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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Does your pet really need treats?

I'm happy to have among my colleagues and friends a few of the best holistic veterinarians. 

I rely on them when I get some information regarding our animal companions, when I can't find reliable information in other venues.

I count on this because for as long as I can remember, and as long as I've been an herbalist and natural health professional, I include pet health concerns.

I had a pet treat nutrition quandary recently because some one sent me some recipes for pet treats, one of which I questioned right away.

Another one I though was sort of 'ok' because it had carrots, something I give my dog on a daily basis in his home cooked stew. The other ingredient I thought offered too much sugar, it was mashed banana. 

I have had two dogs that liked banana, but not too often, and not over ripe or mashed and used to disguise a healthy chewy.

Another thing that piqued my interest was that these recipes were frozen and I wondered about the risk of chipping or breaking teeth.

The cat treat was made from canned, water-pack tuna.  I shy away from tuna for mercury level concerns, and for cats I've always learned it causes them to lose their needed vitamin E.  Today too you have to consider that some "water-pack" fish may be in broth made from soy.  So there's the issue of GMO soy and what it might do to your pet's health. And now maybe its GMO fish we need to watch for.

The recipe for this cat treat used pureed baby food meat, and the source article even suggested using ham or ham flavor along with chicken or beef.  I'm not too sure ham or non-organic baby food would be good for cats or babies; there wasn't that caveat for organic or too much sodium from the recipe writer.

I use plain carrots, the organic minis, for my dog.  He's small and has an overbite.  He handles these pretty well, but likes them just every so often.

My cat likes few things as treats.  He is never too interested unless it is a bit of raw beef or liver.

So I guess on my best thoughts and Dr Rick's best advice, we'll skip these at our house.

But if you'd like our well tested, yummy biscuit recipe, make a donation and we'll send you "Kip's Cookies" you can make at home from all organic ingredients.

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