Bringing a new puppy into your house or apartment is an exciting and joyful experience. As a responsible pet owner, one top priority is providing them with a healthy and balanced diet. Puppy treats are an essential part of their diet as they can be used for training, rewarding good behaviour, or simply showing your furry friend some extra love. However, not all treats are created equal.
In this buying guide, explore what to look for and avoid while buying them for your new bundle of joy.
What to Look for
Puppies have specific dietary needs, and you must be mindful of their calorie intake. Treats must only account for a small portion of daily calories. Check the calorie content of the products you’re considering and factor it into the daily calorie allowance. If you’re unsure about the appropriate calorie intake, consult your veterinarian for guidance.
Size and Texture:
Consider the size and texture of the product you choose. Smaller treats are generally more suitable for puppies as they are easy to chew and digest. Additionally, soft and chewy ones are preferable for young puppies as they are gentler on their developing teeth and gums. However, as your puppy grows, you can gradually introduce larger and harder treats to promote dental health and jaw strength.
The products you choose should complement their regular diet and be nutritionally balanced and provide added benefits. For instance, treats fortified with vitamins and minerals can contribute to your puppy’s overall well-being.
Plant-Based Protein Sources:
If you’re looking for vegan or plant-based puppy treats, consider those that include plant-based protein sources. Look for treats made with ingredients like peas, lentils, chickpeas, or soy. These ingredients offer a good amount of protein essential for your companion’s growth and development. Ensure they have good protein content to meet your pet’s dietary needs.
What to Avoid
Artificial Preservatives, Colours, and Flavors:
Many products contain artificial preservatives, colours, and flavours to enhance their appeal and prolong their shelf life. However, these additives can have negative effects on your pet’s health. Artificial preservatives like BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin have been linked to allergies, skin issues, and potential carcinogenic effects.
Fillers and By-products:
Some lower-quality products may contain fillers and by-products. Fillers are inexpensive ingredients added to products to bulk them up, often providing little to no nutritional value. By-products are low-quality parts of animals that are not fit for human consumption, such as organs or bones. These ingredients can be difficult for puppies to digest and may contribute to digestive upset or allergies.
Excessive Salt or Sodium:
While a small amount of salt is necessary for a balanced diet, excessive salt or sodium content should be avoided. High salt levels can lead to dehydration, increased thirst, and even sodium poisoning. Read the labels carefully and choose those with moderate salt content. It’s always an excellent idea to consult your veterinarian for guidance on the appropriate sodium levels for your puppy.
In conclusion, choosing the right puppy treats is essential for your pet’s health and well-being. Look for those with quality ingredients, appropriate size and texture, and nutritional value, and consider any allergies or sensitivities your pet may have. Be mindful of the treat’s purpose and calorie content, and always avoid harmful ingredients. By following this guide, you can make decisions and ensure that your furry companion receives the best products for a happy and healthy life.