Do you ever feel like you’re not sure what is the right treats to feed your dog and that there are too many choices available on the market, well if so, welcome to my world.
Over the years I’ve taken part in a few dog training courses and have also read many books and posts on what food is best for your prize pooch. What is known is there are treats out there that really aren’t great for dogs and as I’ve opened up Pandora’s box, I’m learning more and more about the dangers of some treats that are out there.
Having a little staffie-cross (Corky) and a shih Tzu (Roxy) they couldn’t be any more different if they tried in terms of their tastes. Corky would sell his right limb for a gravy bone after getting hooked on them from a kind dog walker from our local park, and Roxy would regard them as poison turning her nose up if you tried to give her one of the treats. As I’ve discovered, it would appear Roxy is the sensible one as gravy bones contain potentially harmful antioxidants and preservatives which could cause health conditions or behavioural problems. On top of that, they are not low fat and can cause breath problems.
Whilst I haven’t experienced a change in personality to the point Corky has turned into the equivalent of a human ‘Kevin’, I did notice that he was putting on a few pounds….of course I didn’t say anything, I wouldn’t have wanted to hurt the little guy’s feelings! And in particular his breath was a bit on the pongy side but after a garlic laced Italian dish, who am I to criticise LOL.
The one treat they did somewhat agree on though was the chicken wrapped rawhide sticks. Roxy liked to pick the dried chicken off them and leave the stick and Corky devours the whole stick (and then hers) and then regurgitates it about 6 times. This is when I read into more detail around the dangers of rawhide and also heard horror stories about how harmful they can be in terms of choking or blockages.
Now I’m not saying go out and buy expensive dog treats, there are cheap alternatives, for example, carrots, chopped apples, cooked sweet potato, lean cooked meats etc, however, it is worth checking out healthier alternatives where possible if you prefer to give them dog like treats. Also, if your dog suffers from allergies, some treats may cause other issues whether healthy or not, so it is worth knowing if you notice any change in behaviour, i.e., excess itching, skin problems, toilet habits, turning into ‘Kevin’ etc.
I would therefore recommend reading the ingredients on the packets or what has been described in product descriptions so that you are fully aware of what your dog is eating. Things like low fat options and treats that contain vitamin and minerals and/or omega oils have many health benefits. I now give my dogs Salmon Skin Chews or Sprats but the only downside to that is instead of their breaths smelling like roadkill, they now smell like the local fish quay. Whilst both are grim, I know which I’d prefer!
Lastly, it is worth noting that any dog treats should not be fed in excess. The recommended amount of treats should make up no more than about 10% of your dog’s daily calories.
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