Why Vital Essentials Minnows Make The Perfect Dog Treat

K9sOverCoffee | Why Vital Essentials Minnows Make The Perfect Dog Treat

Vital Essentials Minnows are a favorite, single-ingredient, fishy treat in my pack! The good news is that they have no fishy smell.

Who Is Vital Essentials?

You may remember that I’ve mentioned Vital Essentials here on the blog before. That was when I wrote about their Mini Nibs in combination with KONG food puzzles.

I actually didn’t learn about the brand until I first attended the Global Pet Expo in March 2016. Their booth was one of the last ones I stopped at. Funny enough, I appreciated it the most! Isn’t it funny how life works like that sometimes?

Loving The Product Selection at Vital Essentials Booth At The Global Pet Expo 2016
Visiting the Vital Essentials booth at the Global Pet Expo in 2016

How did I not know about them before?? No idea! BUT, I’m more than aware of them now and can’t recommend their freeze-dried treats enough.

Freeze-Dried Minnows Treats from Vital Essentials, Seen At Global Pet Expo 2016
Vital Essentials Minnows

As a raw feeder, I’m always looking for high quality, drool worthy single-ingredient dog treats.

K9sOverCoffee.com | Why Vital Essentials Minnows Make The Perfect Dog Treat

Disclaimer: Vital Essentials provided K9sOverCoffee with 1 bag of freeze-dried Minnows in return for an honest review. This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

Vital Essential Minnows: Benefits

In a nutshell, the Minnows are

  • Single-ingredient
  • Freeze-dried
  • High-protein
  • Low fat
  • Smell-free
  • Sourced from Minnesota & Wisconsin rivers & streams 
  • Small in size = perfect training treat

Single Ingredient Source of Protein

Let me start by sharing the #1 benefit of these treats: They’re a single-ingredient source of protein. That means that they only contain whole raw minnows that have been freeze-dried.

Literally nothing else, guys. There’s no grains, gluten, or artificial vitamins/minerals, preservatives, and colorings on the ingredient list. Literally NO JUNK WHATSOEVER!

I feel 100% good about treating my pups with these goodies.

What’s so great about single-ingredient treats? Besides the fact that they don’t contain any of the crap mentioned above, they literally only consist of ONE SINGLE ingredient. In this case, fish. That’s it.

Single-ingredient treats are wonderful for dogs who suffer from a known food intolerance. For example, a specific protein or grain). So if you know that your pooch does poorly on chicken or lamb, let him try a different protein and see how he does on it! For example, fish like Minnows.

Tip: If you store treats from your local supermarket in your pantry (or wherever), you may want to check their ingredient list.

I bet you it has at least 10, likely more, ingredients listed on the label, several of which are probably grains. Grains and corn are cheap, empty fillers that the mainstream dog food industry likes to include in their dog treats (& food, by the way). That’s although they have zero nutritional value and are known to cause itchy, red, inflamed looking skin. 

Even better, take it up a notch and switch kibble that’s rich in empty fillers and artificial preservatives for a freeze-dried meal from Vital Essentials. Your pup’s overall appearance, to include her energy levels & playfulness, will drastically change from meh to wow! 

Offering freeze-dried or dehydrated raw dog food is the easiest way to transition your pup to a more species-appropriate food. That’s how I got started back in 2015!

Freeze-Drying Means No Need For Refrigeration

Benefit #2: No refrigeration is needed, and that’s although they don’t contain any preservatives. How is this possible? The Minnows are freeze-dried for 48 hours. That process locks in all the vital nutrients without destroying them.

Since they don’t need to be refrigerated, they’re very convenient to bring along on trips or hikes without having to worry about bringing along coolers.

On my list of best single-ingredient dog treats: Minnows by Vital Essentials
Missy Taking A Minnows by Vital Essentials Break On A Hike

I’ve brought them along on several hikes, and didn’t even have to carry them – they fit nicely in Missy’s Ruffwear doggie backpack.

Missy Carrying the Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Minnows in Her Ruffwear Dog Pack
The Minnows fit into Missy’s Ruffwear backpack

Sourced, Made, & Packaged In The USA

Benefit #3: The Minnows are sourced, made, and packaged right here in the USA, in Green Bay, WI. 

Vital Essentials have their very own USDA certified and inspected pet food facility with a comprehensive HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) Food Safety Program developed in collaboration with Kansas State University. 

Their employees are HACCP and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) trained and certified employees receiving a “Superior Rating” from biannual FDA (Food & Drug Administration) audits.

No Fishy Smell

Benefit #4: No fishy smell whatsoever. I personally don’t mind stronger smells (I feed my pups raw green tripe, so I’m used to that), but I know that fish isn’t for everyone because of the smell.

Missy ready for a Minnows break

The Minnows come from Minnesota and Wisconsin rivers and streams and are frozen before the freeze-drying process. This locks in their freshness, meaning no decomposition occurs. That’s usually where a fishy smell comes from.

Vital Essentials Minnows: Where To Buy

The Minnows come in a 1 oz bag and are available online on Chewy and Amazon. You can also buy them in select physical pet retail stores.

K9sOverCoffee | Showing The Size Of Vitals Essentials Freeze-Dried Minnows
Measuring the Minnows

Just an FYI for dog/cat households: The Minnows also make a great cat treat, so if your house is run by both felines & K9s, it would make sense to purchase a 1 oz bag for both. 

If you’re a cat only home, you might want to get your paws on a 0.5 oz bag of Minnows, specifically designed for cats.

Vital Essentials Minnows: Enthusiastically Recommended!

Does your pup have a freeze-dried favorite treat or food? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!

K9sOverCoffee | Why I Treat My Dogs With Freeze-Dried Vital Essentials Minnows [And You Should, Too]

Related Reading:

How to entertain your dog with Vital Essentials Mini Nibs & a Kong!

Best single-ingredient dog treats

How to add fur to raw dog food (Hint: One option are Vital Essentials’ freeze-dried rabbit ears)

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  1. The pups look like they like the minnow treats!! I love the single ingredient and it is also nice to have variety. I find Miss Cocoa gets bored with the same treats. Does Missy wear a muzzle?? I have thought about one for Cocoa but need to know more!!