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Best Natural Treats for Dogs

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Dogs love treats and maybe that's why there are so many dog treats available on the market. However, dog owners should read the labels on treats and selection should be done carefully - as carefully as when selecting dog food.

Most people now know that jerky treats from China should be avoided.  However, if you do a bit of research, you will find complaints from treats made in the USA too. Did you know that treats indicating "Made in USA" can get their ingredients from anywhere
 even China?

Just like with labels on human food, you need to read the labels on treats. If there is no information, don’t buy the product. If you see words like animal meal or by-products or words that sound odd, avoid these treats.  

I know some dog owners have resorted to making their own dog treats. That’s an option if you have the time. If you don’t have time, and want to know what is in your treats, here are some healthy suggestions. Remember that too many calories are not good for dogs which is why I like fruit and vegetable options.

  • Carrot slice

  • Apple slice (no pits)

  • Banana slice

  • Small piece of broccoli (frozen or fresh)

  • String bean (frozen or fresh)

  • No salt or butter (air popped) popcorn

  • Plain rice cakes broken into little pieces

Items like antlers, bones and hooves can be hard on teeth. My collie had fractured teeth and I think this was due to the antlers I provided. No more antlers! Occasionally I find a treat that passes the label test. I break them into the smallest pieces possible and the dogs still are happy. Learned that from a dog trainer.

When you are in doubt about any food or treat, it never hurts to check with your vet.

What about Rawhide?

I was told to stay away from it as it is not natural and can splinter when it gets small. Yes it does soften when a dog chews on it, but I had a dog choke on it so not a fan of rawhide either.

Remember salt is very bad for dogs (and humans) so that is why I did not mention canned vegetables. If you must use canned, rinse well or use low a salt version. Please share your ideas so we can all provide good nutrition and care to our four legged friends - cats and dogs!

 

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