Today I’m excited to talk to you about one of my top nutritional finds at the Global Pet Expo in sunny Orlando, FL! I found Vital Essentials in the natural section of the show floor – they are a US company that’s family-owned & operated and has been making a difference in what we feed our K9 & Feline best friends since 1968!
Vital Essentials Company Facts
They meet all the requirements I’m looking for in a company who produces healthy, species-appropriate nutrition – I’m going to let their company facts speak for themselves:
Vital Essentials sells raw frozen patties as well as raw freeze-dried complete meals. The latter offer ultimate convenience as they don’t have to be refrigerated – thanks to the slow, 48 hour freeze-drying process of the raw meat, bones, and organs, all nutrients are locked in.
The freeze-dried Mini Nibs are available in four different proteins (Beef, Chicken, Turkey, & Duck); here’s what the Duck & Turkey samples we taste-tested consist of:
Ingredients Duck Mini Nibs
Ground duck with bone, duck liver, duck gizzard, duck skin, herring oil, mixed tocopherols, d-alpha tocopherol.
Ingredients Turkey Mini Nibs
Ground turkey with bone, turkey heart, turkey liver, herring oil, mixed tocopherols, d-alpha tocopherol.
I Used The Mini Nibs As A Training Reward & For A Food Puzzle
I felt very comfortable letting Missy & Buzz taste-test the nutritious Turkey & Duck Mini Nibs I brought back for them. I obviously didn’t have enough for a whole meal, so I incorporated one half in a little training session, and the other half in a food puzzle.
As you can see in the pictures below, I rewarded Missy with the Mini Nibs for holding a “down-stay”“down-stay” combined with a “leave-it”, and Buzz for holding his “paws up” on our chaise lounge (great core-strength exercise, by the way) combined with a “leave it”.
Filling The KONG Toys
I also filled the pups’ hollow KONG toys with a mixture of the Mini Nibs, plain greek yogurt, peanut butter, and an apple/carrot/pineapple smoothie (dogs lack the necessary enzymes to break down plant cell walls, so they need to be pureed for optimal absorption).
The filled KONGs then went into the freezer for about 6 hours – I could have given them the KONGs in a non-frozen state, but they would only have lasted about 10 mins that way. Freezing them adds about 20-30 mins of licking time.
Missy & Buzz got to enjoy their frozen goodies when I came back from my dog walking visits on one of our awesome, warmer days spring has been treating us with lately!
As expected, they lasted a little over 30 mins, which gave me some time to unwind with a cup of coffee while watching the pups enjoy their frozen treats outside in our yard.
Meeting KONG At The Global Pet Expo 2016
Speaking of our KONG toys – of course I also had to stop by the KONG booth while attending the Global Pet Expo. I had the pleasure of meeting Minoru and chatting with him about the importance of mental doggie stimulation – which is just as important as physical exercise!
Food puzzles are an excellent means of burning mental energy because they ask dogs to figure out how to get to the edible goodies inside of them – I can’t recommend them enough, especially when you’re in need of some “me” time.
Our Paw-Sitive Verdict About Vital Essentials
I’m stoked, to say the least, to have found another raw feeding company who sets itself apart from the big commercial dry dog food brands. Here’s to all the amazing health benefits associated with raw food for dogs:
*Reduction of Cancer Risk
*Improved Oral Health
*Improved Weight Management
*Reduction of Allergies
*Healthy Skin & Coat
More Freeze-Dried Goodness from Vital Essentials – Minnows
Vital Essential’s wild-caught, freeze-dried Minnows are a small freshwater fish typically used for bait by fishermen – I’ve been looking into adding more fish protein to Missy & Buzz’s diet and treat allowance, so I’m excited that I’ve been finding out more about fishy products 🙂 These particular ones don’t smell and are a hit with the pups!!
Has your pup taste-tested some of Vital Essentials’ yummy foods and/or treats? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!