chicken

Skinz | Catfish, Cod + Salmon

Many are unaware of the nutritious benefits fish can bring to a dogs’ diet.  Sure, it may make them fart a bit more than usual, but isn’t that…well, healthy?

A great substitute for dogs with common protein allergies (beef, chicken, lamb), a diet with tasty FISH has been proven to:

1.) Bolster a Healthy Skin and Coat (Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids)
2.) Improve Digestion (Lean Protein)
3.) Perk-Up Joint Mobility (Anti-inflammatory – Great for Senior Dogs)
4.) Help in the Development of Vision and Brain Function (DHA/EPA – Great for Puppies)
5.) Boost Immune System (Natural Vitamins/Minerals)
6.) Prevent Cardiovascular/Heart Disease (Low in Saturated Fats and Meaningless Calories)

Like the zest of a lemon, the SKINS of FISH are are a nice way to reward your dog with healthy properties, without the risk of weight gain and/or a protein overload.  Best fed cooked, check out these dehydrated Cod Skins, Catfish Skins and Salmon Skins at thaMUNCHbox.com.

MUNCH love!

Note: We ALMOST forgot to tell you that these treats have been CAT APPROVED!

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Questions + Answers | tha MUNCHbox!

QGot Any Questions for tha MUNCHbox?!

Just Click on the tab, askMUNCH, to view a list of Common Questions and Answers.  If you don’ see your Question listed or if you have a Concern, just click contactMUNCH to send an EMail: thaMUNCHbox@gmail.com.

 You should also check out aboutMUNCH to learn more about us.

Either way, Give Us a Bark!

We Would Love to Hear from Ya!

MUNCH love!

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Pork PUM-PUMP-PUMPERS!

Great for dogs of all sizes, Pork Pumpers are, you guessed it…Pork Hearts!

Oven-baked to PAWFECTION, with no additives, hormones, preservatives or chemicals (of any kind), these LOW FAT, HIGH PROTEIN muscles will whole-heatedly make its way into any dogs heart. As with any chew or bone, these 4-6” long organs provide CHEWING/GNAWING action that promotes DENTAL HYGIENE.  Being a single-ingredient chew, Pumpers are a brilliant alternative for dogs who are sensitive to other common proteins, like Chicken, Beef and/or Lamb.  Although some may claim Pork to be bad, we think it’s a great meat/protein to rotate into your dogs diet to BOOST their immune system.

Looking to try a Pork PUM-PUMP-PUMPER? Well then, what are you waiting for… Check-Out thaMUNCHbox.com!

MUNCH love!

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Liver + Lung | tha Perfect Training Treats!

When it comes to how some canned and dry food is made/processed, we understand why organ meat gets a bad rep.  Mixed/cooked at high temperatures with unhealthy food waste, it’s no wonder why these nutrient-rich meats become un-noticed, shoved under the blanket term “by-product.”

However! We agree with Dr. Becker:

“Organ meats are part of the natural diet of wild canines and felines, and fresh unprocessed organ meats provide superior nourishment to pet dogs and cats”

This, is why we RUV organ meats as treats.  Two in particular, are the Liver and Lungs.  Although unprocessed is best, we know that not every dog is keen on the raw texture.  So, we like the idea of boiling, baking and/or dehydrating.

Common sources for these delicacies include:

– Beef
– Bison – Milder in flavor than beef (lean protein)
– Chicken
– Duck – Novelty Protein (Good for dogs with Allergies/Sensitive to common meat)
– Lamb
– Pork – Low in Sodium
– Rabbit – Novelty Protein (Good for dogs with Allergies/Sensitive to common meat)
– Turkey – Low in Sodium
– Venison – Novelty Protein (Good for dogs with Allergies/Sensitive to common meat)

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Sample some Venison Liver – thaMUNCHbox.com!

Both Liver and Lung are wonderful sources of…

– Protein
– Fat
– Vitamin A
– Vitamin B Complex (B6, B12, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid)
– Vitamin C
– Vitamin K
– Fatty Acids (Omega 3 + 6)
– Essential Amino Acids
– Iron
– Zinc
– Manganese
– Folate
– Phosphorus
– Copper
– Selenium

Note: Please be cautious when it comes to Liver treats.  High in vitamin A, this organ meat is not recommended if you plan on or are already giving a Vitamin A supplement; you want to be mindful of a Vitamin A overdose.

