Safe and Natural Treats for Pets
Who would have guessed that a brand-name treat purchased in the supermarket could kill your dog? Yet that’s exactly what happened earlier this year when jerky treats made in China killed over 1,000 dogs. Understandably, such a tragedy has made many pet owners cautious about putting their trust in pet food manufacturers. At the very least, we should be aware of where their products are made and what’s in them; but when it comes to pet treats, it's easy to find alternatives that are safe as well as healthy.
There Won't Be Any Recalls for These Treats!
If you want safe and natural treats for your pet, walk right past the pet food aisle and head to the produce department. Yup, pets love fruits and veggies! There are lots of choices, and in many cases you can offer your pet small portions of what you have already purchased for your family.
As with any produce, whether for you or your pet, organic is best; but if organic isn’t available, or if it’s simply too pricey, at least be sure to wash everything well before eating. We encourage buying from local farms as well. You’ll be supporting your neighbor’s small business, and you also have a better chance of knowing exactly what chemicals your food has been exposed to.
Keep in mind that treats of any kind should make up only 5% to 10% of your pet’s diet. Cut fruits and veggies into pieces that will be easy for your pet to chew.
Be aware that not everything in the produce department is safe for your pet. Grapes and raisins are a no-no, as are avocado, onions, garlic and chives. Otherwise, you have lots of choices in the lists that appear below. You may be surprised how your pet gobbles up broccoli and cantaloupe!
- apples, red -- remove the seeds (large amounts can make your pet sick)
- bananas -- try bite-size pieces of frozen ones for a cool treat on a hot day
- blackberries and blueberries -- serve alone or sprinkle on top of a meal
- cranberries -- mix in with other food or feed as you would a pill
- watermelon -- kept in the fridge, it's a refreshing treat on a hot day
- carrots -- a frozen carrot stick can take the place of a bone for your dog!
- broccoli and spinach -- if you have a cat who likes to eat grass, these greens will satisfy
- brussel sprouts
- green beans
- kale -- raw or cooked
- potatoes -- cooked, never raw!
- squash of any kind, including cooked pumpkin (a favorite with dogs!)
For a couple of recipes for additional healthy snacks, check out our other article here!
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