Source: Your Pets Life

As pet owners, it brings us great satisfaction to spoil our pets with a special treat. Who can resist seeing their pet’s little eyes light up, whiskers twitch and tails wag as they devour that snack? It’s at that point, when your pets know without a doubt that you love them. You probably haven’t thought much about it, but those treats actually help to build a positive and long-lasting bond between you and your pets.

So, what are the best types of treats for your pets?

We recommend treats that contain wholesome, natural ingredients to keep your pets healthy and happy. Treats that work to improve the overall health of your pets are also a great option. There are many out there that promote dental health, assist with achy joints, are high in antioxidants, or vitamin enriched.

Here are some tips to consider:
  • Avoid table scraps – people food tends to be high in calories and fat and low in vitamins and nutrients for pets. Their body processes food different from humans so many times people food can cause digestive problems for the pet.
  • Keep various treats on hand – a good assortment of treats adds variety to their otherwise monotonous diet.
  • Use treats for behavioral enrichment – animals love to please us, making them sit, stay, etc. for their treat will only strengthen the bond you have with them.
  • Don’t let treats make up more than 10 – 20 percent of your pet’s diet – remember while it is beneficial to reward your pets with treats, those treats can be high in fat so please limit the amount that you give them.
  • Avoid treats that are high in sugar – read your labels; if sugar, corn syrup, fructose or maple syrup is at the top of the ingredient’s list, you may want to choose a different treat.

It’s important to always consider your pet’s health and well being before making any decision as to what to feed them. Ask yourself these questions:

Is my pet overweight?

Obesity is one of the fastest growing health concerns for pets in the US – nearly half of all pets are now overweight. Just like humans, obesity can contribute to a wide range of health problems for pets arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease to name a few.  It’s important to be aware of how many treats you give your pet each day. You may not realize it, but many treats are very high in calories.  For example, a large biscuit may contain well over 100 calories. Unfortunately, pet food manufacturers don’t list the calorie intake on their labels. But, you can rest assured that if one of the key ingredients is sugar and the percentage of fat is high, it is a high calorie snack. You might consider breaking up the larger treats into many pieces to use throughout the day. Consider too, giving your pet a low fat treat like HealthyPetNet’s Wholesome Hearts Low Fat Dog Treats. They are all natural and low in fat, made with high quality proteins and harvest fresh fruits, vegetables and multi-grains. Dogs love them!

Is my pet constantly chewing on his paws and back side area, does he get skin irritations, hot spots or ear infections?

Your pet could have a food allergy. These are some of the more prominent symptoms related to food allergies.  Food allergies are a lot more common in pets than we realize. Some of the more common allergens are beef, corn, wheat, soy and dairy products. If you believe your pet suffers from allergies, eliminate these ingredients in their food as well as their treats.

HealthyPetNet’s Life’s Abundance is an all-natural, wholesome pet health food that we highly recommend for pets with allergies. It contains fresh, organic ingredients chocked full of vitamins and anti-oxidants for a healthy pet.

Do I have an older pet that moves a little slower than he used to? Does he have problems getting up? Is he reluctant to climb stairs? Do I have a large breed or long-backed dog?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider treats containing joint enhancing ingredients. There are several on the market these days that are believed to help strengthen joints and relieve discomfort related to arthritis or hip problems. Look for supplements and treats enriched with Glucosamine, MSM and sea mussels. For a dog joint supplement, we recommend Agility.  It contains a combination of nutrients designed to work together to promote healthy joints, bones and surrounding tissues. This liver-flavored chewable tastes so good that your pets will think it’s a treat.

For an additional treat, we also like Oxyfresh’s Pet Jerky.  It also works to increase your pet’s range of motion, stimulate healthy cartilage growth and offer relief for hips and joints. Dogs love this beef flavored jerky treat!

Do I practice good dental hygiene for my pet?

It is estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats today have periodontal disease – a chronic deterioration of the gums and supporting bones of the teeth.  This disease is known as the “silent killer” because it can cause serious health problems for your pet. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums spreading throughout the body. If the bacteria attack the vital organs, your pet can experience an infection or damage to the kidneys, lungs, heart or liver. There are several treats on the market today that promote dental health. To begin with, you’ll want to provide your pet with hard, crunchy treats.

The mechanical action of the dry food against the teeth and gums assists in removing plaque build up. In addition to hard treats, we recommend HealthyPetNet’s Dog Dental Treats.These delicious, wholesome treats are formulated with a patented plaque-fighting ingredient that works to reduce plaque build up. For more information on dental health please visit our Pet Dental Care section.

Always use your best judgment, when making a decision about your pet’s well being.Learn to read labels and check the ingredients. Make sure your pet’s overall diet is balanced and nutritious and they should be healthy and happy for a long, long time.