MUNCH love!

Justice for JERKY!

JNowadays, Jerky comes in many forms:

Pork, Goat, Lamb, Deer, Elk, Caribou, Kangaroo, Bison, Moose, Turkey, Ostrich, Salmon, Alligator, Tuna, Emu, Horse, Camel… (etc.)

And, I know this may sound stupid, but until recently, I wasn’t fully aware of how MODERN Jerky is made:  

Modern manufactured jerky is normally marinated in a seasoned spice rub or liquid, and dried, dehydrated or smoked with low heat (usually under 70 °C/160 °F). Some makers still use just salt and sun-dry fresh sliced meat to make jerky.  Some product manufacturers finely grind meat, mix in seasonings, and press the meat-paste into flat shapes prior to drying. – Thank You Wikipedia! –

Being more familiar with traditional Jerky…

…A lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried to prevent spoilage. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt, to prevent bacteria from developing on the meat before sufficient moisture has been removed.

It wasn’t until the on-going Jerky recall of pet treats, that I really started to pay attention.

There are many products in the marketplace which are sold as jerky which consist of highly processed, chopped and formed meat, rather than traditional sliced, whole-muscle meat.

Thankfully, I myself do not eat Jerky, but unfortunately, I know a lot of the stuff mentioned above, went into making pet treats.  Furthermore, according to the FDA:

A number of jerky pet treat products were removed from the market in January 2013 after a New York State lab reported finding evidence of up to six drugs in certain jerky pet treats made in China. While the levels of these drugs were very low and it’s unlikely that they caused the illnesses, FDA noted a decrease in reports of jerky-suspected illnesses after the products were removed from the market. FDA believes that the number of reports may have declined simply because fewer jerky treats were available. 

Um, WHAT?! DRUGS?! Does this make any sense to you? Before I go off on a long and frustrated tangent, I think I’ll stop myself and keep this post short.  BUT, what I will say, is this:

At tha MUNCHbox, we focus on providing limited-ingredient treats that are MADE/SOURCED in the USA; with the exception that some of our treats may be sourced from Canada, Southern America, Australia and New Zealand (NO China).  The Chicken Strips and Tilapia Jerky that we carry, are pure dehydrated meat, with no additives, preservatives, hormones or chemicals (of any kind).  Both treats are made in Boston, by the GOOD folks at Polka Dog Bakery.  

Better safe then sorry, we strongly encourage making your own treats, not only is it fun, but there are plenty of blogs that will provide recipes/information as to how – Check-Out Our Blog Post – DIY | Dehydrated GF Duck Treats.  

If you don’t have the time…we completely understand.  Check out thaMUNCHbox.com!

We are in the process of procuring more Jerky treats that adhere to our high standards.  In All, we hope to give you more options to choose from and more yummy surprises for your dog via mail.  

MUNCH love!

10 ICE-CUBE-CRUNCHY Treats…for Dogs!

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We CANNOT WAIT until SUMMER! Let me repeat that again… We CANNOT WAIT until SUMMER!

Especially since there are so many Healthy, Easy-Peezy, ICE-CUBE-CRUNCHY treats to make for dogs. Not only are these treats good for the general issue of teething puppies or for keeping your dog cool in the summer (blah, blah, blah), but they are also great for us, tha humans to CRUNCH on.

Whether you are looking to cube-freeze pieces of apple in chicken broth, baby food, low sugar juice, or a blended smoothie, get inspired by checking out these 10 RAWRSOME recipes:

Smiley Banana Frosty’s by Sugar the Golden Retriever

Peanut Butter + Yogurt Hearts by 17 Apart

Yogurt, Peanut Butter, Honey + Banana Treats by Today’s Mama

Chicken Broth Dog Treats by Irresistible Pets

Strawberry, Blueberry + Yogurt Treats by Doggy Dessert Chef

Red + Blue Popsicles by Sugar the Golden Retriever

Frozen Apple Bites by Kelsey Difani

Triple Berry Treats by Pitlandia

Pumpkin Bones by My Dog’s Breakfast

Strawberry + Coconut Milk Skulls by Doggy Dessert Chef

Also, Check Out FreezyPups.com – Delicious Frozen Treats for Dogs!  We love their cute Bone-shaped ice cube trays and the ingredients in their Organic refill packets sound YUMMY!

