Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats Reviews, Recalls & Ingredients!
About the Company
The Hubbard & Son Bakery opened in 1873, in Gloucester, MA. The original Old Mother Hubbard biscuits were actually developed as a snack for fishermen. Since 1926, the brand has specialized in all-natural, oven-baked dog treats. Jim Scott, Sr. purchased the company in 1961. Eventually, the headquarters were moved to Lowell, MA, and the Wellness® pet food lines were developed.
Berwind Continues To Buy And Merge Natural Pet Food Companies
Old Mother Hubbard Natural Dog Snacks and Wellness Natural Pet Food were purchased by the Berwind Corporation in 2008 for $400 Million. Over the next year, they merged with Eagle Pack Natural Pet Food to form Wellpet LLC. Wellpet is now a privately held subsidiary. Their head office is in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. The Holistic Select Natural Pet Food brand is part of the group too. Recently, Berwind also purchased Sojo's, in January of 2016.
In 2012, WellPet completed the first phase a $20 million expansion project on its plant in Mishawaka, Indiana. This modernized and doubled their production capacity, allowing them to manufacture most of the Wellness® brand there, as well as most of their other pet products.
WellPet seems like a slightly above average pet product company and that's reflected in my rating. I appreciate their all natural ingredients, but the first thing I always look at is how much actual meat is used in a recipe. In this company's case, there's little or none.
The WellPet website says they have, “the most comprehensive quality assurance program in the industry.” They say they hold their suppliers to standards over and above those from the FDA.
None of WellPet’s products include artificial flavors or preservatives.
The WellPet website says they test everything to make sure its “safe, pure and balanced,” but I have doubts that these treats are biologically appropriate for carnivores, which seems to contradict that statement. They're made almost exclusively from carbohydrates, and there are very few wheat-free options. That's a common allergen for many dogs.
While most WellPet brands are produced in the company's plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, I think they still use co-packers elsewhere in North America. This has led to trouble in the past, and it’s always something I’m concerned about as a consumer. It makes it more difficult to control safety, and problems can sometimes affect a large number of otherwise unrelated brands and companies.
Old Mother Hubbard Dog Products Line
There are a wide variety of dog treat lines, including:
- Classic Oven Baked Dog Biscuits
- Mother’s Solutions, (Includes Crunchy And Soft & Chewy biscuits)
- Mini And Training, Bitz (Crunchy And Soft & Chewy Biscuits)
- Crispers, Crunchy Cheesy Dog Snacks
- Fruit Ins, Duo-Layered Dog Snacks
- Soft Bakes
- Seasonal Biscuits (Creepy Crunchers, Jingle Jangle, Bits Of Love)
Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats Reviews of Ingredients
Most Popular Dog Treat: Classic Original Assortment Biscuits Baked
This is a mix of original, chicken, cheddar, and char tar, oven-baked treats. The first three ingredients are whole wheat flour, oatmeal and wheat bran. Many dogs are allergic to wheat, and as carnivores, they don't really need products made almost exclusively out of carbohydrates. It isn't until the 4th and 5th ingredient that we find chicken fat and chicken. That's much too low on the list in my opinion.
Turmeric, next on the list, is a healthy ingredient that is good for the immune system, although it can cause some yellow staining. The addition of Bone Charcoal improves dog breath and flatulence.
After that comes cane molasses. That's just empty calories, probably added to make the treats taste good because there's so little meat. Following that is paprika, paprika extracts, white cheddar cheese, eggs, apples, carrots, garlic and salt. Mixed Tocopherols are then used as a natural preservative.
- Crude Protein (min) 12%
- Crude Fat (min) 7%
- Crude Fiber (max) 5.5%
- Moisture (max) 11%
- 3,275 kcal/kg
- Mini: 8 kcal/piece
- Small: 33 kcal/piece
- Large: 138 kcal/piece
Most Popular Wheat-Free: Old Mother Hubbard Classic Chick'N'Apples Biscuits
These treats are marginally better, starting with ground barley and ground brown rice as the first two ingredients, instead of wheat. Chicken is third on the list with chicken meal as the fifth, followed by chicken fat. Chicken itself is a protein that is sometimes difficult for some dogs to digest though. Old Mother Hubbard doesn't seem to use alternative proteins in any of their treat formulas.
The fourth ingredient is apples, but chicken meal is followed by cane molasses again. Next, we see turmeric, eggs, carrots, garlic and salt. Again, mixed tocopherols is the natural preservative.
- Crude Protein (min): 12%
- Crude Fat (min): 6%
- Crude Fiber (max): 3%
- Moisture (max): 11%
- 3,385 kcal/kg or 9 kcal/piece
Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats Recall History
There has never been a Mother Hubbard dog treats recall, but Wellpet has had safety issues in the past with some of their other products:
May 07, 2012 Wellpet LLC Voluntarily Recalls One Recipe Of Dry Dog Food Due To Salmonella At Diamond Pet Foods' Facility
February 28, 2011 Wellpet LLC Voluntarily Recalls Certain Lots Of Canned Cat Food For Less Than Adequate Levels Of Thiamine
The 2012 recall perfectly illustrates why I don't like co-packers. I don’t know if Wellpet continues to have a relationship with Diamond or if that might cause a recall in the future. Wellpet doesn’t say who exactly is making these treats or where in North America, which is a common problem with big conglomerates.
Other Old Mother Hubbard dog treats reviews seem to reveal that doggies like these treats. These are only treats, so maybe I’m asking too much to expect them to be meat-based, not just empty calories. It is important, as a dog owner, however, to make sure you keep in mind how many calories your dog eats each day. Treats count too!
It’s true that there’s never been an Old Mother Hubbard treats recall, but I still prefer companies that handle everything themselves. I’d rather do business with a company that only makes pet products, over a big conglomerate, where something might fall through the cracks.
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