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Dr. Elliott: Is It A Treat Or Trash?

Is It A Treat Or Trash? What does this tiny tidbit contain?

Dr. Elliott: Is It A Treat Or Trash?

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 at enticing YOU. Your dog is attracted to the scent and taste of a food item, not the shape or color, and certainly not a cute little name wrapped in a glitzy package. The leading brands of pet treats – sell on creative marketing, bag graphics, brand identity or attractive pricing. Are they worth the price??? NO. The sharp rise in pet illness may be attributed to tasty morsels that contain unhealthful ingredients.

Fortunately, today’s pet owners demand healthier treats.  In response to that demand, companies are beginning to incorporate natural and/or organic ingredients into the treats.  Still, you need to be vigilant and avoid the following ingredients:

Propylene glycol- an industrial solvent used in acrylics, stains, inks, dyes, cellophane, antifreeze, airplane de-icers and brake fluid. Side effects on animals include: irregular heart beat, underdeveloped growth, brain, liver and kidney problems, lowering blood pressure and even death.  Pets love the sweet taste.

Artificial Colors

Blue 1 and 2- found in pet food and treats have caused brain tumors
Red 3- caused thyroid tumors
Yellow 6- Linked to adrenal gland and kidney tumors, many carcinogens

BHA or BHT- studies found usage caused cancer in rats
Propyl galate- preservative, prevent spoiling, might cause cancer
Ethoxyquin- linked to cancer 
Potassium Bromate- Bromate has been banned throughout the world, except for in the United States and Japan. Causes cancer in animals
Acesulfame-K also breaks down into acetoacetamide, which has been found to affect the thyroid in rats, rabbits and dogs
Partially Hydrogenated Oils- creates trans fats, which promote heart disease and diabetes
Poultry by-product meal is a high-protein ingredient used as a major component in some dog food and treats. It is made from grinding clean parts of poultry cadaver, which can contain bones, offal and undeveloped eggs. It also can contain feathers. May be hard to digest.
Meat by-product meal- is 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.
Brown Sugar / sugar/ molasses- some of the effects of sugar in pets are- suppression of immune system, mineral imbalance, hyperactivity, diabetes, kidney distress, weight gain, allergies, excessive pancreas activity, liver activity, increase bad bacteria in colon, cancer.

Additional items to be wary of:
ground wheat, corn gluten meal, wheat four, ground yellow corn, water, sugar glycerin, meat, hydrogenate starch hydrolysis, bacon fat preserved with BHA, soybean meal, salt, sorbic acid (a preservative), artificial flavor, calcium propionate (a preservative), glyceryl monostearate, phosphoric acid, choline chloride, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5).
Potatoes- heating potatoes at high temperatures can cause a naturally occurring
substance called Acrylamide.  Acrylamide has caused cancer in laboratory animals.

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