MUNCH love!

D-I-Y | Dehydrated Grain-Free Duck Treats!

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IF ONLY I HAD THE TIME!

I would love nothing more, than to make grain-free Duck treats for my little midget, who is 3 lb. of tough Yorkie; he LOVES + DEVOURS Duck! I honestly don’t know what it is, although I am guessing the soft “DUCKtile” texture has something to do with it.

Quick Note: I definitley feel as though a dog’s body, just like ours, will tell us what nutrients they need (or don’t need). I think this is why Ballou tends to push away or ignore some foods, like beef, versus others, like duck, which may contain nutrients his body is yearning for.   

Anyway, although Duck is on the expensive side and can be harder to find than say…chicken, it’s a novelty protein that stands as a wonderful alternative to common proteins (Lamb or Beef), especially for dogs with allergies.  Moreover, being that my midget is on the small side, I do feel as though he can stand to gain a few pounds and with Duck being higher in fat and calorie content…than chicken, I think Grain-Free Duck Treats are perfect for him.

For those of us who may not be fortunate to be close to a butcher or Grocery Store (i.e. Super 88) where Duck is readily available, definitely check out Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow at www.Hare-Today.com. This site has everything from Duck gizzards to Duck Necks; although I think I will personally start off small with Duck Liver + Duck Hearts.

Doing my Due-Diligence on making dehydrated treats, I have created a list of things/steps/tips that I will keep on hand for when it’s time for me to chef it up in the kitchen.  Check them out below:

1.) If you’re going for breast meat, leaner cuts are best (be sure to remover any skin or fat)

2.) Strive for equally sized pieces for a consistent drying time.  If the meat does need to be cut, know that partially freezed meat makes for easier cutting; try cutting against the grain (I think I know what this means)

Quick Note: Placing meat between wax paper and taking a rolling pin or meat pulverizer to flatten the pieces will also aid with a consistent drying time, cooking the meat evenly.  

4.) Whether you are using a Dehydrator or an Oven, you typically want to set your device on the lowest setting or between 150-200 degrees.  The lower the temperature, the longer the time, which can be anywhere from 2 hours to 7 hours (even more).  As mentioned, the thickness of meat will also play into drying time.  Also, meat should be fully thawed when dehydrating, too much moisture could prolong drying time as well.

Quick Note: Rotate meat every couple of hours.  The decision of whether the treat is ready is really under your discretion; some like a little moisture (shorten shelf life), while others like dried-out.

5.) If you are using a rack, use non-stick cooking spray to make sure the meat doesn’t stick.  If you are using a baking pan, you can also spray the pan down or sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Lightly basing the meat with oil helps

Quick Note: Make sure the meat is evenly spaced on the rack/baking pan (not touching)

6.) Don’t be afraid to Chef it up a bit.  Knowing Duck is apart of the fowl family, I have discovered some chicken jerky recipes for dogs, like the Honey Lime Chicken Jerky by Doggy Desert Chef, that I definitely plan on using for inspiration. To be specific, Cinnamon, Parsley, Sage, Mint, tumeric, basil, ginger…are all things I plan on using, but not all at once of coarse.  If you are not sure about using a certain ingredient, just google it.

Quick Note: For the healthy and beneficial properties, Olive and Coconut Oil will be my seasoning base of choice

7.) Store in freezer for up to a month in an airtight container (no time for defrosting, this makes a cool summer time treat).  Refrigerate no more than 3 days to a week.

Although my midget is familiar with Duck, I still will take the proper precaution in slowly introducing his new treats.  I feel this is especially necessary because I am choosing to season/marinate the meat before dehydrating.

Until I am able to make these yummy treats, Ballou is currently in love with Dehydrated Duck Feet (a perfect chew for his size, check out this DIY Dehydrated Duck Feet Post), Primal Canine Duck Freeze-Dried Formula (a great food topper or full meal), and Lucky Duck Krispies (a wonderful training treat stemming from Polka Dog Bakery).

Dehydrated Duck Feet + Lucky Duck Krispies can both be taste-tested by ordering a MUNCHbox!

What are your thoughts on Duck as a protein?  Have you ever made dehydrated duck treats? If so, what was it like?

Any questions or concerns, just email us: thaMUNCHbox@gmail.com!

– MUNCH love –