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The Rise of Premium Pet Treats: Does Premium Equal Healthy?

Written by: Michelle Toma Olson

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Time to read 4 min

The word “premium” sounds…well, premium! It signifies high-quality, well-made, usually more expensive – perhaps just better. Does that distinction apply to pet food, or more specifically, pet treats as well? Precisely what is a premium dog treat, and why is there seemingly a new obsession with premium pet products, treats included? 


At Farm To Pet, we think of premium as more of a designation of quality than anything else, and we definitely put our human-grade, single-ingredient dog treats firmly in the premium category – even though our products are relatively affordable when compared to the many other treat and chew options available for our furry friends. Let’s consider what the common threads are among pet treats that are considered premium, as well as if that means they also top the list of healthy dog treats.

What Does Premium Mean When It Comes to Pet Food Products?

As mentioned above, a premium classification has certain built-in connotations. However, the definition of premium in the pet market is actually a little bit vague. In the retail sector, it typically signifies a price point at least 10-30% higher than average, and it goes on up from there. For pet food products, while premium can come with a higher price tag, the term has definitely – and fortunately – become mostly aligned with the quality, especially of ingredients. And the brands in the premium category are undoubtedly proud to promote that fact!

For example, the source of ingredients in premium pet treats is something that is often part of the marketing story, like ours at Farm To Pet. We are very proud of the sources of poultry we use for our human-grade turkey and chicken chips. The chickens and turkeys used are responsibly-farmed, grain-fed and free-range. And one more attribute of our treats that we like to tout? They are single-ingredient. Yes, we know – that’s a lot of hyphenates! But with good reason. Each one is clear, direct and descriptive of inherent high quality.


four doodle dogs waiting for a Farm to Pet Chicken Chip
Doodles waiting on a Healthy Chicken Chip

Statements like these, as well as others including natural or organic, are also important because they demonstrate what is not in the pet food or treat, such as chemical preservatives, additives, fillers or artificial ingredients that can be unhealthy for or downright dangerous to our precious fur friends. And single-ingredient takes it once step further by removing any and all doubt that there is anything lurking in your premium pet treat – or your premium antler dog chew for that matter – other than the one thing it’s made of!


Dog mom feeding two doodles Farm to Pet Chicken Chips
Hikes are best with Healthy Treats

Still, just because a product is marketed – (or priced) – as premium doesn’t mean that it is high quality. When making your selections, start by examining the ingredient lists and manufacturing locations to be sure there are no red flags. Our blog article entitled “What to Watch for When Shopping for Healthy Dog Treats” is a great guide for things to avoid when choosing food and treats, premium or not! 


Why Is the Market Growing for Premium Pet Treats?

With all of these benefits offered by high quality ingredients and manufacturing processes, it’s easy to see why we pet parents are shelling out the dough on premium pet treats, foods and products in general. After all, pets are part of the family, and we want the best for them. Like with children, we are growing increasingly apt to spend on our dogs and cats even before we spend on ourselves!

This is part of a trend that has been gaining traction since the pandemic – when pet-human attachment hit new heights – known as pet humanization. Most of us pet parents already think our fur babies are pretty much human, but this trend has caused us to project the types of choices we make in lifestyle, nutrition – even soft goods like beds and accessories – onto our pets. 

white dog hiking in the snow
Healthy Lifestyle in Nature

Accordingly, pet treats have become much more than just something tasty. The pet treat market, and especially the premium pet treat category, has grown to include what are referred to as “functional treats” – meaning they offer a benefit to your pet like joint support or skin health or coat condition rather than just something akin to dessert for us humans! This rise in options for pet treats and the fact that many are now actually good for our doggies and kitties are one reason the market is seeing such growth. 

Rescue dog waiting for a Farm to Pet Chicken Chip
Rescue pup posing with his Farm to Pet treat

Are Premium Pet Treats the Right Choice for Your Dog?

Dog waiting for a healthy treat with Farm to Pet Bandana.
Puppy dog eyes guarantee healthy treat time!

As we have mentioned, we all want to treat our pets to the best of everything – within reason and within budget, of course! But the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true when it comes to many pet products, including food. While we don’t have to break the bank to ensure our pups are ingesting only healthy meals and treats, we do need to be discerning about what goes into their tummies. Premium products typically build their recipes around higher quality and/or functional ingredients and production processes. 

 

Terms like whole, raw, natural or organic on premium pet treat or food packaging – backed with the ingredient lists to prove it – signal to us shoppers that the product is made with pet wellbeing in mind. While they might be a little pricier than less nutritional options with fillers, byproducts, sweeteners or worse, in this case, you really are getting what you pay for! And you don’t have to buy the most expensive options to get these benefits as long as you check those labels.


For Dog's Sake, Go with Premium Pet Treats!

So there you have it! Much like cars that get the best performance out of premium fuel, our precious fur-riends function best when their fuel comes from a premium source. Because premium dog treats and foods usually contain higher quality ingredients, like the human-grade all-natural chicken and turkey in our own Farm to Pet dog treats and the hand-harvested elk antlers we use for our chews , they definitely make a better choice for treating pets than other options. And price isn’t always the indicator of quality! While premium pet treats can cost a little more, they shouldn’t blow the budget. Just read those labels and websites, and you will see great options like ours that offer clean, affordable – and yes, premium! – nutrition and treats for our beloved pets to enjoy!

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