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Why Natural Dog Treats Are Better For Your Pet

Why Natural Dog Treats Are Better For Your Pet

You are what you eat, and this can be applied to your dog too. When it comes to a dog's life, their diet plays a very important role because it can affect their physical and mental health. Feeding your dog a nice balanced nutritional meal is very important for extending a dog's life. This goes for their food and their treats. With each generation, more pet owners are being conscious of what they're feeding their furry friends. Natural dog food and treats are becoming increasingly popular because owners are now understanding why natural dog treats are better. It's important for a dog to eat something that's both healthy and tasty.

What Are Natural Dog Treats?

Natural dog treats are ingredients that are from natural sources. Most store-bought dog treats are filled with artificial additives, questioning chemicals, and preservatives. These are not good for your dog and won't help with keeping them healthy. Natural dog treats in the UK contain some grains, but mostly a nice combination of high-quality meat and vegetables.

What Are The Benefits Of Natural Dog Treats?

Dogs are similar to humans in that they can also have intolerances and food allergies. Low-quality food and treats may increase inflammation or worsen an already allergic reaction. There are so many benefits of natural dog treats. Natural dog treats are very easy for dogs to digest due to their high-quality ingredients. Natural dog treats have far superior ingredients with often no premium costs. Natural dog treats have a lot of nutritional value that regular chemical-filled dog treats just don't have.

Due to the healthy meat and grains in natural dog treats, these can help with your dog's weight management. Natural dog treats don't have any filler or high calories that regular dog treats do, meaning that even if you're trying to make your furry friend lose some weight, they can still be rewarded with treats. While being very beneficial to your dog's health, natural dog treats in the UK can also help prevent tooth decay as they contain calcium, phosphorous, and other rich minerals. Many regular dog treats contain unnatural sugars or other harmful ingredients to your dog's dental health.

What Should I Keep In Mind When Choosing Dog Treats?

There are plenty of things you'll want to keep in mind when you're selecting natural dog treats for your pup. These are a few things that you'll need to keep in mind:

1)      Ingredient source, you'll need to look at where the ingredients are sourced from. Many benefits of natural dog treats would be the fact that the packaging is very direct. It's very important that a product is manufactured in one country. Knowing which country the ingredients were sourced in will allow you to know what's best for your dog.

2)      Names of ingredients, not all-natural ingredients are good for your dog. It's very important to understand that. Some natural ingredients such as onions are extremely toxic to a dog. Be sure to check the names of the ingredients on the packaging. If you're seeing names that you don't recognize, then it could potentially be a red flag.

3)      Unwanted Fillers, you'll want to look at the number of ingredients on the packaging because some may be unwanted fillers that could do more harm than good to your dog.

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Is Chicken Meal Or Chicken By-Product Better For Dogs?

Is Chicken Meal Or Chicken By-Product Better For Dogs?

If you're a concerned dog owner, there's a good chance that you've seen certain terms such as chicken meal and chicken byproduct come up in relation to UK premium dog food, or just dog food in general.

You might then have found yourself wondering: is chicken meal or byproduct better for dogs?

Every dog owner – certainly every good and responsible dog owner – wants to do the best they can in order to help their canine companion to be happy, and to ensure that they have the best overall health, experience of life, and sense of well-being, so that they can thrive for many years to come.

Of course, questions relating to things like the best choice of dog food have a lot to do with the overall condition and well-being of your dog.

Here's a look at the topic of chicken meal, chicken byproduct, and the question is chicken meal or chicken byproduct better for dogs?

First Things First – The Terms Are Non-Specific And Will Tend To Mean Roughly The Same Thing

Essentially, the term "chicken meal" simply refers to a ground up variety of chicken parts that haven't been used in the main meat industry process of slaughtering and preparing a chicken for public consumption.

Sometimes, the term itself is criticised for being overly vague – because it can provide cover for certain unscrupulous dog food manufacturers and brands to hide potentially undesirable ingredients in their dog food, or to change the recipe and ingredients list significantly, without properly disclosing the details of these changes.

By comparison, the term "chicken byproduct" really just describes the same thing as chicken meal. Essentially, the leftovers of the poultry meat industry, which are then processed and added to things like dog food, in order to provide additional nutritional benefit.

