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The dog treats that dog walkers use and recommend

beef liver dog training treatRecently another dog walker sent me a question about what dog treats they should use.

I explained to them that the 'number one'  training dog treat in the world is beef liver, and it is also one of the cheapest.   But more importantly it is very nutritious a 100% offal product.  The reason its used for dog training is that it usually comes in flat sheets that are easy to break off into very small pieces so that you don't have to use a lot to train a dog, and as a dog walker you can feed a whole pack very easily.

The other bonus besides its high health value (and an invariably part of a raw dog diet) is that it is a very odorous treat. Dogs  primary sense is their sense of smell, so having a treat that has such a strong and long lasting smell is an ideal reward for a dog in training.

You will find it here under the beef bulk treats page:  https://www.healthydogtreats.com.au/healthy-dog-treats/beef-bulk-treats

I also told them that I hand out the small pre packed treats to clients for holidays and Christmas as a thank you - but dog owners often go for the large Kg packs and ration it out.  As long as you treat a dog treat as good as you would a human treat - temperature and light controlled in the pantry, it will last a long time.

Read more: The dog treats that dog walkers use and recommend

Dog food & dog treats - The toxic/ carcinogenic chemical additives to avoid

bad-additives dog foodThe last article looked at additives that are regularly used in dog food or dog treats to either preserve or bind dog food and dog treats together.

We discovered that NO dog food or dog treats should have any flavour additives or sugar added in large quantities to make it edible or more attractive for a dog to eat.  This is just a corporation fooling you and your dog into thinking the dog 'loves' this cocktail of non meat cheap treats in an expensive bag.

However now we look at some of the harsh carcinogenic additives that are banned in many parts of the world, but still find their way into many dog foods and dog treats.

You might be aware that the majority of dog food consumed by dogs in Australia is from imported ingredients from OS companies. 

Even if that country is America, you can't assume that they have banned the additives that they should have, or that the input ingredients are even from America - meaning that the origin country might include additives that America or Australia do not use in the dog food.

Read more: Dog food & dog treats - The toxic/ carcinogenic chemical additives to avoid

Do you know what additives are in your dog treats?

good-additives dog foodIn the ideal world we would all feed our dogs raw food, and not need any preservatives or additives.  NOTE  100% meat based dog treats have NO preservatives or additives !

The big dog nutrition question should be, what additives are in your dog food? This should be of at least equal importance to you (as what are in your dog treats) since most dogs are going to be eating about 80% plus of their food intake via manufactured dog food. Its probably pretty important that you look at dog food pellets and wet cans first.

There are several classes of dog food additives that are also commonly used in human food.  but the big difference is that human grade food additives are supposed to be safer than dog grade, and that you can eat as many healthy fresh veggies, fruit and quality meat as you like, but most people have NO IDEA of what goes into their dog food, or dog treats. And they feed their dogs 100% man made dog food (non fresh product) which almost always has preservatives and other additives in them.

Below, you may consider that out of all the standard additives there are really three main classes:

Read more: Do you know what additives are in your dog treats?

A new preservative for dog food Prot X - is It safe?

protx-preservative-VladimirReukov-AlexeyVertegelIts not often that a whole new preservative for dog food (or human food) is found or created but two guys recently won an award  this year for such a feat.

The main online discussion that seems to be cautioning this is how the preservative is made and how safe it will be.   Because as you will see the antioxidant is created from red blood cells found in animal blood.  If this product becomes mainstream people want assurances that any blood diseases or viruses will not be transmitted with the new preservative.

This will set the scene " Alexey Vertegel and Vladimir Reukov, professors in the bioengineering department and researchers for Clemson's Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center (ACREC), are winners of the 2016 Bisplinghoff Innovation Award by the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation for their creation of a natural antioxidant, Prot-X. Their creation is a clear liquid that will be used in the pet food, as well as the rendering industry."

Read more: A new preservative for dog food Prot X - is It safe?

Kangaroo and fish dog treats, what colour do you expect?

fish-dog-treatsWhat colour is Kangaroo dog treats

Similar to chicken dog treats, the kangaroo dog treat colour becomes a little bit of a mystery. When you eat kangaroo meat steak at a restaurant it is a brown like cow steak. It becomes darker the longer it is cooked but also will be different colours depending on subspecies. Though only a few roo species are allowed to be culled for human and pet consumption.  Well done steak, either beef or roo ends up almost black because the meat is turning into charcoal.

