It’s spooky time! With Halloween at the end of the 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 dogs will be getting some treats for the holidays. They certainly don’t need any more toys (but, let’s be honest, will get some anyways)! But not all treats are created equal. Selecting the right treats for your dog is important. Pick out treats that your pets enjoy, but also ones that are healthy and safe.
Not all pet treats on the market today are good for our pets.
Unfortunately, a lot of the companies manufacturing products for animals are mostly concerned with 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. Don’t fall into the trap of picking out treats based on their looks. You really have to take a close look at that ingredient list!
Things to Avoid When Selecting Commercial Dog Treats
When you’re searching for the perfect treat for your furry friend, reading the ingredient list is important. Ingredients I usually try to avoid include…
- Artificial Colors: These will often be listed on the ingredient list as things like red 40, yellow 10, etc. These are unnecessary additives since our dogs really don’t care what color their treats are.
- Artificial Flavors: It’s best to select treats that are flavored naturally, with healthy ingredients such as meats, fruits, and vegetables.
- Excessive Fillers: Fillers are added to dog treats and food to add bulk, and usually don’t provide much, if any nutritionally value. Look out for excessive amounts of ingredients such as corn, rice bran, wheat, soy, etc.
- Artificial Preservatives: Avoid preservatives such as potassium sorbate, sodium nitrate, calcium propionate, BHA/BHT, TBQH, and ethoxyquin. Natural options for preservatives include rosemary oil, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Treats that don’t include preservatives at all, and are instead dried, are good too!
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.
Food allergies can be tough. Make sure to check the ingredients list when selecting treats for your dog, especially if they have any food allergies. Really pay attention to those labels! Sometimes, allergens are not listed near the top of the ingredient list. They may be one of a long list of ingredients, making them easy to miss.
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!
Pay Attention to Calories.
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.
Homemade Treats are a Great Option.
If you have the time and the inclination, making your dog homemade treats is an awesome way to feel good about treating your pet! With homemade treats, you’ll always know exactly what your dog is eating.
What do you think? What are some things you look for when selecting commercial treats for your dogs? Is there a type of treat that your furry friend particularly likes?