A guest comment from Jennifer Jäger,
Managing Director LEO LÖWENHERZ GmbH
Dogs love snacks. Treats are much more than a reward or motivation. They are an integral part of a dog's diet and it is impossible to imagine life without them. But not every treat is healthy. It depends on the ingredients and production. Many often contain harmful or questionable additives. Just because your buddy likes it doesn't mean it's good. It's like the sweet or salty temptations of us two-legged friends.
What is actually in most treats? How can certain ingredients harm your dog? What do you have to pay attention to when choosing? We would like to enlighten you and show you a healthy alternative.
The truth about industrial treats
Treats differ according to: production, content and function. Even though they are all a welcome reward and a popular snack between meals, there are significant differences, mainly in terms of quality. The effects can sometimes lead to devastating health problems.
Mass-produced treats often have the following things in common:
- Stretching using plant or animal by-products as fillers
- Often enriched with chemical additives such as preservatives
- Acceptance through sugar and artificial flavor or smell enhancers
- Usually contain little to no nutrients
- Cheap production at the expense of quality
- Products without German quality standards and reviews
The industry has only one goal: the dog pounces on it. This should give the impression that if it tastes good, it is good. But we all know that just because we may find it hard to resist sweet snacks or fine fries, they are not beneficial for our bodies. Unhealthy products can be bad for your figure, skin, heart and especially teeth.
Cheap fillers are primarily intended to fill the stomach
Cheap fillers in treats and dog food are used to build volume and primarily fill the stomach. However, the nutritional value leaves something to be desired. Although the treat gains mass, your dog is usually unable or unable to utilize these substances. Grains such as wheat, soy and corn are popular with many manufacturers as inexpensive fillers, but are increasingly causing allergies and intolerances. Here it is advisable to choose a gentle and energy-rich alternative such as sweet potatoes.
Health killers: chemicals, sugar and unhealthy fats
If you are looking for dog treats, you should find out exactly about the ingredients.
If E numbers are included, this is an indication of artificial additives. We strongly advise against this. The following are provided with an E code:
Artificial additives are often used to make the food more cosmetically pleasant, to extend its shelf life or to compensate for manufacturing deficits. However, these substances can cause significant damage to the digestive tract of four-legged friends. They can also cause skin reactions and intolerances. Preservatives often trigger allergies. They are also said to have a cancer-promoting effect.
Sugar and unhealthy fats
Sugar and unhealthy fats increase the taste, but especially at the expense of weight. Overweight dogs increase the risk of illnesses that unfortunately occur earlier and earlier: diabetes, incontinence, heart problems or kidney and liver disease. The quality of life deteriorates and your furry friend's life clock is massively shortened.
Sugar in treats also causes plaque and tartar to germinate particularly quickly. Without appropriate prophylaxis, painful dental diseases such as periodontitis or tooth decay can follow. So-called unhealthy fats are saturated fatty acids. The body can only use them in small quantities. They enhance the taste and have an appetite-increasing effect. Excessive amounts can increase the cholesterol level in the blood and lead to narrowing of the blood vessels in the long term.
Questionable: Animal by-products
The term “animal by-products” does not only include offal such as heart, lungs, rumen and liver. Also inferior, questionable and poorly digestible slaughterhouse waste. Among other things, wool, feathers, hair, horns, waste from hoof trimmings and even kitchen and food waste from all kinds of animals can be used, mixed into a mass. So when you read the term “by-products” in the list of ingredients, you should be critical.
For high-quality treats, all ingredients and the respective donor animals are openly declared.
Sustainable source of protein as an alternative to fish and meat
The use of meat and other animal products from factory farming is questionable for ethical and health reasons. Meat from factory farming usually contains: antibiotics, genetic modifications, chemical treatments for fattening and stress hormones caused by farming and slaughter. These burdens are passed on to our dogs through the meat in their food. Fish is usually also contaminated, but also with harmful substances such as the heavy metal mercury.
An excellent alternative source of protein are insects
Aside from the wild, intense taste experience that is irresistible to our dogs, insects are a diverse source of nutrients. They impress with their high protein content, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and countless amino acids. The gentle digestibility of insects is comparable to poultry. They are particularly digestible and tolerated. Dogs with sensitive digestion in particular benefit from the hypoallergenic properties.
Healthy treats keep body and soul together
A successful snack for your furry friend is also possible without a chemistry kit. Nature already gives us all the essences we need, we just have to use them. Natural ingredients not only contain important nutrients that are important for a balanced dog diet, but also unique abilities.
This way you can do something good for your body and make your dog's heart beat faster with joy.
Natural superfood treats are characterized by a unique list of ingredients. With valuable vitamins and ingredients, they can have a positive effect on health.
For example: The green-lipped mussel is a natural anti-inflammatory and relieves joint problems. Spinach, an excellent source of biotin, strengthens the hair roots. Salmon and coconut oil can promote the shine of the coat.
Nature offers a true festival of colors
You can usually recognize the main ingredient at first glance based on the color. Beetroot, for example, produces an intense red. Green is shown by algae, spinach, herbs or nettle. Carrots and turmeric, on the other hand, create a cheerful yellow. And all of this without any artificial colors.
Countless plants and herbs have been considered natural remedies for centuries. Superfood treats can therefore not only help prevent but also relieve a wide range of complaints. With health-promoting treats you can minimize the risk of many diseases, promote the natural parasite defense of ticks, fleas, etc. and compensate for deficiency symptoms. Some herbal ingredients also promote success in behavioral therapy. Valerian and St. John's wort, for example, have a calming and positive influence on anxious, stressed four-legged friends.
What you should pay attention to when choosing the right treats
Vital health and balanced well-being begin within. You can support this with food not only for yourself, but also for your buddy. No matter what feeding you have chosen, wet, dry or fresh food, superfood treats fit into every nutritional concept.
The first priority is to look at the components, production and features. The ingredients should natural and openly declared be. A gentle manufacturing process like cold pressing preserves all important vitamins and nutrients.
You should also pay attention to the following properties of the treats:
- Natural ingredients with essential nutrients & vitamins
- Without artificial additives such as preservatives, colors or flavors
- Avoid added sugar and flavor enhancers
- Grain and gluten free (healthy alternative: sweet potato)
- High protein content (various alternative: insect protein)
- Sustainable and regional production in manufactory quality
Finally, the crucial question arises: What function should the treat fulfill? Is there a specific problem it can help with? For example, superfoods such as psyllium husks, bentonite or rice flour have a particularly calming effect on the digestive system. Healthy treats are health-promoting and support your buddy's long-term well-being. They complement a species-appropriate diet and a vital lifestyle.
However, please note: patience pays off. Natural products require a little time and regular consumption until the full positive effect can develop.
LEO LIONHEART offers you a whole range functional treats insect-based at. Whether for reward, reassurance or health-promoting support – with us you will find a diverse selection for your pet. Taste guarantee included .