Just like us, dogs love to snack. In fact, food is the most enticing tool that will get your dog motivated to pay attention to you and listen to you. This is exactly why pet parents rely on giving treats to their littles ones - and sometimes, a little too much.
Moreover, they get sucked into buying treats that are completely unhealthy. Even pet parents that feed their pooches a healthy meal primarily made of homemade, dehydrated or natural raw food give their little ones commercial pet treats loaded with chemicals, and toxins. While treats only make up a small portion of their diet, it’s important to give them healthy treats that support good health. Why feed your natural, healthy dog food only to pile on unhealthy treats full of toxins- it makes no sense!
The main reason pet parents do this is because of the lack of information on good dog treats and bad dog treats. How can you tell the difference when there aren't as many trustworthy articles as there are about pet food. And, that is why we’re going to give you the low-down on treats that support your pets' health, and the ones that deteriorate their health.
Good Dog Treats
In a world of product overload, it’s easy to fall for the marketing tactics of commercial pet brands who claim to improve your pets health when, in reality, little to no safety and quality measures are taken to ensure product quality. The differentiating factor of good dog treats are the ingredients. They avoid ingredients that are harmful to your pets health, and make them susceptible to allergies.
So here’s how you choose the best dog treats that improve your pets health:
The most important factor to consider when purchasing treats is to see if they are all-natural. All-natural treats avoid heavy processing, and injecting any chemicals or additives into the treats. This means that all the nutrients are kept intact, and aid to improve your pets health. They help improve digestion, maintain weight, aid in the formulation of hemoglobin and red blood cells, fight plaque and tartar - essentially, you are getting more bang for your buck with all-natural treats in terms of quality and health improvements.
Gluten & Grain-Free
Gluten and Grains are the two most common allergens that cause indigestion and damage the intestinal lining in dogs. Treats that have gluten and grains are high in carbohydrates which are hard to break down and digest because dogs lack the special enzyme that helps break down starchy carbs.
When you switch to gluten and grain-free treats, your dog has a much easier time digesting the treat - moreover, gluten and grain-free treats are protein-rich, low in calories and contain essential nutrients that make for balanced nutrition.
In terms of benefits to eliminating gluten and grain from your pets diet , gluten and grain-free
treats prevent serious allergic reactions and deficiencies that can lead to gastric issues, ear infection, skin infections etc, boost energy and immunity, aid in weight management, and promote healthy skin and shiny coat.
Freeze-dried dog treats have been a popular alternative in the market, gaining momentum among pet parents and veterinarians alike. And this is because they contain more nutrients and are minimally processed.
All freeze-drying does is extract moisture from ingredients using the atmosphere at very low temperatures. Because the chemical composition of the ingredients is left unaltered, it eliminates the need to inject any additives.
What’s so great about freeze-dried treats is that they are made with minimal ingredients, and usually single-ingredients which can be very beneficial to dogs that have allergies or have special dietary requirements.
Bad Dog Treats
The unfortunate truth behind most commercial pet treats you find in the market is that they are extremely unhealthy for your little ones. They are made with deadly toxins, and processed with little to no quality and safety assurance. Would you buy them for yourself if they were targeted towards humans rather than your pet? Probably not.
But it’s really hard to know what’s bad when millions of marketing dollars are spent to make you believe that they are healthy. So, here are the markers for unhealthy dog treats:
Chemical or Additives
Any dried treats that are not chemical or preservative free are treats that should be avoided. Because most dry treats made by commercial brands are heavily processed, and during this process, the chemical composition of the ingredients are altered. So the nutrients are extracted in this process, and so the manufacturer goes back in and adds ingredients. These ingredients introduce many toxins into your pets body, and lead to high-risk diseases such as organ failure and even premature death.
Paddywhacks and other chews
Rawhides, paddy whacks and other chews are popular “long-lasting” treats that claim to improve your dog's dental health and keep them from chewing on furniture and other household items. Most pet parents with aggressive chewers or busy schedules give their little ones these hard chews to keep them occupied without realizing the harmful health risks they pose to their little ones.
In reality, these treats don’t contain any nutritional benefits, and are choking hazards. It’s almost like giving your baby a piece of wood or leather to chew on. They don’t break down as easily, and the constant scraping against their surface can often lead to broken teeth and swollen gums.
It can be so gut-wrenching to withhold giving your little one a little bit of food from your plate, when they are pulling at your heartstrings with their “puppy dog eyes.” But giving your dog table scraps can lead to behavioral problems, in addition to serious health risks.
Human food, including certain vegetables and fruits, can be extremely toxic to dogs even though they are extremely beneficial to humans. We cook with onions, garlic, chives and other flavourful ingredients to spice up our food - and these “flavourful ingredients” can rupture red blood cells, cause anemia, organ failure, gastrointestinal issues, and in some cases, even death.
In terms of behavioral issues, it leads to begging and creates an unhealthy dependency with human food - so much so that your pet can refuse to eat their own food until you give them some of your own. So, all in all, it’s best to save the human food for yourself, and give your dog only pet food.
Healthy Dog Treats
Now that we’ve narrowed down what to look for, and what to avoid, it can feel pretty overwhelming - since the majority of the popular pet treats are now off-limits to your pet. But worry not, we have the best, healthiest dog treats that are all-natural, gluten and grain-free, human-grade, affordable and accessible - so you won’t have to break your bank.
Dogsee Chew dog treats are the best in the market for your little one - they check all the “must-haves” for the good dog treats because they are made from yak cheese sourced from the ever-green Himalayas. Their traceable supply chain in addition to their all-natural, preservative-free products makes them the perfect choice for your pup.
Even better, they have a variety of hard dog treats and soft dog treats to cater to every single one of your needs.
Their hard bars are extremely long-lasting, and contain special enzymes that fight against plaque and tartar. Bonus: they don’t cause any dental fractures or swollen gums.
They have soft dog treats for puppies and small dogs that are oh-so-delicious, improve their dental health, and promote shiny coat and healthy skin. They even have soft dental treats for senior dogs who have trouble chewing!
Maybe you want something more like veggies and fruits? Dogsee has you covered on that front too. They carry single-ingredient fruit and veggie treats in four different flavours - apple, banana, beetroot and coconut.
There’s something for every doggo. And the ultimate game-changer, their treats are human-grade, it can’t get better than that!
Now you can spoil your doggos with treats that will keep them around smiling and bursting with energy for much longer!