by Olivia Parr
It’s that time of the year - spring cleaning time. The perfect opportunity to rummage through those pantries and toss out the food and treats doing a disservice to your pup (i.e. the year old milkbone that you got for free at doggie daycare).
When it comes to snacking, what would you rather feed your family - sugary sweets or wholesome fruits & veggies. If you picked the latter, we’re on the same page. If you went for sugary sweets, we need to have a chat. This goes for our beloved furry friends as well. We want the best for them! So, when picking out a long-term treat for your pup, let’s stick to what we know and avoid what we don’t. Keep reading for some red flags to look out for:
Preservatives and softeners
It’s hard to find any food that isn’t made without preservatives, but the ones we really need to look out for are mycotoxins, Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Ethoxyquin, and Propylene Glycol (PG). These fives ingredients are a toxic combination for our scruffy adopted family members. Mycotoxins are mold-producing, feed-grade preservatives. BHA and BHT are known carcinogens and reproductive toxicants that can cause kidney and liver damage in animals. Ethoxyquin is an illegal preservative to add in human foods due to the fact that it is toxic if swallowed or makes contact with skin, so why give it to our pets if we shouldn’t have it in our bodies? Lastly, PG is a moistening agent commonly found in antifreeze. Technically, preservatives should be avoided at all costs. But if need be, Vitamin C and E are encouraged. Want to learn more about these toxins and how to find them? Read here.
Food dyes, rendered fat, and contaminants are also found in your pet’s food. If it doesn’t sound appealing for your own consumption, it’s a fair guess that it isn’t the best choice for your pup either. While artificial food dyes aren’t the best for either you or your pet, rendered fat is the kicker. It can contain contaminants like salmonella or heavy metals.
The Good News
I know, I know, these chemicals might be hard to remember when scouting out the best products for your pet. The short answer is to read your labels. Don’t recognize an ingredient? Look it up!
When reading the back of the package, look for labels like: Natural Preservatives, Made in U.S.A, and Human-grade. These labels can put your mind at ease, and your furry friend in great health! Knowing the sources of ingredients is also a great way to ensure quality. But what are other natural ingredients that we can feed them?
Need a helping hand finding some wholesome, human-grade dog treats for your pup? Check out Winnie Lou’s selection here. Focusing on organic and sustainable proteins and produce from Colorado farms.
So, when shopping for snacks for your family, double check what products and brands are safe choices!