March 17, 2021
For optimum dog health, feeding a balanced, nutritional diet is key – and this extends to treats. Natural dog treats are increasingly popular among conscientious pet owners who understand the importance of rewards that are both healthy and tasty.
The sheer range of dog treats available can be difficult to navigate – there are dozens of shapes, sizes and flavors to choose from; you can narrow down this choice by considering which treats are made with the best ingredients and to safe processing standards to make sure that your furry family member receives a top quality treat.
Natural dog treats are usually rich in ingredients derived from natural sources and free from artificial additives, chemicals and preservatives; combinations of good quality meats, vegetables and gentle grains are prepared and packaged to national regulations for a treat your dog can enjoy with no adverse after-effects.
Natural dog treats use good quality ingredients; often, the packaging can give you a clue as to the exact constitution of the treat. When reading the ingredients list, look out for the type of meats used – natural treats may state chicken, beef or another type of meat, whereas artificial and lower-quality dog treats often simply state ‘meat and animal derivatives’ – this can mean any part of any animal, including fur and feathers.
Many natural dog treats are made from a single product – bully sticks, for example, are 100 per cent beef pizzle, with no added extras. These natural treats are packed with lean protein and super chewy for maximum enjoyment.
Dog treats made with artificial ingredients and low-quality contents are often manufactured from animals that have been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. Certain hormones are given to animals from an early age to encourage growth and rapid muscle development, while antibiotics are fed to animals to protect them from illness.
When pets eat these treats, they can build up an immunity to antibiotics, while ingesting the hormones in animal products can result in hyperactivity and has been linked to a variety of health conditions. Natural dog treats, however, are often made from the meat of free range animals that have not been subjected to hormone treatment and antibiotics, making them a higher-quality choice.
No unnatural additives
Made with fresh ingredients, natural dog treats do not contain the artificial additives found in other treats to enhance flavors and color. Good quality ingredients require no additional artificial flavoring and different colors can be achieved using safe, vegetable-based colorants.
Lower-quality pet treats are often made to last longer with the addition of chemicals like butylatedhydroyanilose, butylatedhydroyutoluen and ethoxyquin, but natural dog treats are more commonly preserved with antioxidants derived from vegetables known as tocopherols – a combination of vitamins E and C.
Dogs, like people, can suffer from allergies and intolerances to ingredients in foods. Switching from a low-quality treat to natural dog treats can reduce inflammation and lessen the severity of allergic reactions as a result of the superior protein and grain sources used.
Natural dog treats are easy to digest and gentle on the stomach; the high-quality ingredients mean less waste as the dog’s body can use more of the matter, and often less smelly excrement too.
More bang for your buck
Because natural dog treats are made with superior ingredients when compared with lower-quality offerings, they provide better value than lesser alternatives, which are often bulked up with various ingredients such as cereals and vegetable by-products.
Although cereals and vegetables may be used in healthy, natural dog treats, by-products and disproportionately high levels of cereals or ash may simply be added to make the batch go further. With a high-quality dog treat, your pet takes more nutritional value from the snack.
Better dental health
Natural dog treats can be beneficial for your dog’s health in a number of ways; as mentioned, the use of quality meat and grain food sources can reduce the risk of allergic reactions and ingredient intolerance, but natural treats can also contribute to improved dental care.
Cleaning teeth naturally, this sort of dog treat does not promote tooth decay with unnatural sugars or other ingredients. Treats like bully sticks are completely natural and chewy for better dental health; they’re also rich in minerals like calcium and phosphorous to promote strong, healthy teeth.
Dogs enjoy chewing, whether they’re a healthy weight or a little heavy. If your dog is on a diet, however, it might be tempting to cut out treats altogether, but this may result in boredom and chewing of other household items instead.
Switching to high-quality natural snacks that are sources of protein but that contain little fat can be a useful way of helping your dog lose weight without taking away their favorite rewards. Natural treats also contain more nutritional goodness and less filler content than poor-quality alternatives, so fewer treats are needed for your dog to feel satisfied.
Natural dog treats can help boost your pet’s immune system; protein is essential in supporting immunity, and natural dog treats are great sources of high-quality protein. When shopping for pet treats, check out the ingredients list to find out what sort of proteins are used in the snack you’re looking at – pure meats and meat meals feature as the main ingredients of many natural dog treats.
The type of protein used in dog treats can indicate their quality – meats listed specifically are higher quality than ‘meat and animal derivatives’, for example. To be sure you’re getting the best natural dog treats, the protein source should be listed within the top few ingredients on the packet.