There are so many treats available for dogs but of course I look for what I believe are the healthier choices. I like to stick to things that have only a few, natural ingredients in them and ones that are made in Canada if possible (since we know how much controversy surrounds some imported foods). Some time ago I came across some “chicken jerky”-like treats which contained only chicken in them and had a wonderful “Canadian quality checked certified laboratories” stamp on them and of course Caesar loved them… but soon after, he got significant itching of his skin. I thought maybe it was just a coincidence (although I only give him one “new” food or treat over a few days), so I decided to continue with these treats. The itching got worse. So I stopped the new jerky treats and wouldn’t you know it, the itching improved and then was gone in just a few days. I looked more carefully at the package I had bought and saw that although there was only chicken in the ingredients, the food had been irradiated so humans were advised to thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water after giving them to their dogs. What?! If my hands are vulnerable to this irradiation how could my dog not be? I used to buy sweet potato chews for him but have noticed the same itching reaction. Perhaps they were also irradiated…
So I did a search on irradiated dog treats and found quite the controversy surrounding this issue. I even came across this NBC news article which is worth reading: http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/14/13865945-pet-jerky-treat-death-toll-360-dogs-1-cat-fda-says?lite
I have since that time made my own chicken-bites and sweet potato treats for Caesar although I will still buy some non-irradiated cookies or yogurt treats for him too.
But I don’t want Caesar to be getting too many cookies. I like him to get fruits and veggies into his diet regularly and even though I do use a lot of veggies in the meals that I prepare for him, I decided it’s time to create healthier treats for my fur-baby. So I have started making chips-for-dogs, or as I like to call them “Wag Bags” — because Caesar does do a happy-wag for them (of course he loves most treats)! I am making 3 varieties at this time: sweet potato, kale and beet chips. No additives, no preservatives and of course, no irratiation!
These crunchy/chewy snacks are antioxidant-rich, good for his teeth because of their texture, and good for my soul in knowing that he’s getting some great sources of vitamins and minerals from treats that he loves so much.
In my next post, I will share with you the benefits of these treats on the canine body so that you can look for similar nutrients to get into your dog! Pictures to come soon of my own treats — $5/bag — what a tasty gift of health for your dog!! Happy Holidays everyone!
“We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare, and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.” —Author: M. Acklam