Does your canine buddy wake from a dead sleep if you open the jar or cupboard where his treats are stored? Fido is very, very enthusiastic about food! Giving your pet snacks is a great way to get that tail going, but there are some things to keep in mind. A Tarzana, CA vet offers some advice on choosing Fido’s treats below.
Keep your four-legged pal’s age in mind when shopping. Puppies chew a lot, and may appreciate chew sticks that will keep them occupied. Older dogs may be better served by treats that include things like omega 3 or 6 oils, which are good for arthritic pets. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Size is another thing to consider. It’s not just the size of the dog that matters, but also the size of the treat. Little breeds can choke on treats made for large pups, while a Saint Bernard won’t be very impressed with a Chihuahua-sized snack. If you’re working on training Fido, use small portions for class.
Get into the habit of reading labels. Choose products that contain only ingredients you can actually identify. Meat, fish, and/or poultry should be listed first and most frequently on the label. Avoid things with ingredient lists that read like chemical experiments.
Fortunately, recalls are not an everyday occurrence. However, they do happen sometimes. It’s not a bad idea to monitor them. You can track recalls at the AMVA website here or the FDA site here. You can also set up email alerts.
Fido is really, really good at getting us to share our snacks. If you can’t resist that sad-puppy stare, stick with safe, healthy options. Plain, cooked meat, fish, or chicken, without the skin, bones, or fat, is your best bet. Your canine companion may also enjoy some shredded deli meat.
Many of our favorite foods are toxic to dogs. Avoid giving your pooch anything that contains garlic, onion, scallions, or chives; grapes, currants, or raisins; chocolate; avocado; or alcohol. Meat on the bone is also unsafe, as are raw dough, fruits with seeds or pips, and anything that contains xylitol. You’ll also want to limit Fido’s intake of fatty meats, like bacon, and organ meats, such as liver.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Tarzana, CA animal hospital, anytime!