The Good And Bad Of Natural Dog Treats

September 10, 2019

© Edward Westmacott | Dreamstime

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You only want the best for your dog and your dog just wants something tasty to chew on.  However not all natural chews are created equal. Some are more likely to cause digestive problems or cracked teeth. Others may hurt your dog's gums or be a choking hazard. Generally rawhide can be good for your dog's teeth and can satisfy his need to chew, there are several drawbacks. Rawhide is made from dried animal skin. Because it's an animal byproduct, it's very attractive to dogs. It starts out hard, but it softens up after some serious gnawing from your dog, so no pieces splinter off or typically hurt your dog's teeth or gum. Some dogs are either sensitive or allergic to rawhide or the substance used in making it. This can cause digestive issues, including diarrhea.  Rawhide treats can also be prone to salmonella or E. coli contamination or can have trace amounts of toxic chemicals.  Rawhide treats can also be prone to salmonella or E. coli contamination or can have trace amounts of toxic chemicals. If you're going to give rawhide to your dog, she suggests purchasing only those treats made in the U.S. for the freshness factor and to avoid illegal and toxic chemicals. Buy thicker rawhide, which isn't easy to break into pieces, and avoiding extremely white products, which had to be bleached to look that way. Many veterinarians steer their clients away from cow hooves. When a dog starts chewing on hooves, pieces can break off and be swallowed, causing irritation to the dog's stomach and small intestine. In fact, veterinarians see more cut mouths from hooves than any other type of recreational bone. If you do give your dog hooves, feed only American-grown hooves to make sure they've come from nontoxic animals. If you see that the hoof has broken or splintered, take it away from your pet. Dog owners should avoid giving their pets dried pig ears because the treats can be very greasy and can cause an upset stomach. Plus the pig's ear is often where hormone injections are given (in the live animal) so remnants of the hormones can remain. Some people choose to give their dogs bones that they buy from the butcher department at the grocery store. But there are also pre-packaged bones that you can purchase in pet stores and online. While it only seems natural to give a dog a bone, the FDA warned pet owners not to buy commercial bones after dozens of reports of illnesses and even deaths, due to the products. Before you throw away everything in your dog's treat jar and limit his snacking to peanut butter-filled Kongs, remember that no two dogs are alike. Every pet is like a small child. Some may chew appropriately. Some may break a chew toy in half and quickly swallow it and some may chew too aggressively. So anytime a new treat is introduced, make sure you are supervising.

SOURCE: Mother Nature Network

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