Which pet food is better – decadent or healthy dog treats
This ‘decadent V healthy ‘question was posed by the ‘petfoodidnstury’ group, and I guess it deserves an answer from a company that provides Healthy Dog Treats.
It should be noted that while decadent can mean luxurious it also has synonyms such as degenerate, corrupt and depraved … which is pretty accurate for many of the non-meat treats appearing on the market.
The pet site says that there is apparently a new rivalry out there between “Decadent dog treats” and ‘Healthy dog treats’. Who knew that there should be a difference?
It appears that America (and no doubt Australia) is leading the way in ruining natural and healthy dog treats getting in the hands of owners, by large corporations maximising profits and the glitz and glimmer of branding, packaging and artificial flavours (an no doubt a LOT of vegetable and grain ingredients).
“The movement of human trends into new pet foods and treats follows contradictory paths as pet owners want their pets to enjoy the both hedonistic and healthy foods inspired by human cuisine. Some pet treats offered flavours and designs inspired by human trends like food trucks and café culture.” Ref 1
In this case, ‘decadent’ typically means unhealthy or no better than regular pellet/ grain dog food. But with more pizzazz and profit. Better packaging maybe.
It seems that all is not lost, because in the healthy dog treat camp, they found that one of the products they reviewed “went for the holistic, natural vibe,” But the trick here is that unless it is a SINGLE meat ingredient, they are only trying to capture a VIBE or a perception. The length of time that the average owner might glance at the front of the label on the supermarket shelf.
The article claims that while the more decadent are often going “full-on, extreme flavour” that most new products are “recipes (that) were formulated for dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems.” Let’s revisit that gambit claim later …
Healthy dog treats that claim to be holistic, ancestral or natural are not always accurate
For some corporations out there, the whole recently evolved from the wolf with carnivore digestion systems of domestic dogs and cats, is completely, conveniently, forgotten.
MANY companies claim buzzwords like ancestral, holistic or natural, but include a LOT of grain or vegetable matter – NONE of which a wolf or wild dog eats as preference. Domestic dogs can be trained or encouraged to eat a whole plate of vegetables, but apart from the fibre, they are mostly getting a large injection of carbs (sugar) and LOW bio available protein that they have to work very hard at digesting.
Adding Kilo-joules in any form to a dog’s diet, that are not BETTER than the vegetable-based dog food on sale throughout Australia, is a wasted opportunity for true beneficial supplementation.
HOLISTIC Natural “vibes” are not TRUE healthy dog treats
I know this from the large number of commercial dog foods on the market who also use these terms and are either grain or sweet potatoes based.
ANYTHING that is NOT animal based is NOT holistic or natural.
Grain and potatoes are not NATURAL dog food. They are ‘natural’ human crops. They are fine for true omnivores. And just because they don’t kill dogs, does not mean that they are good for them. They are just cheap fillers. Always were, always will be.
Some people agree that the protein value of the salad and veg they feed their dog is of low value (just check nutrition sites for the individual amino acid levels), but that the vegetable and fruits have great vitamin and mineral content.
The sad fact is, that globally many soils have been depleted from the full array of necessary minerals (ie elements like Zinc and Copper etc). And with affco hiking minimum vitamin and mineral levels to unrealistically high levels to ensure that only commercial dog food can claim to reach the standard, NO combination of fruits or vegetables (even dehydrated) can reach those minimum levels. Animals (wild) or farmed (with mineral enhanced feedstock) are more likely to contain the required minerals.
If the proteins are well below minimum affco levels for dogs, as are the full list of vitamins and minerals, what exactly are the added vegetables in these treats adding to your dog’s nutrition? We figure mostly, fibre and misplaced peace of mind.
“Recipes formulated for dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems the worst claim of all.
If your dog has a known illness like diabetes or pancreatitis, you typically treat these things with medicines or LOW fat, low sugar (low carb) diets. There is not a lot of rocket or nutrition science required in creating these mystical super recipe fads.
When they try and improve on true NATURAL animal products they fail dismally.
The only reason that you will find a discussion about recipes in a treat format, is that they don’t have enough meat or offal to go around to make the treat, and the large margins that their shareholders require. And of course, dog treat recipes are great click bait to sell advertising space.
Single ingredient dog treats, our healthy dog treats, don’t involve complicated recipes. Because that is not what nature intended. Recipes are usually a way of stuffing more grain into your dog, and disguising the low meat component.
Marketing can’t make up for poor dog nutrition
Marketers have hidden the low meat amount behind terms like “BBQ, Taco or Fine Italian dining” in the dog treat title, to associate their product with the growing food truck trends. Dog biscuits (that are mostly wheat) are being jazzed up with flavours like “pumpkin spice and caramel apple”. We sell dog biscuits too, but they are often animal based flavours and not the main stay of what we do.
We recently analysed what “cannabis-derived” products meant, and they either were unregulated with dangerous levels of THC, or they had hemp seeds with virtually no CBD oils in them, or they had medicinal levels of CBD in them, that without vet prescriptions, can be easily misused by owners just wanting to knock their dogs out for the day so they don’t bark – rather than taking the dog for proper exercise.
If CBD treats a dog with chronic pain, or epilepsy, please consult your vet for a prescription, where bloods etc can be monitored. Self-medication (for life threatening illnesses) of humans or dogs isn’t always ideal.
When ‘decadent’ dog treats are NOT meat-based, it is not of real value to your dog’s nutrition. It is mostly marketed to make the owner feel happier about themselves than actually providing valuable nutrition. Or something exclusive or something trendy. NOTHING to do with the benefit to the dog.
We have seen this trend many times before. Words and phrases being hijacked from their true meaning for some niche’s financial gain.
Unfortunately, as the drought in Australia tightens and export of meat products increases, there is upwards pressure on meat-based dog treats. This unfortunately for some people is making them consider genuinely healthy dog treats to be considered a luxury or ‘decadent’.
Curious when I recently bought a 3.5 Kg of kibble online for $65 that is likely to have meat as 30% of its total weight. PS I buy this as a fibre boost to my raw (meat offal and bone) fed dog. So that works out at about $20 a Kg for 30% grain, or over $60 for what is often barely edible rendered, highly processed left over ‘meat’. By comparison to around $50 for many of our meat jerkies that we supply – that is mostly WHOLE meat that you can see the original grain in. I think that makes grain dog food very decadent, and Healthy Dog Treats a premium necessary option.
Regarding the value of our meat-based treats, if you consider that most of the 75% of water iin the meat is extracted during the drying process, for most treats you are getting the equivalent of three kg of meat in each dried kg of dog treat. That should put the price into perspective. And since meat-based dog treats are typically THREE times the percentage of meat in any kg of regular commercial dried dog foods, they provide true valuable affordable nutrition supplementation.
The next time you are tempted by some bright and shiny packaging, with phrases like NEW recipe on them, please consider this. Would you be fooled anytime soon in choosing meatloaf or spam over a tasty porterhouse steak FOR YOUR OWN DINING, even if the spam brand mentioned the word Decadent?
BTW we now sell Beef Jerky PRIME that is Topside steak. Single ingredient MEAT based, from a trusted source, that is all you need to know.
New pet food contrast: decadent versus healthy dog treats, BY Tim Wall SEPTEMBER 10, 2019 – petfoodidnstury site