Pets are not much different than humans when it comes to nutrition. In order to maintain the best health in our pets, we need to follow the same rules that apply to us. Healthy treats for dogs are as important for our pets as healthy treats for people. The rule that “dogs will eat anything” does hold true for the majority of our four legged friends.
However, if we really look at it closely, it also holds true for most humans. If you look around at grocery stores, supermarkets, fast food chains, convenience stores restaurants and pubs, the list of foods available is endless. We are responsible for our own health and what we choose to consume.
Our pets are not as fortunate, they depend on us for their food, comfort and safety, and don’t have the freedom of choice. While buying the cheapest dog food and treats may seem like a good idea financially, this option will cost you more in the long run. Like people, a long term diet of nutritionally poor foods will lead to health problems later in life. Many of these are costly and can be fatal.
More than Just Health Food for Pets
Healthy treats for dogs are more than just a tasty item from a pet food bag. Healthy treats for dogs are only really healthy if they contain the ingredients and nutritional value needed for your specific dog (breed). This means no chemicals, no useless fillers and no harmful preservatives. If it is going to benefit your dog, it needs to contain nothing but natural foods that they can digest and use. This type of feeding is extremely beneficial. A long term healthy pet diet will result in fewer veterinarian trips or complications. The extra money spent on a healthy diet is more than saved in future vet bills. Your pet will process and properly digest foods and the more they process and use, the less waste is expelled. Dog excrement will be dramatically reduced when they are not consuming useless food. This also has another benefit. A properly digested meal will last longer and keep your pet fuller, longer. You do not need to be alarmed by the idea of purchasing countless bags of a more expensive food because it is being fully digested and they will not eat as much of it compared to other brands.
By-products and fillers are important to watch for when you are purchasing healthy treats for dogs too. Fillers are foods used to increase the volume of the product but offer no real nutritional value. A dog treat made from chicken, for example, has two options: the manufacturer can purchase a large volume of chicken and make the treats entirely of this product, or the manufacturer can purchase half the volume of chicken and substitute a filler such as rice or cornmeal to add volume and reduce cost. Your dog will consume the chicken but will not need the cornmeal.
The result is a treat at a lower cost but with half the nutritional value and a large amount of ingredients that your pet will not benefit from. They will expel the foods that they could not digest and will be hungry again much sooner. By-products work much the same way. An animal by-product is the parts of the animal left over after the main processing has been completed.
Again, with chicken as an example, a meat manufacturing company may be selling chicken to markets for human consumption where they sell the breasts, legs, wings and thighs as their main products. Items such as the undeveloped eggs, intestines, feet and neck that are not sellable to humans are sold to pet food manufacturers to use in their dog food. For the pet manufacturers this increases the volume of the bag of food as a filler and allows them to confidently advertise that there is chicken in their pet food and treats. Well there is chicken, but not the parts that you want your pet to eat.
By carefully choosing what you are feeding your pets and by selecting healthy treats for dogs that are free from fillers, by-products, chemicals and pesticides, you are making the choice to improve your dog’s life. Pets are an extension of our families and they are as dependent on you for their quality of life as your own children are. You would not knowingly degrade the life of yourself or your children, why would you purposely choose a poor lifestyle for your pets? The foods that you feed your dog are as important as exercise and human interaction. Choosing healthy treats for dogs is an important step in improving their quality of life.
This article was written by Matthew Jones, who loves his pooch, Star, and always makes sure that she gets the best healthy treats for dogs on the shelves.