I’m starting to feel like food allergies are my one area of dog expertise. In the spirit of playing up my assets, watch for a few reviews here for our staple allergy-friendly products.
Beginning at the top, we have the thing that every dog owner is looking for: the high value treat. Not just a regular-old treat, but the thing your dog goes crazy for.
If your dog can’t eat 95% of the treats on the market, high value treats are hard to find. Silas is also a picky eater who notoriously turns down food when he’s stressed.
Enter Fresh is Best freeze-dried treats. We seriously would not have made it through the summer without these. A lot of people seem to just skip treats during a food allergy trial diet, but that wasn’t a good option for us. I think most dogs tend to develop food allergies somewhat later in life. Silas needed to go back through obedience class this summer, and he still gets treats around the house for this and that.
So, the good: these treats are apparently delicious. Silas has a slight preference for the Turkey Giblet Rounds, but he also loves the Turkey Hearts. The hearts are nice and tidy. No crumbs in your pockets or anything. Turkey Giblet Rounds are so good that Silas will eat them outside. They come in a handy resealable package. Most importantly for us, they’re a single ingredient. There just aren’t a lot of turkey treats out there, especially that have zero other ingredients. Since a food allergy can be to anything, including binders, fillers, or flavorings, this is incredibly important on an allergy diet.
The bad: the size. Turkey Giblet Rounds are the size of a half dollar and at least a quarter of an inch thick. There’s more variation in the hearts, but most of the pieces are similarly large. That’s well and good for a special-occasion treat, but not a good size for training a small-medium dog. The giblets are apparently a ground/formed/dried product, rather than being a dried piece of meat. They’re easy to break into quarters, but any smaller than that and they turn into powder. They also leave a powdery mess in your pockets and treat pouches. The hearts don’t fall apart in the same way; they’re just hard to break.
The neutral: the price. A 3 to 4oz bag (depending on the product; they base bag sizes off a pre-dehydrated 1lb weight) of Fresh is Best treats is $10 at my local retailer, or $9.99 on their website. If you desperately need a one-ingredient treat, you’re probably willing to pay that and break the treats up to stretch the bag. It is more or less going-rate for similar treats, but I would certainly understand if that price were out of your dog’s budget.
Bottom line: These will always be a staple, but I sometimes grumble a little.
Fine print: I am not famous, so everything I review here comes out of my own pocket. If your dog is on a “hypoallergenic” kibble, rather than a novel-protein diet, stick to using the kibble as treats. Fresh Is Best treats come in beef, turkey, chicken, duck, and salmon varieties; this review is for turkey only.