However you will find almost EVERY treat in the world that is beef or roo (and not 100% meat) will have chicken added to it to extend the size of the treat while maintaining meat content.  If you buy supermarket beef treats sure you might get ONLY beef in it, but the total meat might only be the same as dog food - ie 30%. 

While blackdog and other genuinely healthy dog treat brands will 'subsidise' their more costly meats such as beef and roo with chicken, you are at least getting that magical 80% total meat for bio availability and meat enzymes.

Read more: Kangaroo and fish dog treats, what colour do you expect?

Beef or Chicken Dog treat colour, what colour means healthy to you?

beef-dog-treatsAdvertising and marketing are all about image.  They try and align consumer perception with their expectations.  Curiously one the major dog treats snacks in Australia, that has very few redeeming health benefits is mostly just grain colour tan.  They no doubt have a colouring agent in it to stop it being completely bland, but then again their sales are mostly because of slick tv and radio advertising and much less about the actual product in the pack.

This is probably true of most human treats too. But we all have an expectation with chocolate for instance that it is brown, and the darker the brown the more cocoa in it. 

If you don't like the taste of dark chocolate, that is fine, but for people who do, if they can't find a percentage of cocoa on the front cover, they will often look at the photo on the package to assess (mostly wrongly) what strength of cocoa is in their treat.  I say wrongly as again chocolate usually has a whole bunch of additives including colour to fudge perceptions.

Read more: Beef or Chicken Dog treat colour, what colour means healthy to you?

Is Applaws Dog Food really all about Premiumisation & humanisation

healthy-50percent-meat-dogfoodA recent Euro Monitor report stated that Premiumisation & humanisation were all the latest trends in dog food, and that leading the vanguard was a brand called Applaws.

They are quoted as saying that "“It’s All Good” was promoted as cereal- and grain-free, with free-range chickens providing a high-quality source of protein."

So I thought it would be good to see what the gold standard in premium dog food has in it. 

Their PR says that Applaws "It’s All Good 50 Large Adult"  is .. made with natural ingredients, 50% of which is high quality protein from animal ingredients. This means that the protein comes from poultry with "free run" chicken rather than from cereals or grains. Free Run chicken is chicken that isn’t caged.

However it seems that there is very little difference between free range and free run chickens, and there are almost no nutrition differences.

Read more: Is Applaws Dog Food really all about Premiumisation & humanisation

Dog Food - Why 'premium'& 'free range' chickens arent worth it

dogfood-lastest-trendsEuro monitor  gives the latest trend in dog food as " Premiumisation, humanisation and a focus on health and wellness will be the key trends driving dog food sales throughout the forecast period."  The questions you need to ask is:

Is Premiumisation'  just in branding and packaging, or actually more meat and better quality meat in the dog food. Generally the answer is no.

Humanisation is a big red flag. Mostly because humans are omnivores and tend to enjoy processed  food whereas your dog is a carnivore and better off with meat based foods. NOT "human".

In fact its said to be the feeding of dogs table scraps high in fat content that have lead to an outbreak of  pancreatitis and other such 'human' ailments.

Read more: Dog Food - Why 'premium'& 'free range' chickens arent worth it

Two dog food companies control 50% of the market in Australia.

Dogfood-Brand-marketshare Australia 2016Let me start by saying that ALL of the dog food companies making dry and wet dog food in Australia are complicit in feeding ALL dogs a HIGH GRAIN diet. We are only talking about the first two companies here because they own over 50% of the market, and both of these companies own MANY  brands, that happen to all have similar grain levels !

But before we consider dog food, does anyone remember the big clothes label scandal last year in Australia after Bangladesh was found to be making many of the clothes our best labels were selling at ridiculous mark ups and how besides the poor working conditions that child labour was also 'allegedly used'.

Are you surprised that a similar scandal has turned up in the confectionary companies too?

The only difference is that these confectionary companies also happen to control 50% of the dog food market in Australia, so there is a strong chance you have tried one of their brands at some stage in your dogs life.

