Have you ever stopped to look at the ingredients label on the dog treats you feed to your dog?
Most dogs will eat whatever we give them regardless of whether it is good or bad for them, which is why we should take the time to look into and think about what we feed to our beloved dogs so we can select the best we possibly can for them.
A lot of conventional brands and dog treats contain various chemicals and questionable ingredients. Take a look at these seven dog treat ingredients to avoid when selecting dog treats.
1. Artificial Flavours
Artificial flavours are additives that manufacturers add to dog treats to give them a more appealing taste and smell. They mimic the taste of natural flavours and ingredients without the need to use real ingredients.
For example, manufacturers can make a dog treat taste and smell like bacon without using any real bacon. Another example of artificial flavouring common in dog treats is smoke flavouring.
Artificial flavours are synthetic and are not natural. They provide manufacturers with a cheap way of making a dog treat taste and smell like something natural when it isn't.
2. Artificial Colours
Artificial colours are additives that manufacturers use to artificially dye or colour dog treats. They serve no purpose or benefit to our dogs, and they are merely a way of making dog treats look visually appealing and attractive to us, so we buy them.
As with all artificial additives, they are subject to strict regulations, but that doesn't make them a suitable choice or an ingredient you'd want to see in dogs treats.
Several artificial colours are available; Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellows 5 and 6, to name a few; there are more. You may see these names on the dog treat label, or you may see them labelled as colourants; either way, it's best to avoid them.
3. Artificial Preservatives and Antioxidants
Artificial preservatives and antioxidants are additives that slow down the spoilage rate of dog treats, thus extending their shelf life. They are synthetic chemical substances commonly found in processed treats. Many of which are harmful and bad for your dogs' health.
You may come across BHA, BHT, propyl gallate, and potassium sorbate, to name a few. Alternatively, you may also see EC-approved or EC-permitted preservatives or antioxidants on dog treat labels. Just because they are approved or permitted does not mean they are safe or suitable for your dog.
Cereals, among other ingredients, are used as fillers to bulk out dog treats as these ingredients are much cheaper than using meat.
Cereals drive down the price and quality of dog treats, shifting the focus to profit rather than quality. Dog treats like this don't often provide much, if any, nutritional value to your dog and can be problematic if you have a dog who has food allergies or intolerances.
Ideally, when selecting dog treats, you want to be seeing a meat source as your main ingredient. Bonus if it's the only ingredient!
5. Meat, Animal, Fish or Vegetable Derivatives
When looking at ingredient labels, you may come across the terms "meat and animal derivatives", "fish and fish derivatives", or "vegetable derivatives". If you do, then it's best to avoid these dog treats.
These terms are vague and don't tell us much about what the treats contain. We cannot identify what is in them, and we certainly cannot assess the quality of the ingredients used.
These terms can also prove difficult for those dogs with allergies or intolerances; it can be challenging to know what the derivatives are, let alone what animal proteins they include. Look for named identifiable animal proteins.
6. Added Sugar and Sweeteners
If dogs have too much sugar in their diet, it can cause many problems. There is a link between diets high in sugar and health issues such as weight gain, diabetes and tooth decay. It can also cause hyperactivity and behavioural problems; therefore, it is best to avoid lots of sugar in the diet.
It is important to note that some treats may contain natural sugars if made with fruits and vegetables, so it's something to keep in mind not to feed too many. Try to avoid added sugar altogether, looking out for the term "various sugars" on the ingredients label. Added sugar gives treats a sweet taste to make them more palatable.
It is also essential to watch out for sweeteners as dogs do not need them, and many are toxic. Take xylitol, for example; xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs and is common in some brands of peanut butter. It is something to check for if you feed any treats made with peanut butter or make your own using peanut butter.
It can be hard to believe that rawhide is bad for dogs, considering how common it is, but I highly recommend avoiding rawhide altogether when choosing dog treats.
Rawhide is a by-product of the leather industry that uses part of the raw animal hide of hooved animals such as cattle in its manufacture. Hides go through multiple processing steps to produce rawhide chews for dogs as we know them. They go through chemical washing before being cut, rolled and glued into various shapes and sizes before adding artificial colours and flavours; sounds appetising, doesn't it...?!
Rawhide is bad for dogs, but not only that; it poses a whole host of potential dangers such as choking, obstruction and even poisoning. Avoid rawhide at all costs!
At Kero and Bree, I like to keep things simple. I want to introduce you to my range of 100% natural, healthy dog treats.
I carefully select the natural dog treats to ensure I stock the highest quality treats available, so you don't have to worry about checking all the labels in depth. I won't just stock any old dog treat like many other stores.
The brands I stock are committed to animal welfare; quality and nutrition are at the heart of their products. I stock treats with proper ingredients, which are simple, recognisable and derived from natural sources with no meat, animal, fish or vegetable derivatives. They contain no horrible artificial flavours, colours, preservatives or antioxidants and no added sugar. And rawhide is a definite no no!
So if you're ready to take the hassle out of checking ingredients labels, shop now and get high-quality natural dog treats delivered straight to your door. Head over here to shop the range.
- Is Rawhide Bad For Dogs?
- The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Dog Treats
- 8 Natural, Long-Lasting Dog Chews
- 10 Tips For Choosing Treats For Dogs With Allergies