This week, following six months in development, the advanced nutrition pet food brand, Vet’s Kitchen, launched Little Stars, the first calorie-rated, and healthy, dog treat in the UK. Developed with input from their in-house vets and their first-hand experience of the growing incidence of obesity in dogs, the company has created a naturally healthy treat that also makes it easier for dog owners to count the calories when training or rewarding their dogs. The size, recipe and consistency of the treats were also driven by the personal frustration experienced by one of their vet nurses who couldn't find a healthy treat without additives suitable for training her small rescue puppy.
The timing of their launch coincides with warnings from Direct Line Pet Insurance based on their research which shows that calorie content is rarely shown making it difficult for owners to choose healthy, low calorie treats. Indeed, some treats have calorie content as high per gram as some well-known fast food items. BBC Vet, Marc Abraham, said: “I would be delighted to see calorie information made available on all dog treats.”
With a known calorie count (5 kcal per treat) and a user-friendly on pack feeding guide, the star shaped treats not only break the mould of traditional dog treats but with their semi-moist consistency, prevent ‘pocket crumbling’ and are easier to break up into smaller, soft, bite-size portions to reward and train all breeds of dog from puppies through to seniors.
Little Stars dog treats are healthy, tasty and hypoallergenic too. The first product is Little Stars Active+, which contains mouth-watering high quality Salmon which delivers healthy energy and Omega 3 for a healthy heart, skin and coat, plus glucosamine, chondroitin & MSM to promote joint health.
The result, is, they believe, the perfect dog treat – in size, shape, consistency and recipe.
Jenny Philp, MD at Vet’s Kitchen, explained: “The trials from our in-house vet practice, Vet's Klinic, produced positive first-hand feedback from hundreds of caring dog owners. We are therefore confident that we have developed a healthy, fun and rewarding dog treat, the recipe for which provides dogs of any age and size tasty yet beneficial, balanced nutrition. As a company, we have always aimed to provide honest, clear, understandable ingredient labelling, and we believe our user-friendly on pack feeding guide and calorie rating will make it easier for owners to adjust their dog’s normal food intake, reward their dogs responsibly and healthily and help prevent over-feeding.” Each Little Star contains 5 kcal and three Little Stars are the equivalent of feeding 4g of Vet’s Kitchen dry dog food.
Traditionally, Vet’s Kitchen has always used photographs of their customers’ dogs. On this occasion however, Vet’s Kitchen commissioned award winning illustrator, Jim Field, to create a fun on-pack cartoon of a Beagle, Klive, whose name was chosen by Jim from hundreds of suggestions posted on Vet’s Kitchen’s Facebook Page.
Binny, the bin dog, is the abandoned puppy who was the inspiration for Little Stars.
Little Stars Active+ is made in Britain and available in 85g pocket-size re-sealable bags for £1.39. They contain Salmon (38%), Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM to promote healthy joint development and Omegas 3 and 6 for healthy heart, skin and coat. In line with all Vet’s Kitchen recipes, they contain no added artificial “nasties” and are hypoallergenic.