Homemade Treats for a Happy and Healthy Dog

Baking your own dog treats
Are you aware of the ingredients on a box of dog treats? Do you choose the ones with orange color for that cheese flavor? Or the ones with red because it’s reputed to taste like liver? Have you seen an expiration date for dog-food products? It's like these foods can last forever. You'll never how long these dog treats have been sitting on the shelf.

The things to avoid when buying your dog treats are the ones with the words containing "by-products" and "meal" on the label. Chances are these are food-processing by-products that humans will not consume. Ingredients including chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavorings and artificial colorings are some unsuitable or sometimes potentially harmful contents of these treats.

Proper nutrition and regular veterinary care are the two key ingredients for a healthy, happy dog. If people only knew the quality of ingredients in dog treats that are readily available in the store, people would cook for their pets. Making homemade, all natural dog treats is one step to take control of your dog's health, and do something special for your best friend.

Alternative to baked treats
When you don't have time to bake for your dog, there are many other healthful foods you can offer as treats. Choose dried dates and dried apricots, both must be without sugar, baby carrots, seedless grapes and apple slices. Be sure to remove any seeds, and wash fruits and vegetables well to remove pesticides and preservatives before feeding these foods to your dog. Keep portions small. And remember, anytime you give your dog new foods, watch for allergic reactions.

When do you buy commercial products?
Not everyone has the time nor the desire to cook for their pets. When buying dog treats or dog food, make sure you choose the ones whose primary products, the first few that are listed in the label, are whole foods like beef, lamb, chicken, brown rice, whole wheat, barley and oats. By-products such as meal, corn, and other weird ingredients that you can barely pronounce should be at the end of the list. The best treats have a short and simple list of ingredients.

A lot of pet owners today are concerned about their pet's diet, which has led to the development of more healthful and all-natural products. There are several pet specialty stores and Internet resources that offer a huge selection of dog treats and dog foods. Don't just go for the price or get fooled by the packaging, always read the ingredients and make educated choices.

© 2010 Athena Goodlight

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