We’ve been on a search for the best dog treats for Great Danes. Lucy picked these out herself on our last visit to PetsMart. Most likely because of the chicken flavor. Lucy doesn’t really get excited about any food or treat, but she does like chicken (and whipped cream, but that’s a different story.)
- Manufacturer: Nutrish
- Treat Name: Chicken ‘n Waffle Bites
- Flavor: Chicken (and waffles I guess)
- Best price: Amazon
- Made in the USA: Meadville, PA
- Lucy’s Rating: 4/5
Lucy Likes Them
If you’ve read other articles about Lucy you know she’s not food driven and is very picky about what she eats. That’s why it’s significant that Lucy liked them – she didn’t LOVE them but she did “like“ them. She ate a couple without being coaxed, but didn’t seem overly enthusiastic.
She seemed like both the chicken and waffle pieces about the same. I haven’t tried them so I’m not sure if they both taste the same. My guess it they are the same ingredients, just colored and shaped differently.
Ingredients I Can Pronounce
I like it when the ingredients of my dogs food or treats are things that I can pronounce and are recognizable as food items. The first ingredient is chicken, that’s a good thing. Since ingredients are listed in the order relative to their quantity in a food, it’s nice to know that there’s more chicken in these treats and any other single ingredient.
- Soy Grits
- Glycerin (to keep them soft)
- Dried Carrots,
- Dried Peas
- Sorbic Acid (A Preservative)
- Turmeric (color) *
- Citric Acid (A Preservative)
- Natural Flavor
- Paprika Extract (Color)
- Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative)
- Rosemary Extract
*(Turmeric: I put this stuff in my morning green smoothies. Turmeric touts many health benefits for humans such as being an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s also known to help symptoms of depression and arthritis. It even has the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Most of these health benefits carry over to dogs plus a few more. You can read more about Turmeric for dogs here. – And to think, they only put it in here for “color.”)
Most of these ingredients are things I could see in chicken casserole recipe. There are three different preservatives which I find a little troublesome, but they’re low on the list and are all food-based elements.
The only thing I find odd is that Glycerin is the third ingredient. The reason I find this odd is due to the fact that the only negative reviews I could find for this treat were related to them being hard – not soft and chewy (as chicken and waffles should be). Glycerin is a softening agent, it’s prime function is to keep the treats soft. This leads me to believe the few people who ran into a bag of hard treats may have encountered a packaging problem, like a bag with a hole that allowed the treats to become hard and stale. With Glycerin the third ingredient they should stay nice and soft for a long time.
So the ingredients seem generally healthy with no known carcinogens or toxins. This may seem like an obvious observation, but there are dog foods out there about which this cannot be said. There is even an organization called “clean label project” that’s dedicated to identifying toxins in pet food (among other things). Their information is worth reading, you can check it out at this link.
Who Likes them more?
It’s no big surprise to say that the biggest selling point for these treats is the human appeal factor.
The cute shapes make you feel like your giving your pup something that you’d like to eat, as seen in the top picture on the bag. I’m convinced the bottom picture is there for legal, “truth in advertising” reasons and to show us humans how cute the shapes are. It certainly isn’t because they look so tastey!
The pictures on the top portion of the package show some really tasty looking fried chicken accompanied by fluffy waffles. This image is sharply contrasted by the less than appetizing image of the dull colored shapes loosely resembling chicken drum sticks and quarter waffles. I think they would’ve been better off without the picture of human food, but that’s probably what grabbed MY attention, and after all I am the one making the buying decision.
As I said earlier Lucy thought they were OK, but didn’t go crazy for them. After reading several customer reviews on the Nutrish website, it appears that Lucy is not alone.
I believe the real selling point of these treats is that humans think they’re cute (which they are), plus, of course, the mass appeal of Rachael Ray’s personality.
Why Rachael Ray?
I asked myself this very question. What does a celebrity chef know about dog food? Or better question, should I be concerned that a celebrity chef is cooking for dogs? Does my dog care if her treats are the culinary creation of a world-famous chef when she’s very happy with a nice piece of peanut butter bread? Does my dog even know who Rachael Ray is?
Turns out that Rachael is well-known as a dog lover and has been featured in Modern Dog magazine where she shared about her passion for dogs, specifically her Pit Bulls.
In fact Rachael’s proceeds from each sale is donated to Rachael’s Rescue
Rachael’s Rescue is dedicated providing adoption, medical care, and training to at-risk animals along with educational programs and outreach initiatives.
So her connection to dog food isn’t as far-fetched (dog pun) as it might seem on the surface.
The Bottom Line
You can feel good about buying these treats for your dog because:
- Your dog will like them (even if they don’t “love” them)
- The ingredients are wholesome and safe
- You’ll have fun with the cute shapes
- Your purchase will help support Rachael’s Rescue
I’m not sure I’m make these my go-to every day training treat. They’re too big for training unless you took the time to break them up into smaller pieces which kind of defeats the purpose of the fun shapes. The pieces are large with works well for your Great Dane.
There’s no question that they are fun and worth consideration especially knowing my purchase helped support Rachael’s Rescue.