One of the greatest things about owning a dog is seeing the level of excitement and joy that comes when you give them a treat! It’s no secret that dogs love snacks as much as we do. Your four-legged friend absolutely lives for the moment when he or she receives a delicious dog treat from their favorite person on Earth- YOU!
In addition to being a lot of fun, treating your dog can help enforce positive behavior, as well as correct some of the not-so-good behaviors they can exhibit. Being sure to always have a supply of treats on hand is a great way to ensure that you can give your dog the motivation he or she needs to learn the skills you want them to possess.
But what’s in those dog treats you buy in bulk at the store? The answer might shock you. Not all dog treats are made from natural ingredients, and many of them contain things that can be potentially harmful, if not downright dangerous, for your dog to eat. Here are some of the most surprising, unhealthy ingredients that can be found in a typical bag of dog treats:
In order to cut production costs, many dog food manufacturers opt to use artificial flavoring to their products in place of naturally-occurring flavors. While your dog may not care, you certainly should! Not only is artificial flavoring one more unnecessary synthetic additive that your pet doesn’t need in their diet, but it can also be used to make virtually anything taste somewhat like beef, chicken, or whatever it is designed to resemble- without including any of those actual proteins! By flavoring wheat flour-based dog treats, manufacturers are getting away with selling pet owners a product that can actually lead to obesity, diabetes, and more.
You already know that too much sodium can be bad for people, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s not great for dogs either. While it’s beneficial for dogs to have some salt in their diets, high levels of sodium can lead to hypertension and heart disease. Since natural ingredients contain all the salt your dog requires for a healthy diet, there is no need to add sodium to treats.
Adding sugar to any type of dog food is completely unnecessary, not to mention harmful, as consumption of sugar can lead a dog to problems like tooth decay, hypoglycemia, and cataracts. Despite this, some companies that manufacture dog treats add sugar to make them tastier and more appealing to their four-legged customers. Be sure to avoid any dog treats with sugar (or its common aliases, sucrose, cane sugar, caramel, and corn syrup) on the ingredients label.
With all of the artificial, unnecessary, and potentially toxic ingredients found in dog treats, you may be wondering what kinds of treats you should get your dogs to reward them for good behavior and make them happy. Visiting a specialty pet store or looking online for natural pet foods can help you find a number of healthy alternatives, like hemp dog treats, that your pup will find delicious! These treats are often crafted in small batches from human-grade ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. By choosing dog treats made from healthy ingredients, you can help preserve your dog’s quality of life and keep them feeling youthful and healthy throughout their life.