Treats? Think again.

I don’t claim to ever be a food expert – but have always respected those who are.

This week, Mark from Doggie Steps Dog Training came by to meet my ROCCO the Rockstar. He saw the Bil-Jac Liver Treats for Dogs that I was using for Rocco’s potty reward (he goes potty outside all the time!) and did a “tisk tisk” shaking his finger at me.

I was like, “WHAT??? He (Rocco) likes them!”
“Danielle,” he said, “these cause cancer. Check out this BHA thing…and he points to the ingredients.”
“Huh?” I said.
Concerned mother instinct kicked in and I started my research.

Are you hearing what she is saying?

One google search of BHA resulted in all I needed to know. These “treats” just got a one way ticket to the trash can. I posted on our Bella’s House & Pet Sitting Facebook Fan Page and Sabine added to my discussion. What I found out from her site has been so valuable and I wanted to encourage you all to take a serious look at what is in your pets food and treats. When they are being fed the same thing, day in, and day out… well – I hope you catch my drift.

For instance…. According to here is what I was feeding Rocco with these treats:

Chicken Byproduct Meal
AAFCO: Consists of the dry, ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines — exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

Chicken byproducts are much less expensive and less digestible than the chicken muscle meat.The ingredients of each batch can vary drastically in ingredients (heads, feet, bones etc.) as well as quality, thus the nutritional value is also not consistent. Don’t forget that byproducts consist of any parts of the animal OTHER than meat. If there is any use for any part of the animal that brings more profit than selling it as “byproduct”, rest assured it will appear in such a product rather than in the “byproduct” dumpster.

Phosphoric Acid
A clear colorless liquid, H3PO4, used in fertilizers, detergents, food flavoring, and pharmaceuticals. A harmless but unnecessary ingredient, used in inexpensive, poor quality dog food as flavoring, emulsifier and discoloration inhibitor. Used for example as a flavoring for Coca Cola.

Propylene Glycol
A colorless viscous hygroscopic liquid, CH3CHOHCH2OH, used in antifreeze solutions, in hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent. Used as humectant in semi-moist kibble to keep it from drying out. May be toxic if consumed in large amounts, and should definitely not be an ingredient in a food an animal will eat daily for weeks, months or even years of its life. In countries of the European Union, propylene glycol is not cleared as a general-purpose food grade product or direct food additive.

Butylated Hydroxysanisole – a white, waxy phenolic antioxidant, C11H16O2, used to preserve fats and oils, especially in foods. Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US. Possible human carcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity.

Still think this is a TREAT? Think again. I bought this at PetSmart.  I think I will be going back to FETCH Doggie Store later this week. I am grateful to have such wonderful friends and resources in my life to help make sure that my FUR CHILD stays happy and healthy.

Curious to know if you are feeding your pets any ingredients that are on the AVOID list as seen on the Dog Food Project? Check it out here.

Pet Food Nutritionist – Sabine, The Dog Food Project
Dog Trainer – Mark, Doggie Steps Dog Training
Pet Food Store – Dawn, Fetch Doggie Store and Kitty too

This information has been provided to you from Bella Vasta, the Pack Leader for Bella’s House and Pet Sitting in Scottsdale AZ. For more information please call 480.330.4552 or go to

2 Responses to “Treats? Think again.”

  • Sarah:

    Great article! Its super important for pet owners to educate themselves and READ labels! It blows my mind how amazing the commercials look on tv for dog foods…those commercials are for the WORST dog foods. They put millions into advertising, when they should be putting it into quality ingredients and NOT corn, by products, wheat, soy, cancerous chemicals, etc……
    Fetch doggy store is my FAVE!! They only carry healthy foods! They know whats up!!

  • Wow, thanks for the information. I see a lot of my customer using the Bil Jack treats. I visited the website and saw all the recalls from Blue Buffalo. I was under the impression that Blue Buffalo was a reputable brand. I am always looking for ways to help my client’s pets stay safe and healthy.

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