Here at Pawsitively Does It we like to know what we are feeding to our dogs and we are especially interested when it’s something we recommend to clients. For this blog we are speaking to Becky from DAB Dogs Deli and asking them some questions about DAB Dogs Deli one of our favourite shops  ……….

So Becky tell us about DAB Dogs? 🐾  

  We started DAB dogs about 3 years ago now. Me and Danny (my fiancé and business partner) met working in a dog rescue, ended up adopting our own 2 dogs from there, and decided after seeing so many dogs turned into rescue for things that could have been worked on, we wanted to work with owners who needed help understanding their dog’s need to just be dogs sometimes. We started our business on a market stall selling bits of natural treats and chews and just building up relationships with customers and getting to know them and their dogs.  3 years on we now own our own store, ‘DAB Dogs Doggi Deli’ on Cains Brewery Village, we have a big loyal customer base who’s dogs we know almost as well as our own, and we pride ourselves in stocking the best raw food, natural treats, adventure gear and enrichment toys. All of which we used, and still use, on our own journey after adopting our 2 dogs.

 

What are some examples of natural treats please?  

Natural treats, or truly natural treats, are those which have as little to no processing whatsoever. Examples would be dehydrated or air dried meats like our liver or chicken training treats, and air dried natural chews which are quite literally dried out cuts of meat and bone that humans would never eat, such as ears, feet and tails.   

Why should we feed natural treats?   

It’s important that our dog’s diet is as suited to their digestive system as possible. You may hear people say ‘but a dog is not a wild wolf’ and whilst this is true, most definitely when it comes to behaviours, it is not necessarily true when it comes to their digestive tract and their nutritional needs. Dogs are suited to a mostly meat based diet, but have been known to enjoy some fruits and vegetables too. A healthy digestive system and well met nutritional needs, means a healthy happy dog.   

What’s the impact on the environment from using natural treats?  

The funny thing about nature, is if left to it’s own devices, it knows how to make species work together. What we mean is, we’ve lived side by side with domestic dogs for a very long time now, and in that time dogs became useful as our partners in work but also in what they eat. Humans won’t necessarily chow down on a deer leg bone, or a cow’s ear, or a pigs snout… but your dog will, and will gain nutritional value from this. By using the parts of the animal that humans would usually waste by products, and with minimal processing, it means less stress on the pet food industry, and thus the meat industry-which causes massive impacts on the environment, and more gain for our pets.   

What does by product mean?   

Exactly that, it is a by-product of the meat industry, in this case. Now by product can sometimes sound like a negative term, we might think of the nasty off cuts that no one wants that have been mushed down to nothing. But we see the true by products, the cuts humans are too fussy for, cut just as fresh as the tasty parts, put to good use rather than wasted in the bin or boiled down to nothing.   

What are the benefits?

  Natural treats and chews have a number of benefits. Nutritionally we’ve already spoken about it, but what about behaviour? Dogs like to chew, they were built to chew. Part of your dog’s normal day to day behaviour is to pick up bits as they explore and work their jaws (that’s why he likes chewing on your nice leather boots or that wooden table leg). A chew that is also edible is a valuable training tool, used to calm dogs and just keep them satisfied and content for that little bit longer, whilst not causing a problem in their health.   

What’s the price difference with general shop bought treats?  

Prices can vary. Sometimes people are shocked at how affordable natural treats and chews are, sometimes people can’t understand why they can’t pick up a pack of 8 chews for 50p like they can in their local supermarket. Something we need to remember is that anything that is mass processed and mass produced, can cost next to nothing…. In money that is. Environmentally however, the cost is catastrophic. We find natural treats and chews are still very affordable, as they come naturally, there’s no need to add a huge mark up.   

What if my dogs a power chewer?

This is a question we probably get asked the most: What do I give my dog that destroys everything? There are 2 answers here, the easiest is that we have a variety of tough chews like deer legs, antler, and hoof that are built to last. The other is that if your dog is very intensely chewing all of the time, there may be other things that need to be addressed when it comes to their behaviour. Are they very anxious? Stressed in their environment? Do they always think someone or another dog is going to take their food or treats away? Regular natural chews should calm most dogs down once they are used to the routine of receiving them, even if they start off devouring them at speed. A satisfied dog is generally more relaxed…but if not, it may be worth speaking to a behaviourist like Pawsitively Does It.

  Thanks Becky for answering our questions! Natural treats and chews can be of major benefit to our pets and can help when dealing with behaviour issues as part of a behaviour plan or as a form of enrichment just to keep our dogs happy.