Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Choosing healthy dog treats

   Walk into your local grocery store, or sadly even your local pet supply store and pick up a bag of Pup-peroni dog treats.   Read off the first five ingredients.  You might be surprised to see what is listed is not really a substantial nutritional meat product let alone anything your dog would find yummy. 

     In case you don't have a bag of these treats handy allow me to list out the ingredients as provided on their own website. 
Original Bacon Flavor Pup-Peroni :
  • Beef
  • Meat by-products
  • Soy grits
  • Sugar
  • Liver
    Well it can't be so bad if beef is the first item and liver is on there.  Meat by-products can't be so bad, right? It would be possible to breathe easy if this were where you would stop asking questions.  Unfortunately beef and liver are quite vague and well meat by-products are not a good sign.  The guidelines for what is acceptable to be put into your pets food are sadly far behind appropriate standards.  That beef and liver could come from meat that was not up to standards for human consumption for a list of reasons from disease to pesticides.  Yet pet food companies can still purchase it and list it as ingredients in your dogs food. 

      What is the difference between by products and the beef or liver listed? By-products are by definition the "non-rendered, clean parts of slaughtered mammals other than the meat".  So it can be the spleen, lungs, brains, any organ that does not include horns, beaks, feathers, hair.  The meat that does make it in is anything that is left after the animal has been stripped of anything that can be considered human grade and safe for human consumption. 

So by definition it may still not sound so scary but the standards that the pet food industry is held to are vague and weak so how the company goes about getting these meats, by-products and by-product meals can be unclear and truly left to the companies judgment.  The truth is that for the most part anything that is a by-products or by-product meal can be anywhere on the scale from slightly not human safe to basic garbage that is left over from the meat processing.

Sugar can't really be digested by dogs and can give them diarrhea.  They can't digest grains, glutens and soy can cause allergies. 

  Many of these big brand name treats are just grain and meat products that are more like garbage.  Completely artificial and something that your dog would not even look at if it weren't for that mystery ingredient that makes it smell irresistible.  That would be rendered restaurant oil.  The kind that sits out and is set to be thrown out when it is no longer safe for cooking with.  Pet food industries get their hands on this and put it on your pets treats so that it smells like food to them. 

   This all may not kill your dog but it won't make his life any better.  Your pet depends on YOU to make the right decision and take care of them. 

I've said it before and I will repeat it now read the label.  Meat has to be somewhere on the top 5 ingredients and if you see by products, by-product meal, bone meal just put it back on the shelf and walk away it's not good food.  Grains should not be on the top ingredients (actually shouldn't be an ingredient at all ) And remember Soy is digestible but it can cause food allergies. 

What is in Milk bone Original Biscuits?
Top first ingredients according to their own website
  • Wheat Flour
  • Wheat Bran
  • Meat and bone meal
  • Milk
  • Wheat germ
  • Beef fat
  • Salt
What is in Beggin' Strips Bacon Flavor
Top first ingredients according to their website

  • Ground wheat
  • Corn Gluten meal
  • Wheat Flour
  • Ground Yellow corn
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Soybean meal

These just don't make the grade in my book.  There is however a wave of new treats that are created with your pets health in mind.  Independent small businesses that are trying to combat big corporations for the chance to feed your dog and their secret weapon is safe, tasty treats made out of real ingredients.  My personal favorite right now is Bocce's Bakery.  It is independent owned and are treats that are gluten free and its ingredients are all human grade.  

Bocce's Bakery: The ELVIS All Natural and Organic Dog Biscuits (just one of the available flavors)

  • Organic oat flour, locally milled wheat free flours
  • Organic bananas
  • All natural peanut butter no salt, no sugar added
  • nitrate-free, grass fed lean turkey bacon
  • non fat yogurt
That's it! No chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, weird ingredients that can barely be pronounced no by products.  Organic and grown locally ingredients and treats are oven baked in NYC.  This company takes pride in their products and produces small batches at a time so your products are always fresh.  Their founder was inspired by her dog Bocce and her desire to give her dog healthy treats that didn't have undesirable ingredients.  You can get more information from their website,

1 comment:

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