Hidden Nasties Feature Photo: A sad dog leaning it's head on the back of the sofa.

Hidden Nasties in Dog Treats

When I got Sausage Suckered.

“Argggh… I’ve gone into full-blown rant mode! You can tell by the number of exclamation marks!!!”

That’s me two-thirds of the way down this post… why?

Let me tell you…

As well as selling on our own site, we also sell on some of the big online channels. 

I regularly check on them, look at reviews, look at what’s being sold with them and generally make sure everything is doing ok.

It gives me a chance to nerd out on dog treats actually – checking out ingredients, the language used to describe them, any benefits for dogs that I may not have considered – that kind of thing. I often buy random treats for Roscoe (as long as they’re not obviously filled with garbage) to see what he thinks.

Anyway, not so long ago, I checked out one of our bestsellers and noticed another seller’s product had become attached to them in the ‘frequently bought with’ section.

They were sausages for dogs, and I’ve wanted to get some sausages onto the roster for a while, so I’m all ‘Oooh, let’s have a look at these little fellas.’

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I check out the title, and it’s saying ‘100% Natural’ and ‘Only Two Ingredients,’ and I’m even more intrigued because that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, but…

We haven’t been able to find anything that works – because they need something natural to hold the meat together, and we’ve not found that – at least not within a price range that anyone would reasonably buy.

I search around the listing and find the ingredients list (often tricky online) and see that it states they’re 75% beef and 25% pork. It also says that they’re 100% Natural – Raw – Healthy – Junk Free – Premium Quality – 100% Pure Pork and Beef – Hypoallergenic – Ideal for pets with allergies – Ideal for raw feeders.

Sounds too good to be true… so I order some for Roscoe for the ultimate test – what would the grumpy expert think?

So after a few days, they arrived – I opened up the box, dug the bag of sausages out and immediately turned them over. It’s a habit now – check-out the ingredients before feeding is my rule (and anyway, I love that bit – who doesn’t enjoy going total geek?)

The ingredient list is the one place every producer has to obey the law and state precisely what is in your dog’s treats or food (even if the giant manufacturers have managed to lobby the rules so the terms used to describe the worst ingredients and practices are unusual and unclear).

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That’s when I realised I’d been sausage suckered.

It wasn’t 100% pure pork and beef, and there weren’t just 2 ingredients.

It was ‘Meat and animal derivatives (minimum) pork 70% and beef 25%’.

If you’re thinking… What’s the problem? It’s pork and beef – 2 ingredients as stated.

Let me introduce you to the gruesome world of derivatives, hidden nasties and pet industry language…

100% Meat and Animal Derivatives

It was 100% meat and animal derivatives of which:

  • 95% came from (were derived from) pig and cow carcasses.
    Being able to use the terms pork and beef in the ingredients shows how strong the big pet food manufacturers are versus the lawmakers… this isn’t pork or beef, how we would know it.
  • 5% were derived from unknown animals.
    And those animals could change with every batch of sausages because not even the sausage maker knows what’s in there… they just buy oil drums of ‘meat and animal derivatives’ and have no way of knowing what’s in there (that’s why it’s so cheap!).
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Meat and Animal Derivatives

Meat and animal derivatives must be called that by law. They cannot be simply called pork or beef.

Because they are so far removed from pork or beef – even the pet food industry (dominated by the lobbying of big businesses) couldn’t persuade lawmakers to allow them to keep their original names. (Although they did manage to get the meat names we know into the composition to help make them sound more appealing.)

That’s because derivatives are hidden nasties made up of all the bits of the animals that no one else will use, hosed and scraped together and turned into a kind of gloop.

In this case, 70% is pig gloop, 25% is cow gloop, and 5% is random (and always changing) animal gloop with any mixture of different animals in there – there could be five, six or seven animals in there – and they’ll change with each batch that is made.


If my dog is allergic to chicken and 5% of that treat is chicken – I want to know!

I definitely don’t want to be told that there are only two ingredients and that it’s a hypoallergenic treat ideal for allergy sufferers!

If I’m a raw feeder or anyone concerned about what my dog eats – I don’t want to be told that the treats are 100% natural, healthy and junk-free – and suckered into feeding my dog gruesome hosed-down derivative gloop of unknown origin!

Argggh… I’ve gone into full-blown rant mode! You can tell by the number of exclamation marks!!!

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How many of those sweet words can you agree with?

It’s so so difficult to ignore the blurb on the front of the packet or website listing – but we’ve got to avoid being hoodwinked by the sweet words that hide the hidden nasties…

“75% beef and 25% pork – 100% Natural – Raw – Healthy – Junk Free – Premium Quality – 100% Pure Pork and Beef – Hypoallergenic – Ideal for pets with allergies – Ideal for raw feeders.”

How many of those sweet words can you agree with knowing the ingredients listed on the back of the packet are ‘Meat and animal derivatives (minimum) pork 70% and beef 25%’?

Junk Free?

Premium Quality?



100% Natural?

75% beef and 25% pork?

Turn Those Packets Around!

Turn those packets around and check out the ingredients (sometimes called composition).

Try and find the composition on the website and if you can’t… ask yourself why is that not clearly shown?

We like to show off our ingredients – why don’t they?


That’s me all ranted out; I need a nice lie-down and a cup of tea.

So just a quick reminder, if you’re new to us or if you’ve never used our 50% Discount on Treats before, all the details are here on how you can grab a great offer and join us in our quest to remove the hidden nasties in our dog’s treats: https://shop.bounceandbella.co.uk/pages/blog50.

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