Military Spouse Magazine

DEC 2018

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G O O D A D V I C E Good Dog! What you should know about the treats you feed your pet. By Emily Carroll, Army Spouse The majority of dog owners surprise their dogs with a delicious dog treat at least once a day. It is hard to resist watching their adorable eyes light up when they see and smell their cookies in the shapes of trees, stars, reindeer, and gingerbread men. Dog treats are intended and approved by each state's Department of Agriculture, to be given intermittently as rewards for good behavior, a midday snack to hold our fur babies over until dinner; or "just because they're cute." There are many factors to determine the best dog treats for your dog including lifestyle activity, dietary considerations, and flavor prefer- ence. In order to keep them happy, healthy and compliment their digestive tracts, it is important to choose quality dog treats that are not over processed, are made up of quality raw ingredients, and contain either natural preservatives or none at all. INGREDIENT QUALITY Looking at the ingredients list on every bag of your dog's treats can be grueling if they are difficult to pronounce or re- quire a Google search (uh oh, red flag). Just as in human food, the first ingredi- ent takes up the greatest percentage of the product with the last being the least. The goal should be to find a brand whose ingredients list is simple. The first ingredient of a healthy dog treat will most likely read a type of hearty flour, such as whole wheat, whole grain, or chickpea flour. These ingredients are wholesome, nutritious, flavorful, fibrous, and keep the rest of the ingredients from falling apart. The middle of the list may be in their raw form such as pumpkin, carrot, or blueberries. These all have natural moisture in them which is why they may be listed as "dried" because it lessens the chance of the treat spoiling early. Dog treats can be made with "human-grade" ingredients, mean- ing they can be eaten by dog owners themselves before the mixing and baking process. However, in order to qualify as a "human-grade treat," the finished product must stand up to the strict packaging and manufacturing facility requirements it is produced in. Emilie Carroll, Army spouse, is the owner of All Bark Boutique , an online natural dog treat store ( ). COMMON HUMAN FOODS THAT ARE DANGEROUS TO DOGS XYLITOL • Found in gum, toothpaste, baked goods. • Causes their blood sugar to drop and liver failure. Symptoms: Lethargy, vomit- ing, can lead to seizures. ONIONS AND GARLIC (BOTH ARE IN THE SAME FAMILY) • Kill red blood cells therefore causing anemia. • Can cause poisoning in large amounts. Symptoms: Weakness, vomit- ing, breathing difficulty. GRAPES AND RAISINS • Causes kidney failure and upset stomach. Symptoms: vomiting, depression within days even from a small amount. MACADAMIA NUTS • Even as few as six nuts can cause illness. Symptoms: Muscle shakes, vomiting, high temperatures and weakness in rear legs. CHOCOLATE • The issue is theobromine within the chocolate. Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea which leads to tremors, seizures and death. NUTMEG • Causes upset stomach and agitation. Symptoms: Causes overly excited and then becomes exhausted, sometimes leads to death. PLUM, PEACH, AND CHERRY PITS • Contain cyanide. • Not only is cyanide poisonous to humans and dogs, the seeds and pits can cause obstructions within the digestive tract. Symptoms: Stomach bloating, bowel pain, intense vomiting, excessive drooling. Photo by Brian Serbam 30 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / DECEMBER 2018

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