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It’s simple to locate dog treats for sale, but a lot harder to find ones that have real nutritional value for your pet. Make sure to read the labels and see what ingredients are contained in the dog treats. Just as with human food labeling, dog foods legally must list their ingredients, in order from the largest amount down to the smallest.
When looking at the active ingredients in dog treats you want to concentrate on the first four ingredients. These are the most important components of the treat and should be carefully examined. Try to avoid ingredients like any type of corn, meat by-products, glutens, and soy. Corn, glutens and soy serve as fillers and provide no nutritional value. Meat by-products are animal parts not fit for human consumption. Other ingredients to be avoided are butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and ethoxyquin, these are known as carcinogens. Propylen glycol, often used in dog treats is commonly known as anti-freeze!
Homemade dog food and treats are an excellent option. By making your own treats, you can control exactly what goes into them. Plain yogurt mixed with things like honey or peanut butter and frozen in an ice cube tray are exceptionally nice. Fresh vegetables such as carrots, cherry tomatoes, or steamed green beans are good, nutritional, filling treats for the dog that’s overweight. Dried sweet potatoes are another favorite. There are some foods such as grapes, raisins, and macadamia nuts that are toxic to dogs, so do some research to learn what is safe.
An alternate food option that most all dogs like is raw beef bones. They are a good food source in their natural form, raw bones are also a good way to clean your dog’s teeth . Other benefits from this form of dog snack are keeping your pet occupied for an extended period of time. Feeding a raw diet also means less clean up after the dog. The marrow in the bones is also a healthy delicacy for your pet. Do not cook bones in any way, as it could result in splintering. Always keep an eye on your dog when giving raw bones, so as they don’t choke.
While discussing the types of treats for your dog with your veterinarian is certainly an option it should be done with caution. Many veterinarians do not have extensive training in pet nutrition; in fact much of their education on the subject comes from the manufacturers who are promoting their products. This is the reason you see the brands for these companies in their offices. The best education is to read the labels of these products for yourself, you will be surprised at what is actually in these vet recommended products.
It is pertinent that you continuously read the labels on the back of your pet foods and treats; even if it’s something you’ve done before. Even manufacturers of premium pet foods are changing their ingredients in an effort to cut costs. For example, one company started using fish that had been preserved in the chemical ethoxyquin, arguing that it was perfectly safe. They finally discontinued this practice after a deluge of complains from their customers. Canidae dog food, as another example, has recently changed the ingredients in their lamb and rice formula. While the product is certainly comparable, the ingredients – which were somewhat inferior to begin with – are now even more so.
Although there are many dog treats available from the market, the better solution is to discover the most excellent, most wholesome treats you can. Before concerned pet owners protested the change, one company was using fish preserved in ethoxyquin to cut corners. Other examples are less extreme. The Canidae dog food changed some of the ingredients in its lamb and rice variety, lessening the quality of what was not a premium dog food to begin with. Therefore, it may be a good idea to prepare homemade dog food and treats yourself so you can determine precisely what they consist of. Always supervise your dog when giving raw bones.
– Melinda Smith