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What Treats Should I Give My Dog?

shutterstock_dog with treatsTreats. Cookies. Biscuits. Scooby Snacks.  Every day, all across the world, pet parents are rewarding their canine companions with some sort of treat or another.  However, we advise all pet parents to exercise caution in doing so!  It’s imperative that you only supply your dogs (and cats) with high quality, all natural treats.  All treats are not made equal! It’s up to you, as a good steward of your pet’s health, to pick the best treats for furry companion.  So, “what treat should I give my dog?” We’re so glad you asked!

It’s as simple as this: Know thy treats.  You’re probably thinking “Huh?”  Yes, armed with a few tips, you will be masters of reading treat labels! As you read the ingredients on dog treat labels, you should avoid treats that list the following ingredients – especially if they list these as one of the top three ingredients.

Sugar. Just like you, your dog has a sweet tooth and so pet treat makers produce treats that are laden with sugar.  Sugar is the enemy.  Watch out for sugar hiding under the labels corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, or dextrose.  It’s all sugar and extremely bad for your pet’s health.

Meat By-Products.  Your dog should only by eating high-quality human-grade meat – the kind you eat.  Meat by-products offer little or no nutritional value and well, they’re just gross.  Essentially, they’re parts of the animal that are deemed unfit for humans to eat so why feed them to your dogs?

Cheap Grains. More fillers that have zero value as far as nutrition goes.  The only grains your pet should ingest are whole grains such as oat, barley and brown rice. And even there, you must exercise caution as many dogs are allergic to grains.

Gluten.  Again, why give your dog something with little or no value?  Corn and wheat glutens often cause allergies in dogs so, just say no.

You should also avoid:

Artificial Flavors. Why use artificial flavors when dogs love the flavor of natural foods?  In fact, artificial flavors are often used to hide the bitter taste and scent of the chemicals laced in the treats.  It’s an awful way to entice your dog to eat something that is so bad for his health.

Chemical Preservatives.  Chemical preservatives are harmful, even toxic.  Natural preservatives such as vitamin C, Vitamin E, or sage and rosemary extracts are the only preservatives that you should consider acceptable for your dog’s treats.

Artificial Colors.  Does color really matter? Nope.  Coloring is made of coal tar.  Do you really want your dog ingesting that?

Remember, you are responsible for what you put in your dog’s tummy!  If you want your dog to live a long, healthy life then make strong, sound decisions when searching for good, wholesome treats!  Reading labels, is a lot easier than having to bake your dog’s treats at home – although, I’m sure he’d love that too!

What treats do you feed your dog? Sound off below.

Caroline Kellam

Caroline Kellam

Caroline Kellam is the co-owner of PAWSitive Strides Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Services and a huge animal lover. She and her husband, Brian, share their home with six (yes, you read it right, six!) rescued dogs and three cockatiels (one of which was found on a neighbor's roof). She would love to have a cat or two as well, but the dogs (and the birds) will simply not stand for it.
Caroline Kellam

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