I’ve had a dog for most of my life and one thing they all shared was their absolute love of food. Whether that was something I gave them, something they found on a walk or raiding the bin when left to their own devices, they really will eat anything!
We are a nation of dog lovers and we often use treats to show our love and see them happy; sadly, lots of our dogs are overweight or struggle with food allergies.
Not all treats are bad but a lot of what you find in the shops, although may show a picture of a healthy dog enjoying the chew on the packet, it’s loaded with sugar or additives or contain low grade ingredients, grain or animal derivatives which have caused a lot of our dogs to develop allergies and gain weight. So even though you may be careful with their actual feed you could be inadvertently giving them unhealthy treats.
Take this packet of gravy bones. Promoted as a healthy treat with Omega 3, vitamins and minerals. If you read the ingredients label as follows : Cereals, Minerals, Meat and Animal Derivatives, Derivatives of Vegetable Origin, Oils and Fats.
Remember the ingredients must be listed by the highest first. The first item on the ingredient list is Cereal. Although some cereals are good source of carbohydrate, they vary in their nutritional value and in their digestibility. The less digestible grains tend to be cheaper (as you would expect). Cereal is used as a bulking agent and is a general term covering many types of grain which can be changed from batch to batch. There is no way of know what grain has been used, it could be the husk and sweepings off the floor.
Meat and animal derivatives is a generic term that covers all animals and animal parts, including horn, hoof, feathers and wool. This term can be used to hide undesirable ingredients and allows the manufacturer to change the meat source from batch to batch to whatever is the cheapest available at the time of manufacture. Meat and animal derivatives are used in many successful pet foods because most consumers don’t know any better. A high quality product will proudly state the cut of meat used and what percentage.
Derivatives of Vegetable Origin*Source* – this term allows the use of anything that is not classed as a cereal. It is generally waste material from the human food preparation industry. By the time it is processed at high temperature, it contains no nutritional value except as another fibre source. It is inexpensive to use and is classed as another bulking agent.
Oils and Fats *Source* – while fats are essential and many can be beneficial, others can be harmful and too much of any fat can lead to obesity and a host of health problems that often come with it. Many dog food manufacturers add large amounts of low grade, highly processed fats (usually just referred to as ‘oils and fats‘ or ‘animal fats‘) to make the food more palatable. Unfortunately, these fats tend to contain large amounts of saturated and hydrogenated fats which can raise blood cholesterol and may contribute to heart disease.
I find it so disturbing that as a consumer we can be so misled. After years of feeding my previous dog rawhide (that’s another blog for another time, but I urge you to check the process and do not buy), gravy bones and other supermarket or pet shop bought treats without considering what I was feeding. I am now far more conscious and study the labels and ingredients.
When I discovered natural treats I was so pleased. I am thrilled to have the dog deli in the store and now offer these treats in various size boxes for your dog to enjoy. You can even have them delivered monthly with a subscription box.
Natural treats are a great option to give your dog a tasty snack and monitor what you are feeding. They are naturally air-dried to lock in nutrients. All the treats are sourced in Europe where animal husbandry is of a higher standard than other parts of the world and can be used even if you have raw fed dogs.
To the right you can see a selection of popular treats that have been included in a recent dog deli treat box.
Chicken feet are a tasty low fat crunchy treat.
Pig snout is a crunchy alternative to a pigs ear and will aid teeth cleaning.
Tripe is a completely natural, grain and gluten free, 100% digestible and super tasty.
- Oxtail is long lasting and air puffed 100% natural .
- Beef Oobs is long lasting and a natural source of glucosamine.
- Chicken wings are full of protein.
- Rabbits ears with fur on act as a natural anti wormer.
- Beef intestine can be trimmed to make tasty training treats. P
- Pig in blanket is a sausage wrapped in pig skin.
- Beef Jerky is human grade, low fat high protein and very tasty.
- Lamb ears are especially good for sensitive tummies.
These are some favourites but there are lots more to try.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and feel you could also try some natural treats for your dog. Feel free to contact me or comment if you have any questions.