Most dog owners understand the joy that they will see on their dog’s face when they are given a treat.
These tidbits are used in a variety of ways such as training Fido some new tricks, getting that nasty pill down or simply pampering your pooch.
With so many different ingredients and marketers pushing their treats, which one do you pick? Taking the time to choose a treat that is both natural and healthy for your dog may give them some added perks.
How to Find the Right Treats
But how on earth do you sniff out the healthy dog treat from the fatty morsel of who knows what ingredient? In this article, we will look at how to determine which treat to give your furry family member as well as what benefits are in store.
Choose High-quality Ingredients
The ingredient used in your dog’s consumable products has a big impact on their overall health. Certain types of ingredients can be naturally digested, while others can make them feel ill.
Higher-quality ingredients do not need any additional processing. They should be as close to the original source as possible. For instance, you wouldn’t want to buy a product that had “wheat bran” when you’d benefit from eating something with plain, simple “wheat”. Overall, the ingredients should have minimal tampering.
An important trick to learn for you involves the ingredients list provided on the back of the box. When you’re skimming that table of contents, pay close attention to the first two ingredients. If manufactured in the United States, they had to list their most wholesome and largest quantity ingredient.
A package may say that the treats have a healthy food item in them, but if it’s at the bottom of the ingredients list, then there may not be much of it at all.
If you’re still not too sure about what ingredients to look for, here’s your own list to follow:
- Whole proteins (crickets, chicken, lamb, beef and fish)
- Vegetables (sweet potato)
- Healthy fats (Omega-3, Omega-6)
- Vitamins (Vitamin E and B)
- Minerals or Nutrients (Iron, calcium, DL-Methionine, zinc)
Top 10 Benefits for a Quality Dog Treat
You’ve heard a lot about what you should look for in a dog treat and how to avoid the rotten eggs. But, how can feed your dog healthy organic treats do for them, and you? The following are our top reasons as to why you should start feeding your pet these options instead of questionable morsels.
- Consistent Weight: Most low-end treats are made with cheaper ingredients that contain more fat. If fed on a regular basis, this will make your dog gain weight. By using the organic option, you can rest easy about them adding a few pounds. Depending on the size of your dog, that’s enough to add stress to their joints and ligaments.
- Improved Overall Health: Organic treats, simply put, will make your dog feel better. The systems in their body will work more efficiently too, improving every aspect of their life.
- Longevity: If you were to eat a lot of junk food over the course of a few years, you’d likely damage a few organs. By choosing healthier treats, you are giving Fido a longer life expectancy.
- Hypoallergenic: The ingredients listed in these organic products help your dog, especially in the case of potential allergies. Every day, owners feed their furry best friend’s a new food item that has something that elicits an allergic reaction. Natural ingredients are less likely to cause itchy or dry skin when ingested.
- Good Digestion: Treats made with high-fat content are dangerous because of the damage that they can cause to your dog’s digestion system. Using organic products doesn’t interfere with those natural processes.
- Energy Level: Dogs who consume natural dog treats tend to have a lot more energy. This can be due to the fact that they aren’t gaining weight, or perhaps because of the healthier ingredients going into their bodies.
- Healthy Skin and Fur: Certain ingredients found in organic treats do well to promote the healthy growth of shiny skin and fur.
- Decreased Risk of Poor Ingredients: With the name “organic”, you can rest assured that there likely won’t be as many compromising or unhealthy food items.
- Better Breath: The build-up of tartar and plaque on your dog’s teeth is inevitable. But did you know that higher calorie ingredients make that happen sooner? Sticking to organic treats can keep their breath fresher for longer.
- Relationship with Your Dog: With a happier and healthier dog, you will be able to experience a lot more life together.
What to Avoid in a Dog Treat
Before we learn how to find the right treats for your dog, it is essentially important to understand what can make a tidbit bad in the first place. “Bad” can mean a variety of different problems. The following points merely point out what won’t help add years to your dog’s life.