Read more: Two dog food companies control 50% of the market in Australia.

What dog treats are best for dogs with pancreatitis ?

A happy dog without dog pancreatitisIn a recent post I looked at the known causes of dog pancreatitis and the possible concealed causes that dog food manufacturers don't want you to know. It turns out that eating fatty food is a major cause of dog pancreatitis but what if you religiously feed your dog grain dog food. That is low in fat right? How did your dog get it?

IBIS says that in Australia the pet food industry is worth about $2 billion dollars with MARS and Nestle by far the major owners of the major brands you all buy. Both of these are massive global confectionary companies that expanded into 'human food' and 'dog food' industries.  To do this they must tell you that grain is good for your dog, and sell you packets of dog food that is mostly grain.  You must buy it and your dog must eat it.  The grain has enough meat in it to meet the minimum protein requirements (aafco law) and it is cooked, covered in oil and sugar and salt to make it taste like it is food that a dog will eat. Mission accomplished.

If you want to know more about the dog food 'conspiracy theory'  then here is an article I based on commonly known theories on the internet. How dog pancreatitis is known to be caused but also hidden causes. Note that now days a conspiracy theory usually refers to something that a large corporation or corrupt government doesn't want you to know, and often its just the simple truth people just dont want to believe.

Read more: What dog treats are best for dogs with pancreatitis ?

DOG TREATS - Choose only 1 benefit. Which one?

Dog treat main benefits posterOK, this is not really a thought experiment because this is what every dog owner does even subconsciously each time they buy dog treats.

Here is a list of possible major 'benefits'

  • Cheap
  • Tasty
  • Healthy
  • Easy/ convenient

Of course there are other 'attributes' if you were taking a full blown market research survey, but for t the most part, these are the dimensions that most people buy on. And very often the benefits don't intersect.

The supermarket dog treat matrix.

The main dog treats by volume in Australia are cheap and easy access, because you buy them from the supermarket.  You put it in the trolley almost without thinking.  You may actually find that if you dont buy when the brand names treats are on special they are quite expensive by gram. So perhaps supermarket treats are mainly easy to buy.

Read more: DOG TREATS - Choose only 1 benefit. Which one?

Why feed your dog anything but the cheapest dog food pellets?

dog food memeMany billion dollar corporations will bang on about why you need to feed your dog THEIR own special proprietary blend of grain with a little meat and no one else's, so why are there so many dog foods on the market even within one company?

If you check the ownership of dog food brands, you will find that most of the ones on the market are owned by 3 or 4 companies Globally.  Mostly these are from acquisitions. Why build something when you can buy our your competitor and keep prices high?

So why are there so many dog food brands and what does it mean for you?

The differences between manufactured dog food can be subtle to the untrained eye. In theory the brands that you pay up to 5 times per kg more for have more 'whole' grains and perhaps slightly better quality meat and maybe 30% meat rather than 20%.  

Read more: Why feed your dog anything but the cheapest dog food pellets?

What dog treats can you use for dog food?

dog treats as dog foodIt was only a few centuries ago that the majority of 'tame' dogs were still allowed to catch their own food in the wild or around the farm. In the early days of dog domestication, most dogs in the terrier class were used to find and kill and eat vermin.  The only reason that they would be stopped from eating the vermin were if the vermin / rodents were sick.  Except for infections these dogs were far healthier than the average non exercised modern day dog, because of diet and exercise.

Flash forward to the 21st century and most owners prefer to place a few handfuls of grain, with a side order of average to below average meat into a bowl for their dogs (its called kibble or pellets).

Even the best branded, most expensive dog food is still grain or vegetable based which is taking a dog to the far limits of the nutrition they need to perform basic bodily tasks like body maintenance, let alone dog body repair tasks and removal of oxidants.

Read more: What dog treats can you use for dog food?

Why not feed dogs more meat, even people are eating road kill !

happy dog running free - groodleI find it absolutely amazing how brain washed dog food companies have the general public when it comes to believing that ONLY food made in a factory with hardly any meat is the safest option for a dog !

If you tell a lie for long enough it becomes a public fact.

There is a massive divide between proper raw feeders (mainly animal products) and the 'sanitised' world of dry grain dog food.

