Every good dog deserves a treat now and again, but do you know what goes into each of those rewards? It’s important to know exactly what your dog is eating, treats included.
What Are Dog Treats Made Of?
There are a wide range of dog treats available on the market, so it should come as no surprise that there are various combinations of ingredients used depending on the product. Still, there are some common types of ingredients that are used to make those tasty treats.
Animal protein is a crucial part of a balanced diet for your dog, and many treats make them their top ingredients. Treats can also contain a mix of fats, oils, and seasonings to help make these treats a delicious reward for your furry friend.
There are also a variety of special flavors to help entice your dog. Some treats may include additional ingredients to cater to a specific taste or season. For example, special ingredients like pumpkin, banana, and peanut butter are all appealing flavors that might show up in your dog treat’s ingredient list.
While those are some of the more typical dog treat ingredients, you may spot some less savory additions in certain products. Some treats will include fillers, sprayed-on fat, or other ingredients that are meant to make their treats more enticing. The best dog treats should taste great because of their main ingredients like Bil-Jac treats. Try to avoid rewards that rely on extra sprays or fillers.
How Are Dog Treats Made?
Tasty treats start with great ingredients, but that’s just the beginning of it. Similar to cooking dry dog food, the way that dog treats are made has a major impact on both their flavor and nutrition.
There are typically two different approaches to making dog treats – slow cooked to perfection or made with high heat and pressure. Both approaches start by mixing all their collective dog treat ingredients so that they can be cooked and shaped into treat-sized pieces. What happens next is drastically different depending on the brand’s cooking method.
Treats that are produced with high heat and pressure are commonly made through extrusion. The extrusion process takes those ground-down raw ingredients and forces them through a machine to cook the ingredients. This machine puts the treat mixture under extreme pressure and heat to force it out of a hole that shapes the treat before it’s cut into small pieces.
The extrusion process is efficient, but it does have a notable downside. Ingredients can lose their natural benefits when subjected to immense pressure and heat. As those ingredients make their way through the extrusion process, the treats will start to lose the desired taste and the valuable nutrients can be damaged before they’re shaped, cut, and dried. As a result, many extruded treats are sprayed with fat or some other flavoring to make up for what’s lost in the cooking process.
When it comes to making dog treats, it’s good to take your time. Slow-cooking treats takes a gentler approach to making bite-sized rewards that retain as much of their initial ingredient’s natural benefits as possible.
Slow cooking helps dog treats taste better and protects key nutrients and protein. For Bil-Jac, that process involves taking those high-quality ingredients and having them simmer together over time in small batches. This cooking method helps each treat maintain all those delicious juices and key nutrients like amino acids before they are gently shaped and packaged.
Slow-cooking treats in small batches has another major benefit – you are able to put lots of fresh chicken and chicken liver in every bag of treats. This helps provide your best friend with a great additional protein source and an irresistible taste they will love. When they love their treats, this can help make training even easier for you too.
Reward Your Dog With Treats They Love
Every dog is different, so your pooch may prefer one type of treat over the other. Don’t be afraid to test out different treats to see if your best friend has a favorite – just make sure that those treats make up less than 10 percent of their diet. Once you find a couple of their favorite flavors, you will have the perfect snacks to train your dog or simply give them a treat from time to time.
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