NEW – Super-Food Treats in a Monthly Subscription Box

Just what the Vet ordered!

Everyone likes to ask their Pet “do you want a treat?” we love to give out dog treats and chews because it makes our Pups so happy and with our new box, you can also give your pup some real life benefits.

Doggie treats can be used to learn new tricks and behaviours, sneak in a prescribed pill (shh), help clean your dogs teeth or aid digestion.

All animals have dietary needs to keep them healthy and strong.  Healthy Dog Treats or “functional food”, are a great way of slipping a little something extra without feeding them actual vitamins or minerals.  We believe that single-ingredient treats are especially gentle on your pets system.

So we have decided that from May we will be adding to our collection, a new Monthly Subscription Box with all yummy treats containing lots of Super Foods.  This months box will have Turmeric, Spinach and Beetroot, they are yummy, but also nutritious biscuits.  These are really convenient as they are delivered to your door and saves you a visit to the supermarket.

  • Beetroot has Vitamin C, Fibre, Folate, Manganese, and Potassium.  All of these vitamins and minerals are good for a dogs digestion and immune system as well as a healthy skin and coat.
  • Spinach has lots of vitamins, A, B, C, and K.  It also contains Iron, Antioxidants, Beta-Carotene and roughage all which stimulate the digestive tract.
  • Turmeric contains a compound called Curcumin which has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti fungal activities.  We add Black Pepper to our Turmeric to help increase the absorption and bring out the great properties of the Turmeric.

At V.I.Pets Bakery, we like to use as many of these Superfoods in our Celebration Boxes as we can, so now we would like to also offer boxes you can use as treats everyday.

Each Superfood Hamper will have at least 60 treats in each box, so you can treat them all month knowing that they are getting a balance of the Super treat, (vitamins and minerals) with their normal everyday feed.

And there is more, each hamper will have a recipe card for a healthy treat you can bake at home.  This month is Sweet Potato and Coconut and we hope you give this a try.

So when your pup asks for a treat, with a VIP Hamper, you will be prepared with the “right” treat

Cheap, Pretty and Deadly – Be Careful What Treats You Buy!

Bear with me! This post is partly a personal gripe, and part warning based on my own experience.

We humans like to buy cheap and pretty, quickly on a whim

I often browse online and check out what competitors are doing, which small business owner and entrepreneur doesn’t? Sometimes (often) I am shocked, dismayed and angry at some (not all) of the pet food, and treats being sold online. What is going on?  It seems that there are a plethora of people who seem to think it’s ok to appeal to the push-out and saturate the marketplace with really nice looking, inexpensive treats. They use all the right emotive words and marketing hype to optimise the chance of us humans to buy without a thought about what’s in the junk they produce. You are going to be mortified at how many pet-treat manufacturers there are in the marketplace, who claim to be animal lovers, professional chefs, and care about what they are producing. When you start to dig deep and look at their labelling, the content of the product, they are a disaster waiting to happen.

Some of us do things properly with animal safety in mind

VIPets Bakery and many small producers went through, and continue to go through, many health and safety checks, we keep detailed records of ingredients and subscribe to regulatory body rules. It’s a bit like insurance – you don’t need it until someones loved pet dies. So yes, I’m upset by the plethora of unlicensed, untraceable sellers, non-regulated treats and cakes out there!  A lot of Online sellers seem to have seen this ‘lock-down’ as an opportunity to be unscrupulous and fill the pet feed market with some potentially dangerous feed. I appeal to all suppliers, It is essential to follow the Trading Standards Regulations and have a Track and Trace method to be able to send a recall notice to all shops they have supplied to and get the products off the shelves and destroyed.

So what happens when you purchase from a Pet Treat supplier, who isn’t registered?  How do you spot them and not end up with a poorly pet?

Ok, so we know that there are many pet feed manufacturers who are unscrupulous, blatantly violate the law, and produce unsafe pet treats and cakes every year.  This means that more and more Pet Parents are at the mercy of careless pet feed manufacturers. An example is the latest product recall (3rd Feb 2021) from Asda, in respect of Pedigree Mixer Adult dry dog food and Chappie Dog Food, due to the products containing high levels of Vitamin D.  It reminds us how thousands of pets each year get sick from slow food poisoning from the innocently purchased feed, treats, and other pet food.  Sadly most of these illnesses will go unreported.

This guide will help you to understand what you should be looking for when purchasing treats and cakes.

If you cannot find this information on any of the products and websites then please do not buy them.

What to look for:

  • Is the Pet Treat Manufacturer registered with Trading Standards?  If they are, they have to display the registration number and the place of manufacture on their Websites or on the shopping media page.  If they are, they will have the regulatory Track and Trace on all their orders.  (You can even ask what went into your order at our Bakery)
  • Is the list of ingredients listed as ‘COMPOSITION’ as it should be by law.  There should then be a list of the composition with the greatest weight first.  eg, flour, oats, peanut butter.
  • Nutritional Analysis – should be listed against the product.  All pet treats must have a nutritional analysis performed on them before they are sold to the public.
  • If you are purchasing any treats or cakes with any animal derivatives, such as any meats, cheese, and or honey they must then also be registered with Defra and APHA who control and test all pet treats and cakes with these ingredients.