I have met many people and even pet sit clients who have bought the whole convenience and 'optimum' nutrition story from the large corporations.  They also typically leave open big sacks of the grain based food in extreme heat and sunlight. 

I always advise my customers to keep dog treats in a pantry in the same safe conditions they store their own food.

Read more: Why not feed dogs more meat, even people are eating road kill !

Vital dental hygiene news for your dog !

Big dogs with big teethPeople are sometimes a little surprised that their vets tell them to get their dogs teeth cleaned annually. Or that they need to regularly buy artificial green compressed vegetable matter  as some kind of reward and teeth cleaning invention.

Do you know why 97% of people have to do this?

Its no coincidence that 97% of people feed their dogs manufactured dog food - kibble and wet food.

Its no coincidence that the other 3% have healthier dogs and that they don't need their teeth artificially cleaned.

Why is kibble and wet food so bad for your dogs ... teeth

Let's pretend that your carnivore dog, evolved only a short time ago from the carnivore wolf,  NEEDS 70% grains in their diet.

Read more: Vital dental hygiene news for your dog !

Beef Jerky Homemade treats or our Healthy dried Beef Jerky?

homemade beef jerky dog treat sizzle steakI bet this is a question that very few dog owners have asked themselves, but one that probably lies at the heart of why people don't buy that many dog treats.

I personally started selling dog treats when I looked around and found that I couldn't afford decent ones for my own dog all those years ago. I have my dog on a raw meat diet (plus bones and offal) but I wanted something to supplement that, something different, something just as healthy.

The reason I am looking at homemade dog treats today, such as beef  jerky, was recently in my local dog park I was walking with an owner who makes their own. They also have access occasionally to fresh rabbit which is great for dogs (as long as it is mixi or other virus free) .. but they swore by their homemade treat method. And this is it: 

They simply buy 'sizzle steak' from the local supermarket and dry it themselves.  They choose sizzle steak (something that I have never heard of until they told me and my wife bought some home) because it is nicely thin cut steak, fairly ideal for drying.

Read more: Beef Jerky Homemade treats or our Healthy dried Beef Jerky?

Homemade dog treats recipes reviewed for your pleasure

dog-treatsThis is part two of our review of a home-made dog treats top ten treats that it sourced from around the world.

1              Tuna dog treat = tuna, eggs and flour.

tuna and eggs are fine (though you should only give a dog a few eggs per week. And they get plenty of flour in their regular dog food.

Why do people insist on giving dogs quickly eaten, no chewing human food ?  We sell 100% tuna meat jerky for dogs. It is hard and organic and takes a while for most dogs to eat.

It helps clean the dogs teeth and is organic and is a perfect meat protein for the dog, much less manufactured than the tinned tuna in this recipe.  Again modifying meat like this for a dog should be a crime.

Read more: Homemade dog treats recipes reviewed for your pleasure

Homemade dog treats clearly aren't fun or healthy for dogs

dog-treatsFrom time to time I like to see what Google thinks a result for a certain dog treat kind of term should be.  I know the system is supposed to be neutral or amoral, but when it pulls up things like Healthy dog treats or Fun dog treats, its either taking the websites word for it or making a moral judgement.

Of course in theory it is doing neither, it is supposedly displaying the closest match that it can find based on a whole bunch of parameters not the least of which is the number of quality links to the site and social media mentions. 

And if everyone is feeding a ton of grain to their dog every year, then of course why should google go into bat for carnivore dogs ?

Read more: Homemade dog treats clearly aren't fun or healthy for dogs

What your dog eats when you are not looking - dog treats ?

dog in dog parkWhat happens in the park stays in the park

Assuming a dog knows what's best for its health can be dangerous.

Dogs are not a lot different from humans and many other animals when it comes to eating things like salt and sugar. And this means that if you add oil, sugar and salt to a block of wood a dog will usually lick it, some will eat it.

While these are some of the most natural "additives" they are often used by dog food manufacturers to fool dogs into eating grains as a food source, with a little meat to reach the bare minimum protein requirements.

Read more: What your dog eats when you are not looking - dog treats ?

The use of dog treats other than for food in Australia

Dogs eating healthy dog treatsA dogs relationship with food is almost unique in the animal kingdom.

