Perky Tails

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11 Benefits of Natural Dog Treats

11 Benefits of Natural Dog Treats

By Perky Tails Ltd

If you were to live only on processed food then chances are you would be pretty unhealthy! We all know that junk food is detrimental to our health yet most of us (unwittingly) fail to feed out pets a balanced diet. Being carnivorous animals, dogs thrive on natural meat and plant-based products. This is why natural dog treats are increasingly popular among the more health-conscious dog owners. Given the misinformation fed to us by big name commercial brands, knowing what to feed your dog is tricky, but fear not… We were fortunate enough to secure an interview with canine nutritionist, Gerald Pepin. Listen to our podcast as we expose some of big industry lies and continue reading to learn the benefits of feeding a natural diet.

11 Benefits of Natural Dog Treats

1. STRONGER IMMUNITY

As with humans, dogs need a balanced diet with good nutritional sources in order to be happy and healthy. Natural treats are beneficial for dogs in that they contribute to increased immunity. For example, sources show protein (of which natural dog treats are extremely rich in) to be essential for immunity. Always remember that the type of protein used in dog treats will give you clues as to their quality. Meat treats that are derived from natural sources are of a far higher quality than artificial treats so it’s worth spending a little extra on them.

 

2. FREE OF ANTIBIOTICS AND HORMONES

Many dog treats on the market are made using cheap and artificial ingredients such as animal derivatives have been pumped with hormones and antibiotics. When dogs consume products containing antibiotics they can build up an immunity and this causes problems should they develop any sort of infection. Similarly, consuming treats containing hormones can lead to behavioural problems as well as a range of physical health problems. Given that natural dog treats are made from fresh ingredients, they do not contain the same nasty additives of their artificial counterparts and this makes them a much better choice for your pet’s health.

 

3. EXCELLENT FOR YOUR DOG'S COAT

Feeding your dog artificial treats may lead to long term health complications that develop later in life. This is because the ingredients that make up such treats (chemicals, preservatives and other additives) have been shown to be damaging to health. Skin rashes, itchy ears, a dull coat of fur, and over-shedding are among the many side effects of unhealthy snacks. A lot of dog owners blame these health problems on factors beyond their control (such as allergies). However, all too often they are caused by dietary factors (such as bulking agents and other additives). Natural treats, on the other hand are high in essential oils and these oils help to contribute to a shinier coat and better overall health.

4. EASY ON THE STOMACH

By switching from an artificial to a natural dog treat, it is possible to reduce the risk of inflammation and allergic reactions. This is because natural dog treats are digested more easily and this makes them gentler on the stomach.

5. BETTER DIGESTION

A lot of the ingredients that are found in commercial pet foods attempt to up the protein content with bulk additives rather than focusing on healthy ingredients. Furthermore, an unintended consequence of using bulk additives can often be the lack of digestibility. The stomach of a dog has not evolved to process artificial chemicals and this means that what very little food value is consumed is not absorbed. However, by switching your dog over to a natural diet, they are likely to digest their food properly, thus absorbing all the nutrients they need to be healthy.

 

6. IMPROVED ORAL HEALTH

It may surprise you to know that four out of five dogs over the age of three have some sort of dental disease. Dental problems can manifest themselves in any form including weak teeth, cavities, swollen gums, lesions, and unpleasant odours. The best way to combat these issues (aside from brushing your dog’s teeth) is to feed them natural chew treats. For example, bully sticks make a perfect dental snack because plaque is scraped away as the dog is chewing.

 

7. IMPROVED COGNITION

In addition to improving your dog’s oral heath, a natural diet can also do wonders for your dog’s cognitive ability. For example, it was shown in The Journal of Veterinary Medicine that cognitively impaired dogs that were fed a nutrient rich diet from natural sources benefitted from slower cognitive decline. Younger dogs also benefit from increased cognition and author of the aforementioned article explains this in very simple terms. “When you feel good, you’re sharper, you have more energy, and you can tackle more tasks.”

 

8. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

Every dog differs in size and this means that each has different nutritional requirements. Small dogs need fewer calories than larger dogs and vice versa. All dogs enjoy chewing on treats regardless of how big or small they are and this can be frustrating for owners when their dog is on a diet. In such cases, it might be tempting remove treats from your dog’s diet completely but this may come at the expense of your precious furniture. It may interest you to know that natural treats are far more nutrient dense and this means your dog will require less to feel satisfied.  Switching from artificial to natural treats is a great way to help your four-legged friend lose weight without depriving them of tasty snacks.

 

9. IMPROVED PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING

Just like with humans, dogs need a balanced diet with good nutritional sources in order to be happy and healthy. After feeding your dog a natural diet you should notice a marked improvement in your dog’s appearance and temperament. Even older dogs with joint and or hip problems have been known to show improved mobility after switching to a natural diet. This is because the ingredients found high-quality, natural food helps many of the health problems related to old age. Artificial foods on the other hand are cooked at very high temperatures resulting in the the nutritional value being completely destroyed.

 

10. BETTER VALUE FOR MONEY

Given that the ingredients in natural dog treats are of a far superior quality, your dog absorbs more nutritional value from them. This means that they provide better value for money, giving you more bang for your buck.  

 

11. LONGEVITY

When you switch your dog over to a natural diet you are likely to see improvements in their bodyweight and this comes with a 20 per cent increase in longevity (the length of your dog’s life). This was demonstrated by a study showing dogs fed on a natural diet living an average of 13.1 years, compared with an average of 10.4 years on a commercial diet.

SUMMARY

In summary, there is a huge range of dog treats and other food products available on the market currently. However, none of them are as beneficial to your dog’s health as natural dog treats. Natural dog treats are advantageous because, as the name suggests, they are rich in natural nutrients (such as meats and vegetables) and free from artificial preservatives. The combination of wholesome ingredients and a lack of chemicals and additives lends to an end product that is far above the competition in terms of quality. 

The best way to understand your dog’s dietary needs is to think about your own. If you were to consume a diet of highly processed foods you would risk becoming quite ill and the same can be said for dogs. Feeding a diet of natural foods and fresh ingredients is the best way to ensure your four-legged friend stays happy and healthy long into their senior years.