Why Dogs Don’t Need Dog Treats

May 16, 2016 at 6:00 am
30may hdt

Hi, I am Bruce Dwyer, Dog walker and Healthy Dog treat purveyor and this article is the first on DOGSLife about dog nutrition and the place of dog treats within your dog’s daily diet.

With a heading like this, it is easy to conjure up images of ‘dog treats’ being equated with ‘human treats’.  Humans don’t need treats daily or at all. They are nice to have, and are often unhealthy or fattening for us. But they taste so yummy right? Not all yummy treats are good for your dog!

The reason that ‘dog treats’ get a bad rap, besides the association with human treats, is that most people consider treats the cheap grain filled stuff or pork off cuts you find at the super market made with questionable quality and freshness and little benefits to a dog.

The main reason I began selling dog treats was that I could not afford truly healthy dog treats and they were really hard to find. When I say healthy, I rarely mean large corporation products owned by shareholders. I mean the products that I know where they come from and what’s in them, and why they are good for dogs. Only a few additives (if they aren’t 100% jerkies), and no added flavour to fool the dog.

My original analysis started with understanding where dogs evolved from and what the diet of the wolf was. This is not about the human fad of Paleo diets, but about what still works best for a dog’s digestion, what they can extract fast and what is bio available. Dogs evolved incredibly, externally, by man’s breeding programs creating very different breeds, but their insides essentially remain the same as 20,000 years ago.

Many people feeding dogs come to the realisation that grain based dog foods are not always the best thing (daily) for a carnivore canine, so they buy holistic or meat based versions. The problem with this is that instead of grain, most of these foods are still vegetable based and if you want 50% meat (the most on the market), you will pay a fortune.

The way I got around this is to feed my dog mainly a raw meat (and offal and bone) diet. Since 97% of people feed their dogs a manufactured dog food diet and most of these are grain based, it is very hard to offer another view of dog food, but that is where meat based dog treats come in.

Whether you believe that dogs are omnivore like humans or still essentially carnivores it doesn’t matter. Feeding your dog more meat works for almost every breed. There are a couple of breeds that have tolerance to high protein diets so remember to consider your dog’s dietary requirements first.

 Why dogs don’t need grain-based dog treats

It is the same as feeding them more dog food. They don’t need it if it is full of saturated fat, and you want to keep them slim and you don’t walk them enough. They don’t need raw hide and many other treats that have been identified recently as being risky for a dog. They don’t need treats full of added sugar, salt and oils. These are just used to disguise the taste of grain and trick a dog into eating continuously.

Why dogs need more meat

Dogs are carnivore evolved and don’t get enough meat in their regular diets. I have written many articles on the science behind their need for meat, but suffice to say in this first article, the bare minimum protein (and essential amino acid) that is required by AAFCO legislation, can only be achieved in dog food using a minimum of about 20% meat. The vegetable sources that make up the bulk of the protein are not as bio-available to a dog. This means that many dogs can struggle to get sufficient quality nutrition from the protein in regular dog food. The types of dogs who need more protein than others are: young, old, diseased, working dogs and dogs with non-shedding coats.

If you don’t want to feed your dog more raw meat or dry it yourself, then a high percentage meat based dog treat (80 – 100%) jerky, is an ideal dog food supplement. It’s not a replacement, but a nutrition supplement.

In future articles I will look at different types of meats and their benefits as well as meat based treats most suitable for different sized dogs and chewing styles. There is a science and art to proper diverse dog nutrition that can be supplied by the correct use of quality meat based dog treats, not just ‘garden variety’ dog treats.

BIO:  Bruce Dwyer researches and sources healthy meat based dog treats in Australia for his own dog and others. From an original career in Electronic engineering his analysis and research skills had him well sort after in Corporate Australia until he chose to concentrate on the dog service industry. His company ‘Healthy Dog Treats’ has been in business since 2011 and was based on finding the best dog food natural supplement nutrition for his own dog (Archie the 8 year old Spoodle). Archie not only approves of the selections but is featured on many videos on site trialling these ‘treats’.  Understanding that people also enjoy dog treat news and free dog treat coupons he has a weekly email newsletter that can be subscribed on his site. Bruce is also a professional dog walker and besides his regular blog on his main website his daily dog walk adventure images and videos and dog treat news can be found on these places:

https://www.healthydogtreats.com.au | Facebook: HealthyDogTreatsShop  | Twitter: DogTreatMan |  Google+ HealthydogtreatsAu1