Can A Dog Treat Be Healthy?
Have you ever read the ingredients on your dog’s favorite treat to see what is really in there?
Is it possible that dog treats could actually be causing health problems that youâ€™re not even aware of?
Just like the multi-billion dollar pet food industry, from grocery stores to pet boutiques to even your local veterinarian, they all sell delicious, mouth-watering, paw licking treats aimed at enticing YOU!
Your dog is attracted to the scent and taste of a food item, not the shape or color or nutritional claims, and certainly not to a cute little name wrapped in a glitzy package. The leading brands of pet treats â€“ all sell on creative marketing, bag graphics, brand identity or attractive pricing. Are they worth the price???
The sharp rise in pet illness may be attributed not only the processed food you feed your dogs or the vaccines we pump into them but also, to tasty treats that contain unhealthful ingredients.
Thankfully, many pet owners are beggining to demand “healthier” treats. In response to that demand, companies are beginning to incorporate natural and/or organic ingredients into the treats. Be careful though, Even though there are even some grain free treats out there you need to be vigilant and avoid the following ingredients:
Propylene glycol– an industrial solvent used in acrylics, stains, inks, dyes, cellophane, antifreeze, airplane de-icers and brake fluid. Side effects on animals include: irregular heart beat, underdeveloped growth, brain, liver and kidney problems, lowering blood pressure and even death. Pets love the sweet taste.
Blue 1 and 2- found in pet food and treats have caused brain tumors
Red 3- caused thyroid tumors
Yellow 6- Linked to adrenal gland and kidney tumors, many carcinogens
BHA or BHT– studies found usage caused cancer in rats
Propyl galate– preservative, prevent spoiling, might cause cancer
Ethoxyquin– linked to cancer
Potassium Bromate– Bromate has been banned throughout the world, except for in the United States and Japan. Causes cancer in animals
Acesulfame-K also breaks down into acetoacetamide, which has been found to affect the thyroid in rats, rabbits and dogs
Partially Hydrogenated Oils– creates trans fats, which promote heart disease and diabetes
Poultry by-product meal is a high-protein ingredient used as a major component in some dog food and treats. It is made from grinding clean parts of poultry cadaver, which can contain bones, offal and undeveloped eggs. It also can contain feathers. May be hard to digest.
Meat by-product meal– is a substandard form of protein, used by many popular pet food and treat manufacturers because it is cheap. Sources may include: road kill, euthanized cats and dogs, including their collars.
Brown Sugar / sugar/ molasses– some of the effects of sugar in pets are- suppression of immune system, mineral imbalance, hyperactivity, diabetes, kidney distress, weight gain, allergies, excessive pancreas activity, liver activity, increase bad bacteria in colon, cancer.
Corn Syrup contains mercury, causes obesity (Research has shown that “high-fructose corn syrup” goes directly to the liver, releasing enzymes that instruct the body to then store fat!).
MSG never listed/named as such but hidden under the name of natural flavors, flavor enhacer, free glutamic acid, Glutamate, Calcium caseinate,Calcium caseinate,Autolyzed yeast
etc. is an excitotoxin, which means that it overexcites your cells to the point of damage, acting as a poison
Additional items to be wary of:
Ground wheat, wheat four, wheat gluten, ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, corn starch, glycerin, hydrogenate starch hydrolysis, bacon fat preserved with BHA, soybean meal, oatmeal, salt, sorbic acid (a preservative), artificial flavor, calcium propionate (a preservative), glyceryl monostearate, phosphoric acid, choline chloride, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5).
So what CAN I feed my as a treat?
If you feel you must give your dogs treats or you need them for training, try some boiled fresh veal liver or chicken gizzards. Boiled or broiled beef heart.
If you want something without the work of cooking, The Whole Dog carries a great line of dehydrated raw organ and muscle meats as well as a few grain and potato free biscuit treats with herbs, wild salmon oil, probiotics, etc. all made with hormone and antibiotic free meats. Check out Dr Woofers.
Copyright Â© 2003 -2009 This article is the sole property of Dr Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason and The Whole Dog and is for educational purposes. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.