If you bake dog treats and dog cakes, don’t toss out your wheat flour! Grain free dog products may be today’s trend, but there are downsides too.
I just saw an ad for “oven-baked” grain-free dog treats, which spurred this post. The fact that the treats were “oven-baked” apparently was the “unique” selling point. Really?
So…is grain free better? It is certainly the big trend.
I have nothing against grain free, but there is nothing wrong with wheat! Dog treats are not meant to replace meals or become a full diet. They are exactly what the name says they are: TREATS!
Yes, it’s true that dogs descended from the wild and were carnivorous. They did not sniff around for cakes and biscuits.
Yes, it’s true that to make dog food more economical and cost-effective, grains, especially corn, were added.
Yes, it’s true that 6-7 years ago, a certain toxin was introduced into pet foods to artificially boost the protein content and make the product seem to contribute to health and well-being.
But it’s also true that “grain-free” jerky treats from China are implicated as causing pet deaths.
Depends how you want to spin it.
If you are a small dog bakery, you may be feeling the pressure to jump on the grain free band wagon. Resist making radical changes! If your customers love your treats the way you make them, keep pleasing them.
Many dog treat businesses were born because the owners could not find healthy nutritional solutions for a dietary issue their own pet developed. So they created their own. If a wheat base is used, there’s probably a good reason, and it may not be a health-related one. Not every dog suffers from allergies.
Did you know that wheat promotes acidity in the urine, which helps to dissolve struvite crystals? There certainly are health advantages. Not every dog has allergies.
Pet food manufacturers began adding white potatoes into their products so they could promote them as “grain-free”. This has been reported to be a contributing reason behind the rise in pet diabetes (due to the high carbohydrate content of the potatoes). Many grain-free foods are also high in calories……something humans need to consider for themselves as well.
If you make wonderful wheat based dog treats, use these promotion points if you are challenged about the healthiness of your treats:
- You know your customers’ names, and their dogs’ names as well. You are not going to offer unhealthy products to those you know! (That would be business suicide.)
- You most likely bake in your own kitchen, or in one where you oversee the entire baking process. You know exactly what ingredients go into your treats. You know that the ingredients are fresh, human quality, and REAL FOOD.
- Your pricing is attractive.
- Most importantly, you give your treats to your own dog! (If you take your dog to markets, just make sure he looks healthy and well-kept.)
- Finally, don’t be afraid to taste one of your own dog treats right in front of the customer. You do use human grade ingredients that are real food, right?
You will not please everyone, and your treats are not right for every dog either. That’s why there are choices. Share your passion for your product with your customers and always give great customer service – customers won’t get these from a large enterprise.
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Visit K9Cakery.com for dog bakery supplies made in the USA and the award-winning Fido’s Frosting, the first all-natural, sugar-free, yogurt dog treat frosting and icing that does not melt!