A well-stocked pet treats aisle can be a as much a godsend as a it confusing. With so many choices you might think there is something for every age, size, and breed of dog. And you may be right, but not every treat is a healthy choice.
Some are downright deadly.
Associate veterinarian Hunter Finn has been sharing his insight into canine comestibles on TikTok. In his many posts, Finn explains why certain pet treats are best left alone.
“After a walk through a local store looking for new toys for my own dogs, I realized that there are an overwhelming amount of options, and marketing and colorful products play a huge role in the consumer’s decision. Unfortunately, those well-marketed products are not always what’s best for their loved ones,” Hunter told BuzzFeed.
Finn says that these bones are built to withstand the high impact of battle. They are weapons, and even when cooked are still hard enough to erode or break your pet’s teeth.
“If any treat is too hard to slap on your knee or make a fingernail indention in, it is too hard for your pet,” Finn says.
Jerky treats should also be avoided. “There is enough evidence to support the claim that certain jerky treats cause renal disease in pets. It is not worth the risk, in my opinion,” said Hunter.
“These are literally dried bull penises,” Finn says, though he doesn’t warn against them completely. The associate vet says they are fine in moderation and under supervision.
Double layer Rawhide
Never buy rawhides with double layered ends.
“These are absolute choking/surgical hazards,” Finn says.
Fatty pig byproducts
According to Rover.com, fatty treats, like pork products and many human foods can cause serious health issues in dogs. Likewise, Finn says, dog-targeted treats like pig ears can cause gastrointestinal issues and even pancreatitis if given too often.
“As a veterinarian who sees sick patients from toys, treats, and foods that aren’t necessarily the safest for them, I feel it is my job to go above and beyond and give pet owners the information they need to make informed purchases to prevent these mishaps,” Finn added.
Always ask your veterinarian
Want to please your pet without putting their health at risk? Always check with your own veterinarian first to make sure the treats you choose are right for your pet. But, for quick reference, Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)-stamped treats are typically a good place to start, Finn says.
“If it does not have the VOHC stamp, move on and find another product because you are wasting your money,” he says.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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