Wendyl Wants To Know
Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl Wants to Know: Real chicken dog treats also full of preservatives

1 comment
Pets suffer health effects from poor diets too, so read ingredient lists carefully.
Vitapet Jerhigh Chicken and Bacon. $4.79 for 100g. Photo / Supplied
Vitapet Jerhigh Chicken and Bacon. $4.79 for 100g. Photo / Supplied

I have two dogs, which I love very much, but I really don't think anthropomorphising your pets is a sane or even sensible thing to do, so when I saw this packet of dog treats I had a bit of a reaction.

"Read my sloppy chops ... I deserve real chicken, not junk food," said the packet, supposedly articulating for my dogs what they cannot. A quick look at the ingredients panel, however, told me that this looked just like junk food.

Vitapet Jerhigh Chicken and Bacon $4.79 for 100g

Ingredients ( in order of greatest quantity first)

Chicken meat

Most of these treats are made up of chicken meat which is great.



This will be in here to keep the treat moist. Glycerine is a natural product made from plants or animals and has a sweet taste.


This is sugar, in here most likely for flavour. Dogs don't need sugar as they would not find it in a natural diet in the wild. This can cause obesity and problems with their teeth.


These will be artificial flavours and I'm guessing bacon flavour, because there is no bacon listed among the ingredients.


No idea what preservatives are in here, but they will be serious ones because this product was made on January 24, 2015 and expires on April 24, 2016 - that's real chicken in a pack for 15 months.


Not sure what these are, but they are also used to preserve food products.


These will be artificial colours and you can clearly see them in the treats. One colour is a bacon red/pink and the other colour is a chicken beige.

My recommendations

The packaging tells this fanciful tale about the manufacturing process of Vitapet Jerhigh Chicken and Bacon: "Brutus laughs until his jowls wobble as the humans put on gumboots, hairnets, face masks, white coats and gloves before entering the building to carefully layer chicken and bacon on to trays by hand and oven cook them for 12 hours."

If only Brutus knew that there is no bacon carefully layered on to a tray, just bacon flavouring. These treats are quite blatantly a mix of ingredients and additives, coloured, then rolled out and baked to look like real chicken and bacon strips.

That fact that you're reading this column means you have an interest in real food, but this also affects your pets. They, like us, are just as prone to allergies and the ill effects of too much sugar and additives, so we ought to spend some time reading their food ingredients as well.

If you're going to feed your dog treats, try to make them as natural as possible.

Dried meat is ideal and there are many options to choose from at your local supermarket.

Just make sure there is only one ingredient listed - meat.


• Contains sugar which dogs don't need.

• No bacon, even though it clearly states chicken and bacon.

• Uses artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.

- NZ Herald

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