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Are your Dog’s Treats Healthy?

Posted by Monster K9 on

You spend a lot of time in the dog food aisle, weighing this brand’s nutrition against that brand’s, comparing first ingredients and the percentage of byproducts, asking the sales clerk for her educated opinion. But do you pay the same attention when selecting your dog’s treats?

 

It’s estimated that 40 percent of dog owners give their pets treats for training purposes, upon performing a trick or, ahem, after the dog does his business. Treats should only make up 5 to 10 percent of his daily caloric intake. Yet the Association of American Feed Control Officials doesn’t regulate, test, approve or certify dog food, including treats. It sets the nutritional standards for a balanced diet, yet it’s up to pet food companies to create products that align with the AAFCO’s standards and pet owners to make healthy choices for their pooches.

 

To avoid weight gain from treats, your dog will need options that are low-calorie, low-fat and high-fiber. (It also helps to choose treats that can be easily broken into pieces for use while training so his diet isn’t impacted too much.) To be certain about the ingredients in Fido’s treats, you might consider mixing some brown rice into his food, as it’s good for upset stomachs. Pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filler) is good for an overweight dog, as it helps him feel full faster. He should also enjoy plain air-popped popcorn, small pieces of vegetables (like green beans and broccoli) or fruit (like banana slices). Lesser-known treats okay for your dog include a small bit of cabbage, frozen sardines, cauliflower and dehydrated apricots. The problem with feeding him table scraps, of course, is that it may cause him to linger around the dinner table or even start begging during your mealtime. If you do want to give him food from the fridge, try to do it at a time when you aren’t also trying to eat so he’s less likely to associate you sitting at the table with a tasty treat in his mouth.

 

There are healthy dog treat options on the market. When you look at the ingredients, know that they’re listed in order of weight meaning there’s more of the first ingredient than the second. However, if the first two ingredients weigh the same, the manufacturer can list the ingredients of same weight in whatever order it wants. If there’s a sweetener in the treat, you want to look for applesauce, honey or molasses rather than artificial sweeteners. When picking a dog treat, you want to select one whose ingredients you recognize, just as when you grocery shop for yourself; fresh, locally sourced, unprocessed foods are best. Avoid artificial preservatives and artificial coloring. Finally, your dog should never have anything hard on his teeth as a treat, so skip the antlers or hooves.

 

In addition to being healthy for your dog, it’s a bonus when treats are good for the environment. Check the label to see if the packaging is made with recycled materials. And some dog treat manufacturers donate a percentage of their sales to charity, so be on the lookout for that feel-good opportunity, too.


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Truly Industructible

Due to their high quality and great customer service, I own all Monster K9 toys they have. We have a 2 year old Belgian Malinois that requires daily activities due to his breed. Thus, high-quality, low price toys are an absolute must.

We use this as our back up toy when his Frisbee is out of commission. If you throw this overhanded with your palm facing towards you and flick your wrist, it rolls AMAZINGLY on the ground. While our Malinois loves playing with it the most, all of our dogs love chasing it as speeds across the ground.

To top it off, once you're done with playtime, if you want to your dog have it for the rest of the afternoon, there's almost no chance they're going to destroy it. It's a very high-quality rubber that is very similar to the rubber used in reusable rubber firearm targets. When punctures or cuts are introduced, the rubber material instantly and naturally 'self-fills' the gaps so you can barely notice it's even there. This dramatically reduces the chance of open gashes, spaces, or weak points for your dog to grab a hold of to rip it apart.

We've owned ours for 5 months now and haven't had to replace it. For $13 plus free shipping, this puts other "tough" dog toys to shame.

The best there is!

While it may not be entirely 'indestructible', which is stated in the guarantee information, for $14 this is by far the best and most durable Frisbee on the market. Other companies will charge $20-$30 for "tough" Frisbees or cloth Frisbees and they'll last a week or two tops. This Frisbee lasts 1-2 months with our 70lb Belgian Malinois and is made with thick high-quality rubber.

I'll take that ANY day over spending $20-$30/wk on Frisbees, in which some are hard plastics that produces very sharp edges that are dangerous if ingested.

If you let your dog chew on it daily, you might see a slightly reduced life on this Frisbee. But if you keep it put up and only take it out only during play time, you'll easily get a few months or more out of it. Because of it's high durability, we let our Malinois have WAY longer than any other Frisbee we've bought in the past; and it still lasts longer than a multitude of other brands we've bought. Plus, he absolutely loves it!

Loved and Destroyed Frisbee

Rebel loved the frisbee. It last about 2 weeks. Can we get a ball as a replacement? We’very had much better results with the ball.

Ultra Durable ChewRing

Has been a GREAT CHEW, FETCH, OR TUG OF WAR TOY. The ring makes it difficult for my 85lb aggressive chewer to destroy unlike the stick whereas he can do damage to the end. Would like a ring in a large diameter. This inside hole size makes it harder to play tag of war with lager size dogs.

1 x Ultra Durable ChewStick Tug of war Toy

My two dogs enjoy playing with this stick together but playing time is limited because my aggressive chewer wants it to himself. The straight shape makes it easier for him to chew on the end and has put some sizable pits at the end. My fear is that with continued chewing he'll do enough damage to bite through and swallow a large chunk. It has to be taken away and put up when playing time "together" is over. No chew time alone.