For most dog owners, Fido is not just a pet. Rather, the family dog is part of the family just as much as a spouse or child.
There is no doubt that dog owners love their puppies. As such, we like to spoil them. Everyone likes to feel special, why not a dog?
Giving your dog the right kind of dog treat will help make them feel like they are getting a reward for good behavior.
There are four primary categories for dog treats:
- Dog Biscuits
- Rawhide Chews
- Freeze-Dried Treats
- Jerky Treats
Let’s explore what you should consider when selecting the ideal treat for your four-legged friend.
Dog biscuits have an interesting history. They were first invented by businessman James Spratt in England circa 1860.
Spratt was inspired to create dog biscuits after being on the docks to witness sailors giving leftover biscuits to stray dogs. Originally called Spratt’s Patent Meat Fabrine Dog Cakes, they were made from a mixture of wheat, beetroot, vegetables, and beef blood.
Although introduced in England, Spratt was actually from Ohio. He was on a trip to England to sell a new lightning conductor when he had his epiphany to introduce the first commercial dog treat.
After Spratt sold his formula to a British public company, the company started its U.S. manufacturing operation in 1890.
The prevailing image of the dog biscuit received a complete visual overhaul in 1907 when American inventor Carleton Ellis came up with the idea to manufacture dog biscuits in the shape of a cartoon bone.
In today’s world, common dog biscuits are made in commercial manufacturing plants by combining protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber in huge vats. The mixture is then shaped, cooked, packaged, and sent for distribution. They are essentially dog food in a snack size.
Made from the soft inner skin of animal hide, rawhide chews have been around since the 1950s. The skin can come from a host of different livestock including:
- Water Buffalo
The chews were originally introduced as a substitute for dogs with a propensity for chewing leather furniture or shoes.
First this inner layer of the animal hide is stripped of muscle, fat, and hair. This is usually done with an ash-lye solution. It is then further cleaned with water, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide. In countries outside the U.S. formaldehyde is also used. This is one of many reasons to only buy U.S. made rawhide chews.
The appeal of rawhide bones is that they can help remove plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth. Like a human brushing their teeth, this helps promote tooth and gum health.
Another appeal of rawhide treats is that they can keep a dog occupied for long periods of time. They get maximum enjoyment out of savoring their treat, compared to the short-lived instant gratification of an easily chewed dog treat.
There are also some concerns when it comes to rawhide chews. In the U.S., manufacturers use refrigerated trucks to transport the hides for processing. In other countries, such measures are not always taken – this leads to the hide beginning to rot before it is moved into production. This isn’t a recipe for good health. Again, a reason to limit your purchases to U.S. manufacturers.
In most cases, rawhide chews are not considered food by the FDA. As such, they are not subjected to regulations on ingredients and manufacturing procedures. You often don’t know what kind of animal the treat has been derived from, and the manufacturers are not required to list ingredients.
Rawhide chews start off hard, but as the dog gnaws on them, their saliva softens the treat. This can allow pieces to get pulled off and swallowed. This can cause a dog to choke or experience an internal blockage that requires surgery to repair. Sharp shards can also cause injury to the dog’s mouth, tongue, and gums.
One of the biggest appeals of freeze-dried dog treats is that they typically are just freeze-dried meat, with no additives or other ingredients.
Some raw protein options in the freeze-dried dog treat arena include:
- Beef Liver
- Bison Liver
- Lamb Liver
The great thing about freeze-dried meats is that they contain the same color, taste, and nutritional value as their raw versions. But unlike raw meat, freeze-dried meats have a lower risk of transporting harmful bacteria.
In fact, freeze-dried meats require no added preservatives. By removing the water from the meat, bacteria can’t survive. Thus, there is no need for chemical preservatives. Further, they have a much longer shelf life compared to other meats. In terms of limiting bacterial contamination, opt for products that have been cooked prior to freeze-drying.
Freeze-dried treats are often a good solution for dogs that have digestive issues or allergies. They are also easily broken into pieces to make it simple to give your dog the right sized treat every time.
JERKY TREATS FOR DOGS
Jerky dog treats are made in much the same fashion as the beef jerky you buy for yourself. Meat is dried via slow cooking dehydration. By dehydrating the meat, it preserves the vital vitamins and nutrients. While jerky for humans is usually seasoned and salted, no such use of spices is warranted for pet jerky.
It’s also important that you have your jerky, and the dog has theirs. Beef jerky made for humans might contain seasonings that are harmful to dogs.
Ingredients that are safe for humans but potentially harmful to dogs include:
- Excessive Salt
Just as jerky for humans is an optimal source of protein, premium jerky for dogs is also an ideal protein source. That is, assuming, the pet jerky is made from quality, 100% real beef such as those from BULK.
In fact, BULK does something completely unique by using only beef graded for human consumption in making our dog treats. Yes, you could indeed try a stick of pet jerky and be no worse for wear. You might not enjoy it as much as your puppy, as that they are manufactured to appeal to K9s and not humans, but then again, some people have strange tastes.
All kidding aside, BULK Pet Treats are made with no additives, preservatives, or powders. And they are made to exacting standards at our manufacturing facility in the heart of the U.S.
Further, BULK pet jerky is grain-free. There is no wheat, corn, soy, or artificial flavors. Not every manufacturer makes that promise of quality.
Because pet jerky is manufactured to have a firm consistency, it requires the dog to gnaw at it. Just as with rawhide chews, this helps to rid teeth of plaque and tartar.
No matter what kind of dog treats you end up getting for your canine family member, make sure you know the ingredients and where it was manufactured.
Buying American-made products first isn’t just a sign of patriotism. In the case of ensuring your dog’s health, it’s the safest way to go.
BULK is proud to be your number one source for human and pet jerky. Why not get cozy with your pooch and enjoy some good jerky together? Bonding with your four-legged family members is always special.
To check out all the great BULK beef jerky products, including 100% all-beef pet jerky, visit all of our pet treats here: https://www.bulkbeefjerky.com/products/dog-jerky?variant=30123881037886