By Bonnie Rubin
Every owner loves to indulge their pets! Supplying our pets with a daily treat is not just about training reinforcement these days; it is also about showing our dog and cat a little bit of love in the form of a tasty tidbit.A concern that many owners have is maintaining their pets healthy weight while still spoiling them. A greater concern should be the nutrition, or lack thereof, of the snack in question. Not all snacks contain ingredients our pets should be consuming.
It is just as important to read and understand pet treats labels and ingredients as it is dog and cat food labels. It is absolutely imperative that you know where your pet's treats are manufactured and the source of the ingredients. Once caveat; manufacturers are not required to provide the country of origin for every single ingredient. Do not assume that because the manufacturer is US based that the ingredients are as well. Do the research and contact the manufacturer for confirmation. Call them directly or visit their website.
Starting in 2007, reports have been received by FDA that over 3600 dogs and 10 cats in the United States have experienced illnesses related to jerky treats. Over 580 have died as a result of this illness. Most of the jerky treats were sourced from China. Many of these treats were sold at a popular warehouse big box retailer.
It is still unclear what exactly caused these illnesses and deaths.
By reading labels and understanding what ingredients have gone into making the treat you can make a more educated choice when choosing a healthy snack for your dog or cat.
Treats should support and supplement a healthy diet. This can be accomplished by choosing dog and cat snacks the are not only nutritionally healthy but also easily digested.
Inferior ingredients do little to support a healthy weight, coat and immune system.
BAD - Gluten - the ingredient left
over from grains that’s had all its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
BAD - Corn, wheat. Not horrible but worthless as far as nutrition and digestibility.
BAD - Sugar/Salt (for obvious reasons our dogs should stay away from sugar/salt as much as we should.
BAD - Artificial flavor/color. Dog's do not benefit from these ingredients and could care less what color their snack comes in.
BAD - BHA, BHT Ethoxyquin - known carcinogens used to preserve dog food color, texture and taste.
Superior ingredients compliment a healthy diet and contribute to weight management.
GOOD - named protein -
Lamb/lamb meal, chicken/chicken meal, venison/venison meal, Liver, Fish.
GOOD - Whole rice, whole millet, flax seed, Oats (or choose a protein single ingredient only.)
GOOD - Sweet potatoes, pumpkin - great for digestion.
GOOD - Antioxidants, vitamins E and C, cranberry.
GOOD - Naturally preserved.
I have some favorites and so do my dogs! I offer these on this site because I know where they are made and the source of the ingredients - All Made in the USA from All Natural Ingredients! Also, I know that they will contribute to the overall health and well-being of my beloved pooches. The are completely digestible and preservative free.
Please always remember to supervise your pet whenever they are enjoying a chew, treat or snack. And, always supply fresh, filtered water.