Lets talk jerky treats!
Whether you feed a raw, home cooked, or kibble diet, your dog will always benefit from fresh food! Dried treats are a great way to add variety to your dogs diet, and because 4 Little Monsters jerky treats are slowly and gently air dried, there is very little nutrient loss. We use only human grade, fresh, locally sourced ingredients. And that’s it! We don’t ever add anything else to our treats. Our treats can be used as is for meal toppers, training treats, or re-hydrated by soaking in warm water to restore their natural state. These treats are used to supplement your pets diet and should not make up the entirety of it.
Air drying vs. dehydrating… What’s the difference?
Air drying is the process of removing all of the moisture from fresh food, while eliminating harmful pathogens and preserving nutrients. Air drying creates a product that is very similar to raw, but is much lighter in weight and therefore easier to ship and transport. Air drying is one of the oldest methods of preserving food and by removing all of the moisture, there is less risk of bacteria, yeast, and mold growth. When we are making treats, we dry the meat, package, and send it off to your anxiously awaiting pups. There are very few steps in this process, and when the treats arrive at your door, you can assure they are as fresh as treats can get! Because we don’t add any preservatives, our treats are best enjoyed right away. They can last for up to three months at room temperature, provided no moisture is in the bag, or in the freezer for much longer.
Dehydrating uses heat to dry and in the process is essentially cooking the meat. Dehydrating uses temperatures of above 140 degrees F, which is when the process of cooking starts to occur.
Dehydrating is a great method of preserving meat and other fresh food. However, because it is done at a higher heat temperature, there is more of a nutrient loss than there is with air drying.
Pork Loin - Muscle Meat
Pork is a great source of Vitamin B12, niacin, phosphorus, iron, selenium, and zinc. Vitamin B12 supports a healthy nervous system, and is needed for normal cell growth. Niacin, also a B vitamin, is an essential part of a dogs diet. Niacin works to support a healthy gastrointestinal system, aids in the digestion of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, as well as promotes healthy skin and a healthy nervous system. Sounds pretty important, right?! Pork is considered muscle meat and when you feed a raw diet, muscle meat should make up approximately 80% of your dogs diet! Even if you don’t feed a raw diet, your dog can still benefit from nutrient packed muscle meat treats!
Smelt, Marlin, Ahi, and Fish Skin
Fish is an excellent source of protein, calcium, selenium, niacin (B vitamin), and omega-3 fats.
Omega-3s help to reduce joint pain, improve your dogs organ function, boosts immunity, and keeps their coat and skin shiny, soft, and healthy. It is thought that DHA, part of an Omega 3 fatty acid, can help to improve cognitive function in senior and elderly dogs. DHA is also very important in the brain and eye development in growing puppies. If your dog has trouble with their joints, allergies, dry, flaky, or itchy skin, adding fish high in Omega-3s to their diet just may help. If their issues are more severe, a therapeutic dosage of Omega-3s may be required and in order to achieve that high dosage, a fish oil in addition to adding fish to their diet would be a good idea.
Beef & Turkey Heart - Muscle Meat
Heart contains some crucial amino acids that store energy, boost stamina and endurance, and help build muscle. The heart contains Coenzyme Q10 (also known as CoQ10) which is necessary for optimizing the hearts rhythm, and basic functioning of cells. Heart is also high in vitamins B6, Niacin, Iron, and Zinc. All of which are essential for maintaining proper organ, immune, and metabolic function. Heart is also a natural source of Taurine, which is especially important for cats!
Beef Kidney- Organ
Kidney, and all other organ meats contain the highest concentrations of vitamin D that can occur naturally. Kidney is also very high in Vitamin B1, B2, B6, folic acid, and vitamin B12. Magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, and iodine, are also found in high amounts in beef kidney, and provide very important fat soluble vitamins such as, vitamin A, E, D and K. In other words, all organs, including kidney, are packed with crucial vitamins and nutrients! Kidney (and other secreting organs aside from Liver) should only make up a total of 5% of your dogs diet. This treat should be fed sparingly and introduced slowly - as with any other treat - to prevent tummy upset.
Turkey & Chicken Liver - Organ
Liver is an essential and very crucial part of your dogs diet. It is high in vitamin A, vitamin B, Iron, Copper, Trace minerals, CoQ10, and Protein. Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins for your dog. It is an antioxidant and helps to aid in digestion, and your dogs body requires it for proper function of their nerves, skin, and muscles. For puppies, vitamin A is especially important for proper growth and neurological development. That being said, there is a risk of vitamin A toxicity when too much is fed. Liver should not make up more than 5% of your dogs diet. Feed sparingly and introduce slowly to prevent tummy upset.
Green Tripe - Muscle Meat
The tripe that you find in grocery stores fit for human consumption has been cleaned and bleached, which is why our tripe treats are called “Green” tripe. It’s how you know that no bleaching has occurred and it is safe for your dogs to eat! Green tripe is the stomach of any grass fed animal. We use Beef Tripe for our treats! Tripe is a nutrient rich food for all dogs, and especially those with sensitive stomachs. Green tripe is loaded with digestive enzymes, and probiotics. It helps to soothe gastrointestinal upset, is high in protein and amino acids, and it has a perfect balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, as well as calcium to phosphorus ratio which makes tripe a nutritionally balanced superfood! Have a picky eater?! Green tripe is often great for enticing picky eaters due to its pungent smell.
Beef Lung- Muscle Meat
Beef lung is loaded with all sorts of important minerals including; zinc, potassium, copper, calcium, iron, and magnesium, just to name a few. Zinc is a very important part of a dogs diet and it plays a huge role in the functioning of their thyroid and immune system function.
Beef Spleen - Organ
Spleen is very high in iron, as well as vitamin B12, and vitamin C. While studies have shown that puppies need more iron than adult dogs, it still is an essential trace mineral. Iron is often supplemented in kibble because high doses of iron occurring naturally can cause lipid oxidation in the food during the storage and preparation process, which can reduce shelf life and nutritional content of food. Iron is responsible for the synthesis of blood and forming of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen to your dogs organs and tissues. After that process occurs, it then carries carbon dioxide from your dogs organs and tissues and back to the lungs. A diet deficient in iron will cause anemia, which is a low red blood cell count. Spleen is an organ mean that like, kidney, should only make up 5% of your dogs diet when you feed a raw diet. If you feed raw, home cooked, or kibble, or a mixture of all three, feed spleen sparingly or as a small piece daily. As with any treat, introduce it slowly so as to not cause any stomach upset!
These are just a fraction of the nutritional benefits from the treats we make. I encourage you all to do your own research and form your own opinions, especially for which diet you should feed your dog! Every dog is different and its important to know what is best for your dog. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me. I have been feeding a raw diet for over 8 years now and the above nutritional facts are things I have gathered over the years, through my own research. I do not have a degree in canine nutrition, its just something I am very passionate about and am always wanting to learn more about!