All pets enjoy a treat, but with obesity and chronic illness on the rise, it is important to monitor the quantity AND the quality of the treats you give your dogs and cats. Just like conventional pet food, your pet’s conventional shop bought treats could also be filled with all sorts of fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. It is very important to read your pets treat label and if you wouldn’t eat it neither should your pet!
Pet treats should not make up more than 10% of your furry friend’s calorie intake per day. Average calorie intakes in accordance with your pet’s weight should look something like this:
5.5 lb (2.5 kg) 250 calories
11 lb (5 kg) 450 calories
22 lb (10 kg) 750 calories
33 lb (15 kg) 1000 calories
44 lb (20 kg) 1250 calories
55 lb (25 kg) 1500 calories
66 lb (30 kg) 1700 calories
77 lb (35 kg) 1880 calories
88 lb (40 kg) 2100 calories
99 lb (45 kg) 2300 calories
110 lb (50 kg) 2500 calories
Remember that optimum calorie intake will vary according to the age of your pet and their activity levels. Older, less active pets need fewer calories than younger energetic ones!
You can now see just how important it is to make sure that your pet is not consuming treats that are unhealthy and potentially weight gaining. Obesity, caused by unhealthy food diets and treats laden with sugar and fats, can result in serious life threatening illnesses such as:
Not only that, some additives like preservatives and colourants can predispose your dog or cat to cancer, just as they can in human beings!
So what’s a doting pet owner to do when those big brown eyes look at us in such a pleading and cute way!?
The answer is simple! Just because there are unhealthy treats out there doesn’t mean that you should avoid treating your pet. Rather give your pet healthy treats in balance and moderation. Pet treats are a great way for developing a trusting relationship with your pet and are very useful training aids as well. And let’s face it; we all deserve a treat every now and again!
Healthy pet treats to consider giving your pet
- Fruit and Veggies – Apples, watermelon, bananas, green beans, cucumber and carrots
- Eggs (cooked)
- Popcorn – Non GMO and plain – no butter and salt!
- Natural peanut butter – be sure that it doesn’t contain Xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs!
- Freeze Dried Pet Treats (no preservatives, added sugar or salt!) - Raw Love Venison Chews, Raw Love Droewors, Raw Love Venison Biltong
- Vondi’s Biscuits – Choose from our selection of assorted healthy flavours
- Raw Love Organic Peanut Butter Biscuits
- Hunter Training Bites
- Hunter Soft Twists
Avoid the following unhealthy pet treats!
- Table scraps – they not only encourage bad behaviour i.e. begging, but also tend to sometimes be fatty and greasy, in turn they cause havoc with your pet’s digestion. That being said, if YOUR food is healthy, then there is nothing to stop you using table scraps in your pet’s food to add variety. Just avoid feeding at the table so that you do not develop bad habits!
- Rawhide and pig ears are often made with dyes, colouring and other chemicals. They also carry the risk of getting lodged on the way down your pet’s throat
- Cooked bones that can easily splinter get stuck in your pet’s throat
- Read your pet’s treat ingredient labels – avoid high fat contents, sugars, preservatives, colouring and anything that resembles an artificial ingredient!
We hope we have helped you make healthy pet treat choices for your pet! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always here to help and advise the best natural ways to care for your furry friend.