* Prices may differ from that shown
*What are M&C Skin & Coat Treats?*
These dog treats are produced by the Mark & Chappell company, well known and trusted manufacturers of a wide range of pet care items such as vitamin supplements, nutritional supplements, and most popularly- their wide range of cat and dog treats each specially designed to help with specific areas of your pets health.
*The product itself*
Being on the go absolutely non-stop all the time, has many major advantages for Grace and Benson. Firstly, they are obviously doing themselves a big favour by staying so active and helping to keep nice and healthy, but secondly, because they are so energetic and active, they can get away with enjoying a nice, decent variety of tasty treats alongside their normal food, without putting on any excess weight which is obviously pleasant for them and also helps me to keep their diet full of variety.
When it comes to treats, although they couldn't care less what they get, I am somewhat more fussier and like to make sure that as well as having a treat they enjoy, that they are also getting something good inside of them- it's not my sole reason for buying treats and there are many brands I will buy which have no nutritional benefit, but if there is the option of a healthier treat available, nine times out of ten, that is the one I will purchase for Grace and Benson.
Browsing in my local garden centre recently, I came across their pet care selection which currently had a massive sale on- the moment I caught glimpse of it, I ditched my pot plant that was in my basket and headed over to take full advantage of the money off, and picked out a nice selection of goodies and essentials for the furry gang!
Amongst the sale items were quite a selection of treats from the Mark & Chappell range, I have used many of their products before and been exceptionally impressed which their Vitamin & Mineral Supplement in particular, having achieved excellent results with Grace whilst using it, but I have always by passed their range of treats, seeing as their normal retail price is pretty expensive and you don't appear to get many treats in a bag. However, with the sale on, and the price much more reasonable, I selected a couple of different packets for the dogs to try, including these Skin & Coat Treats.
The treats are small 'pillow' style biscuits which incorporate a crunchy and crispy outer shell filled with a soft, creamy centre and they have been fortified with numerous different ingredients, each one beneficial to the skin and coat of your dog, helping to promote supple, healthy skin and a soft, shiny coat.
Firstly, they contain Flaxseed Oil, which is a major source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is useful for immune systems and helping to maintain a healthy skin and coat. Secondly, there is a range of B Vitamins, essential for efficient metabolism of food, hair growth, muscle development and healthy nervous systems and lastly, Vitamins A, D & E- all of which are important for good vision, healthy growth, mucous membranes, healthy skin and fur and they can help to eliminate dry, itchy skin conditions.
The treats are suitable for any dog of any age range (over 8 weeks) but are particularly beneficial to dogs with existing skin conditions or fur which lacks gloss and vitality or growing puppies, as they make the transisiton from puppy coat, to their adult coat of fur and they may always help reduce unnecessary shedding (shedding that occurs outside the normal shedding seasons).
The treats come packaged in a bright yellow bag which is handily made from foil for freshness and there is also a resealable strip running across the top which helps to keep the treats crisp and crunchy even after opening. On the packet you'll find all the usual information you'd expect to find such as a few details about how these treats may help your pet, ingredients, nutritional information, feeding guides and of course, contact details for Mark & Chappell, should you have any questions or comments.
*Price & Availability*
These Skin & Coat Treats, along with the rest of the range, are available from most of the larger pet stores such as Pets At Home or online but aren't generally available in the smaller pet shops or super markets are they are classed as, what is called, a specialist product.
A 70g packet, which contains around 30 treats, will cost you £1.99, or you might just be lucky enough to pick a couple of packets up for 50p like I did!
You'd swear I never feed Grace and Benson the way they act! They have the 'poor neglected doggie' look perfected to a T, and when they combine this with the oh so sad puppy dog eyes, they have realised they can get a treat from just about anyone, me included! However, as I mentioned earlier, I like them to have alot of different foods in their diet to prevent them from getting bored and they never put on any weight, so I don't really mind their obsession with food too much!
They aren't fussed when it comes to food, it if is vaguely edible, then it'll do, so this does make my job pretty easy- I can pick any given brand of dog treats and know they'll probably be a big hit, but even if they don't really like them- this is Grace and Benson we are talking about, they'll still eat them regardless!
I've looked at Mark & Chappell treats numerous times in the past but I must admit, the price has always put me off. In my opinion, nearly £2 is quite alot for a small bag of treats that my two will demolish in a matter of days, especially when you consider you can get a huge box of supermarket own brand dog biscuits for just over half the price. However when I noticed them reduced in the sale down to just 50p per packet, I decided there was nothing to loose so I popped a packet of these in my basket, along with a pack of their Breath & Dental Care Treats.
Grace and Benson have a very good coat anyway, they don't have any problems regarding itchy skin or dandruff and their fur has a good gloss to it, however, with the incredibly thick and long coat Benson has, anything that helps slightly towards the care of it is a major advantage in my eyes and besides the fact they were so cheap, was another reason I was keen to sample these treats with the mutts.
Back home later that day, the terrible twosome were giving their best 'poor neglected doggie' act so on the way to get them a treat from their cupboard, I remembered these M&C ones I have brought earlier, and decided to see what the dogs thought of them instead.
Opening the packet, I was confronted with lots of small little rectangular shaped treats, which looked like little pillows (or miniature puffed wheat cereal, as my fiancé commented) which were a sandy colour and had a relatively abrasive feel to them, which pleased me as they obviously were going to be good for the teeth too. I handed Grace and Benson one each and that was it, they adored them- bugging me constantly for treats one after the other until I eventually had to stand up to them as they'd nearly got through half the packet between them! The treats were relatively small, only around an inch or so long, so weren't a particularly substantial treat but the dogs really did love them, and they appeared to be quite crunchy and crispy too, helping to give their teeth a bit of a clean.
The picture of the treats on the packet suggests the treats are filled with a runny liquid which will trickle out when the outer case is broken, so intrigued, I broke open one of the treats to see what was inside. There was a small amount of pale yellow cream contained within, no where near as runny as the picture on the packet suggests and it had a relatively strong 'plant' smell to it and also, when I rubbed it between my fingers, it practically turned to dust. Very weird stuff, but whatever it was, the dogs loved it!
As well as my two, I often have Alfie, my best friends little dog at my house, so he too got to sample a few of the treats. He wasn't quite as keen as Grace and Benson, he would take them or leave them, and although he does have a couple of very minor skin complaints, these treats done nothing to improve them, although that said, they did not aggravate them more like so treats seem to. In all honesty though, you probably would have to feed copious amounts of these treats for them to have any effect and even then, at the end of the day, they are first and foremost, simply a treat, so I wouldn't be overly confident in them offering anything that fantastic to the care of your dogs coat and skin, it's worth mentioning they did nothing to help Benson's moulting either.
To conclude, Grace and Benson really did enjoy them. They were a handy size to take a couple on walks with us, they were clean to feed and didn't have any unpleasant odours- not to mention they were quite good for their teeth and gums, as well as containing various ingredients which will obviously help somewhat towards maintaining a nice coat, albeit just a tiny bit. I'm glad I only paid 50p for them though, I really do not see how Mark & Chappell can justify the £1.99 price tag, even though they are completely natural and healthy, they just aren't good enough to be priced that highly.
A nutritionally-fortified crunchy, cream-filled treat.