Worst dog treats

The dog treat aisles and online stores can be very overwhelming because there are so many types and brands of treats available.  I’ll show you the worst dog treats available in the UK created by 2 brands.  By showing you why they’re unhealthy, I hope you’ll find out what to avoid and what to look for when choosing healthy treats for your dog.

Hidden ingredients…

In the UK dog treat and dog food manufacturers don’t have to list the individual ingredients and can list them by category e.g. ‘meat and animal derivatives’, ‘oils and fats’ and ‘cereals’.  This means that lots of ingredients are hidden and often dog owners don’t actually know what they’re feeding their dog. 

It’s usually the poor quality foods and treats that don’t tell us the individual ingredients…is it because they’ve got something (or lots of things) to hide?

1. Nestle Purina Bakers Allsorts

As well as containing sugars and fats which really aren’t the most nutritious ingredients, Bakers Allsorts contain unspecified antioxidants.

We have no idea what these antioxidants are but because Barkers don’t tell us we should assume the worst (otherwise I’d expect the company to be transparent).  The antioxidants could be harmful CHEMICALS which have been linked to:

  • behavioural problems
  • health concerns; and
  • cancer

allaboutdogfood.com rate Bakers Allsort treats 1 star out of 5.

2.  Nestle Purina Bonios

Bonio biscuits contain 30% wheat. The remaining 70% is a complete mystery. The majority of the 70% is made up of cereals, vegetable derivatives, animal derivatives and fats but since these broad terms encompass pretty much any ingredient you could imagine, that doesn’t help very much.  These treats also contain various sugars.

Direct Line issued a report in 2015 about the hidden calories in dog treats and found that Bonios gram-for-gram contain 53% more calories than a Big Mac.  Crazy, huh?! 

Bonios contain unspecified antioxidants – a group of CHEMICALS that include some of the most controversial ingredients due to their known links with health and behavioural problems in dogs.

allaboutdogfood.com rate Bonios 1 star out of 5

3.  Pedigree Gravy Bones

Gravy Bones contain the same contentious ingredients that Bakers Allsorts and Bonios do, including cereals, vegetable derivatives, animal derivatives and fats.  Gravy Bones also contain potentially harmful antioxidants and preservatives.  The reason I say ‘potentially harmful’ is that we just don’t know what the terms refer to. They could be CHEMICALS that are known to cause health and behavioural problems in dogs.

Direct Line also listed Gravy Bones as being one of the most calorific treats on the market.

allaboutdogfood.com rate Gravy Bones 1 star out of 5

4. Nestle Purina Winalot Shapes

These are the treats that my family fed our Beardie, Flossie Teacake, when I was growing up.  Winalot Shapes contain the same broad ingredient terms as the other 3 treat types so we have no idea what’s actually in these treats.  They also contain colourants and antioxidants. 

Again, we don’t know what the colourants are but here are just 2 that the treats may contain:

Yellow #5 – linked to hyperactivity, anxiety, migraines and cancer

Red Dye 40 – linked to hyperactivity, allergies and immune system cancers

hmmm, do you really want your dog eating these harmful CHEMICALS?

allaboutdogfood.com rate Winalot Shapes 1 star out of 5

It’s best to avoid all treats made by Pedigree and Nestle Purina because of their complete lack of transparency.  Not knowing what you’re feeding your dog is extremely worrying especially because dogs are so much smaller than us so chemicals, fats and sugars affect their health and behaviour much more easily and quickly than they do us.  

Look for simple, natural ingredients

Now that you’ve read the above info, I’m hoping that you’ll never feed another Bonio, Winalot Shape, Bakers Allsorts or Gravy Bone to your dog ever again.  The next step is to determine what a healthy dog treat should be made of.  The answer is easy – it should contain simple, wholesome and natural ingredients.

Here are my recommendations:

1. Choose treats where you know all the ingredients i.e. avoid those that only provide categories of ingredients

2. Avoid treats containing additives, preservatives and artificial colours and flavours

3. Check the ingredients list for foods your dog may be allergic to or intolerant of

4. Dog food manufacturers are not required to put the caloric content of their products on their labels so be mindful as to how many treats you feed your dog.

5. Offer treats that have added nutrients and/or specific benefits such as treats that aid flexibility or treats that help clean plaque and tartar.

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