How crazy is it that we are already a week into October? With Halloween at the end of this month, and then the approaching winter holidays, many pet owners will be stocking up on treats for their pets. Treats can make great holiday gifts for almost any type of pet, and can be a great way to reward your best friend without spending too much money. I know my pets, especially the dogs, will be getting lots of treats for the holidays - they certainly don't need any more toys! But not all treats are created equal. It's important to pick out treats that your pets enjoy, but also ones that are healthy and safe.
A lot of pet treats on the market today aren't very good for your pets. Keep in mind that, unfortunately, a lot of the companies manufacturing products for animals main concern is making a profit. Some pet products are not just unhealthy, but can be dangerous. Some treats have ingredients that aren't appropriate for the type of animal they are marketed for. For example, seed treats are high in fat and starches, and are inappropriate treats for rabbits. However, there are treats with these ingredients marketed for rabbits. Don't fall into the trap of picking out treats based on their looks. Colorful treats are more to attract people than animals, and the dyes used to color them can be unhealthy. Pets don't usually care what color or shapes their treats are, as long as they taste good!
If your pet has any allergies, make sure to learn what they are allergic too and pick out treats that don't contain those ingredients. Look for foods that contain healthy, digestible ingredients. Less can be more! The healthiest treats will be the ones that aren't loaded with chemical preservatives and artificial flavors. Look for foods with natural ingredients. Simple, natural treats taste just as good, if not better, to your pet and are healthier for them too!
Whether training or just treating, if you are feeding your pet a lot of treat foods during the day, make sure to account for that when you feed them their normal meals. Cutting back on their regular meals can help compensate for the amount of calories your pet gets from treats. This way you can treat your pet without having to worry about them gaining weight.