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Product Review: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Treat Jumpin’ Stix Venison & Sweet Potato


Treats are an integral part of daily life for most dogs and their owners.  Regardless of whether you are teaching your dog an important skill, encouraging good behavior, or simply showing your pet some love, treats are useful.  For dog owners with pets who have food allergies or sensitivities, finding the right foods can be difficult.  Here, a limited ingredient treat manufactured by Natural Balance will be reviewed.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Treat Jumpin’ Stix – Venison and Sweet Potato

Natural Balance Jumpin’ Stix are manufactured by the Natural Balance company, which specializes in limited ingredient dog food.  The Natural Balance company formulates their food and treats from wholesome, high quality ingredients that are easy to digest and are safe for pets.

Natural Balance Jumpin’ Stix are formulated for dogs who require a grain free, limited ingredient diet and who also have joint mobility concerns.  These treats are free from corn, wheat, grains, soy, chemicals, by-product meals, artificial flavors, and artificial colors.  Jumpin’ Stix are long, log shaped treats that also have a soft consistency.  Added active ingredients of glucosamine and chondroitin support hip and joint health.

Ingredients in Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Treat Jumpin’ Stix Venison & Sweet Potato formula are:  venison, water, dried sweet potatoes, gelatin, vegetable glycerin, canola oil, sucrose, dried potatoes, potato protein, guar gum, cane molasses, salt, sorbic acid (preservative), glucosamine hydrochloride, citric acid (preservative), mixed tocopherols (preservatives), chondroitin sulfate, natural smoke flavor, rosemary extract.

The limited ingredient format has many benefits for dogs.  By restricting protein and carbohydrate sources to venison and potato only, pet owners can better control the allergens to which their dogs are exposed.

Canine Testers:  Sadie and Lucy

This product was specifically chosen by Lucy, our 15-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  She recently suffered a horrible attack by another dog.  After two surgeries and two weeks of crate rest, we took her to a local pet store and let her pick out treats.  These were the treats she chose (which was no surprise as her favorite food is sweet potato!)

Lucy’s canine sister, Sadie, also received these treats.  Sadie is a 7-year-old beagle/chow mix and she was being rewarded for excellent behavior while Lucy was recovering.

When choosing treats for our dogs, our main concerns are:

  • texture (Lucy is missing many teeth and requires soft foods)
  • ingredients (we prefer brands without artificial ingredients)
  • country of origin (we only buy food and treats that were made in the USA)

Natural Balance is a brand that meets all these requirements, so we felt comfortable purchasing Jumpin’ Stix.

Review of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Treat Jumpin’ Stix

The Jumpin’ Stix are long, thin log-shaped treats that are indented for easily breaking into smaller pieces.  Sadie and Lucy each received these treats as rewards for coming inside when called.  Serving size is based on weight, and dogs can be fed the following number of treats per day:

5 lbs:  up to ½ treat
10 lbs:  up to 1 treat
25 lbs:  up to 2 treats
50 lbs:  up to 3 treats

What I Liked about Natural Balance Jumpin’ Stix Treats

I am very picky about what I feed my dogs, and I like that these treats have limited ingredients, are made in the US, and contain proven supplements for joint health.

Since Lucy is missing 6 teeth (including a canine tooth), the softness of the treats I feed is always a concern.  Jumpin’ Stix are very soft and chewable, which I love.  Neither Sadie or Lucy chew treats well, so I appreciate how easily they can be broken into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Finally, I like that the venison and sweet potato flavor is very high value for our dogs.  Recently, Sadie caught a bird in our yard and we had difficulty getting her to listen to the “drop it” command.  However, we were able to trade a Jumpin’ Stix treat for the bird, which saved us a lot of hassle.

What I Disliked about Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Jumpin’ Stix

This is a product that I would buy again, as there is nothing that I do not like.  While these treats ultimately aren’t the right product for Sadie (more on that in the next section), Lucy loves Jumpin’ Stix!

Sadie’s Experience

Sadie is a highly prey-driven dog that goes crazy for any food or treat with a high meat content.  The soft consistency of Jumpin’ Stix combined with their high protein content led Sadie to swallow these treats without chewing them.  Both times I gave her Jumpin’ Stix she later threw up and it was obvious the treats had been swallowed whole.  Sadie no longer receives these treats since she can’t be trusted to chew them!

Lucy’s Experience

Lucy, on the other hand, did not have any problems chewing or digesting these treats.  Her favorite food is sweet potato, so it is no surprise that these are high value for her.  Once the bag of Jumpin’ Stix comes out, Lucy’s rear end hits the ground immediately and she waits patiently for a treat!

Bottom Line

Ultimately, I like that Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Treat Jumpin’ Stix are made from a short list of trusted ingredients.  I also appreciate that they are made in the United States and in facilities which are proven to be safe.  While neither of my dogs have mobility problems, I like that glucosamine and chondroitin are added for enhanced joint health.

The best features for my pets (particularly 15-year-old Lucy who is missing many teeth) are the soft consistency and the ability to easily break these long treats into significantly smaller pieces.  Jumpin’ Stix are a healthy and high value reward that I feel comfortable feeding my dogs!

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Anna Weber

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