Do not fall into the trap that the treats or cakes are pretty and cheap, it could cost you your pet.


Beetroot for Dogs

Beetroot are obviously healthy and this applies to Dogs too.  Yep, this root vegetable is not only nutritious, but it can help to improve a doggies coat too.  Allergic reactions are rare with this superfood, but be on the lookout, some people are allergic to Beetroot Juice, and this maybe so for some dogs.

Nutritional information:

  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Fibre
  • Manganese and
  • Potassium

It makes sense to allow your fur friend to enjoy a small amount of Beetroot, as it is low in calories (88% Water) and is a fantastic antioxidant, so can be served as a supplement.

Pets can be fed either cooked or raw Beetroot, either way is not harmful, but lightly boiled or steamed is how you can deliver your dog the most benefits.

But, this is using fresh beetroot, not canned or tinned Beetroot, as your Pup doesn’t need the extra Sodium.  Also, it should be given in moderation if your pet suffers from kidney or bladder stones due to the high Oxalates Factor.  So don’t go overboard, feed pet-friendly portions.

Source: Doctor Stephanie Flansburg Cruz – Veterinary Physician


Is Chamomile just used for calming your Dogs Anxiety

Chamomile for dogs is one of the safest and most versatile herbal pet remedies and has a broad range of scientifically proven uses.

The attributes of this herb are:

  • Anti-Spasmodic – contains chemicals that relax smooth muscles, including those found in blood vessels and the digestive tract.
  • Carminative (gas relieving)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Sedative
  • Anti-microbial
  • Wound healing
  • Tonic properties that strengthen body functions
  • Worm expelling – Antihelmintic

We use Chamomile flowers packed into a diffuser teapot, and add a cup of boiling water and let the mixture sleep until it has completely cooled.  This is then added to the biscuit mix.  The unused tea can be used as a soothing skin rinse for itchy, inflamed skin, including flea bites, contact allergies or minor bacterial or fungal infections.  Also, can be used to wipe sticky eyes when mixed with saline water.  So yes, this is one of those very versatile herbs.

As with introducing any new herb, do this slowly and look out for allergies or any reactions and watch for anything out of the ordinary.

*Source WholeDog Journal – August 2019

Why is Pumpkin a Powerhouse of Nutrition for Pets?

Pumpkin has been used for years in American treats, but here in the UK, we rarely see Pumpkin as an addition to the recipe.  As it turns out, Pumpkin has a variety of health benefits for both Dogs and Cats.  * The beautiful golden coloured squash, has proven to benefit digestive tracts when added to your pet’s diet.

Let’s take a look at some of the wonderful benefits:

  • In cats, Pumpkin is particularly good for preventing hairballs
  • Good for pets whose stools are too loose as the fibre in Pumpkin can act as a binding solution through a pets digestive tract, absorbing the excess water and therefore helping with the diarrhoea.
  • Is low in fat, but high in fibre and cholesterol
  • Loaded with Beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A & C
  • Full of essential fatty acids and antioxidants that support a healthy urinary tract
  • Can serve as a healthy substitute for fatty treats and foods

Obviously, in the UK, Pumpkin is seasonal, and not available all year round.

Although fresh is always the preferred option, to get around this we sometimes have to use the canned variety.  There are different types of Pumpkin available in supermarkets and so always check that it is pure Pumpkin not the type for Pumpkin Pie.

Source * Dr Carol McConnell, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Nationwide Pet Insurance

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Is Turmeric as a Natural Colourant really good for your pet


If Turmeric is being used as one of your pet treat ingredients, there is something you need to check.

Lots of Bakers are using Turmeric as a natural yellow colourant, and proclaiming its good for your pet.  Turmeric is known as the Golden Spice, its what gives your curry, that lovely yellow colour.

This claim is true in that it is a natural colour, but to get all those fabulous health benefits from this spice, you need to add a dash of Black Ground Pepper!  When you add this to Turmeric, its a whole new ball game (popped that in because pets like ball games too!).

Turmeric has a compound called Curcumin and adding Black Pepper, (which also has health benefits due to the compound Piperine) to the mix enhances the Curcumin absorption in the body, and magnifies their beneficial effects.

Turmeric with Black Pepper can:

  • reduce inflammation,
  • is an anti-oxidant,
  • antibacterial,
  • has disease-fighting qualities
  • and can improve digestion.   Wow.

So lookout, and make sure that there is a dash of Black Pepper been added to this very golden ingredient.

* Dogs Naturally Magazine – Dana Scott – “So you can’t give turmeric by itself and expect good results”