Thoughts on Treats
Looking at most of the treats on the market causes some concern; many are high in calories, some high in fat and many are from foreign countries. Obesity is something that our pets share with us and cause them many of the same problems as we experience. Some foreign made treats have been contaminated and have caused sickness and even death in our pets. So here is my suggestion for a simple way to give your dog (or cat) treats that can be healthy and as safe as we can make them.
Take some of your dogs current kibble, place it in a ziplock bag and add something to the bag to scent the kibble. Since dogs have a very developed sense of smell this will get their attention and they will act as if they are getting a "treat" instead of their regular food. This will help in several ways:
- You already have their dog food and scenting the food will not be expensive - Cheaper than buying treats
- It will not give them calorie and fat filled treats to eat and will keep them from gaining weight.
- If your pet is overweight simply get the senior version or mature version of the same dog food and scent that kibble and this will give them a lower calorie treat. They could even lose weight with this treat exchange. Exercise also is important with this one.
- The kibble is better for your pets teeth and preventing tartar buildup.
Now some suggestions to scent the Kibble:
- Bullion cubes (chicken or beef) - Place in the bag and leave overnight, do not crush or feed the cube, we just want to scent the kibble.
- Popcorn Flavoring will also work - Such as butter flavor or cheese flavor, salt free. Shake well in the bag to mix over the kibble. Just none with the artificial sweetener Xylitol.
- Beef jerky like we eat - Just use to scent the kibble not to feed your pet. Place in the bag and leave overnight. There are several flavors to choose from. (And if you act like your eating it you pet will too)
- Cheese puffs, chips human treats etc - If your pet already loves these treats simply use them to scent the kibble. The same smell can be transmitted to the kibble and not carry the increased calories. This may require a fair amount of the original treat to really make the kibble smell like it at first but the decrease in calories will be worth it. Place in the bag and leave overnight. (And if you act like your eating it you pet will too)
Posted on 2014-09-11 11:55:22 by Scott E. White, DVM