Dog treats you should avoid feeding your pup
We all love to treat our dogs and it's no surprise that the UK market is worth around £500m a year. But do you really know what you’re feeding your pup when you’re showing some love?
We would always encourage dog owners to read ingredients lists before buying anything for their pets - and if there’s an ingredient you can’t pronounce then it’s probably worth giving the package a swerve. Here at Queens of the Bone Age we use ‘clean-label’ plant-based ingredients only - all-natural, no nasties!
But behind other tempting treats can be a minefield of potential health problems. Unlike humans, dogs can’t choose their treats so it’s up to us to make discerning decisions on their behalf. What’s more, many dogs consume the same treats every day and their effects could gradually add up.
So we’ve compiled a list of the key ones to avoid:
1. All rawhide chews
Rawhide is one of the most popular dog treats on the market, but it’s a major no-no. The big danger is also its main selling point: it is a tough, chewy product, designed to last ages because it is difficult to break into small bits. This means that if a dog swallows a large piece it may cause an internal blockage, and pups that often inhale large pieces of food without much chewing should definitely not be given rawhide.
In addition to the potential gastric problems, to turn (usually cattle) skin into rawhide it first has to be washed with degreasers and detergents, then cleaned, before being sterilised and bleached in hydrogen peroxide. To make it more appealing, artificial colours and flavours are then added. The whole process sees your dog's 'healthy' treat being bathed in various chemicals, some of which can be highly toxic.
2. Treats with artificial colouring
To make dog treats look appealing they are often dyed bright, vivid colours using artificial additives. Evidence suggests that some of these additives could be harmful to pets and can cause health problems, so it’s best to play it safe and stick to natural plant-derived colourings like beetroot, spirulina or purple-sprouting sweet potato.
3. And avoid the sweet treats as well
Dog treat manufacturers will often improve the appeal of their products by adding sugar, often to compensate for the low quality of the other ingredients in the treats. Sugar should not be a part of a dog's diet and excessive amounts can cause inflammation throughout the body, including tummy troubles like vomiting or diarrhoea. The artificial sweetener xylitol is also toxic for dogs, which is why we ensure the peanut butter in our Queens of the Bone Age products contains zero xylitol. The other health downsides to sugar in a dog’s diet are similar to problems experienced by humans - dental cavities and weight gain.
4. Cooked bones
Cooked bones should always be off-limits, whether from your kitchen and those purchased from shops. They become brittle and easily break into sharp shards that can do a lot of damage when they pass through the gastrointestinal tract. Raw bones are generally safer than cooked, but the devil's in the detail. If you want to give your dog a bone because chewing provides mental stimulation and can help keep the teeth clean, pick one that is approximately the size of your pup’s head. Bones of this size will allow your dog to gnaw while reducing the chances that they will break off and swallow a chunk that can cause health problems. Dogs should always be monitored when they’re chewing a bone!
5. Other toxic treats
Foods that you must also avoid feeding your dog include chocolate, onions, garlic, chives, macadamia nuts, corn on the cob, avocado, alcohol, grapes and raisins. If consumed, even small amounts of these items can be fatal so always act immediately and take your dog to the vets.
So if you want to play it safe and treat your pup, Queens of the Bone Age is a safe bet. All our dog treats are hand-made using plant-based, clean label ingredients only - no additives or preservatives in sight. All-natural, no nasties!
This article is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.