Why is it important to choose nutritious dog treats?
Pet owners love showing affection by giving treats, but no treats should compromise your dog’s health. With thousands of varieties to choose from, how do you choose a nutritious treat and why is it so important?
To ensure your pet is receiving the best nutrition possible, it is important to ensure that you are choosing healthy nutritious treats. Avoid choosing treats that are filled with sugars (corn syrup, molasses, fructose, etc.), salt, artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives.
To appeal to pet owners, many commercial treats are designed in color and appearance, but most often these treats are poorly nutritious and do nothing to satisfy hunger. Some artificial ingredients may also contribute to adverse reactions or be potentially harmful. You should also avoid certain table scraps as pet treats. Don’t give leftover chunks of fat or sweet morsels even if you know that your pet will love it because these scraps are usually high in calories and low in other nutrients. It may also cause digestive problems such as bad breath, gas, loose stools, occasional vomiting and diarrhea. Your pet may also become finicky and even stop eating their own food if your pet develops a taste for these scraps.
What to look for when choosing a treat for your pet
Make sure you look for treats with natural colors and flavors. Treats that are meat-based with no artificial ingredients. Dog treats that are made with wholesome ingredients can make a definite difference in your dog's health. Top quality sources of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are a healthy complement to your dog's diet. Any kind of unnecessary additives can harm the integrity of the treat and your dog's overall health.
Also make sure you choose treats designed specifically for your dog's size, health, and chewing habits. If in doubt, you may contact your veterinarian for advice on which pet treats best suit your pet's individual needs.
Choose treats with added health benefits. Some functional treats may help to maintain your pet's health, such as dental treats. Healthy treats can help keep your dog active, happy, and balanced for years of faithful companionship. It is very important to read and compare the product labels to avoid unwanted ingredients in these treats
How often should you give your dog a treat?
Dog owners always want to provide treats for their dogs. Worrying about giving too many treats to your dog is a natural instinct. This behavior can introduce many extra calories into your dog’s diet which causes treats to be a major culprit in dog’s obesity. Many people don't see overweight or obese pets as a problem, but health risks due to obesity should be taken seriously. It contributes to a wide range of health problems such as arthritis, diabetes, and it has also been well documented that obese pets lives shorter.
Treats should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s daily calories because they are not complete and balanced like pet food and should not be used as the primary source of calories.
Also remember that the treats that you are giving are intended to be a “treat”. The treat should always be given as a positive reward for good behavior, training or after exercises. It should never be expected that the treat will be given as a regular habit. If you are giving them regularly, they are more of a regular business and your dog will not act as if they are receiving a treat. They will feel entitled to the food and will come to expect it. That’s why it is very important to give your pet treats at the right time to help make sure that “treat time” is a “special time”.