Pros: Strenuous lab testing, product transparency, taste (lab approval), Smell, Ingredient list
Cons: None unless you're concerned about this being a product from China
Our Labradors, much like your canine friends, rule their kingdoms. We understand their requests, we tend to over-pamper them, and like many we over-indulge them, but most of us now pay much closer attention to how we reward and feed them than ten years ago. Too much has happened in the pet food and treat industry to buy products without reading the ingredients and packaging. Knowing that, I always read labels and packaging. Mr. P picked up a new package of treats (without me) to replace some thin chewies that our dogs received every morning.
Kingdom Pets Chicken Jerky contain 100% chicken breast fillet, they are all natural dog treats, high in protein and low in fat. The ingredient list is easy – nothing but chicken. These treats are approximately four-inch strips about one-inch wide and one quarter-inch thick. They smell like roasted chicken breasts. Like all jerky, these have been dried to a stiff rubbery texture.
My dogs absolutely love them. They don’t just receive these; they have to perform first – that’s the ritual. Mental stimulation is an excellent way to keep old dogs younger and our dogs do what they’re asked then begin showing off with other tricks that they know with the hope we’ll hurry and give them their chicken jerky treats.
About the treats.
Were it my choice to buy these I might have passed for only one reason. I’m nervous about toys, dishes, ceramics, and food that comes from China. There have been too many problems related to these products and I’m uncomfortable risking my older dog’s health. These are distributed by Kingdom Pets from Southern California, but they are made in China. Yet, the quality seems to be excellent. Let me describe what I’ve learned.
They claim high standards and great taste. They strive to provide high quality treats. Furthermore they claim this “jerky is processed under USDA guidelines and sterilized using approved measures by the FDA for human food use.”
“Our chicken jerky treats are made with all natural chicken breast fillet, 100% real chicken and is 97% fat free with No wheat gluten. The Kingdom Pets Chicken Jerky treats go through strenuous lab tests before and after production in the United States to ensure that our products are completely safe and nontoxic. The Kingdom Pets takes special care in producing quality chicken jerky treats that are free of bacterial infections such as E. Coli, Melamine, and Salmonella. Kingdom Pets’ products are processed under USDA and FDA guidelines and are specifically treated to be bacterial free.”
Additionally they state a lot of “no’s” about this treat: no melamin, wheat gluten, salmonella, artificial colors, bacteria, pesticides, by-products, fillers, hormones, and then claim the chicken is free range. Well, this all sounds good, but still it worries me that they are from China – yet I know that China has been strenuously trying to remedy that international concern.
I went searching to see if I was comfortable with these claims and learned the following:
+ The jerky is processed at temperatures over 167 degrees Fahrenheit. The World Health Organization deems chicken safe from avian influenza if cooked over 158 degrees.
+ Dark chicken meat is preferred in China and white meat tends to be considered waste which is why Kingdom Pets processes this in China. The white meat is much less expensive and easier to obtain.
+ Samples are regularly sent to Cornerstone Laboratories in Tennessee, an independent analytical lab, where they test for a variety of organophosphorous pesticides and herbicides as well as other contaminants that includes Escherichia coli and salmonella. Cornerstone Laboratories was established in August 2001 as a client-centered, customer-service oriented, analytical testing laboratory. Testing services include custom analysis, GC/MS, Metals, and Wet Chemistry. Kingdom Pets provides copies of these reports on their website, http://www.thekingdompets.com.
I’m feeling comfortable with the product and with the laboratory that provides the analytic testing. Also, from what I know about mass production of chicken in the United States this product coming from U.S. chicken farms would probably make me equally nervous.
Remember that these are treats. While my dogs would LOVE to make meals out of these jerky strips I know too much would upset their stomachs (and they might not seem so special). Regarding calories, these are much lower in calories (20-30 per strip) than many other treats. They are free of fillers and close examination of them over the past few weeks hasn’t provided any shocking surprises (like strange pieces or body parts). The package has a zipper closure that actually works and one package weighs three pounds (possibly 200 or more strips).
What I appreciate regarding this treat is the sincere effort that The Kingdom Pets has gone to for reassurance. Dog owners are very concerned about food products, especially those from China, and I’m comforted by their efforts to consult veterinarians and to provide lab analysis reports.
The strips quickly break down into smaller pieces when they chew this rather than being swallowed as one long piece of rawhide. (Older mouths can’t chew as well as they did several years ago.) They’ve been enjoying Kingdom Pets Chicken Jerky for several weeks without any negative (ha!) reactions. I laugh only because they would probably open the cabinet door and pull out the step ladder if they actually knew extras were kept on the top pantry shelf. The chicken jerky smells great and I won’t hesitate to buy more.