What To Look For When Choosing Treats For Your Dog

Healthy Dog Treats

With so many options out-there, it can be stressful picking out which treats are good for your dog.  We are used to looking for things like gluten free and specific ingredients that might trigger allergies.  What else should we be looking for?

When looking at labels, keep an eye out for the following:

  • Avoid anything with salt, syrups, & molasses
  • Items that are bad for dogs such as artificial colors, sugar, flavors, & preservatives
  • Lower-quality ingredients like meat by-products
  • Dogs with allergies should do their best to avoid wheat, soy, & corn. Most stores have a grain-free section and our Portland Pet Treats are 100% Grain & Gluten Free

Try to find treats that:

  • Natural or organic ingredients

    • Whole grains
    • Single high-quality protein sources (meat/fish/poultry)
    • Natural preservatives
  • Whole Food Ingredients are always better than "fraction foods" i.e. wheat is better than wheat flour.
  • Organic ingredients are good; they are less likely to be adulterated with contaminants, & they receive extra scrutiny from inspectors. The more organic ingredients, the better. Check out Crown To Tails organic offering 
  • If a treat is preserved, it should contain a natural preservative.  Vitamins C & E (Vitamin E is listed as “mixed tocopherols”). Both are effective & safe preservatives.

Avoid treats that contain:

  • Artificial preservatives, including BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, potassium sorbate, sodium nitrate (used for dual purposes, preservative and coloring), and calcium propionate should be avoided.
  • Artificial colors. Color is added to dog treats to appeal to you; your color blind dog doesn’t care. You aren’t going to eat these treats, are you? So don’t buy treats that contain these unnecessary chemicals.
  • Chemical humectants, such as propylene glycol. These are used in some pet (and human!) foods to keep them moist & chewy, and to prevent discoloration in preserved meats. 


We make it a point to say this every single time we discuss treats: Don’t buy dog treats at the grocery store, unless you also do each of the following:

  • Read the ingredients 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 ingredients list 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 cheese, cooked meat, and pieces of fruit and vegetables, and determine which he likes best.

What else do you look for when purchasing treats?



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