There ancestors the wolf were apex hunters (the prime chaser in the forest) and as such they worked at being very good at it all day long.  This was their purpose, to hunt, to eat, to reproduce. In between times they had fun, but often as adults the adult wolves dont play, because it is usually seen as a grab for rank in the pack order and so has to be taken seriously and ends up with major injuries.

I mention all of this, as much of what we know about companion dog behaviour comes from what their immediate ancestors did.

You will know from all the other articles on this site that I am a strong advocate of a dog mainly eating a meat diet. Being the most natural and bio available to their body, but there are many other reasons to get meat into a dog besides just nutrition.

Read more: The use of dog treats other than for food in Australia

Home made dog treats - Why people feed veggies to dogs

home-made-dog-treatsThe aafco standards (American dog food standards) that your dog food must reach before being labelled as dog food only has MINIMUM levels of amino acids (protein), vitamins and minerals, Plus Omega 6.  It PURPOSELY does not tell you how to reach those standards.

Many American dog food manufacturers use loopholes in feeding trial rules to get their product over the finishing line with a bare minimum of meat in the product. This is usually below 30% and as low as 15%.

The problem for dogs is that while on paper they reach the minimum levels for the essential amino acids (those parts of protein that can't be made in the dogs body) - they don't address the bio availability of the amino acids (how easily the dog can use the nutrients.

Read more: Home made dog treats - Why people feed veggies to dogs

What do healthy dog treats look like and smell like?

natural dogs playingRecently we had an email from a customer who didn't like how our healthy and natural dog treats smelt, they claimed various things about the odour but here is the shocking truth.

Most dogs fed on a grain diet (ie 97% of domestic dogs) can have trouble recognising their primary food (meat) as an actual food source. No longer allowed to hunt, no longer given meat on a regular basis, many dogs can even suffer digestion problems when eating real meat for the first time. EVEN THOUGH its is more bio available to the dog than any other food source.

While we sell many blackdog products and many of them are the same size, shape and colour each time, the main difference between them and many dog treats on the market are that they are 80% plus meat composed.  This is the kind of treat that most dog owners seem to prefer, because they live in a MacDonald's world where every parcel of 'food' must look the same and match that in the advert exactly (well most burgers don't but that is another point).

Read more: What do healthy dog treats look like and smell like?

Why we now have an aafco dog food standard & the Australian standard

dog_food_standards.Recently I had a query from someone how was interested in getting access to AS5812 (Australian Standard AS 5812-2011 - The Pet Food Industry). The reason that they were interested in this document is that it is an Australian Standard on what you should be feeding your dog.  The shame for the Australian Government is that they charge you $220 via the saiglobal organisation to get this information !

 The Abstract for this document says "Specifies requirements for the production and supply of manufactured food for domesticated dogs and cats. Applies to both domestic and imported products."

"The Standard covers production of pet food from sourcing and receipt of ingredients to storage, processing (including heat treatment), packing, labelling and storage of products in order to assure its safety for pets. It also includes instructions for the uniform application of information provided on labels."

Read more: Why we now have an aafco dog food standard & the Australian standard

NOT gourmet dog treats, there are plenty on sale on OTHER sites

not gourmet dog treatsUsually a company doesn't like comparing products on other people's sites to real food, but sometimes you have to take exception to the wisdom of Google. (now a money maker, no longer the finder of truth). On the first page of Google Gourmet dog treat searches we find FOUR pictures of DOG TREATS that they claim to be Gourmet.

Gourmet might mean fancy, expensive or even colourful, but the one thing it does not mean is natural or healthy for a dog.

It is true that I sell bulk biscuits on this site, and some people love them for their dogs every day. But our biscuits tend to have real nautral ingredients added to make their flavour. However calling a product GOURMET that is essentially grain based (other than regular dog food) is a massive stretch of the truth.

Maybe its only people who dress their dogs up in doll clothing and never take them for a walk. Make them only socialise with people within four walls of their own house that buy these treats? But I suspect the lure of Google putting these treats up as GOURMET  gives them some remarkable power to fool the average person.

Read more: NOT gourmet dog treats, there are plenty on sale on OTHER sites

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