Everyone likes a treat and dogs are no exception! Unlike cats, who are usually able to naturally curb their appetite, dogs are well-known to be quite happy to enjoy a snack wherever they can find one. Obviously a key consideration for owners is whether their pet’s snacking is harming their health. Here we take a look at the various foods out there which are commonly used as dog snacks and assess whether they are a suitable addition to a healthy, balanced diet. In addition, we also consider snacks which might not only be unhealthy but may even make your pet ill! Some of the foodstuffs which are toxic to dogs may well surprise you!
Quite a few owners are eager to feed their pet dogs raw meat, largely on the basis that it’s a natural form of food and very close to what canine ancestors would have eaten in the wild. Although dogs are able to digest raw meat, it’s not necessarily good for them. Raw meat can contain high levels of bacteria, including listeria and salmonella. Low-grade meat may also contain parasites that could make your pet ill. For these reasons, raw meat should normally be avoided.
Some leftovers can be a nutritious treat for your dog, particularly if it’s simply well-cooked, plain meat that’s fresh. Unfortunately, most of the time leftovers contain ingredients which are dangerous for dogs to ingest. The following ingredients are all toxic to canines:
– Onions, chives, other members of the allium family
– Blue cheese
From intestinal blockages through to liver damage and diarrhoea, ingesting any of the above can cause a whole host of problems. Not only should these foods not be given directly, any food given to pets must be checked to ensure they don’t contain any of the above substances.
Most dogs can tolerate wheat well, so eating wheat occasionally will usually not do your dog any harm. That said, it’s important to remember that wheat is relatively low in protein and contains few nutrients in comparison with other foodstuffs. What’s more, it’s also a calorie-dense food. Dogs that are fed with a wheat-rich diet may end up getting more calories than they need, without the protein required to boost satiety. Given that dogs can be quite greedy anyway, wheat-based snacks may lead to obesity and all the problems which that can bring. If you’re going to give your dog a snack, it’s important to choose one which provides nutrition as well as a pleasant taste.
Vegetables are a great option for a dog snack: packed full of vitamins and also a source of fibre, a Brussel sprout or carrot can be an ideal choice. The problem for many dog owners is to try and get their dogs to enjoy the taste. Just like humans, dogs can be reluctant to eat a vegetable on its own: most of the time they prefer a snack that combines vegetables with meat in order to create a flavoursome morsel. If you want your dog to enjoy the nutritional benefits of vegetables at the same time as enjoying the taste and protein which meat can bring, some of our snacks could be the perfect solution.
Just meat, vegetables and gravy
A banquet for dogs in snack form, our wheat-free treats bring together ingredients which are genuinely good for your dog, at the same time as packing in the flavour to ensure the snack you offer really is a treat. Freshly prepared without artificial flavourings or colourings, each snack provides a powerful shot of exciting taste, at the same time as containing optimal nutrition and absolutely none of the items on the “toxic” list. Low in calories, these treats are a great snack for a dog that’s trying to lose weight, or for dogs of a healthy weight who want to stay that way!
As a general rule, we recommend giving your dog what may well be the best healthy dog treats on the market. They have been specifically formulated to provide an optimal taste and nutritional experience, at the same time as offering a healthy alternative. Using the right treats, it’s possible to show you care at the same time as helping to conserve your dog’s health and vitality.