Treats for Dogs
Dog treats they come in all shapes and colors but are they healthy and safe for your dog?
Rawhide (animal skin usually from cows or pigs) and pigs’ ears are very popular dog treats. Dogs seem to love these inexpensive “treats” and can chew on them for hours and days. In reality it’s not really the “rawhide” that your dog likes but the act of chewing. Dogs need to chew on things to exercise their jaws and keep their teeth and gums healthy as well as relieve boredom and stress.
On a nutritional note rawhide products have no nutritional value at all.
They are loaded with artificial coloring and preservatives that can cause severe allergic reactions in some dogs. It is not uncommon to see dogs develop rashes and irritation on the inside of their lips from continuous exposure of the chemicals from chewing. Rawhides are indigestible and can be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Last year the Canadian Federal Government sent out warnings that some raw hides were contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Ingestion of raw hide sometimes causes digestive problems very similar to gastroenteritis, requiring veterinarian care.
If you want to “Treat” your dog give him/her non-toxic chew toys such as twist cotton ropes, Nylabone products, or a dried up beef joint bone that you can get at your butcher. Choose a bone joint from either a knee or shoulder that is too big for your dog to break or swallow. Boil the bone and then dry in the oven at 350 degrees F until dry (15 minutes). This bone will probably last forever and will do wonders for your dog’s teeth.
What about treats that your dog can EAT!
Treats need to be low in fat, good tasting, and nutritious (high in vitamins and minerals). Vegetables are great treats to offer your dog. Sweet raw baby carrots, raw broccoli, raw sweet red peppers, pieces of banana, pineapple, pieces of apple or pears, you can experiment and see what you dog likes. They have taste preferences too!
A protein treat can be as simple as baking some beef liver in the oven until crisp. If you are not in the mood to bake, animal bakeries that use all natural ingredients are becoming popular. Maybe your pooch might even share a piece of his cookie with you!
Chantale Robinson AHT Bs.
Holistic and Alternative Vet. Medicine
Salaberry Veterinary Clinic
Montreal, Quebec, Canada