Having Chicken Meal Or Other Components In Your Dog Food Can Be Significantly Nutritionally Beneficial

If you pay attention to some of the most extravagant UK premium dog food products out there, you will see that many of them place a lot of emphasis on the importance of having high quality animal products listed among the ingredients, in order to ensure that the dog that ends up consuming that brand of dog food benefits from the best and most natural "nutritional profile" for their breed and species.

While dogs are omnivores, they do require animal products to thrive – and the fact that animal products tend to be quite costly may be a barrier that gets in the way of the owner purchasing these foodstuffs.

Having chicken meal or other components or byproducts in your dog food can make it significantly better, nutritionally speaking, while also remaining affordable. 

Make A Habit Of Buying From Reputable Brands

Generally speaking, the best way of ensuring that the dog food you purchase is of a high quality standard, and that the chicken byproducts – and for that matter, any other ingredients – that it contains are wholesome, is to purchase your dog food from reputable brands.

In particular, it tends to be a good sign if the dog food brand in question is quite open about disclosing the specifics of their ingredients list.

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What Can You Put in a Cat Kong Toy?

What Can You Put in a Cat Kong Toy?

Cats are amazing pets that have been living with humans for thousands of years. A loyal pet deserves something special to play with. Kong toys are known for their durability but how can you make them work for your cat? Here are some ideas on what you can put in a cat kong toy and how you can adapt your cat's Kong toy to make it more fun and engaging.

Dry Food

Cat kibble such as GoCat is the perfect size to stuff inside a Kong toy. Putting their food inside the food is a great way to make eating their dinner more fun. If your cat tends to rush their meals, adding their food to a Kong can help them slow down and eat more slowly. If you feed your cat wet food, you might want to skip this option unless you are happy with gravy on your carpets. 

Cat Treats

If your cat isn't interested in eating their normal food out of a Kong, there are plenty of kitty treats that you can add instead. There is a wide variety of cat treats that can be easily placed in a Kong. The best type of treat to use is a kibble treat with a creamy center. These treats appear to be a firm favorite with cats, so adding them to the Kong will make the experience more enjoyable for them.

Frozen Chicken Soup

This one sounds great in theory until you try to keep the soup in the Kong! But it is possible to plug the holes and fill the inner section with soup. However, if you put the soup in the freezer for around 20 minutes, it will be slushy and easy to work with. Once it gets to this state, it is easier to pour in and keep there. Once the soup has frozen completely in the Kong, your cat will have hours of fun licking it out. 

Scrambled Eggs

There are certain foods that cats can eat, and eggs can be one of those gray areas. Cats cannot eat raw eggs as the proteins in eggs bind with vitamins and can cause a vitamin deficiency. Cats can eat cooked eggs. Boiled and scrambled eggs are an excellent option for cats as an occasional treat. If you do make scrambled eggs, it is important not to add anything extra, such as milk or butter, as dairy can have a bad effect on your cat's stomach.

Fruits

There are not a lot of fruits that a cat can eat but the ones that they can are great frozen. Bananas are fantastic frozen and can be mashed and stuck inside a Kong along with frozen blueberries. Chucks of peeled apple and melon are other great ideas. One thing that should not be fed to a cat is grapes as these are very poisonous to cats (and dogs).

Smashed Vegetables

If you are handy with a blender and have some leftover vegetables from your dinner, they are a great idea for inside a Kong. Cooked carrots, broccoli, and peas are mashed together and can be pushed inside the Kong. One thing you might want to avoid is spinach as it can cause crystals to form in the urinary tract. If you have a lot of leftover vegetables, you can freeze them in ice cube trays and pop one out for Kong when you need it. 

Chicken Pieces

Cats go crazy over fresh meat, and chicken is probably one of their favorites. It is important to remember that you are feeding them fresh chicken, it needs to be boneless. Although, there are many types of cooked meat that your cat can eat. We want to stress that this needs to be cooked meat with no bones and no fat. So cooked lean beef, cooked chicken breast, or diced liver that has been cooked are all excellent ideas to put in a Kong. If the thought of meat in the Kong doesn't appeal to you, you can pop some Meat Medley kibble into it instead. You may need to keep them restricted to around 20g of cooked meat so they don't overload themselves with calories. 

