Kyle Goguen knows pet parents want to give their pups healthy dog treats. But figuring out what to buy and reading labels filled with complicated, difficult-to-pronounce ingredients can be exhausting and intimidating.
That’s why he created Pawstruck.com, a company dedicated to providing wholesome dog treats and chews made with single or limited ingredients.
“We wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so it’s easier for you to analyze it,” Goguen says. “Dogs are carnivores, so we generally push more meat-based, single-ingredient treats like bully sticks and natural beef muscle. Simpler generally is better.”
To get the greatest benefit from healthy dog treats, Goguen recommends focusing on three things: natural ingredients, meat-based products, and supplements with glucosamine and other healthy ingredients to improve overall health.
Three Pawstruck.com products to consider feeding your dog:
Dental Dog Chews
Pawstruck’s dental chews are limited-ingredient and made with functional ingredients like parsley and cumin.
The parsley helps keep your dog’s breath fresher, soothes your dog’s stomach, and helps flush out toxins.
Cumin helps improve digestive health, boosts the immune system, and helps give senior dogs more energy.
The company’s beef jerky provides single-ingredient healthy dog treats made with beef and nothing but beef. They’re baked with no additional additives or ingredients.
Feeding your dog meat-based treats and chews helps owners spot food sensitivities or allergies, Goguen said.
For example, when he fed his dog, Ella, pork ears, her face broke out in pimple-like bumps, and she was itchy. Now he knows she is better off eating beef- or lamb-based treats.
Hip and joint supplements
Pawstruck’s hip and joint supplements are made with glucosamine and a handful of other ingredients specifically formulated to improve overall dog joint health and reduce the risk of joint damage.
If you have an older dog or one prone to joint problems, feeding them joint supplements helps improve their overall wellness.
Three ingredients to avoid
Goguen cautions pet parents to avoid products with added sugars, fillers, or complicated chemicals.
“It can be intimidated to look at an ingredient panel and feel like you need to have a Ph.D. to understand what’s going on,” he says.
Dogs don’t need extra sweeteners, and some sugar replacements like Xylitol can be toxic for dogs.
Some treats can be high in fillers and calories. That’s not to say you can’t ever give them to your dogs, but I wouldn’t give biscuit treats to your dog every day, Goguen says.
Be cautious about feeding your dog too many chemicals and preservatives. Instead, focus on giving your pup simple, natural treats like bully sticks or cow ears.
When to give healthy dog treats
Goguen recommends being deliberate about using treats.
Don’t give them as meal replacements. Instead, think of them as an addition to meals and use them for training, teething, entertaining your dog, special rewards, and keeping him out of trouble.
While Tyson wasn’t picky about treats, Goguen noticed a disturbing trend.
“Everything I picked up was made with artificial ingredients,” he says. “Words on the ingredient lists seemed like gibberish because of all of the complex scientific jargon (hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, ascorbyl palmitate, glucosamine hydrochloride, huh???”
He turned to the internet and searched for healthy dog treats that were all-natural and reasonably priced. But after completing some serious research, he realized what he wanted wasn’t available.
“My options were to spend an unreasonable amount of money on the handful of natural dog treats that were being sold or resort to giving Tyson treats of subpar quality,” he says.
That frustration created Goguen’s a-ha moment, and Pawstruck.com was born. He left his career in engineering to focus on supplying responsible pet owners with high-quality, healthy dog treats at a reasonable price.
Crafting gourmet dog treats
Pawstruck focuses on crafting treats from the best ingredients, including all-natural chicken, beef, and fish, plus assorted fruits and vegetables. The company also carries grain-free, corn-free, and vegetarian dog treats.
The company’s products are sourced from trusted suppliers throughout the world, many of which are made in the United States. In addition to focusing on single-ingredient and natural treats, Pawstruck also provides options for power chewers with durable bully sticks, antlers, and a variety of bones.
Amazon has hosted Prime Day, a two-day event with deals on millions of products from sellers worldwide, since 2015. Third-party sellers like Pawstruck represent 60% of Amazon sales, according to Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business.
The company’s Amazon partnership gives Pawstruck products more exposure, and the Prime Days have historically been the company’s best sales days by a decent margin.
Delivering healthy dog treats
For now, Pawstruck only offers shipping within the United States. The company processes orders in one to three business days and ships them from its Kansas warehouse.
Customers can expect to receive their orders in two to seven business days after they are shipped. The company offers a $7 flat-rate charge or free shipping for orders over $99.
Since starting his company, Goguen has hired a team filled with people committed to providing healthy dog products to stand behind proudly.
“My dream has become a reality,” he says. “We are so grateful to all of you — both canine and human — who support our philosophies and business.”
Sara B. Hansen has spent the past 20-plus years as a professional editor and writer. She’s also the author of The Complete Guide to Cocker Spaniels. She decided to create her dream job by launching Dog’s Best Life in 2011. Sara grew up with family dogs, and since she bought her first house, she’s had a furry companion or two to help make it a home. She shares her heart and home with Nutmeg, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Her previous dogs: Sydney (September 2008-April 2020), Finley (November 1993-January 2008), and Browning (May 1993-November 2007). You can reach Sara @ [email protected].