewhere with this. The model provides a predictive model of demand forecasting for a product or service (although mostly to do with new consumer durable products).

While these consumer behaviour models are built to predict how fast consumers will take up a trend, they often don't take into account the specific irrational reasons why a 'trend' isn't taken up or supported. Lets look at how people feel towards healthy dog treats ...

Read more: Are healthy dog treats a dirty little secret, or your cognitive dissonance?

Why we at Healthy Dog Treats are so on trend for 2017, Pt 2

dog treat trends 2017A recent America dog treat trend article suggested eleven trends within the industry. In this article we review the last five trends.

Transparency - dog treat labelling

“Consumers will continue to demand transparency, which will lead to the increased use of certified ingredients. A long list of low/no/reduced claims won’t be sufficient anymore to reassure pet parents who expect more transparency and simplicity.” Ref.

And the point you should consider is that you have almost 100% in control over the major food your dog eats. They might eat 'bad stuff' in the dog park, but that should not make up a major part of their diet.

So if you were really concerned with transparency and single ingredient food etc,  you would probably be feeding your dog on a raw diet you prepare and know exactly about. Because this takes time effort and sometimes more money, as well as an understating on how to create a fully balanced dog food, many people shy away from this endeavour.

That is why we offer our 100% meat and offal dog treat range as the ideal dog food supplement. You are not adding any additives to your dog's food, you are just adding sorely needed meat proteins.

Read more: Why we at Healthy Dog Treats are so on trend for 2017, Pt 2

Why we at Healthy Dog Treats are so on trend for 2017, Pt 1

Latest dog treat trends 2017A recent America dog treat trend article suggested eleven trends within the industry. In this article we review the first six of the big dog treat trends !  We also look specifically how those trends sit with our healthy dog treat range.

No laboratory claims on dog treats

“Falling by the wayside is the idea of a formulation that’s ‘scientific’ or lab based because pet owners consider it less human.”  

For a long time science sounding dog food brands, would 'bang on' about how much science was behind their treats and dog food. It seems that the natural and organic movements have started winning the advertising battle and are now usurping 'Science' / lab labelling on products.

Ironically just because they have removed the term makes no difference to the dog food formulation.  Science has been used like fake news, to convince people that feeding their dog is the ideal nutrition. This is bad science, corrupted by money and power.

Read more: Why we at Healthy Dog Treats are so on trend for 2017, Pt 1

Latest trends in dog treats America 2016/ 2017

us-pet-food-spendingAs Australians are followers of American trends in so many ways, I thought you might look at what they are doing in dog treats lately.

"(Dog) Treats have .. yet to gain the market share numbers of pet food for either cats or dogs, for many reasons - they can be seen by consumers as an “extra” in terms of their pets’ nutrition".

Besides stating the obvious that dog food (not dog treats) should be the major spend by dog owners, it is curious that the report suggests that in fact the spend is anywhere nearly equal.

The amazing thing about the lead graphic is that 'treats' actually are a higher spend than the low end dog food market 'value pet food'.

The main reason for this is probably that low end dog food is mostly grain, and low priced, while ALL dog treats are lumped together in one bar, and include often very high margin (often still grain based) treats in pretty packaging.

Read more: Latest trends in dog treats America 2016/ 2017

Dog Treats. Natural, organic or no GMO - what is most important to you?

-DOG-TREAT-TRENDsThe difficulty that many conscientious well healed dog owners face is what to believe regarding dog nutrition. If you buy commercial dog food you are feeding your dog 70% grain or vegetables already (rather than the preferred meat option) ... so why does such things as natural, organic or non GMO really matter?

Its because these terms are important to many human diets, and marketers have learned that if you put these terms on your dog food advertising campaign, make them an integral part of your branding, then they will sell more grain to the punters.

We look at a 2016 survey that Neilson made in America of dog owners. This snapshot is the main image in this article and is titled "Popularity of Natural Vs Scientific Claims."

Ironically both of these terms are misnomers in the real dog nutrition realm.

Read more: Dog Treats. Natural, organic or no GMO - what is most important to you?

What is wrong with people, and the supplements we make our dogs eat.

non-traditional-pet-foodOn the back of a Neilson report that tells us how much more in love with their dogs people are ... it unfortunately  doesn't translate to more dogs being walked or fed meat.

Here is the basic premise: "In the U.S., 95% of pet owners currently consider their pets to be part of the family.. Not surprisingly, there isn’t much people won’t do for their pets,"

The previous article on this site analysed people's preference for dog food to be natural, Non GMO and organic - but how they amazingly doesn't include any questions on MEAT in dog food. 

Sand, glue and twigs are organic, but again, not what I consider to be appropriate or nutritious for dogs.

In this article we look at another mostly meaningless distraction or dog owners.  I guess if you can sell a dog owner a bag of what and call it dog food, you can then sell them non meat supplements that help to fix the problems that all that over loading with carbs have caused.

Read more: What is wrong with people, and the supplements we make our dogs eat.

Pigs ears dog treats, one of the most well known long lasting chews !

pigs ears best dog treat australiaHave you ever wondered why you see pigs ear dog treats everywhere and some people swear by them, but other people never use them?

Brief history of pigs ear dog treats

Pigs ears are still one of the favourite dog treats for big chewing dogs.  And that is because you can by them almost anywhere, including $2 and thrift shops. 

They have been around as long or longer than rawhide, but compared to rawhide they are a much safer option. 

Read more: Pigs ears dog treats, one of the most well known long lasting chews !

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