what makes our Dog Treats stand out from the rest!
My journey lead me on a quest for ingredients that were simple, fresh, and of course local! Before this could take place, I needed to have a better understanding and education on many levels and this story is how it went down.
I found a couple simple recipes and used what I had in my kitchen for ingredients, stuff like the usual, peanut butter (we all love), regular bacon, oats, and a few other things. Now, I'm not going to lie....they looked really yummy so I tried one, OMG! It was horrible and even the dog looked at me as if to say "if you won't eat it what makes you think I would?" That's when I had my first "aha" moment because I just figured dogs eat anything, we have all been witnessed to that in one way or another. So my attempt at making a dog treat was born! After I tossed those lovely treats in the garbage I preceded to look at the labels on all of the ingredients I had used just to make sure it was all ok for pets and found stuff we shouldn't eat as well, go figure! Now mind you, these are recipes that are found all over the web so be careful if you try your hand at treats.
Talking with friends and family about food and treats they were giving their fur babies and it was all over the board along with all kinds of problems and lots of trips to the vets' office. I started researching about how dog food (mainly dog treats) were made and what is allowed and considered healthy and natural in the ingredient process, it was appalling to know and really understand that in this day and age of all the supposed transparency and trustworthy truth in the pet food industry (so I thought)....flew right out the window!
I took those original recipes I used the first time I attempted to make those yummy dog treats and went to a local pet store and looked at the ingredients in all of the high-end quality treats and found a lot of stuff in those that I still wouldn't want my dog to have. Then I did more research on what dogs can have and can't, there is so much one person claims this and another claims that it's so confusing and contradictions in so many directions.
I started with the idea of.....if I can't pronounce the word in the ingredient section then it is usually a chemical or processed ingredient that I refuse to use as an ingredient in my dog treats. For instance, the bacon and salami have no nitrites or nitrates and is uncured, the cheese I buy in a big block and shred myself because they add cellulose ( wood pulp) to coat the pre-shredded cheese that we buy in the store, the sun-dried tomatoes are ACTUALLY dried in the sun and not forced dried in an oven as most companies do, which bakes out some of the important nutrients. The peanut butter has just peanuts ground up nothing else, not even salt and its made in the Puget Sound area, the raw honey comes from a local beekeeper (that I can actually shake his hand and watch him harvest) its not a mix of honey from different countries like most of the honey we get in the grocery stores. Each ingredient that goes into our treats I had investigated before committing to using it. Experimenting and coming up with the recipes I felt a bit like and mad scientist and crazy mathematician. I have a gluten-free kitchen so we started with GF flour, this was good for me so I could taste as I went along, because if I wouldn't eat it surely the dog wasn't going to either!
I have found that smell, taste, and texture in that order are very important to a furbaby really enjoying something that makes us happy to give to them and knowing that the ingredients are in fact ok for them and we can even indulge if you care to as all the ingredients are things we eat.
So the furbabies think they are getting away with eating something of ours like the paw-perroni treat tastes and smell like a pizza, literally they DO!!! and you can even heat the treats up in the microwave for a few seconds and they become soft and even more yummy!
I have had so many great stories told to me by owners of very finicky dogs that would never take a treat and they found themselves enjoying my treats!
I NEVER use any kind of tocopherols in my treats! Again, there's my rule if it's too difficult to pronounce and you have to dig hard to find out how its made then a big NO WAY! they say that its vitamin E or a derivative of it and or it's synthetically made and right there nothing natural about something from a lab I don't care how they try and sell it to the public "synthetic" isn't all natural. My preservatives are honey, rosemary, sweet almond oil that's it!
Our treats are perishable and time sensitive as all food should be! I will never make a treat that has a shelf life of 8 months to 5 years! Ours are good for 4 to 6 months that's it and that would be if they weren't eaten by then they last longer in the fridge and in the freezer if need be.
I hope your furbaby enjoys the treats too! My goal is to change the way we think about what we give our pets and to send a message to the big treat makers that there's no need to try and be something they shouldn't, all the chemicals and preservatives that they claim are all natural just to last longer on a shelf , it's downright DISGUSTING!!!! I will never be a part that thinking!