Most pets love their treats. Treats are tasty, they foster an affectionate bond between you and your pet and they play an important role in pet training. But since treats are equivalent to snacking for humans, you need to follow some basic guidelines to keep treating under control and to ensure that your pet’s diet is balanced and healthy.
Pet obesity has been on the rise in recent years, so your first concern should be with the contents of the treat itself. Examine the ingredients and nutritional information. Select treats that are not too high in sugars, which may be listed in various ways, such as fructose, sucrose and corn syrup. Too much sugar provides excess calories that could lead to the same conditions that obesity causes in humans, including diabetes and joint strain.
Choose treats that are low in additives. Favour the ones that use natural means of preservation, such as freeze drying or dehydration. Rather than being grain-based with little nutritional value, dehydrated treats often consist of nutritious food such as venison.
Note, though, that treats are not designed to be meal replacements. So, keep treating down to a maximum of 10% of your pet’s daily food intake and don’t treat before meals. Otherwise, your pet may tend to skip meals and become nutrient-deficient.
To make the best use of treating, choose treats that contain nutritious dietary supplements. Treats with antioxidants or essential fatty acids can help build your pet’s immunity. If your pet has a certain health condition such as joint pain, choose a treat that has added glucosamine.
With the right selection and timing, treating can become a healthy part of your pet’s life, adding enjoyment to both you and your furry friend.
Global Pet Foods in Keswick is your source for top quality foods, supplements and accessories to keep your pet healthy and happy. Call 905-476-0575 or visit www.globalpetfoods.ca.