In today’s media, pet owners are bombarded with a plethora of information regarding the nutrition of their pets, and the ingredients of dog treats are no exception to the rule. Recently, in the news, there has been much talk of not only the lack of quality in dog treats but in some cases, the dangers that some ingredients can cause. Ingredients to watch out for are BHA, propylene glycol, and meat meal, just to name a few. Whether or not you believe the hype, it is worth it to research what your dog is eating. If you are searching for an alternative, buying or making all natural dog treats is an option.
Some Factors to Consider
Your dog’s treats should not replace a meal or contribute a large number of calories to your dog’s diet. Be especially careful if your dog is already overweight or obese. Dog treats should never be a replacement for good, old, human-dog interaction. Remember that simply spending time with your dog means much more to them than any old treat.
Buying All Natural Treats
There are a million and one options for dog treat products on the market today. A good way to start is by consulting your veterinarian. If your dog has an underlying condition, you might be able to help alleviate this by buying treats with specific ingredients to help your dog. For example, if your dog has joint pain or arthritis, there are many natural treat products that incorporate MSM and glucosamine. This is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Here is a short list of ingredients found in all natural products, linked to the condition that your dog might have.
Sensitive Stomach: Look for treats with the first ingredient as oatmeal, or whole grains.
Joint Pain or Arthritis: Pumpkin, different types of seaweed, and all natural glucosamine supplements.
Calming Agents: Lavender, lemon root, valerian root, organic ginger root, tryptophan.
Lung or Respiratory Issues: Licorice root or aniseed.
Making the Treats Yourself (DIY)
The above-listed ingredients can also be mixed into a homemade recipe for dog treats. If your dog does not suffer from any of these conditions and you simply want to treat them, there are numerous recipes available online.
As you scroll through recipes, remember to keep in mind that some human foods are not good for dogs. Do your research before choosing a recipe that is right for you and your dog. Here are some resources to help you become more educated about specific foods:
This should give you a good idea of what is safe for your pet. Be aware of your dog’s behavior and contact a veterinarian immediately if they show signs of an allergic reaction.
Feeding your dog treats can have a positive effect on your bond with your dog. Feeding your dog all natural treats can ensure that what you are feeding them is whole and healthy. Many dog treat products on the market today have questionable ingredients and feeding all natural treats can eliminate any doubt when it comes to what is best for your dog. Whether you buy these treats or make them, becoming educated about what you are really feeding your dog can be an important part of dog ownership.