The Human Grade Difference

At Gourmate Pet Treat Co. we understand that pets deserve the very best.

And the very best is human food grade - quality ingredients that are minimally processed under the strictest hygiene standards. 

The very best is also freeze-dried, for maximum taste and nutritional benefits without needing salt, fat, or flavour additives.

It’s all the stuff you care about for the rest of the family. Why would you give your best mates anything less?

A bulldog with his tongue out with the words "press paws on the junk" | Gourmate Pet Treat Co.

What does "human grade" actually mean?

First and foremost: The raw ingredients (or ingredient in the case of our treats).

In many countries in the world including New Zealand there's a big difference in what food you can label and sell for human consumption and what you can sell as pet food. 

It is not uncommon for pet foods and pet treats to contain food scraps, livestock rejected by human food processing, and by-products such as skin, bones and guts - some of which even requires further processing to be considered safe for animals.

Scraps and by-products can have less nutritional value and are often harder to digest than muscle and organs. 

By-product meat, "meal" or grains may also not be as tasty, meaning that flavour, sugar and fat is added - just like human junk food. 

Secondly, the processing of human food is far stricter than that of pet food. 

New Zealand vets have warned against imported jerky treats linked to food toxicity. It's unknown what exactly causes the toxicity, but many of these products are treated with gamma irradiation with no limits on dosage. 

Our treats are made at a New Zealand factory that processes human food and nutritional supplements to export standards.

This means your pet gets only the most nutritious, safe, and easily digestible whole proteins - that are also naturally delicious.

At Gourmate Pet Treat Co. we are committed to sourcing premium meat and seafood of human food grade standard - food from the same suppliers as your  supermarkets and restaurants - and processing them in an industry leading facility.

So why are your treats not for human consumption? Because under those same standards it is not best practise to sell pet food for human consumption in New Zealand. Sorry.

What's the deal with freeze drying dog treats?

Freeze drying is as close to raw and wild as you and your dog can get without having slimy fish or meat-flavoured pockets.

Freeze drying uses vacuum pressure and the process of sublimation (going straight from a solid to a gas with no liquid stage in between) to remove water from food without needing heat.

Prolonged heating - whether through cooking, air drying, or dehydrating - will always break down some of the beneficial vitamins, minerals, and oils from your dogs' food. 

Only freeze drying produces a shelf-stable dog treat with all the drool-worthy flavour and important nutritional value of raw food, so that's why we only make freeze dried treats at Gourmate Pet Treat Co.

Why do Mussels need to be freeze dried? 

You may have noticed us going on about how our Organic Green Lipped Mussels are freeze dried. So what?

Green Lipped Mussels from New Zealand (Perna canaliculus)  have superfood properties that support the reduction of inflammation and joint pain, but research has shown that heat from cooking and preserving breaks down these properties.

Let us be honest - if you're buying Green Lipped Mussels for your dogs that have either been cooked (including air drying) or had the oil removed (we call that "defatted" in the biz) then you're providing a tasty treat but missing out on the famous health benefits. 

Gourmate Pet Treat Co. treats are freeze dried at a biotechnology facility in Christchurch, New Zealand, that has expertise in processing Green Lipped Mussels for the (human) health and nutraceutical industry.

Plus, we want all our premium proteins to be as nutritious as possible, so that's why we freeze dry our Angus Beef Liver Wild Caught Calamari, and South Pacific Hoki as well.

Freeze dried dog treats are great for taste, texture, and health - keeping you and your fur babies happy!

Steph from Gourmate Pet Treat Co. gives the thumbs up by the freeze dryer
Steph from Gourmate Pet Treat Co. and the freeze dryer
Calamari being processed for Gourmate Pet Treat Co.
Calamari being processed for Gourmate Pet Treat Co.
French bulldog looking upwards next to the words "not for human consumption. sorry." | Gourmate Pet Treat Co.