Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
The Scoop on Healthy Pet Treat
It’s the rare pet who doesn’t appreciate a treat (or two or three). Treats can be used for training, as a hiding place for medications, or simply to show our pets how much we care. Unfortunately, many pet treats contain fillers, sugar, and other So how can we be sure the treats we give our precious pets are healthy?
Read The Pet Treat Labels
By now, we’ve all heard about the importance of reading the labels of every food item we buy, and pet treats are no exception. Look for whole food ingredients (for example “chicken” rather than “animal meal”) and natural sweeteners such as applesauce or molasses. Food coloring has no place in pet treats or food.
Making Healthy Pet Treats at Home
The best way to keep your pet’s treats free of unhealthy ingredients, preservatives, and fillers is to make them yourself! A quick internet search will yield plenty of ideas for DIY healthy pet treats, but these are some of our favorite recipes:
Keep it Simple
Don’t feel like sweating it out in the kitchen? No problem! Many “people foods” are highly nutritious and make excellent choices for healthy pet treats. Thinkpeeled, de-seeded fresh fruits, steamed, plain veggies, or simple pantry staples such as:
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Plain yogurt
- Plain, air-popped popcorn
- Natural peanut butter (be sure it doesn’t contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol, as this ingredient is highly toxic to pets)
Unsafe or toxic foods include chocolate, macadamia nuts, alcohol, onions/garlic, grapes/raisins, and especially Xylitol.
Find What Works for Your Pets
Experiment with any of the above ingredients alone, or in combination with one another. Try freezing fresh fruits on a baking sheet, or whipping up a healthy mix to pour into popsicle molds for a refreshing treat. Unsalted chicken or beef broth frozen in ice cube trays is a fun way to keep pets hydrated during the warmer months.
Like their human family members, dogs and cats do best when they eat a reasonable amount of healthy, nutrient-dense food. Treats should be given only on occasion, and in small amounts.
For more information on healthy pet treats, don’t hesitate to reach out to your team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital.