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Functional Dog Treats

Article Author: Dog Treats Review - A Merryvaluation by Angie McKaig

I remember when food was something that made you like an astronaut (Tang) or would give you all the benefits of a home cooked meal without the work (frozen tv dinners - in the foil package, if you please - I'm old skool). Food products have been promoting lifestyle or health benefits for years; it's about time that doggie food caught up!

I'm referring to Isle of Dogs' new line of puppy treats aimed at not just making their bellies full and their mouths happy but at targeting specific health issues, to boot.

(Who knew one little treat could do so much good?)

Three different treats make up the new line: treat for my breath, treat for my nerves, and treat for 14 days.

treat for my breath, according to the packaging, tackles bad breath with "flavorful sweet milk and toffee extracts". (Doesn't that sound like cleaning your teeth with a chocolate bar? Just me? No?) The packaging recommends feeding 2-4 treats a day. A look through the ingredients provides more of a hint: there's also chlorophyll, peppermint oil, and parsley flakes inside; all traditional herbal remedies for bad breath, and also ones that account for the bright green color. These treats are largeish and heart-shaped; they break easily into three or four pieces for feeding small pups; medium to large sized dogs can easily eat them whole.

treat for my nerves helps to maintain the health of the central nervous system and is recommended for pooches with separation anxiety, fear of other dogs, or upset due to schedule change. Trying to decode the ingredients to see what helps to maintain is more difficult; while the list does include some usual suspects (flax seed oil, oats, peppermint) only lemon balm seems to be an ingredient unique to these treats - i.e. it isn't in the ingredients list for all of their biscuits. That said, I looooved the teenier size of these treats - you can see, they look like kibble - and they also have little pieces of real dried peas and carrots mixed in, which probably doesn't actually provide anything healthier but makes it look much better and putting our minds at ease is part of what this is all about, right? Strangely, even though these treats are teeny tiny, they recommend feeding only 1 biscuit twice daily. (I'll be honest - Merry has had rather more than 1 biscuit/day of this stuff.)

treat for 14 days was the most interestig to me; it's formulated with a "patented strain of beneficial bacteria which withstands the high temperature of baking". Basically, it's similar to eating yogurt, but all in a biscuit. It contains 3 billion microorganisms (Bacillus coagulans). They recommend 1 biscuit twice a day, about 1/2 hour before feeding, for 14 days. Given the recent court ruling about marketing these bacteria, Isle of Dogs has had to be careful in how they phrase their copy, but there's nothing in there that's fishy, and it's a current medical theory that healthy bacteria in your digestive system is a Good Thing. These treats, too, are largeish and heart-shaped.

What I loved about these treats:

  • Mostly healthy ingredients. My only concern was "natural flavoring" in the treat for my breath version; but if that's a concern to you, try one of the other two flavors.
     
  • Expiration dates! You have no idea how long I've wanted to see these on pet treats and was thrilled to see an exact date stamped on the back of each package.
     
  • Calorie content per biscuit. This is also a very nice and very missing feature on a lot of other dog treats. My only concern was with the treat for my nerves, which were tiny but still clocking in at the same calorie count as the other larger, biscuits (20 kCal). Perhaps it was a printing mistake?
     
  • Resealable airtight packages. That's just smart packaging and I wish other companies did this!
     
  • Taste. Merry seemed to love them and happily scarf them down.

No matter what your pooch, I'm confident you'll find at least one version to give a good try to - and you should.

You can find out more about Isle of Dogs or find out where to buy their products from their web site at www.iodogs.com.

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