Pet Treats

Guest Post: Elliot Harvey's natural health column:

Treats are important in the life of your dog and cat. What is life without a treat? Be honest – how many of us can go through a day without a little tidbit as an emotional reward, to satisfy a craving or even to give us an energy boost? You can control when and what you consume as a treat, but your pets are totally dependent on your knowledge regarding the nutritional quality of a pet treat.

Treats for pets are a valuable tool used in training as a method of “positive reinforcement” by giving a surprise reward for a job well done. Some pet owners enjoy giving their dog or cat a little snack or after dinner treat as a show of affection. These are just a few of the many reasons why the dog and cat treat business is a multi-billion dollar business annually. Can pet treats actually be causing health problems that you’re not aware of?
From big box stores to pet boutiques to retail stores, they all sell delicious, mouth-watering, paw licking treats aimed primarily at enticing the owner (purchaser) rather than the dog or cat. Your dog is attracted to the scent and taste of a food item, and not the shape or color, and certainly not a cute little wrapping or glitzy package. The leading brands of pet treats utilize creative marketing, enticing bag graphics, brand identity or attractive pricing to encourage pet owners to purchase their products. Are they worth the price? The answer is NO. The sharp rise in pet illness may be attributed to tasty morsels that contain unhealthy ingredients.
Fortunately, today’s pet owners demand healthier treats. In response to that demand, companies are now beginning to incorporate natural and/or organic ingredients into their treats. Despite these gradual changes, pet owners still need to be vigilant and avoid the following ingredients:

1. Propylene Glycol – an industrial solvent used in acrylics, stains, inks, dyes, cellophane, antifreeze, airplane de-icers and brake fluid. Side effects on animals can include:
• Irregular heartbeat
• Under-developed growth
• Brain, liver, and kidney failure
• Dangerous lowering of blood pressure
• Death
2. Artificial Coloring – used to make products look more appealing:
• Blue #1 and #2 – causes brain tumors
• Red #3 – causes thyroid tumors
• Yellow #6 – adrenal gland and kidney tumors (this is a carcinogen)
3. Additives and Synthetics – used to make products look more appealing:
• BHA or BHT – causes cancer in rats
• Propyl Galate – a preservative added to prolong shelf life
• Ethoxyquin – extremely dangerous, most widely used chemical linked to mutations of genes that suppress cancer. This chemical has been banned as an “additive” in dog foods and treats, but is still allowed to be used in formulas and recipes without further mention on the package label! This is sneaky and dangerous. This ingredient is allowed to be used in exotic bird formulas.
• Potassium Bromate – banned throughout the world, except for the United States and Japan. It is used in flours and causes renal cancers, as well as some forms of lung cancer, and yet we wonder why young women who have never smoked are dying from lung cancer!
• Acesulfame-K – a chemical sweetener used in human food and pet foods. Sweetness attracts all mammals, which is why it is put into food. In controlled studies, this chemical caused various types of cancer including lung and breast tumors, various types of leukemia and chronic respiratory disease in animals.
• Partially Hydrogenated Oil – is a butter replacement in the food industry, very high in trans-fats that promote heart disease and diabetes.
• Poultry byproduct meal – a high-protein ingredient used as a major component in some dog foods and treats. It is made from grinding clean parts of poultry cadavers, which can contain bones, offal and undeveloped eggs. It may also contain feathers. This may be hard to digest, but even worse than that is the fact that you really don’t know exactly what this is!
• Meat byproduct meal – a substandard form of protein, used by many popular pet food and treat manufacturers because it is cheap. Sources may include: road kill, euthanized cats and dogs, including their collars. Don’t forget the drugs that were used to euthanize the animals are also still there.
• Brown Sugar/sugar/molasses – some of the negative effects of sugar in pets include suppression of the immune system, mineral imbalance, hyperactivity, diabetes, kidney distress, weight gain, allergies, excessive pancreatic activity, liver activity, and an increase in bad bacteria in the colon. Sugar is an important nutrient for cancer cells in order to thrive!

Additional items to be wary of:
• Ground wheat (linked to allergies)
• Corn gluten meal
• Wheat four
• Ground yellow corn
• Sugar glycerin
• Hydrogenated starch hydrolysis
• Bacon fat preserved with BHA
• Soybean meal
• Salt
• Sorbic acid (a preservative)
• Artificial flavor
• Calcium propionate (a preservative)
• Blood (animal plasma can come from any animal and contain toxic elements)
• Glyceryl monostearate
• Phosphoric acid
• Added color (Red #40, Yellow #5)

CHEMICALS ARE NOT FOOD!

Some Healthy Pet Treats:
1. Dr. WooFrs Biscuits
2. Lip SmackRs – real meat treats
3. Jones’ Natural Treats
4. Barksters
5. Charki Puffs
6. Lammy Chews
7. Great Life – Roasted Tripe Spirals, Elk Jerky, Lamb & Rice or Chicken and Rice rolls with chondroitan and glucosamine
8. Crumps Natural

Do you have give your pets treats that are good for them? Let us know what they are called!

This post was written by Elliot Harvey MH of www.doctorsfinest.com. Author of “The Healthy Wholistic Dog,” Elliot has years of experience in animal health and wellness. Pet Assure is not affiliated with and does not endorse Great Life Performance Pet Products. Pet Assure is presenting this guest post for the benefit of its readers and retains no financial interest in any future transactions.

Elliot Harvey

About Elliot Harvey

Elliott Harvey MH is the author of the natural healing book "The Healthy Wholistic Dog." He founded Great Life Performance Pet Products in 1996 to provide quality pet products based on nutritional and field studies. Elliott is a contributing writer for Animal Wellness Magazine and a consultant to Pet Product News. He utilizes his experience in natural health and wellness to write for Pet Assure on a monthly basis.

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