Pets and treats seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. We use treats for training, rewarding, and simply to make our pets happy. American pet owners buy so many treats, in fact, that pet treats made up 16% of U.S. pet food spending in 2014.
As wonderful as they are, treats are not without risks to your pet. Finding the right balance of safety and health is important when evaluating which treats to give your pet, and West Park Animal Hospital is here to help you do just that.
Not All Pet Treats Are Created Equal
Just because a treat is commercially available, does not make it safe or healthy for your pet. Consider the following:
- Pathogens – Bacteria such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and others are a concern with any animal-based treat, especially those coming from outside the United States. Make sure all animal-based treats you purchase have been thoroughly processed, and preferably made in the U.S.A.
- Injuries – Very hard treats, such as bones or antlers, can cause tooth breakage and damage to the intestinal tract. Swallowing a large chunk of a poorly digestible treat, such as rawhide, can also lead to choking or a dangerous intestinal blockage in pets.
- Weight gain – Many pet treats are high in calories, and with pet obesity on the rise, added calories can spell big trouble for some pets. Moderation is key when it comes to treats. Use smaller treats or break larger treats in half, and give sparingly.
We are happy to help you select pet treats that are not only safe and healthy for your pet, but also delicious. Give us a call for more information.
Did you know there are amazing pet treats being made right here in the Cleveland area? It’s easy to keep your money in our community by supporting these and other locally owned businesses:
- The Grateful Dog Bakery in North Ridgeville boasts an extensive array of natural (and adorable) foods and treats, supplements, vitamins, and more.
- Sunny’s Tasty Treats use natural ingredients, such as chicken broth and peanut butter, to create healthy and delicious edibles.
- At The Cute Little Cake Shop in Strongsville you can shop for pet treats while satisfying your own sweet tooth at the same time.
Channel Your Inner Martha Stewart
It’s surprisingly simple to make delicious and healthy pet treats in your own kitchen. The internet abounds with easy recipes for homemade treats, made from nutrient dense ingredients. Just be sure any people food you feed to your pet is safe.