Freeze-Dried Duck Heads: Are They Good For Dogs?

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Are you looking for a different kind of treat to keep your dog healthy, entertained, and engaged? Then why not consider freeze-dried duck heads? Before you turn up your nose on the admittedly eekie concept, let’s talk about why they’re good for dogs and where you can get them!

Are Freeze Dried Duck Heads Good For Dogs?

The answer is a loud, resounding yes. They have many benefits that help your dogs grow big, strong, and beautiful.

Benefits of Freeze-Dried Duck Heads

There are many reasons why you should give your dogs freeze-dried duck heads aside from their “normal” treats.

Acts as a natural toothbrush

Duck heads are known to clean dogs’ teeth naturally. In addition, that crunch is an effective abrasive to remove plaque and tartar buildup. Works well for small breeds too.

Supports bone and joint health

This highly unusual dog treat is rich in chondroitin, a compound essential for maintaining bone and joint health in dogs. In addition, studies showed that chondroitin helps promote collagen in cartilage, and has a mild anti-inflammatory effect. This is why duck heads are great supplements for dogs who have adverse reactions to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Packed with nutrition

Duck heads have 25% meat and 75% bone. Not only that, but you also get the brain and eyeballs, which have their own nutritional benefits. Essentially, you’ll be giving your dogs:

  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • DHA (Omega 3 fatty acids)
  • Vitamin B12
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus

Helps with inflammation

Is your dog exhibiting irritated skin, signs of inflammation, and an upset stomach? Then your dog would highly benefit from cooling proteins. Duck is one of the cool proteins that help soothe inflammation and irritation. It’s also one of the recommended food to give dogs who exhibit hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to beef and pork.

herd of ducks in a farm.

Can You Freeze Dry Duck Heads At Home?

Harvest Right freeze dryers have made it easy for everyone to freeze dry not only human food but dog treats as well. However, there are some food items that you shouldn’t freeze dry at home, and that includes duck heads.

This is because freeze-drying duck heads is a form of taxidermy. This requires expert handling to prevent cross-contamination and improper freeze-drying that can spoil the food.

If you want to give your dogs freeze-dried duck heads to supplement their diet, here are some brands that you can try.

Vital Essentials

Vital Essentials is a brand under Carnivore Meat Company. When they launched their freeze-dried duck heads in 2017, they were recognized for their innovation and uniqueness in the industry. On 2020, they sold nearly 600,000 freeze-dried duck heads throughout North America.

Many fur parents attest to the quality of Vital Essentials freeze-dried duck heads. Some say that their dogs wolf them down in minutes. In some reviews, dog parents claim they do clean their dog’s teeth well.

As for the long-term effects, so far, no one has given a review. True that the brand’s been around for 17 years. But so far, we can’t find a review about how this was able to support their dog’s overall health.

Pet Wants Products Freeze Dried Duck Heads

If you want to buy these in individual pieces to test if your dogs would like it, go for Pet Wants Products.

These are classified as “chews for small dogs”, these freeze-dried duck heads came from pasture-raised ducks. They’re highly digestible, humanely raised, and support regenerative agriculture.

You get 100% duck heads, but without that bit of neck tissue included, like Vital Essentials. Pet Wants Products assure that these are free of hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, and pesticides.

ducks grazing in a farm.

Hoot and Co

Hoot and Co sell individual freeze-dried duck head for dogs who enjoy chewing their food. However, they don’t recommend you give them to power chewers that swallow food whole.

There’s no review about this product, but they’re one of the few companies offering this rare treat. Amazingly enough, they offer a 10-day return and exchange, but with a 15% restocking fee.

General Tips

If you’re giving freeze-dried duck heads to your furry companions for the first time, do so in moderation. If your dog has a habit of gobbling down food without chewing, cut the duck head into bite-sized pieces. Also, introduce the new food slowly. Some paw parents report their dogs throwing up the duck heads a few hours after ingesting.

Document the time and day you introduced the food to help you know how your dog’s taking it. Then, gradually increase the piece until the dog’s capable of eating an entire head.

Also, keep the treat to just one duck head a day. It’s intended for supplemental feeding only. Give your dogs other meals and treats as well. These treats work best when mixed with a diversified diet that will support your dog’s overall health.

Freeze-dried dug heads can be a bit of a turn-off at first. But once you get past the weirdness, giving them to your furry companion is easy. But as with some treats, your dog may or may not like them. Again, watch out for adverse reactions as dogs respond differently. Some may take it like it’s nothing and treat it like ordinary food. Others may turn up their nose and look offended you dare to give such a weird treat with eyes and a beak.

Still, watching how they receive the treat and respond to it will be fun. What are your dog’s eating habits that you want to give this kind o food? Let us know in the comment section.

Also, we got our YouTube Channel up and running, so please subscribe for more freeze-drying tips and tricks.


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