Feeding your dogs healthy foods is super important. With tons of different dog food brands available, it's hard to know which foods and treats are good for your dog and which aren't. Many people resort to giving their dogs treats that are unhealthy because they may think it’s gross to feed their dogs things like vegetables. Thankfully, there are alternatives! Not only does a good diet help keep your dog healthier and happier, but a natural, healthy lifestyle also impacts your dog’s behavior. If you feed your pets with natural pet foods with no preservatives, sugar fillers, or other toxins – by default, you can say that you are treating your own dog sustainably!
So, it’s necessary to understand what good dog treats are and how good dog treats are different from bad dog treats. In this blog, we'll go over all of this and even walk you through some good dog treats offered by us, Lord Jameson!
Bad Dog Treats
Before we get into the good dog treats, let's talk about what makes a dog treat bad. As we mentioned, there are so many options. No one has time to sit there going through all the different ingredients on hundreds of brands! So, here are examples of bad dog treats:
- Treats that contain chemicals or additives: Artificial flavors and colors can cause serious health problems such as organ damage and even cancer if they're eaten on a daily basis. Other unsafe additives might include chemical preservatives called Hydrogenated Oils which leads to heart disease over time. Overall, chemical-laden food can lead your dog down a path towards tons of health problems - including obesity. There is also no nutritional value in these kinds snacks, so there's really no plus to giving them to your dog!
- Paddywhacks and other chews: Paddywhacks and chews can cause a number of health problems including digestive issues. Not only that, but it's easy for your dog to accidentally choke on them, too. Paddywhacks are bad for your dog because they contain dangerous chemicals that could make their teeth brittle. Other chew treats include rawhide, bones made from pork ribs and other parts including ears or hooves, etc... These can splinter easily if not already fragmented throughout the rest of their body. These types of treats are hard on your dog's teeth and can cause them pain or discomfort in their mouth.
- Table scraps: Depending on what you're feeding your dog at the table, table scraps aren't the best choice for a good dog treat. Scraps from the table include bones, as well as other foods that have been cut up or cooked in some form of sauce on them. Humans cook their food with tons of spices (some that are spicy!) and a lot of food is cooked with onions. Onions are toxic for dogs... They can cause digestive issues, as well as anemia and giardia infections because they contain allyl sulfides which act like triggers of those diseases when ingested by dogs. So, to be safe, try to stay away from feeding your dog table scraps (which we know is hard to do when they give those adorable puppy eyes!)
Dog Treat Ingredients You Should Avoid
- Meat by-products: What does the term "meat by-product" mean? Well, it's basically animal parts that are not used in production of fresh or processed meats like beef liver. For example, this could include offal (a range from intestines to lungs) and trimmings such as scraps taken after processing an animal. They can also refer specifically to meat inspectors' rejected cuts if it is edible enough for human consumption, but has something wrong with its appearance which stops people wanting them. It's not the most appetizing things for dogs, so we suggest staying away from treats that contain meat by-products as an ingredient.
- 4-D meats: According to RawK9, "the term “4D meats” refers to meat that was sourced from cattle who were dead, dying, diseased, or down. 4D animals are not slaughtered; they are animals found dead, dying, diseased, or down in the field, feedlot, or poultry lot." These animals are a 100% violation of the Food, Drug, and, Cosmetic Act, which states that they should not be included in any food, including dog food. Dog food plants that use 4D meats are known as “rendering plants,” since they convert waste animal tissue into dog food." It's no secret that 4D meat has some serious consequences. Many of the carcasses have cancerous tumors, worms crawling in the organs, etc. So, it's best to stay clear from dog treats that contain 4D meats.
- Cheap fillers: We all know the drawbacks of using low-quality ingredients, so why would you want to give your dog something that could potentially make them sick? High-quality ingredients will always be the way to go. You are what you eat and same goes for your dog. A good treat is one where animal lovers are involved in every step from start to finish. (Like ours! They're made with all-natural ingredients and made by dog lovers in Boulder, Colorado.)
- Artificial ingredients: We mentioned earlier in the blog that artificial flavors can cause health problems like cancer and organ damage. Not only that, but artificial colors and flavors can also put your dog at risk for food allergies. Many of these artificial flavoring substances have been shown in lab tests as dangerous toxins, so it's important that we keep our furry friends away from these. Instead, provide them with treats made from natural sources! (Again, we can help with that!)
Good Dog Treats
Now that we've gone over bad dog treats, we can delve into what makes a good dog treat, a good treat!
- Organic ingredients: Organic ingredients are better for dogs because they don't have any harmful chemicals or toxins. They also have a lower environmental impact than conventional produce because they don't involve the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. These products can pose less health risks to your dog due to natural toxins being absent from them. Speaking of organic, we are incredibly proud to share that our treats are USDA Organic Certified! Our goal is to treat your dog to an amazing culinary experience that's tasty and good for them! We've done a full blog about why organic matters - check it out here.
- Natural ingredients: The benefits of feeding your dog natural food ingredients are twofold: not only will they help keep them healthy, but you'll know that what's going into their body is safe and good for them. Again, you are what you eat! There are many health benefits to natural dog treats - including improved brain health and better digestion. Learn more in our blog by clicking here.
- Gluten & grain-free: Grain-free diets can help pave way towards healthy gums as well as reduce the risk of certain diseases. Grain-free and gluten-free treats are also great for your dog's digestion. Dogs have a sensitive stomach similar to humans so they need the extra care when it comes in foods that can cause harmful reactions or discomfort if not digested well enough. These ingredients usually include grains such as barley malt syrup (a type of sugar), oat groats/oatmeal ground into flour then cooked until they're sticky before adding water. We recently did a blog where we delved deep into what gluten / grain-free means... Read it here!
- Freeze-dried: Freeze-dried treats are becoming more and more popular! The process of freeze-drying includes slow cooling with desiccants (crystals that absorb moisture) to ensure that all excess water is removed. This reduces the amount of nutrients while also preserving flavor because no additions are required. During this procedure, approximately 40% of the food's water content is eliminated. Freeze-drying preserves the food's nutrients and makes it so that the treats have a longer shelf life. Learn more here!
Lord Jameson and Healthy Dog Treats
Earlier in this blog, we mentioned that our dog treats are USDA Organic Certified. They're made with all-natural ingredients - including blueberries, coconuts, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, strawberries, and more. Our treats are made right here in the USA, and of course, they're made with love! They're soft in form and can easily be used as a pill popper or training treat... Check out all of our delicious flavors by clicking here!
Conclusion of Good Dog Treats and Bad Dog Treats
The basics of your dog's health are rooted in proper nutrition. As someone who loves their dog, you should find treats which are both healthy and delicious! Hopefully, this blog will help you choose the right dog treats and avoid bad treats in order to give your dog just what they need! Lord Jameson knows the importance of healthy dog treats and the impact they have. So, don't forget to choose one of the healthy treats for your dog, by visiting our website, Lord Jameson!
Thank you so much for reading!