If you are a parent of a dog, it is natural to want to spoil your puppy with sweet treats. And, since May is National Pet Month, it ‘s natural to want to celebrate it with an extra snack here and there. But as much as they like french fries and stings from other table scraps, veterinarians agree that the best (okay, healthier) how to treat a puppy is with treats that have been made especially for it. But this is where it becomes unsafe: Not all dog treats are created equal.
“The list of ingredients is a difficult one, not only in dog food but also in delicacies,” admits TikTok renowned veterinarian Hunter Finn DVM. “The field of pet therapy is not well regulated and, let’s be honest, treats are not a necessity for our pets, but they help us strengthen our bond. [with them]. »
Since you do not want to give your puppy coarse treats, but you also do not want to make him sick, it is important to know which ingredients to look for and which to avoid. More about this below.
Ingredients to look for
Dogs — they are like us! Sure, they have four legs and four legs, but when it comes to their diet, puppies need their share of grass. According to Mary Rhodes, head of production and product development at Bocce’s Bakery, our companion dogs thrive on fresh fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, spinach, apples, sweet potatoes and broccoli. “They provide great flavor and essential vitamins and minerals,” he says.
In addition to feeding your dog the rainbow, Rhodes says peanut butter (without added sugar or salt) is a great snack choice, given the flavor and protein it provides. However, do not look only for specific ingredients. Think of the labels as well. When looking for healthy, tasty dog treats, Leilani Alvarez, DVM, DACVSMR, who is a veterinary consultant at The Honest Kitchen, says to give priority to those that contain few ingredients (only one, if possible) and are:
- Made in the USA
- Preferably organic
- In bite size (to avoid weight gain)
- High in fiber; low in carbohydrates
- Prepared with pure animal protein (chicken, fish and / or beef as main ingredient (s)
Overall, you want to feed your dog a healthy diet. “When choosing treats for your puppy, the ingredients should be whole, unprocessed and digestible,” says Gary Richter, DVM, medical director at Holistic Veterinary Care and founder of Ultimate Pet Nutrition. And remember, dogs digest differently than humans. Therefore, raw foods are recommended. “Lyophilized, dehydrated or frozen raw delicacies are ultimately the best choices because they have the highest amount of nutrients and have not been processed much,” says Richter.
Ingredients to avoid
Whether incorporated into a treat or served on their own, there are some foods you just do not want to give your dog. In addition to chocolate, grapes and raisins are prohibited, according to Finn. “These can cause kidney failure and can be fatal,” he warns. “Even a single grape can be very harmful to your dog.”
Likewise, Alvarez says to avoid delicacies made with:
- High in carbohydrates (“Predisposed [dogs] in obesity “, warns.)
- High fat (“May cause gastrointestinal upset / pancreatitis”, he notes, noting that macadamia nuts are particularly high in fat and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.)
- Ingredients from China (“It can be contaminated with toxins,” he says.)
- Xylitol (“Many peanut butters, yogurts and honey contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs,” he says.)
In addition, Richter says it is important to avoid any meat by-products or leftovers from the slaughtered animal, which can be difficult, as many delicacies are made with these ingredients. Basically, anything that contains the word “meal” means that it has been modified and is not so healthy.
At the end of the day, Finn suggests that if you can not pronounce it, then do not buy it. “Many products will have additives that add flavor, extend life or have other benefits to the delicacies, but in my opinion the simpler the better,” he says. “The only time I will get away from this advice is if the product is a dual benefit. This means it is a pleasure, but it adds value to your pet in some other way, such as a joint supplement, dental chewing or probiotics. “Many times they will have some ingredients that do not look natural to help you make the treatment more effective, but that does not mean that they are not safe.”
However, if you want to ensure that your puppy eats safe, nutritious food, it is advisable to buy only complementary treats with the seal of approval of the National Animal Supplements Council (NASC). “If you are buying a dental treatment for dogs, then seek the approval of the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VHOC)”, he adds.
One more thing
Even when choosing healthy, well-made dog treats, Alvarez says they should not take up more than 10 percent of your furry baby’s total daily caloric intake. “This is important for maintaining the nutritional balance of the food and preventing weight gain,” he says.
To make sure your puppy enjoys the most of his meals and treats – and to make sure all his nutritional needs are met – schedule regular appointments with your veterinarian. And if you’re not sure if your dog can eat something on the spot, use your smart home appliances to your advantage. Alexa, for example, can answer which ingredients are safe for dogs. We are talking about convenient! (Try it for yourself by asking “Alexa, what is safe to put in homemade dog treats?”)
10 of the healthiest dog treats to spoil your puppy
Bocce’s Bakery, PB + Blueberry Crispies – $ 8.00
These Bocce’s Bakery training chips mark all the boxes and Shipping in two days when ordering from Amazon. Their lightweight bite-shaped shape makes them the perfect treat for obedience training, allowing you to reward Fido without overfilling it. Each delicacy contains only three calories and is made with ingredients that give you a feeling, such as oats and raspberry powder.
Full Moon, All Natural Dog Training Delicacies – $ 20.00
Or, take a look at these organic full moon education delicacies. They are cooked using completely natural, best-in-class ingredients, so you do not have to worry about any preservatives, artificial flavors, GMOs or any other strange condition. Like Crispies, they only have three calories, so you do not have to worry about losing weight during a workout.
Petaluma, Sweet Potato Jerky – $ 18.00
If you want to choose the chewing gum, you can not go wrong with these pure slices of sweet potato from Petaluma. They are dehydrated from organic sweet potatoes grown in California, are an excellent source of fiber and are more carpet friendly than other jerky chews. The bag is also compostable, making it a great viable alternative to traditional delicacies.
The Honest Kitchen, Wolffish Ocean Chews – $ 20.00
You may grimace at the name, but your puppy will love these wolf skins, made entirely of 100 percent, pure fish. They are made in a human quality food establishment, which means they are quite safe for humans (although you will probably want to pass them on) and are definitely safe enough for dogs. Even better, they are loaded with protein and healthy omega 3, the same good fats that keep your skin and nails beautiful. Glossy coat and fur are snacks.
Greenies, authentic regular natural dental treats for dogs – $ 33.00
Ah, Greenies, the toothbrush disguised as a dog. Their mint texture is strategically designed to support your puppy’s dental hygiene by removing plaque and tartar while supporting a healthy gum line. And the perfume ?! Goodbye, smelly dragon breath — you will not mind licking after being chewed.
Thrive Market, Creamy Peanut Butter – $ 3.00
You can not go wrong with a classic peanut butter as a dog treat. Protein-rich snacks are primarily safe for pets, as long as they do not contain xylitol, added sugar or other suspicious additives that could be toxic to your pet. Smear a strip of ingredients on the wall of your bathtub to distract your puppy on the day of the bath or toss a spoon on his croquette for a protein boost at dinner.
Reggie, Morning Multivitamin – $ 30.00
Like human supplements, buying dog supplements can be difficult – there are many confusing ingredients and many brands are not regulated.
That’s why we love Reggie, the veterinarian-approved supplement company that makes multivitamin delicacies at a NASC provider. All brand supplements come in a chewy snack that Fido does not even realize is actually a vitamin, like these multivitamins that are full of vitamin C, copper and iron.
Zesty Paws, 8-in-1 multifunctional soft chews – $ 30.00
Likewise, Zesty Paws makes these 8-in-1 snacks that support everything from hair and fur growth to brain health. Think of them as a functional smoothie, packaged in the shape of a puppy. Choose from savory chicken or sweet, creamy peanut butter.
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