Off of the top of your head, how much did you spend on pet treats last month? If you’re like a growing proportion of the US population, you spent a small fortune on yummy snacks for your dogs and cats.

Dog treatsAccording to Packaged Facts, the premium pet treat market is worth $5.4 billion, with pet parents spending ridiculous sums of money on chews, biscuits and, increasingly, natural and organic pet treats. The trend is mirrored in the UK, where consumers are discovering a rapidly growing variety looking for gourmet pet treats for puppies, kittens, parrots and rabbits.

Pet owners are paying more attention to what goes into pet treats. Many are so dissatisfied they opt to make homemade pet treats to ensure freshness no unhealthy preservatives or fillers. Some enterprising people have turned their new-found canine culinary expertise into successful small businesses. After all, as much as we want to feed our pets the best, we don’t have time to make healthy and nutritious treats.

An extravaganza of flavors

Gourmet pet treats come in various flavors, including carob and honey, carob and courgette, peanut butter and banana,  tuna and hazelnut, turkey and cranberry, and cheddar and apple cookies. You might even be intrigued enough to take a nibble and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

The emphasis is on taste and health so it’s rare to find gourmet treats with added sugar, salt, preservatives and common allergens, such as corn and wheat. Specialized pet treat chefs take pride in using human-grade ingredients. It’s a great reassurance for pet parents that only the best is good enough for their dogs and cats. Using the best, freshest ingredients also improves the overall condition of pets, including healthy skin and shiny coat.

Manufacturers thrive on competition

Large scale pet food manufacturers have cottoned onto the demand for better, tastier, healthier and specialised treats. They now create brand name holistic gourmet pet treats for senior pets, puppies and kittens, weight loss, allergies and kidney and pancreatic problems. Hills, for example, has a range of healthy dog and cat treats.

Manufacturers are on a mission to inform pet owners about fresh, organic products used. They may provide information about shelf-life and the importance of freshness. Limited shelf-life is why many small-scale chefs have a made to order service.

Information is power

Pet treats

At the forefront of educating pet parents about the importance for high-quality ingredients in pet food and treats is chef Dominic Jolivet, founder of Pet Treats Wholesale in the UK. Jolivet changed his focus from people to pets when he struggled to find quality gourmet treats for his pooches and decided to do something about it.

Jolivet has been so successful that his pet treats are shipped to the USA, Europe and Japan. Many regard them the highest quality pet treats available in the world. You can order from the Doggie Deli or Wholesale range and stock up on sausage training strips, training liver pots, roast beef pieces, ox tail tips, liver sausage, roast lamb and chicken liver, potato and turmeric sausage (gluten and grain-free).

Choose wisely

When it comes to rocketing trends, you should be aware of the risks, especially regarding the ingredients. Between 2010 and 2012, thousands of dogs and cats got sick and hundreds died after eating treats containing chicken jerky made in China. Several trusted pet treat manufacturers recalled their products.

Where to get your gourmet pet treats

Pet shops and vet shops are great places to get recommendations. You can also ask dog trainer, after all, no one uses as many treats as a dog trainer. If you’re struggling to find all-natural, organic pet treats, you can always order from specialist treat manufacturers:

  • Boulder Dog Food Company. Makes all single-ingredient meat gourmet dog and cat treats, including bison and beef chews.
  • Omaha Steaks. High quality dog and cat treats are made from their famous steaks and other healthy ingredients. These include peanut butter, cheese and eggs.
  • Paws Gourmet Training Treats. Ensures all treats are free from wheat, corn, GMOs and preservatives.
  • SavvyBeast. It uses only certified-organic meat and other ingredients. These include organic chia and sweet potato flour, brown rice, broth, coconut oil, herbs and filtered water. Treats are wheat and gluten-free.