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Are Real Meat Dog Treats Better?


There's no question you want the best for your dog. And like any parent, you probably don't like being told that you might be doing something wrong.

So we’ll break it to you gently: If you’re buying the big brand name dog treats, you should probably take a closer look at what you’re feeding your “children.” Most treats have additives that are unnecessary and potentially harmful. Even the main ingredient is usually just about anything and everything other than what a dog really needs—real meat.

We started Honey I'm Home after spending months trying to find high-quality dog treats at corner grocery stores and on every corner of the Internet. We found plenty of treat options, and some are better than others. But most are made primarily with wheat and corn. Why? Don’t dogs eat, you know, meat?

Of course they do. But even the treats we found that had meat as the primary ingredient came with an unwanted dose of artificial flavorings, weird preservatives and fillers that, frankly, aren’t fit for our furbabies.

What your dog is usually getting is grain. So… What’s the problem? Surely treats made from all-natural rice, vegetables, corn, wheat, quinoa, chia seeds and unicorn auras are fine?

We have to respectfully disagree. Dogs are designed to eat protein from meat, not grains. They’re in the order Carnivora and the family Canidae, along with other carnivorous mammals. And while your pug may not look much like a wolf, they do have some things in common. Dogs have no grinding teeth and their jaws don’t move sideways (two features required to chew plants). They have forward-facing eyes for hunting and their saliva has no amylase (the enzyme needed to break down plant carbs).

Even though domesticated dogs can survive as grain-eating omnivores, we believe they thrive when fed all-natural, meat-based products.  Meat gives dogs the nutrition their bodies evolved to process. Treats made with grains and vegetables simply aren’t beneficial for dogs’ immune systems, especially as they get older. Yes, you can feed your dogs some veggies and fruits. But they should never be the main component of his food or his treats.

We get it, Corporate Dog Treat Makers™. Your goal is to make outrageous profits, so selling cereal-based, chemical-laden dog treats is a lot easier for you than sourcing high-quality meat. That’s why you guys sponsor studies to convince everyone that dogs are plant and grain-eating omnivores, that they thrive on diets low in meat protein and high in cereal/carbohydrates.

It’s a lucky coincidence for you that such a diet happens to be cheap to produce, right?

Okay, back to the dog-parents out there. Aside from the carnivore-vs.-omnivore debate, there’s the question of what ELSE goes into making those treats when high profits take precedence over healthy dogs. For example, the FDA allows treat manufacturers to label mysterious “natural flavors” on the ingredient list instead of telling you exactly what you’re getting (spoiler alert: these flavors aren’t all that natural).

Another fact about those dog treats on the shelves of your supermarket? They are sold by net weight. The big commercial manufacturers keep the moisture content of their “biscuits” high so they can sell you that heavy water weight. But this also means they have to include scary-sounding chemical preservatives with names like BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, sodium metabisulfite and TBHQ to keep the treats from spoiling.

These unnatural and potentially harmful preservatives are in all of the top-selling dog treats, even the ones made from meat. Dehydration is a much better way to preserve real meat, if you’re lucky enough to find treats that have it, but unfortunately, the dehydration process takes time and electricity. It ain’t cheap. We guess that’s why some people think adding Scrabble board full of chemical acronyms to the recipe is a good idea.

We respectfully disagree.  

Honey I'm Home dehydrated buffalo dog treats give you less water per bite. They have a denser nutritional profile. They don’t have any grains or weird preservatives. We don’t even use grain to feed our buffalo—they roam freely, consuming their natural diet of grass, reeds and aquatic plants. They don’t get antibiotics or growth hormones, nor are they fed animal byproducts. Even if your dog’s current treats are made from real beef, those cows were likely raised in large factory farm settings, where they get all that gross stuff.

Not only is buffalo meat a rich source of complete protein, but it also contains all the essential amino acids, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and niacin. It has a savory, natural flavor that dogs enjoy—especially with the hint of sweetness from the honey glaze we use.

Hey, listen. We’re not here to talk trash about our competition. And we’re certainly not here to make you feel bad for believing dubious claims from low-quality dog treats. We know you love your dogs. That’s why we encourage you to take a closer look at what you’re feeding your animals, then make an informed decision. You and your babies will be happier for it.