Giving your healthy dog treats and dog chews is one of the best ways to train your pet and to show him how much you love him. However, many of the treats being sold out there today are made from unhealthy stuff— fats, sugars, preservatives, colorings—the list goes on and on. At the receiving end are our best pals, whose health could be put at risk just because unscrupulous traders choose to give us unwholesome choices.
Obesity is just one of the health problems that your pet could avoid by eating only healthy dog treats and dog chews. It is estimated that around a third of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. You can help your dog avoid complications of obesity such as diabetes, arthritis and heart problems by giving him premium healthy dog treats and dog chews instead of low quality ones.
Before preparing any meal plan or buying treats and dog chews for your pet, it is best to first seek the advice of your veterinarian and animal nutritionist. Health professionals can help determine if your dog has any weight issues or special dietary requirements that need to be addressed.
Although dietary recommendations are different depending on the age, weight and activity level of your pet, do take note of the following guidelines:
Tip no. 1. Avoid giving your pet table scraps that are fatty, salty and sugary. These include that bag of potato chips and the pizza from last night’s party and those greasy leftovers from your fridge.
Tip no. 2 Always check the label before buying treats. Look for unhealthy or dangerous ingredients that the manufacturer may have combined with the food. For example propylene glycol and ethoxyquin are preservatives are food preservatives which are also used in chemical materials like anti-freeze and synthetic rubber respectively. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and propyl gallate, on the other hand, are preservatives which are suspected by experts to cause carcinogenic activity. To make sure that you’re buying only healthy dog treats and dog chews, always look for things like “preserved with vitamin E” which is the best natural preservative. Watch out for high levels of sodium, sugar, fats and the presence of artificial colorants, too.
Tip no. 3 Avoid treats and dog chews made from rawhide and other fatty animal parts. Choose healthy dog treats and dog chews that are high on premium quality protein from real meat like chicken, lamb, turkey, beef or herring. You could even buy them fresh from the store and prepare your own healthy dog treats at home. Ask your vet how much of it you can give to your pet at a time or how to store the treats properly.
Tip no. 4. Try giving your pet healthy dog treats made from vegetables like carrots or beans. These are not only delicious and have good texture, they’re also rich in fiber and nutrients.
Tip no. 5. Sometimes, all your dog needs is a little attention. Don’t forget to lavish your dog with lots of love and praise especially when he does something good. Giving attention instead of treats is a great way for your dog to avoid packing in those extra pounds. Plus, you get to be loved back!