Fish

Fish comes in many forms so you have a lot of options to choose from but they aren't all suitable for cats. As a general rule, cats can technically eat any cooked fish. However, the issue is the small bones that can lodge in a cat's throat. Tinned tuna which has had the bones removed is one of the safer options for your cat, as are sardines. Yes, sardines have bones in them but they are so tiny they are not an issue for a cat to eat them. If you want to give your cat some fish without the worry of bones, Fish4Cats is perfect.

Binding Foods

Above we have listed a huge range of foods that are great for your cat, but when it comes to putting them in the Kong, they sometimes need something to hold it all together. And this is where the binding foods come in. Mashed sweet potatoes, cooked and cooled couscous, and bread crumbs are all food that can be used to bind the other foods together. These foods, especially the couscous and mashed sweet potato, are sticky and have an interesting texture. It will add another dimension to their playtime.

Catnip

Catnip is a member of the mint family that is known to have a surprising effect on cats. If you have ever seen a cat "high" on catnip, you will understand why they enjoy it so much. Catnip doesn't work on kittens and is best saved for older cats. If you would rather save your Kong toy for couscous and tuna stuffing, there are plenty of Kong toys that come pre-stuffed with catnip. Or if you fancy something different from catnip, you could try some hemp treats.

Conclusion

It is important to remember that there are plenty of foods that your cat can eat. On the flip side, there are plenty of human foods that are poisonous to cats. A list of things that you should never put in your cat's Kong are-

  • Chocolate
  • Coconut Milk
  • Seeds
  • Fat trimmings
  • Bread dough
  • Caffeine - This includes tea, coffee, and energy drinks
  • Raw food - This includes raw meat, raw fish, and raw eggs
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts
  • Cooked Bones
  • Chives
  • Grapes and raisins - Remember, raisins are sun-dried grapes 
  • Cheese and milk
  • Onions and garlic
  • Xylitol - This is a sugar substitute and can be found in many different human foods including chewing gum
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5 Fun Ways to Use a Kong Toy for Dogs

5 Fun Ways to Use a Kong Toy for Dogs

A Kong toy for dogs is far more than a simple treat filled toy to occupy your pet. A Kong treat toy for dogs is an almost certain way to keep your dog occupied! Did you know all the ways you can use your dog's Kong toy to keep them active and occupied? Ranging from more complicated do-it-yourself training exercises to simple puppy applications, your Kong toy for dogs is a versatile tool in both training and play. Here's just five of the most popular ways that you can use your Kong toy that your dog is sure to love.

Trying Freezing Your Kong Toy

Have a new puppy? Your Kong toy for dogs can be frozen either filled or unfilled to help relieve teething pain. Puppies are notorious chewers and much of that has to do with teething. You can fill your Kong with treats (or even peanut butter or pumpkin) and pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours before giving it to your puppy. The cool Kong will relieve teething pain and they'll still get their reward (bonus if it keeps them occupied!). This is also great for adult dogs on hot days as it's a nice cooling treat during the summer.

(Image Credit: Stumps and Rumps)

Use Your Kong as a Dental Chew

While you shouldn't use the Kong treat toy for dogs to replace regular teeth brushing, you can use it to help keep your dog's teeth clean and their breath fresh. The chewing action itself helps to produce saliva, clean teeth and massage gums. However, for a useful twist, simply smear some oral gel or paste on the Kong toy, then your dog will be brushing their own teeth while they enjoy their toy. This could get a bit messy, this one's best done outside!

Use as a Slow Feeder

If your dog is prone to gulping down their food, then you've probably done everything from using slow-feed bowls to portioning out their dinner to feed in stages. You can use your Kong treat toy to slow your pets feeding for healthy digestion. All you have to do is fill the Kong toy with your dog's regular dinner - be sure you get a size that you can stuff full enough that they have to work for the food - and give it to them in lieu of handing them a bowl of food. Slower eating aids in digestion and helps get as much nutrition from their food as possible, so this is a great trick even for dogs who don't gulp their food down. It can also give you precious time to eat your dinner without your dog begging for yours!

