Healthy Dog Treats
What to Look For & What to Avoid
The best way to win your trusted canine companion’s heart is through their stomach. Sharing treats with your beloved furry family member is one of the joys of dog ownership. It is also an excellent way to bond. Dog treats serve as a vital training aid as well as a between-meal supplemental snack. Obviously any dog parent wants their pooch to be happy, but we are just as concerned for the health and well-being of our dogs as well.
What should you be looking for when purchasing healthy dog treats? We’ve gone ahead and complied a guide on what to look for, and what to avoid when purchasing dog treats. Consult with your veterinarian to find out what treat is right for your dog. They will consider your pups caloric intake, possible allergies and other health related issues.
Sugar and Salt
Dogs are more sensitive to the negative effects of sugar and salt than humans are. Therefore as a loving dog parent, you really need to monitor the sugar and salt content in what you are feeding your furry family member. Salt, also listed as sodium chloride on the ingredient label, can lead to heart problems, excessive water consumption, and restlessness, among other problems.
Sugar, commonly known as sucrose or high fructose corn syrup causes a whole host of health issue such as obesity, diabetes, hypoglycemia, tooth decay, mental problems and other issues if consumed over time. If you must give your dog a sweetened treat, we recommend treats with natural food-based sweeteners like honey, molasses or fruit extract.
Artificial preservatives and coloring such as sodium nitrate, propylene glycerol, BHT, BHA, among other harmful toxins found in dog treats have been linked to a whole host of health problems, most notably cancer, and should be avoided whenever possible. Products that use natural preservatives such as vitamin C, vitamin E also known as tocopherols and vegetable glycerin provide a much healthier dog treat option. Organic whole food products offer the least contaminants and most nutrition among healthy dog treats but also tend to cost more.
Whole Food Ingredients
Whether you are looking for biscuit or meaty style healthy dog treats, the key factor is finding whole food ingredients that provide greater nutritional value and health risks than processed ingredients. For biscuit style treats that are normally based out of wheat or corn, the most important thing is to avoid ingredients that have been processed, such as flours or brans.
Regarding meaty treats, organic free-range treats containing animal muscle meat, organ meat and fat would be ideal in terms of nutrition as well as taste and provide more protein and health benefits than soy or dairy. Be on the look out for processed meat substitutes such as chicken meal, meat meal, animal fat etc. If you are not sure what kind of meat is in the treat, do not serve it to your dog.
For more information about healthy dog treats or general questions you can contact:
Christi Phillips, CPDT with Posh Paws Pet Care, LLC
Visit our website at PoshPawsPetCareSC.com
Or send us a note from our contact page here.