In nowadays market we definitely have choices when it comes to dog treats. In fact, there may be too many choices – it can easily be overwhelming if you are wondering what treats to buy your dog that are safe, within budget and that they will like. Here’re some tips on how to buy dog treats so you and your dog will both by happy.
1. Age & health history of your pets
Healthy dog treats have nutritious value and so, your pet’s age is an important factor to take into consideration while choosing treats. Besides, treats come in various shapes, sizes and hardness, and you need to choose one that matches with your dog’s age.
If your dog has a medical history, make sure you visit the vet to know the right diet for your dog. Like humans, dogs also may have food restrictions based on their health and have a reaction to certain ingredients that their body is not used to. Consulting your vet will give an idea of what to feed and what not to feed your pet and accordingly.
Ingredient is one of the most important aspects to consider while purchasing dog treats. Treats have quite an impact on your pet’s eating regimen. Choose treats that are natural. Also, treats that have minimum ingredients are a better option as they don’t have any additional or unnecessary fillers.
Some of dog treats contain chemicals that can be toxic and negatively affect your pet’s health. They may not have any immediate impact but can cause chronic health issues in the long run. Owners should avoid dog treats if you see any of the following ingredients in its composition:
While shopping for pet treats, ensure to check the packaging and choose a brand that does not contain any preservatives. If you notice ingredients like potassium sorbate, ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT or calcium propionate, it is best to avoid such treats.
- Artificial colouring
Do you know that your doggo is not at all concerned about the colour of the treats that they munch on? Treats are given artificial colouring so that it appeals to pet parents. Hence, avoid buying treats with artificial colour, as it is unnecessary and can also prove to be harmful.
- Chemical humectants
Humectants such as propylene glycol are sometimes used in dog treats to prevent it from drying and remain chewy and moist. It is also used to prevent discolouration in meat treats. This ingredient can greatly disrupt the digestive system and lead to intestinal lesions as well as blockage. There are other food-sourced and natural humectants available that are not harmful to pets, so check the package label well before purchasing.
- Synthetic chemical sweeteners
Chemical sweeteners like sorbitol are added to dog treats to enhance the taste. However, it can cause a plethora of health problems like obesity, tooth decay, nervousness and allergies. Sorbitol is also known to be a reason for arthritis and digestive issues. Another disadvantage is chemical sweeteners will make the treats so sweet that your pet can develop a taste for it and overeat.
It’s important to remember that treats aren’t usually designed to be nutritionally balanced. If you want healthier treats, keep an eye out for the caloric content on the packaging, because the weight issue is a matter of your pet’s health.
Owners should bear in mind that even in small treat-sized amounts, it can take up too many of your dog’s daily calories and quickly add up to extra weight. In general, treats should never make up more than 10 percent of a dog’s daily caloric intake, it’s better to choose treats that clearly state the calories contained in each treat.
4. Size & texture of treat
Owners should be mindful of the treat you’re handing your dog. The size of the treat should be appropriate to the size of your dog, very small dogs shouldn’t have large treats and conversely, a very small treat would not be recommended for large dogs. It’s recommended that keeping an eye on your dog while they’re chewing larger treats like rawhide chews that can break and turn into choking hazards.
Apart from that, texture of treat is a matter, treats that are a little hard and firm will be helpful for your dog in reducing plaque and tartar and maintaining oral health. Lost lasting treats will make sure that your pet spends more time gnawing at it, leading to tooth scraping. It will also keep them engaged for a longer time for you to finish your chores. However, if you have a senior dog, provide softer treats that would be easy on the ageing teeth.
Last but not least, don’t forget that you can use real, fresh food for treats! Offer your dog bites of cheese, cooked meat, and pieces of fruit and vegetables, and determine which he likes best.