Hide Medication in Your Kong

Getting a dog to take a pill can sometimes be a huge headache, but if your dog loves their Kong treat toy, it just became easier. First, you need to make sure that their medications can be taken with food, then you hide the medication in wet food or peanut butter in the Kong treat toy. (You can even cut the pills into smaller pieces if you think that they might be able to pick out the pill.)

(Image Credit: Homes Alive Pets Blog)

Teach Your Dog Scent Work With a Kong

Kong treat toys for dogs are a great training tool, especially for scent work. You'll need high value treats - bacon or fish or something else that they love that has a strong scent. Stuff the Kong treat toy and hide it somewhere in your home. For your first few times working on this, you'll want an easy to find place; perhaps under a pillow or behind a chair is perfect. Keep a piece of the treat with you and let them both get a taste and a good sniff on it. You'll have to help them find it the first few times. Before long they'll have the game down and you'll have taught them the basics of scent work.

The Kong treat toy is a versatile and fun tool that you can use in a variety of ways to keep your dog entertained and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

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11 Best Organic Dog Treats on the Market

11 Best Organic Dog Treats on the Market

Dogs are considered a man's best friend and, as a dog owner, chances are you treat them like a member of your family, maybe even like a child. When you get more conscious about what you eat, it seems fitting that your furry friend is treated with the same respect. Feeding your dog goes further than just meat treats --you want to make sure they have the best, most wholesome treats you can find right? Well...what's better than organic?

If you have had any interaction with dogs, you know they have personalities, just like any of us. From being picky eaters to having allergies, your dog has needs just like you do, which is why you need to be watchful of your dog's eating habits so that you provide the best treats and food for them. Finding the just the right treats to give your dog can be rewarding for both you and your dog. Even though dog treats should only make up a small percentage of their diets, they are likely their most favorite!

This article will open a whole new world on not just any dog treats, but the best organic dog treats for your adorable canine friend. To ensure that the treats you buy are genuinely organic, companies manufacturing dog treats are required to show their certification check and ensure that all their ingredients are either grown or produced with no synthetics.

As luck would have it, finding healthy treats for your dog has become a simple task nowadays. Below is a list of organic treats if you are looking to make the move towards a healthier lifestyle for your dog. However, keeping your dog's specific dietary needs in mind is crucial when selecting what types of organic treats to get them.

1. Wet Noses All-Natural Peanut Butter Banana Treats

Ever seen those cute videos of dogs licking peanut butter off their noses or spoons. This is something like that but in biscuit form and less messy. This organic treat is jam-packed with lots of calcium and vitamin B. The peanut butter used here is completely safe for dogs, and the treats are baked with non-GMO verified ingredients.

2. Castor and Pollux Organix Organic Chicken Cookies

These chicken-flavored dog cookies make for an excellent healthy treat. Made with high quality, free-range chicken mixed with other organic ingredients such as: oats, green peas, brown rice, and barley, these cookies contain essential fatty acids from the chicken fat, making them a tasty yet heart healthy doggy treat.

3. 4Legz Organic All-Natural Crunchy Dog Treats

"Made with ingredients you can pronounce", is the slogan that makes these treats an exciting choice off the shelf. Made into the ideal bite-sized portions, these tasty treats are made from pure sweet potato puree, grown and harvested in the Pacific Northwest. They offer the ideal snack for sensitive dogs as they are free from sodium, corn, wheat and any artificial preservatives.

4. Trader Joe's Organic Chicken and Brown Rice Sticks

Coming in at a low 20 calories per stick, these chewy sticks, made from organic chicken and fiber-filled brown rice, offer a treat filled with nutritional value for the benefit of your dog.

5. Riley's Organics Pumpkin and Coconut Treats

You can almost smell the delicious scent of the coconut just by mentioning these yummy organic dog treats. These irresistible cookies feature the natural taste of both pumpkin and coconut. Made with only six organic ingredients, you can be rest assured that your dog won't snack on any added sugar, salt, or artificial preservatives. They come in an array of small or large bones, depending largely on the size of your dog.

6. Three Paw Gluten-Free Coconut 'Bacon' Bones

Treat your active four-legged friend to these gourmet flavored bone treats. Handmade from scratch and free from any grains and gluten, these coconut 'bacon' treats are another great organic dog treat option to have around for your furry friend. What's interesting about this snack is that they are vegan, despite the misleading 'bacon' in the name. The bacon comes from the hickory-smoked flavor that reminds you of bacon.

