“ Brand: Pets At Home / Type: Gourmet dog food / treat „
As healthy for our dogs, and as easy on our wallets, as a diet of dry food may be, I can't help but think how mind numbingly boring such a diet is. After all, I know for a fact that I'd very quickly get bored of eating the same thing everyday, especially when that thing is hard, dry crunchy biscuits, all the same size, shape and flavour! It's hardly the most exciting of menu is it?
So always liking to spoil my dogs, and thinking of them more as humans than I perhaps should do, I always like to make sure their meals contain plenty of variety, whilst at the same time still being healthy and good for them- I like to think they appreciate the effort, but then again, these are the same dogs that will happily graze on grass all day if allowed in such a way it puts cows to shame (no tummy probs- they just like the taste), and who chew on plastic bottles as if they're going out of fashion, so maybe not!
Breakfast never changes, they always get a meal of plain dry food, but for dinner I like to mix something a bit tastier in with their kibble- they're rather partial to wet dog food, so this is something I'll use 3 to 4 times a week, and consequently, this is what led me to the purchase of these Deli Dog Food Pouches.
I spotted the box on the shelves of Pets At Home, and being a product the pupsters had never tried before, they soon made their way into our trolley. The Deli range is part of Pets At Home own brand products, and comprises of a wide selection of gourmet treats and moist dog foods.
The Deli pouches are a complementary food for adult dogs, meaning they aren't a complete food and should only be used in conjunction with a complete diet- as an occasional treat or topper to kibble. Each pouch is made with a minimum of 40% chicken breast, so as far as dog food goes, these are pretty much middle of the road- miles better than the likes of Pedigree or Chappie tins, but they've a long way to go before matching the likes of Naturediet and their 70%+ meat content.
The pouches are available in two different multipack, which all contain 2 pouches of each 4 flavours.
Hearty Meaty Menu
- Chicken with ham
- Chicken with beef
- Chicken with lamb
- Chicken with liver
Mouthwatering Chicken Selection
- Chicken with duck
- Chicken with chicken liver
- Chicken with vegetables
Personally, I can't see the point in having two different multipacks available, because as you can see, every single one is chicken based- meaning you're a bit stuck if you've got a dog that's allergic to, or not keen on, this meat! Other than meat, these pouches contain only tapioca starch (and veg in the case of the chicken & veg pouch) so you can be sure you are not packing your dog with animal derivatives, cheap grains and nasty additives.
*Price & Availability*
Being a Pets At Home own brand product, these pouches are obviously only available from Pets At Home, and can be purchased both instore and online from their website. Both the Hearty Meaty Menu multipack and the Mouthwatering Chicken Selection multipack retail for £6.42 for 8 150g pouches.
Grace and Benson could be described as a lot of things- they can be noisy, slobbery, clumsy, stupid and grumpy amousght other things, but the one word that could never be used to describe them is fussy! I'm sure they'd not really care less if they ate nothing but dry food for their entire lives, and I probably only add extra bits in to please myself, but never the less, I intend on carrying on as I am, and like to think they appreciate it somewhat!
Since Pets At Home launched their own range of products several years ago they seem to be constantly adding more and more products, and they seem to have introduced a new little sub-brand almost every time I go in there, with the Deli range being a relatively new addition to the shelves of Pets At Home.
As regular readers of my reviews will know, I'm a little bit obsessive over what my dogs eat, and I don't like to give them anything for their main meals that contain too much junk- I like to buy high quality products with a good high meat content, and no artificial junk or fillers wherever I can. Containing over 40% meat and no animal derivatives or artificial additives, these Deli pouches fitted the bill nicely, and I didn't hesitate in adding a multipack of each variety to my basket.
Back home that evening, I was keen to see what the dogs thought of them. I opened up the meaty menu multipack to find 8 little plain silver pouches- for some reason I had expected the pouches to be individually printed like most pouches in multipacks are, but these Deli ones were plain silver with no decoration at all- just a small line of writing indicated what flavour the pouch contained. No big deal of course, but it was just something I found it a little unusual, especially for a big company like Pets At Home.
I ripped open a pouch of the chicken with ham variety for Grace and squeezing it into her bowl, I was a little surprised by the appearance of the food. I had expected chunks of chicken in a sauce/gravy type product, but infact the food was actually copious amounts of jelly dotted with chicken pieces, and small slivers of ham. The same went for the chicken with liver variety I chose for Benson.
I suppose for a product that is only 40% chicken, I couldn't have expected much more, I just wasn't expecting to see quite so much jelly, which is essentially a 'empty' food- it has little or no nutritional value to the dogs. None the less, I was only using the product as a topper for the kibble, so wasn't worried too much by the nutrition content.
Trying to mix the contents of the pouches with the kibble was a tricky task! Whereas most pouch/canned foods seem to coat the kibble nicely, these pouches were a nightmare to break up and even when mixed around the kibble, the jelly stayed in big hard lumps and didn't stick to the kibble at all. They had a very strange texture indeed, and even odder was the smell- these pouches smelt unusually sweet, a scent you wouldn't expect from a meat based product!
Grace and Benson clearly found the smell quite appealing however, and were trying their absolute best to wait patiently for their dinner. As per usual, there is nothing much to report here- when I put their bowl down they tucked right in- they both loved the pouches and that was that really, they're not the greatest of dogs to try food products on because there is just one possible outcome- they're going to like it regardless!
Undeterred by the slight let down of the first two pouches I used, I continued to work our way through the remaining fourteen pouches over the coming weeks, and was rather disappointed to find all the flavours followed the masses of jelly dotted with meat theme. As we worked our way through the pouches even Grace and Benson seemed to become a little bored with the odd texture and excessive amounts of jelly- the pouches and kibble were still eaten, but bowls weren't liked spotlessly clean.
Credit where credit is due however- the chicken pieces contained within the pouches looked of decent quality- they were nice chunky pieces of white breast meat, and looked and smelt like the real deal- not the artificially reformed grey chunks of meat found in a lot of pet foods, and the same goes for the other meats used in the pouches- they all looked like what they were supposed to look like. The vegetables in the chicken with veg pouches were a bit of a let down though, my dogs love vegetables but all that was in this pouch was peas (despite the ingredients list claiming carrots were present too!).
So, to finish up, would we buy these again? No, I doubt it, unless they were on an exceptionally good offer!The food inside the pouches looked nothing like the pictures printed on the box- there was masses of rubbery jelly with a small amount of meat in comparison to the amount of jelly, and I wasn't overly impressed with this. But, at the end of the day, they still contain no nasty junk or waste parts of the animal, and I was only using them to add a bit of variety to plain kibble, and that's exactly what they did. Grace and Benson liked them, and working out at 80p per pouch, they're not too bad value, considering they are 40% chicken breast... but then again, for 6p more you could get a 390g tray of Naturediet, which contains no jelly and has a much higher meat content!