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Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

Every dog has it’s day… and this is it.

Nobody seems to know the origin of Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, but every canine in the world knows the best way to celebrate it. Pets around the globe will be wagging their tails with glee when their owners serve up unusual or home-made doggy snacks to mark the occasion.

With observation of this important holiday, we must also beware of maintaining quality when we choose a biscuit for our own furry friend.

Dog biscuits have come a long way over the years. We make it a point to say this every time we discuss treats: Don’t buy dog treats at the grocery store, unless you also do each of the following:

  • Read the ingredient panel of any treat you consider buying. Pass it by if it contains artificial preservatives and/or colors, animal products from unnamed species, or animal by-products.
  • Check the ingredient panel for foods your dog may be allergic to or intolerant of.
  • Don’t forget that you can use real, fresh food for treats! Offer your dog bits of meat and pieces of fruit and vegetables, and determine which he likes best.

So how do you know if the treats you give your dog are healthy? It’s actually pretty simple. As with every food you buy (for yourself or your dog), it’s all about the ingredients. This article from Whole Dog Journal will give you a few pointers on selecting the right treat for your pet.

What to Look for in Dog Treats

We suggest you start with the ingredient panel. Ingredients are listed on the label by weight; there is more of the first ingredient on the list than the second ingredient, and so on. The first few ingredients on the list are the most significant, since they comprise the majority of the content, they should be especially high in quality.

What constitutes quality in a pet food ingredient? Actually, the same attributes that indicate quality in human food denote quality in pet food. Top quality ingredients are as fresh, pure, and minimally processed as possible. Whole food ingredients are better than by-products or food “fractions.” For example, “wheat” is better than “wheat flour” and “wheat flour” is better than “wheat bran and wheat germ.” The more highly processed an ingredient is, the more nutrients it loses.

Ingredients that are sourced as close as possible to the manufacturer are a plus. Again, they are fresher than ingredients that require shipping from across the country, which is also good for the environment.

Every ingredient on the label should be easily recognizable, and there should be no question what the source is. For example, “meat meal” or “animal fat” could come from just about anywhere. In contrast, “chicken” comes from chickens, and so does “chicken fat.”

Organic ingredients are less likely to be adulterated with contaminants, and they receive extra scrutiny from inspectors. The more organic ingredients, the better.

If a sweetener is used, it should be natural and food-based, and used in moderation. Applesauce, molasses, or honey are better than artificial sweeteners. We don’t recommend any sweetener in dog food, but we’re talking about treats, which are something your dog should only get a few of, and not on a daily basis.

If a treat is preserved, it should contain a natural preservative. Vitamins C and E (the latter is listed as “mixed tocopherols”) are effective and safe preservatives. Some treats contain no preservatives at all; these should be stored properly and used promptly.

Ingredients to Avoid

While you’re examining the list of ingredients and quality components, make sure the treat does not contain any of the following:

  • Artificial preservatives, including BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, potassium sorbate, sodium nitrate, and calcium propionate should be avoided.
  • Artificial colors. Color is added to dog treats to appeal to you. Your dog does not care what color the treat is, so avoid buying treats that contain these unnecessary (and many believe unhealthy) chemicals.
  • Chemical humectants, such as propylene glycol. These are used in some pet (and human) foods to keep them moist and chewy, and to prevent discoloration in preserved meats. There are more natural, food-sourced humectants available, such as vegetable glycerin and molasses.  Speaking of glycerin: if it’s not identified as “vegetable glycerin” (a food-sourced product), it’s likely to be a petrochemical product – not good.

At the Barkery, we spend time researching to ensure all of the treats we bring in are of good quality and meet the expectations we have for the health of our pets. Ensure you are feeding what’s best for your best friend by stopping in your local Barkery & speaking with a pet nutritionist today!

Mars Petcare Issues a Voluntary Recall

MARS Petcare has issued a voluntary recall of the following Nutro dog treat due to potential mold.

Product Description: Nutro CHEWY TREATS APPLE 4OZ

PetSmart SKU: 5229600

Product UPC:  7910511344

Impacted Lot Codes:  Lots codes beginning with ‘4 50’, ‘5 02’, ‘5 03’, OR ‘5 05’ (regardless of best by date).

The Lot Codes are located on the bottom of the bag under the Best By date as shown below:

treats

Brookside Barkery only sells the highest quality food and treats for your pets. Choose from a wide variety of brands like Walk About Dog Treats and Zoe’s Premium. Don’t let your pet eat sub-par treats, they’re family too so make sure they are eating the same quality you would give your human family.

My Dog ate Halloween Candy! What now?!

October 31st is now behind us but there is still candy lurking about. Dogs are great at using their nose to hunt down any delicious treat they might want so now is the time to be extra careful. Make sure to place Halloween candy in a secure areas where you pet cannot reach it. Sometimes dogs are just too smart for us and find ways around what we think is a great hiding spot. What do you do then? This article from moderndogmagazine.com will save the day.

Chocolate is poisonous to pets because it contains toxic theobromine, and different types of chocolate affect pets differently because they have varying levels of theobromine. Baking chocolate has the highest concentration, and is therefore the most toxic – followed by dark, milk and then white chocolate.

If a dog eats chocolate, pet parents need to know three things: how much theobromine the chocolate contains, how much your dog ate and how much he weighs. If your dog ingests close to 20mg of theobromine per pound of body weight, he’s in the danger zone for food poisoning.

Milligrams of theobromine per ounce:
Baking chocolate – 450mg/oz
Dark chocolate – 160mg/oz
Milk chocolate – 64mg/oz
White chocolate – 1mg/oz
Here’s how to do the math: Multiply the ounces of chocolate ingested by the milligrams of theobromine per ounce and divide that by the weight of the dog in pounds. The closer the resulting number is to 20, the worse the toxic effects will haunt him. For example:

A 25-lb. dog who eats 3 ounces of milk chocolate:
3oz x 64mg/oz = 192/25lbs = 7.7mg/lb (non-toxic level of theobromine)

A 25-lb. dog who eats 3 ounces of dark chocolate:
3oz x 160mg/oz = 480/25lbs = 19.2mg/lb (dangerous level of theobromine)

What to do next: A number close to 20 indicates a toxic level of theobromine that can terrorize a pet’s health. Get to the vet or an emergency clinic immediately! If the number is well below 20, your pet’s tummy may turn on him, but you don’t need to be spooked. Call the vet for tips on how to treat signs of trouble.

Make sure to keep some doggy safe treats on hand at home so your pet stays out of the Halloween candy. The Barkery has tons of treats to choose from that your dog is sure to love. Stop on by today and pick up a treat for your pooch.