Why dog some treats can be unhealthy for your dog.
Not everyone reads food labels, despite all the advice that tells us we should. For me, it’s often about time and frequently because I don’t have my glasses on my person and can’t actually see the small print. Then again, I tend to avoid processed food anyway and I rarely buy commercial dog treats, so I suppose I figure that that once in a while, it won’t harm. That said, this Holidays4Dogs article has made me think again!
It is worth spending a few minutes checking out the ingredients and content of dog food treats because they can often hide a few things that are not very good at all for our pets. Holidays4Dogs does a bit of digging on the subject and we feel our report is worth a read before you go Christmas shopping for doggy treats.
Top of the list for treats to avoid are rawhide chews of any description. This remains a popular chew that is made from the inner layer of cattle carcasses. However, before it is made into attractive shapes for dogs, it is treated with chemicals to clean and preserve it and these are the chemicals that can be particularly bad for dogs. Rawhide also presents a major choking danger, so all in all, best avoided as a treat at all costs.
Dog treats often come in packaging that make the contents appear healthy and natural; but read the label and you will find that they are anything but. Many contain salt, sugar and preservatives that certainly won’t do you dog’s health much good at all.
Many products state they contain meat – some make claims they are, for example, ‘salmon flavoured’. This sounds great doesn’t it? One might imagine a lovely plump freshly caught salmon, gleaming and oily – a great addition to the diet. Except, for one thing dog’s don’t historically eat fish and anyway, it is highly unlikely there will be any salmon at all present in the dog treat.
Instead, you might find the ingredients contain for instance something like – hydrolysed poultry protein. This could be from real meat, but there is also a good chance it originates from a meat-by product – in other words parts of meat carcass that is unfit for human consumption. Yuk. Doesn’t sound quite so appetizing and healthy now does it?
Lots of dog treats, like other dog food products, often have ‘fillers’ which generally means grains – these make up a higher percentage of the food in order to ‘bulk out’ more expensive ingredients. Fillers are usually, but not exclusively, made of fibre from grains and they serve no nutritional value.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know what’s good and bad, but if you see a listed ingredient that seems vague – such as ‘meat product’ – or long lists of additives, then they are probably best avoided. Contrary to the claims on many dog food treat packets of them being ‘healthy’, sadly many are not. In addition to this, dog treats can be expensive too and when you consider that so many contain things such as ‘rendered meat’ – a low quality ingredient that probably doesn’t bear thinking about in terms of what it realistically consists of.
There are so many healthy alternatives that you could find in your kitchen cupboard or easily in your local supermarket, such as carrots, slices of apple, cubed fresh meat, peas, or natural raw meaty bones (UNCOOKED).
Bearing in mind that there is evidence to suggest that certain types of foods can impact on a dog’s behaviour, as well as their health, it is wise to think carefully about what you are giving your dog and pay attention to labels – if you don’t recognise ingredients, consider choosing an alternative.