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Feeding your dog ‘fake’ healthy treats?

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How do I know if these dog treats are even healthy for my dog? There are so many!! There are walking treats, calming treats, treats for fresh breath, substitutes for toothbrushes and treats for destructive chewers….

On top of all the treat choices we now need to figure out if all the healthy dog treat options are even really healthy for our dog or just ‘says’ it’s healthy!

There is so much information out there and so many clever branding and advertising hacks that I don’t even know what’s true anymore!

It shouldn’t be this hard!

I’m confused.

I’m overwhelmed.

And my head hurts just thinking about it.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

For many dog owners, the quest for real, healthy and nutritious snacks has become a bit of a complicated mess!

Fat free.

No added preservatives

All natural.

Meat meal.

No added salt.

Is this good? Am I feeding my dog something yummy but also good for them?

If there is one simple rule for you to follow, it would be the same rule that humans should follow when it comes to buying packaged food.

Read the label.

Don’t just believe everything the company splashes on the front of the packaging because that’s usually their way of hiding something.

When it comes to ALL NATURAL treats or HEALTHY treats, the one thing to remember is:

The less ingredients the better.

If you turn over the fancy packaging and actually look at the ingredients list, you want to make sure that there isn’t actually a compact list of 20 ingredients there.

Why? Because the more ingredients, the less natural and healthy it is!

When looking at the ingredients list, the first ingredient listed, is the ingredient that is found most in the treat. The second ingredient listed is the ingredient that is second most found in the treat. And so on.

So when reading the ingredient list, make sure that the the first few ingredients (if not ALL the ingredients) are clearly labeled as something you know. Chicken, beef, sweet potato, rice etc.

Natural and healthy treats should be made from fruit, vegetable and pure sources of protein.

While some of these require some sort of preservative to keep them fresh for longer, you should still be able to find treats with NATURAL preservatives such as applesauce, molasses, honey, vitamin E, Vitamin C, and plant extracts.

While natural preservatives mean a shorter shelf life for your treats, it also means you can feel confident that your doggy treats are ACTUALLY natural and easier on your fur baby’s tummy.

If you turn the treat package over and look at the ingredients list, only to find strange letters and numbers and words you can’t pronounce, put the packet down and walk away.

Here is a list of SOME ingredients that should NOT be on any ‘healthy’ or ‘all natural’ treats that you buy for your dog:

  • Added sugars (also known as sucrose, caramel, or corn syrup)
  • Added salt (also known as sodium chloride, iodized salt, or sea salt)
  • Soy or soybeans (a common dog allergin and no real health benefits)
  • Corn (a filler ingredient that lacks healthy protein, fat or other nutrients)
  • Grains (not needed in the dog diet at all – can cause doggy health problems)
  • Wheat (another useless filler that never benefits your dogs health)
  • Gluten or Corn Gluten Meal (a filler and something your dog can’t digest)
  • Animal by-products (beaks, feet, random organs, feathers, blood – ew)
  • Meat by-products (hooves, pig noses, roadkill, rats – double ew)
  • Animal digest (useless flavour enhancer made from skin, stomach lining and more)

Unnatural preservatives (and some of the different known names) to avoid:

  • BHAs and BHTs (known carcinogens and banned from most human food)
  • Propylene Glycol (the stuff found in antifreeze for your car)
  • Ethoxyquin (developed for Herbicide and now found in dog food)
  • Propyl Gallate (used to ‘stabilize’ cosmetics and packaged dog food)

And that’s why the best way to assess what’s REALLY healthy and natural rather than FAKE  healthy and natural is to make sure you can read and understand what the ingredients are on the back of the treat package.

Another simple rule to follow when buying your dog healthy treats is to try and source treats that are made from ingredients within your own country!! If something is made locally, it is a safer bet that their ingredients are sourced locally. If their ingredients are sourced locally, they are less likely to have used any sort of preservatives in transit.

Lastly, we all love to give our special friends love and treats, especially if we are bonding with them or training with them. A great way to keep the treat intake healthy is to make sure that treats don’t take up more than 10% of their daily food intake.

It’s also really important to take into consideration the calorie intake of your dog when feeding them treats. A simple calorie rule to follow is a gram of fat contains about 9 calories while a gram of carbohydrate or protein contains about 4 calories.

So if you know the treat you are giving your dog is high in fat, be sure to feed them less! Otherwise your pooch could very well end up on the next doggy weight watchers program.

Want some Frank and Jellys treat recommendations?

You may or may no know, but we are all about ALL NATURAL and HEALTHY products and we only ever bring in ‘clean’ treats for testing. Once our Doggy Detectives have tested these treats and made sure that dogs will actually like them, we make them available to all our furry friends.

So you can rest easy and know that you don’t have to stress about ‘fake’ healthy and natural treats when it comes to purchasing with Frank and Jellys!

Here are some of our TOP treat recommendations:

  1. Sweet Potato Treats
  2. Coconut Soopa Chews
  3. Denzel’s Healthy, Low fat Dog Chews
  4. Cranberry & Sweet Potato Treat Bundle
  5. All Natural Fish Treat Cubes

Just to name a few!! You can also head to our online treats section to see the full range of healthy and all natural treats!

If you want some great ideas on how to make your own healthy and all natural treats, have a read of our 22 freezable foods to cool & entertain the dog blog!

As always, we’d love to hear from you with your own ‘fake’ healthy treat experiences and any ideas or alternate suggestions you may have for healthy and all natural treats!! Please comment or email us at [email protected]. Information shared is a potential life spared.

Paws of Love,

Sarah (fur mum to Frank) xo

P.S. Are you in the Frank and Jellys ‘Doggy Detectives’ Facebook group? It’s a place where fur mums and dads go to make friends, test doggy products and share stories on best products. PLUS we always share tips and tricks as well as offering advice and sharing experiences when one of our furry friends is not well or not behaving! It’s great fun and it’s absolutely FREE to join! Come join the fun HERE xo.

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