Buying Healthy Treats
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Made in USA sweet potato treats
Carolina Prime Pets Wheat Free Dog Treats Sweet Tater Fries All Natural

Keep in mind:

  • Calories count - don't forget to count these as part of your dog's total daily intake
  • Rule of thumb - look for less than 15 calories and less than 10% fat per treat

Some produce products work well:

  • Apples (not all dogs like fruit)
  • Baby carrots (my dog loves these)
  • Broccoli (raw or steamed but no butter or other fat)
  • Nonfat plain yogurt (no artificial sweeteners)
  • Pumpkin (all purpose stomach cure)
  • Sweet potato (baked or steamed, not raw)

My dog loves Carolina Prime Sweet Tater Fries Dog Treatscollaro (see above) which are nothing but dehydrated sweet potatoes made in the USA. Be careful, there are several other products out there that are similar but made in China. I stopped buying food products made in China after the 2007 melamine pet food recall.

If your dog likes these treatscollor, you should consider buying a food dehydrator like the Excalibur and making your own. You'll save money in the long run, and you can eat dehydrated food as well.

I also use the dehydrator to make dried flower arrangements. My neighbor makes her own beef jerkey with one. Note: If you buy one, make sure to get one with a timer or buy a timer at a hardware store. You don't want to have to get up at 2 a.m. to turn off a dehydrator!

color image of Lickety Stik low calorie dog treat bottleOne newer product that people either hate or love is PetSafe Lickety Stik. It looks like a roll on deodorant bottle and works the same way. This liquid, however, is safe for your dog to swallow, and it's made in the USA.

It comes in three flavors: bacon (my dog's absolute favorite), chicken or liver. Every dog I've tried this on loved it. Many owners, however, hated it because 1) every flavor smells (great to a dog, stinky to a human); and 2) you have to hold it for your dog. No throwing a doggy bone on the ground and getting a reprieve while your dog runs off to eat it.

To use, simply unscrew the top and show it to your dog. Let him sniff and then lick the rotating ball. It's spill proof. WARNING: you may have to spin it manually a couple times to get it going. Have wipes available for your fingers.

So why do other owners love it? Because t takes 10 licks to equal one measly calorie. Each plastic bottle has 500 or so licks, and it fits in a purse or pocket.

Take a bottle with you when you're training or to calm a dog while you're waiting at the vets or groomer.

Here's the most common method veterinarians use to estimate how many calories a healthy adult dog needs each day.

Calories = 30 times (the body weight in kilograms) + 70

Sorry about the metric system but those scientists ... A kilogram is 2.2 pounds.

Example, if a dog weighs 10 pounds, that's 4.5 kilograms

30 times 4.5 = 135 + 70 = 205 calories maximum as a daily total

Determine, with your vet's advice, what your dog's healthy weight is and then feed and exercise him to maintain it.

Here's a nice chart from Purina on how to tell if your dog is overweight or not:

Best guide to what to feed your dog

As you peruse the Internet, you'll find all kinds of recommendations for canine diets: raw, bones, vegetarian, low protein, high protein, etc.

There are several professional and authoritarian looking websites that rate dog foods. Unfortunately, there are many old wives tales that are taken as fact, and many websites that don't bother to update as our scientific knowledge evolves.

I highly, highly recommend you read the book:
Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter -A Vet's Plan to Save Their Lives
kuyt by veterinarian Ernie Ward.

He'll provide verifiable information and dispel the myths you've found on other websites. You may be surprised.

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Compensation Disclosure: This site receives compensation for referred sales of some or all mentioned products