Dog Treats vs Scraps

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Ever save that piece of fat from a steak for your favorite pet? I bet you’re thinking that no harm can come from the occasional table scrap, right?  Well…don’t be so sure.

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According to a recent article by Drs. Foster & Smith, there are several reasons why actual dog treats are much better for your pet than table scraps.

First, you can end up creating a beggar with table scraps.  As soon as your pet knows you might be willing to give them a little treat from the table there they’ll be: sitting and staring at you with those cute little eyes, just waiting for a treat.  While you may be ok with that, your friends may not!

Next, table scraps don’t have nearly the nutritional value that true dog treats do.  They’re lacking vitamins and minerals necessary for your dog’s diet.  The empty calories provided by table scraps lead to weight gain; weight gain can lead to lots of other health problems for your pet.

If those reasons aren’t enough, feeding your pet table scraps can cause all sorts of digestive disorders.  From bad gas to bad breath and more, table scraps just don’t work well with your pet’s digestive system. They need a simple, stable diet that includes treats specific to them.

Finally, using table scraps to reward or treat your dog can lead to a picky eater and even a thief! Pets will start to choose those scraps over their own food and will eventually steal food from the table or knock over trash cans to get at tasty leftovers.

Click here to see what treats we have on sale!

Click here to see what treats we have on sale!

Instead, stick with great treats like those available at J&M Aquatics and Pet Center! These treats are more nutritious, have fewer calories and are great for your dog’s teeth.  They also help to fight off boredom and your dog’s urge to chew.

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Choosing the Right Treats for your Pet

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We all love to give our dogs treats from time to time.  The look of adoration on their faces when they receive a treat, and their excitement for enjoying that treat are just beyond compare. Still, too much of a good thing can turn bad.  There are several factors to consider when giving your pet treats.

When: We often give treats as praise or reward.  But the calories in good treats can add up quickly and lead to an overweight pet.  Depending on the size of the treat, and what its being used for, consider breaking it into pieces.  For example: when hiking with my friend’s dog in areas where it’s ok to allow the dogs to run free, we often break treats into small pieces and use them as rewards when the dogs follow commands like sitting, returning to us when we call, etc.  If we used a whole treat for every reward, they would get fat and spoiled!  A little goes a long way.

Sometimes we love to give treats for no other reason than because we think our pets deserve one.  This is fine, as long as its done in moderation.

What kind:

All-Natural Meat treats are high in protein, which some dog foods are lacking.  This makes them a good choice for pets, especially picky ones.  The new Dogswell Artisan Sliders and Deli Slices are a good example of all-natural high protein meat treats.

Rawhide treats Rawhide treats are low in calories and great for dental health.  These and other dental-specific treats, like those made by Greenies, are great for protecting your pet from periodontal disease. They are available in several different sizes and shapes to meet the needs of both small and large pets.

People treats There are a few low calorie human treats are fine for dogs: carrots, green beans and broccoli are great for dogs.  However, you should avoid feeding them grapes, chocolate, onions or raisins as these are all dangerous for dogs to consume.

To summarize: try to choose treats that have added nutrients or benefits for your pet, like added antioxidants, nutrients for joint health, or dental benefits.  Consider calories in treats and be careful which human foods you let your dog eat.