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By Jessica Wesch

The benefits of homemade dog treats

Every day our bright eyed, bushy tailed companions are there for us, surrounding us with nothing but unconditional love and positivity throughout the day. Why wouldn’t we try to return the favor and reward them with the best treats available?

Owners can create tasty treats that even the pickiest of pups couldn’t resist. Many different ingredient combinations not only have tasty benefits but also help keep our dogs healthy. For example, combining different ingredients could help keep teeth and gums clean. As dog owners we try our hardest to reward our dogs for good behavior or just because we want to see the excitement in their eyes when we pull out their treat bag, but do we really know what we’re giving to your four legged friends?

Treats we buy from the store tend to be high in saturated fats and use fillers and byproducts instead of natural, high quality ingredients. Store-bought treats do not offer the same natural fat-free options that homemade treats offer. Contrary to popular belief, the government has no regulations in place addressing the issue of what dog food corporations have to and don’t have to reveal about their product. Pet owners should know what they are feeding their pets. Studies show that some of the chemicals found in these store bought products can actually alter your dog’s brain, impacting their behaviors.
There are some things you may want to keep in the back of your head when deciding to surprise your dog with homemade treats. As you start off on your treat adventure, try to learn which ones your dog loves more. Just make sure you set aside enough time to have fun.

It is extremely important to research the ingredients you want to use in your treats to be sure that they are safe for your dog. For example, grapes, avocados and chocolate can be fatal if consumed by dogs.

Making the switch to homemade treats isn’t for everyone but have no fear, there are other ways you can help your canine sidekick.

The most effective way to protect your dog is to read the labels on the products. Stay away from any byproduct ingredients. Byproduct–or as I like to call it, mystery meat–can be made up of pretty much anything, from sick animals to chicken beaks. Instead, you want whole meat ingredients like pork, chicken, beef or turkey. Stay clear of chemicals like BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, sodium metavisulfite and TBHQ. These nasty chemicals are used to make rubber, petroleum products and embalming fluid and can cause many health issues.

Despite the many choices owners have, when all is said and done, as long as our dogs remain happy and healthy, that’s all we could wish for.

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