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.


I was looking into the benefits of using of Peppermint Oil for dogs

I noticed that another bakery was using Organic Peppermint Oil in their chocolate bars, so I thought, oh, this is new, lets see what benefits if any there are for the dogs and maybe use this for some of the Bakery’s treats.  As always, you start with Google as there is lots of interesting information on Peppermint Oil on the internet, but on Google, all the information was showing that it was not quite the answers I was looking for.

I wanted to check to see which essential oils are beneficial to dogs, but actually found out that most were poisonous, eek!  and unfortunately, on a lot of the internet sites about Oils, Peppermint is listed as one of them.

According to the articles I have read, Peppermint oil can be toxic to pets, whether it is ingested by mouth or used on the skin.  Worst of all, some articles state that people are getting confused with thinking that natural is safe.

Here at the Bakery, we like to check both.  I have seen a Dog Bakery using this for making their doggie chocolate bars, and so now, that is worrying, so please be aware.

This is some of the information found so far.

Firstly, be aware of the difference between the Oil and Extract.

  • Peppermint Extract – they use a solvent for extraction and that is why it is not an Essential Oil.  Its a tincture or infusion.
  • Peppermint Oil – Highly concentrated from plants, and must be produced by steam distillation or expression.

Here is some of the evidence from different sources on the internet:

  • As soon as you Google ‘is Peppermint Oil safe for dogs, the list shows oils harmful to dogs and the list is Cinnamon, Citrus, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Pine, Sweet Birch, Tea Tree, Wintergreen, Ylang ylang, Anise, Clove, Thyme, Juniper, Yarrow, and Garlic.
  • They state that generally speaking, essential oils and animals do not mix and Michelson Found Animals doesn’t recommend using any essential oils on your pets. has an article stating that Peppermint Oil is not as safe for dogs as it is for humans.  According to the article, there is a huge trend towards natural remedies and aromatic oils, and this trend is filtering through to Pet products.  Organic and Natural are confusing pet owners, and these supplements, oils etc are on the market with little or no way of knowing the potential side effects.

If you are using Peppermint Oil for any reason, please look out for the following symptoms of poisoning in pets, a good rule of thumb is to always be alert to changes in your pets behaviour.  You may be using the oil for Flea Treatments, but look out for the following:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Drooling
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty walking or stumbling
  • Muscle tremors
  • Pawing at the mouth or face
  • Redness or burns on their lips, tongue, skin or gums
  • Vomiting







Would you know which common Garden Mint is harmful to your pet

Unfortunately, yes, one of our beloved garden herbs can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness.  English PennyRoyal Mint, is the culprit, and so this one is best avoided.  There are lots of other varieties that have health benefits for your pets.

Health benefits of mint: