Everything You Need to Know About Dog Treats

Everything You Need to Know About Dog Treats

Sep 21, 2021
19 min

Dogs are always on the lookout for opportunities to have a taste of their favorite treats. On the other hand, pet owners also love giving out treats to their canine buddies to show their love and affection. Aside from plain indulgence, dog treats are important tools in dog training as a positive reinforcement for desired behaviors. There are also treats that offer dental benefits and you can use treats to sneak in a pill.

Healthy Dog Treats to Choose for Your Dog

Buying treats for your dog can be quite challenging if you don’t know what is best for your pet. There are just so many types of treats out there but they don’t have the same quality. There have been treat recalls as authorities found some products to be tainted by chemicals and/or ingredients that are harmful to pets. Checking out the list of ingredients is also one way to make sure that a treat is good for your pet. Some red flags would be artificial preservatives and colouring, salt, or sugar.

Even if your dog loves treats so much, moderation is always the magic word. In fact, experts recommend that calories from treats should not exceed 10% of the daily calorie intake of dogs. Calories from treats should never replace a complete meal. Being too generous with treats can increase your dog’s risk of piling on the pounds and becoming overweight or obese, predisposing your pet to important health issues.

Knowing everything about dog treats will enable pet owners to buy the best treats for their pets without compromising their health and well-being. Learn more about choosing healthy dog treats here!

Some options would include a single ingredient treat like Absolute Bites or Graze!

Dehydrated Dog Treats – Which one to choose?

Dehydrated dog treats undergo a process in which water is removed to increase shelf life and preservation and make storage easier. Microorganisms in raw meat are also removed during processing.

The process by which dehydrated dog treats are made makes them healthier than highly processed treats. They don’t have any preservatives and the nutrients that are present in the raw ingredient remain intact after dehydration.

Ideally, the shelf life of dog treats should be between 6 months to 3 years depending on the ingredients, processing, and packaging. How dog treats are stored can directly affect their shelf-life. If you’re living in a place with high humidity, such as in Singapore, dehydrated treats are best stored in an air-tight container and placed in a cool dry place. Storing treats in the fridge is a no-no because condensation can take place when you take them in and out of the fridge. Condensation creates the perfect environment for the growth of moulds.

When buying dehydrated dog treats, always make a habit of checking the ingredient list for onions, garlic, high sugar content, artificial food color and preservatives, and other ingredients that are potentially harmful to dogs.

Some popular dehydrated dog treats include Absolute Holistic and Ziwipeak.

Read more about the types of dehydrated treats and whether you should feed them or not.

Dog Bone Treats

When it comes to dog bone treats, there are quality treats and there are also the not so good ones. Bone treats satisfy the dog’s need to chew, a natural behavior that serves various purposes, such as preventing the accumulation of plaque and tartar, stimulating salivary enzyme production, and providing hours of stimulation for dogs.

Since veterinarians don’t recommend giving cooked bones to dogs as they can splinter easily and cause injury when eaten, there are a lot of safer substitutes. Raw bones or bones that underwent a smoking or dehydration process can also be given. However, pet owners should be fully aware of the risks associated with letting dogs chew raw bones. These include the possibility of acquiring food-borne illnesses, or raw bones as being choking hazards or causing intestinal obstruction. Raw bones could also splinter in the mouth and cause injury to any part of the gastrointestinal tract.

The good news is, there are better alternatives to raw bones that can be given to dogs. And you can buy them online! Read more about the alternatives to raw and cooked bones here!

Benefits of FreezeDried Dog Treats

One way of manufacturing treats is by freeze-drying which is one natural technique of food preservation. The process removes water from the main ingredient thus you have treats that are light and dry. Even without chemical preservatives or additives, freeze-dried treats have an extremely stable shelf life, which means they store longer than dog kibble. They don’t need to be refrigerated. Dogs with food allergies benefit from freeze-dried treats as they contain the most minimum of ingredients. Treats that are made from raw meat generally contain more nutrients and are excellent sources of protein. With their reduced weight and size, these treats offer more value for money; this also means they are easier to store.

Some great brands include WOOF, Fuzzyard and Small Batch.

Absolute Bites Freeze Dried Raw Red Lobster Dog & Cat Treats 40g

Dog Jerky Treats

The process by which jerky treats are made generally involves dehydration (removal of water content) and adding salt and spices to prevent bacterial growth as well as enhance the flavor. There are jerky treats that are also made by smoking lean meat in low heat. These processes produce jerky treats that can be stored for months without refrigeration.

Since there have been issues regarding the wholesomeness and safety of jerky treats, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recommended several guidelines for pet owners. With so many types and brands of jerky treats available commercially, pet owners should always check the list of ingredients and other important information on the product label. Pet owners can also go online and read customer reviews of the product/s. When buying jerky treats for your pet, your best bet is to choose those that are made of natural and pure ingredients that have undergone natural dehydration. Steer clear of jerky treats with high salt content, artificial preservatives and food color, spices, and other additives that can are known to be harmful to pets. Also, it is recommended that pet owners buy dog jerky treats from reputable manufacturers known for their premium quality products. Such brands include Vitakraft, Snack 21, Ziwipeak.

Cheap Dog Treats – The Best and Affordable Ones

Cheap does not always mean poor quality because there are treats that are healthy yet affordable! While there are lots of dog treats available in pet stores, supermarkets, or even online, you can also give raw fruits and veggies to your pet. You can even make dog treats for your pet; this way, you will be able to choose which ingredients to use and how they are prepared. However, this can be time-consuming and will take a lot of effort, thus many pet owners choose to just buy treats for their pets. When you take the time to read information about treats, check product reviews, and consult with your veterinarians, you can be assured that your pet has the best treats.

Find out some of the best and affordable treats here!

Dental Treats for Your Dog – Protect While Rewarding Your Dog

Dental treats complement a good home dental regimen and regular dental checkups in keeping a dog’s teeth and gums healthy. Dental treats promote teeth and gum health and reduce bad breath. These treats are made to exert a scraping action on the surface of a dog’s teeth and gums to remove plaque and tartar buildup. Polyphosphate-coated dental treats can reduce tartar buildup by 55%. Some dental treats/chews contain ingredients to get rid of a dog’s bad breath. There are 3 general types of dental treats and chews — rawhide chews, dental chews, and natural chews. These include brands like Happi Doggy, Twistix, and Graze. There are also special dog diets that are formulated to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup.

Read on to find out about dental treats!

How many dog treats should you give your dog a day?

Dog treats are important sources of extra calories. This is a fact that is often overlooked by overgenerous and well-meaning pet owners. Treats contain calories thus experts advise moderation when giving them to pets. Calories from treats should not exceed 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake. This is known as the 10% Rule. Pet owners need to know how much calories their pets need daily so it will be easier to compute for 10%. Also, treats are not complete and balanced when it comes to their nutritional composition, thus, they should never be used as a substitute for a dog’s meal. Going overboard when it comes to giving treats to pet dogs eventually paves the way for obesity and increased risks to certain serious health issues.

Find out more about how many treats you should be feeding your dog!

Dogs all have their favorite treats but learning when and how much you should give can have a big impact on your pet’s health and well-being. One way by which pet owners take a proactive approach in safeguarding their pet’s health is to know everything there is to know about treats, exercising proper storage, and making a habit of checking the list of ingredients for anything harmful to dogs.

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