Watch out for fake treats! These can cause your lab to feel sick. Remember to always check for product quality.
Of course we would only want what’s good for our labs, because they have already become a part of the family. There may be a lot of options to choose from but healthy is always the best option.
There are a lot of treats out there in the market, and we’ve listed some of the most common types you can find in your local store.
…Perhaps the most common are dental biscuits or dental chews. Dental chews have been found to significantly reduce plaque and tartar build up on the teeth of dogs who chew regularly.
The treats usually work by mimicking the action of brushing a dog’s teeth to assist in scraping away the plaque before it has the chance to build up to tartar. They are most effective if your Labrador can spend approximately 30 minutes each day chew-ing.
A healthy and affordable way to provide your Labrador with yummy snacks is by using what you may already have in the house. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a great healthy snack without the addition of unnecessary chemicals and preservatives, and they contain the added benefit of natural vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetables should be cleaned and cut up into bite-sized pieces, remember that they are still treats so stick to small amounts and don’t over do it.
Fruit and veggies that are delicious and safe for your Labrador include: Apples, bananas, blueberries, pears, mangos, raspberries, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and zuc-chini.
…You must also avoid persimmons as the seeds can cause inflammation, and peaches and plums due to the risk of ingestion of the pit. Vegetables to avoid include garlic and onions, which can cause damage to red blood cells and lead to haemolytic anaemia, wild mushrooms that contain many toxins, and rhubarb, which affects the nerv-ous system as well as the kidneys.
If you are ever in doubt about any fruit or vegetable that you’re about to feed your beloved pet, do not feed it and seek professional advice first.
…Fortunately for dogs with specific health conditions, medicated treats are becoming in-creasingly popular and available. There are treats for an assortment of conditions – kidney and liver disease treats, hypoallergenic treats for dogs with skin allergies, and glucosa-mine and chondroitin treats for dogs with arthritis.
Such treats are formulated specifically with these underlying conditions in mind so that your pooch doesn’t necessarily have to miss out. Medicated treats should only be purchased at registered veterinary clinics under the guidance of professional staff.
…Of course we’re not feeding them pre-dominately with treats (remembering to keep treats under 10% of all daily intake), but do elderly Labradors really need those high calorie energy treats that puppies get? No, they do not. If choosing to purchase prepackaged snacks, it is worth checking the label to see if they are designed with a specific age group in mind.
Check out The Labrador Site’s full article here
Image credit: Andrew Magill