7. Green Butterfly Brands Organic Beef Sticks

Made from 100% human-grade ingredients, these sticks are sure to keep your dog's mouth occupied for a quite a while and still deliver vital nutrients. They are low in both fat and calories making them a perfect choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

8. Grandma Lucy's Organic Oven-Baked Range of Dog Treats

Grandma Lucy reminds us of the wholesome, down-home treats we used to get at grandma's. Offered in three varieties, these nutritious and highly digestible oven-baked treats, come in pumpkin, blueberry and apple. The recipes contain human-grade ingredients without any artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavorings.

9. Evanger's Nothing but Natural Jerky Treats

These treats make for a good training snack or overall treat owing to a blend of their wholesome ingredients. Made of real chicken, blueberries, cranberries, peas and carrots, the semi-moist treats are a well-rounded snack packed with all the goodness of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.

10. Buck Bone Organics Elk Antlers

Dogs generally love to chew, but some dogs love to chew--and chew--and chew some more. For these types of persistent chewers, elk antlers are a perfect treat for them. The Buck Bone Organics antlers are a specially hand-picked, grade-A bone harvested from the sheds of wild elk ideal for your dog to chew (and chew) on. Dogs especially love bones, and these elk antlers come in a variety; whole bones for the bigger, more aggressive chewer, while split bones are perfect for your smaller dogs.

11. Home-made Dog Treats.

For some, nothing but home-made will do. Knowing exactly what ingredients are used and ensuring they are all from reputable organic sources adds the peace of mind that you're providing the very best for your dog. If this seems a bit too time consuming and overwhelming, the organic treats mentioned here are all made of the highest quality, organic ingredients.

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5 Tricky Ways to Get Your Dog to Eat Dry Food

5 Tricky Ways to Get Your Dog to Eat Dry Food

We love our dogs, but they can be overly picky when it comes to their food. Whether you have to change their food due to veterinary recommendations, dietary needs or you just found a better option, it may be difficult to get your furry friend to comply with eating their new food. It is highly recommended that you mix your old dog food with the new food until they get used to it. But that doesn't always work. Here are 5 other ways to trick your dog into eating their new (or regular) food.

1. Exercise:

One great way to get your dog to eat food they might be hesitant to eat is to make sure they get plenty of exercise. Especially important for high energy breeds, exercise will make your dog hungry and more likely to eat any food you put in front of them, really.

If exercise is your dog's normal routine, then try to push them a little further. Take your dog for a longer walk or add in an extra play time with their favorite toy. An exercised dog is a hungry dog, and a hungry dog is a little less picky when it's time to eat.

Running with Dog

(Image Credit: BarkPost)

2. Add to it:

Another easy way to get your furry friend to eat that dry dog food is to add something to it. Consider some low sodium broth or even a small amount of wet food to get them more interested. Make sure that whatever you add to your dog's food is mixed in very well, otherwise they may just eat the added ingredient and leave the rest.

3. Make sure you aren't over feeding:

Some dogs may turn down even the best dry dog food if they are being overfed. Switching food sometimes means having to feed your dog a different amount. Some brands will have more nutritional value than others. If you are feeding your dog food that is better for them, then they might actually need less of it because they are getting all the required nutrients in less servings. Always consult with your vet before making any dietary changes.

4. Cut down on treats:

We love to spoil our dogs, but if they aren't eating their food, it may be time to cut down on treats.

Dog with treats

This includes their own treats as well as (heaven forbid!) table scraps. Dogs might not be tempted to eat even the best dry dog food if they know that they'll be getting table scraps at some point. Nothing tastes quite as good as something you shouldn't have. So try cutting down on table scraps and treats until they become more interested in their own food.

(Image Credit: PetMeds)

5. Stick to a routine:

Dogs love and crave consistency, especially when it comes to feeding. When trying to get them to eat, it's important to stay consistent. Dry dog food may not be the most exciting option, but they are more likely to eat consistently if they are fed at the same time every day. This also means that if they don't eat within a certain amount of time, their food should be removed.

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