Dog ‘treats’ are huge business and are promoted by the manufacturers as something a bit ‘special’ to give your dog. However, there are a lot of things to consider before automatically using them.
Many dog owners use treats as a way to reward their dog for good behaviour or just because they think it’s a nice thing to do. After all, it gives a lot of pleasure to the owner when we see our dog enjoying something. Treats can also be used as part of a game or for training.
But there are a number of factors that suggest that not only are treats unnecessary, they may actually be harmful to your dog. Before you automatically go out and put a doggy treat pack into your shopping basket, consider the following issues.
Firstly, most dog treats contain quite poor ingredients that have been linked with allergies, poor digestion, skin problems, runny stools and hyperactivity. These problem ingredients can include beef products, sugars and preservatives. Just as we know with human ‘junk’ food, something that is designed to taste good may not be good for you. And it doesn’t take much to interfere severely with your dog’s health.
The safety of dog treats really comes into question when you consider just how many treat products have been recalled by the manufacturers due to reports of dogs becoming seriously ill after eating them. Many of these contain ingredients sourced from Asia which have caused huge problems when used in pet foods as well.
Secondly, there are alternatives to treats that a dog will enjoy just as much but which will be a lot healthier. In fact, the best ‘treat’ to give your dog? One or two kibbles of a high quality dried food. Even if it is the pet’s ‘normal’ diet, he really isn’t going to be less happy with the taste of it or see it as any ‘less’ of a treat.
Of course the key point here is a “high quality” kibble, one rich in meat and in the foods a dog naturally enjoys. Low grade food based on cereals and with a low proportion of meat are not particularly appetising so aren’t going to be a thrill for your dog. Of course, if the food contains sugars or flavourings that entice the dog to eat it, but are harmful, then you are simply creating the same problems as with a commercial “dog treat” anyway.
Pro Pac makes an ideal treat, that dogs love and which is healthy for them. Even if that is all your dog normally eats, it’s still going to welcome a couple of extra kibbles from time to time!