Parents of both two-legged and four-legged children alike often struggle with getting them to eat healthier, especially when it comes to snacks, or in the case of cats and dogs, treats. In light of some of the horrific headlines we’ve been seeing about sickness, illnesses and deaths related to some overseas food and treats linked to their demise, we’re becoming vigilant about what these options. Even locally produced processed pet foods and treats come into question about their health and well-being for our animals.
But what’s a loving pet parent to do when it comes to feeding and rewarding our animals without endangering them from these dangerous and unsuspecting products? There are more natural, safer alternatives that aren’t found in pre-packaged options. Think about these tips when feeding and rewarding our pets:
Fruits and Veggies
As any parent knows, getting children to eat all their vegetables, consume more fruits and other healthy parts of a meal can be challenging at best. But animals don’t understand this concept and something “green” isn’t necessarily mean in their eyes Or the fact that fruits aren’t as tasty as candy or other sweets, which we don’t give to our pets. Don’t discount your dog your cat’s culinary traits when it comes to feeding them. For example, you might want to consider:
- Carrots, that can easily become a tasty chew toy for dogs that will often gnaw on them into oblivion thinking they’re actually a toy rather than a nutritious snack
- Cats can nibble and devour broccoli thinking that it’s more like catnip rather than a healthy alternative to a pre-packaged treat
Remember things like tuna, usually devoured by cats, can also offer some healthy benefits and be enjoyed by dogs as well. Although fish oil can be fatty, those packed and canned in water, offer many rewards for their brains and circulatory systems. When I make a tuna sandwich, I always put the water-based drainage into the cat and dog food dishes - they love it and also makes for a shinier coat.
Labels, Labels, Labels
We should all know better by now to check out the ingredients found on the labels that grace our food products, but sometimes we forget about our pets in the process. According to guidelines set forth by the government, ingredients found in pet foods must be put into an order that makes the most prominent products to be placed first on this list.
Inexpensive corn, gluten, soy, and other questionable ingredients that can cause digestive and allergic reactions in our pets have no place in their food. Leftover, ground up chicken or beef parts, and other byproducts, are vastly different compared to the ingredients that should have been used instead. A “meal” shouldn’t consist of ground up bones, chicken legs or beaks and other discarded items found on a butcher room floor.
Don’t simply assume that fruits and vegetables will be discounted by your four-legged friends. You never know unless you try giving them healthier snacks and treats. They might turn their nose up at some healthier treats, but they could devour them at the same time.
Credit to: Amber Kingsley