If you’ve ever picked up a bottle and scanned over the label, chances are you’ve had trouble pronouncing some of those ingredients. The reason for these hard-to-say items is to minimize costs.
Manufacturers who make unhealthy dog treats will skimp on the real ingredients to save a little cash.
There are a number of low-quality ingredients that you should do your best to avoid when picking out the right treats. To make it easy, we have compiled a list of the most common ingredients that shouldn’t be found in anything your dog consumes.
The worst ingredients include:
- BHA, or Butylated Hydroxyanisole
- BHT, or Butylated Hydroxytoluene
- PG, or Propylene Glycol
- Food dyes such as 4-MIE, Blue 2, Yellow 5 and 6, or Red 40
- Wheat gluten
- Meat and grain meals
- Rendered fat
But, what exactly makes these ingredients so bad? A number of these pieces found in a treat can hold toxins, mold, bacteria or nasty microorganisms.
High Caloric Total
We all love spoiling our animals, sometimes even a little too much. It’s important to realize that giving our dogs a little tidbit in small quantities is not a bad thing. Too commonly, however, treats are used as an additional meal rather than a special, small morsel. This is where some dogs get into trouble.
Treats that are made with high caloric contents tend to be cheaper. This also means that they fall into the unhealthy dog treat category. When shopping for your pet, look at the back of the box for a detailed guide. Generally, you want to stay under 20kcal per treat. This will help keep the weight off of Fido, which will then keep his life happier.
Some dogs are picky, making it difficult for their owners to find them the perfect treat. Certain types of treats are easier for manufacturers to make and thus present problems down. Morsels made out of bones are incredibly dangerous to dogs as they can splinter off and cause scrapes along the mouth, throat, or intestinal tract. Hard dog treats can also be problematic, particularly for canines with dental issues. Both of these types of treats are generally made with a decreased quality.
Be Wary Of Foreign Suppliers
It’s no surprise that a good amount of products we receive comes from China. Does that make it safe to buy our dog treats from there as well? The answer, in a nutshell, is no. Buying from a foreign supplier can be costly to the well being of your animal.
To make it easy, we’ve broken down and listed the top reasons as to why you should most likely buy dog treats made in the USA and not an outside source.
- Polluted Ingredients: When we say, “polluted”, we don’t mean purposely contaminated, though this might not be far off. If you lived in the United States and you purchased a treat from China, it’s logical to assume that the food may not be the freshest. And although they might go through a series of steps to ensure that it stays relatively moist, the likelihood of this happening is pretty slim. Buying dog treats made in the U.S.A. is ideal to give your dog the freshest ingredients.
- Unwanted Protocols: Buying treats that are produced in the United States have to meet strict regulations and standards that some countries do not. For instance, the beloved beef jerky treat has been widely debated. Many owners would buy these products from China due to the lowered cost. Comparing the same bag of dog jerky in America, you would find that the ingredients are more straightforward. This is due to the fact that the manufacturer’s in other countries do not have to jump through complicated “hoops”. Would you want to buy a dog biscuit from China if you don’t know what’s in it? Unfortunately, this can be dangerous for your dog.
Dog treats that are unhealthy are generally loaded with fatty, low-quality ingredients, most of which are a challenge to pronounce. They also sometimes lack needing to meet certain legal regulations.
What Are Some Suggestions For Healthy Dog Training Treats?
After researching all about the ins and outs of a healthy treat versus a poor-quality tidbit, we’ve found that the best sources of natural protein should be included. That’s what makes Jiminy’s one of the leading All Natural Dog Treat. It may sound a bit strange, but using crickets is our specialty. They are a complete protein, giving your dog the necessary essential nutrients to promote overall health and well-being.
After looking over our guide on dog treat shopping, we hope that you’ve learned to provide the best option for your dog.
What you feed them will have a large impact on their energy levels, immunity, coat, skin and overall health. At Jiminy’s, we want you to be able to spoil your dog while giving them added years of love and good health. Your dog will reap the rewards, and tasty appeal, of crickets.