As I mentioned before in my post about using Vital Essentials’ Mini Nibs in combination with KONG food puzzles, it wasn’t until my first attendance of the Global Pet Expo in March of this year that I became aware of Vital Essentials – their booth was one of the last ones in the Natural Section I stopped at and ended up appreciating the most! Isn’t it funny how life works like that sometimes?
Disclaimers: Vital Essentials provided K9sOverCoffee with 1 bag of freeze-dried Minnows in return for an honest review when hearing that I was interested in fish treats. Vital Essentials is not responsible for the content of this blog post.
Some of the links in this blog post are Amazon associate links. This means that if you click on an affiliate link and buy certain items, I will receive a small commission to keep this blog going. The price is not affected by this and remains the same for you. Thank you for your support!
How did I not know about them before?? No idea – BUT I am more than aware of them now and can’t recommend their freeze-dried treats enough (Missy & Buzz haven’t sampled their raw patties yet, but will do so eventually).
Vital Essentials Treat Line Seen At Global Pet Expo 2016
Missed my post about the VE Mini Nibs & KONG? Just click below to catch up:
In a nutshell, this is what the Minnows are:
- low fat
- no fishy smell
- sourced from Minnesota & Wisconsin rivers & streams
- small size = perfect training treat
Single Ingredient Source of Protein
Let me start by sharing the no 1 benefit of these treats: They are a single-ingredient source of protein. Meaning they contain nothing but whole raw minnows that have been freeze-dried.
Literally nothing else guys – no grains, no gluten, no artificial vitamins/minerals, preservatives, colorings – NO JUNK WHATSOEVER!
I can seriously feel 100% good about treating my pups with these goodies.
What’s so great about single-ingredient treats? Besides the fact that they don’t contain any of the crap mentioned above, they literally only consist of ONE SINGLE ingredient – in this case, the fish. That’s it.
Single-ingredient treats are wonderful for dogs who suffer from a known food intolerance (a specific protein or grain, for example) – so if you know that your pooch does poorly on chicken or lamb, let him try a different protein, e.g. fish, and see how he does on it!
Tip: If you store treats from your local supermarket in your pantry (or wherever), do yourself a favor and check the ingredient list right about now.
I bet you it has at least 10, likely more, ingredients listed on the label, several of which are probably grains. Grains and corn are cheap, empty fillers the mainstream dog food industry likes to include in their dog treats (& food, by the way), although they have zero nutritional value and are known to cause itchy, red, inflamed looking skin.
Why not conduct a little experiment and toss out the supermarket treats in exchange for single-ingredient ones, such as the Minnows?
Even better, take it up a notch and exchange any kibble that’s rich in empty fillers and artificial preservatives for a freeze-dried meal from Vital Essentials). Your pup’s overall appearance, to include her energy levels & playfulness, will drastically change from meh to wow! #WeAreWhatWeEat
Offering freeze-dried or dehydrated raw food is the easiest way to transition your pup to a more species-appropriate food. That’s how I got started back in 2015!
Freeze-Drying Process Eliminates Need For Refrigeration
Benefit no 2: No refrigeration is needed, and that’s although they don’t contain any preservatives. How is this possible? The Minnows are freeze-dried for 48 hours. That process locks in all the vital nutrients without destroying them.
Since they don’t need to be refrigerated, they’re very convenient to bring along on trips or hikes without having to worry about bringing along coolers.
Missy Taking A Minnows Snack Break On Our Hike At Anderson Creek County Park, NC
I’ve brought them along for several hikes, and didn’t even have to carry them – they fit nicely in Missy’s Ruffwear doggie backpack.
Sourced, Made, & Packaged In The USA
Benefit no 3: The Minnows are sourced, made, and packaged right here in the USA, in Green Bay, WI. #NoCrapFromChina
Vital Essentials have their very own USDA certified and inspected pet food facility with a comprehensive HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) Food Safety Program developed in collaboration with Kansas State University.
Their employees are HACCP and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) trained and certified employees receiving a “Superior Rating” from biannual FDA (Food & Drug Administration) audits.
No Fishy Smell
Benefit no 4: No fishy smell whatsoever. I personally don’t mind stronger smells (I feed my pups raw green tripe, so I’m used to that), but I know that fish isn’t for everyone because of the smell.
Missy About To Snack On A Freeze-Dried Minnow During Our Hike Along Cape Fear River, NC
The Minnows come from Minnesota and Wisconsin rivers and streams and are frozen before the freeze-drying process. This locks in their freshness, meaning no decomposition occurs (which is usually where a fishy smell comes from).
Where To Buy The Minnows
The Minnows come in a 1 oz bag and are available on Amazon.
The Freeze-Dried VE Minnows Measure About 1.5 in/4 cm
Just an FYI for dog/cat households: The Minnows also make a great cat treat, so if your house is run by both Felines & K9s, it would make sense to purchase a 1 oz bag for both species to share.
If you’re a cat only home, you might want to get your paws on a 0.5 oz bag of Minnows, specifically designed for cats.
Does your pup have a freeze-dried favorite treat or food? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!
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