When it comes to rewarding our furry friends what is it you use to treat your fido or felix?
With pet obesity being a real problem in this country as well as abroad it’s no surprise that many of us are guilty of spoiling our pets in the wrong way. It is key to remember that quality is better than quantity and treats should only be dished out in moderation. Small bits here and there can quickly add up. So here are is a quick guide to the good, the bad and the downright ugly to help you make the right choices.
- The best and healthiest way to treat and reward your pet is to offer them some of their own food. A good way of doing this is to take a small portion from their daily allowance to use as treats throughout the day. This is also a particularly good way of gradually introducing a new food brand.
- Another great way of treating your pet is to offer small amounts of probiotic paste. Not only does it promote a healthy digestive system, the taste and texture is something different from their every day food so will give them the impression they are getting something extra special.
- Raw carrots are also great as an alternative to dental sticks. They are low in calories and actually help to scrub tartar away!
- We all know what tastes good for us is usually not something we should eat too much of. The same applies to your furry friends. Human foods high in fat or carbohydrate, such as cheese, biscuits, crisps and toast can really pile on the calories for pets. It also increases the risk of serious illness such as Pancreatitis or Gastroenteritis.
- Cooked bones can be a real danger and pose many risks if fed to your pet. The problems with them are not just the choking hazard they pose. They can also cause blockages within the intestines requiring surgical treatment.
- Be careful not to over treat your pet with treats that are specifically manafactured for them. They are designed to be more-ish (just like that chocolate bar you like) so give them sparingly and not as a part of their daily nutrition.
- Foods such as grapes (which includes raisins and sultanas), macadamia nuts, onions and garlic can also be toxic to pets and can cause severe illness.
- Chocolate. Thankfully most people know now that chocolate is toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.
- Sweets and chewing gum. Many sweets and chewing gums contain the sweetener Xylitol. It is incredibly harmful to cats and dogs as it rapidly lowers their blood sugar. This then results in hypoglycaemic seizures and liver damage.