Frozen dog treats – dangers and much healthier summer options
Summer in Australia and people are spending more times at home on holidays or trying their best to keep their dogs cool.
These are all commendable things, however there is a dangerous trend of owners taking the advice of junk websites and feeding dogs ‘human food’. Mostly fruit inside of large clumps of ice.
Top THREE reasons NOT to feed your dog fruit frozen dog treats
1. Fruit is full of carbs, ie mostly fructose (simple sugars). While dogs like almost every animal on earth likes sugar, it can increase their weight without any nutritional benefit, raise blood sugar levels leading towards diabetes and lead to obesity (as the sugar is easily converted to fat in their body).
2. Ice can break your dog’s teeth. While people are sometimes concerned about feeding their dogs bones, Ice presents just as much of a tooth danger. Ice is hard and can easily fracture teeth, leading to pain and expensive vet visits.
3. If you feed low fructose fruit treats to your dog, all you are doing is adding more water and fibre, stuff that they can get in regular dog food plus water. If the fruit has any sugar you are feeding your dog fructose at the expense of bioavailable MEAT protein.
IDEAL SUMMER DOG TREATS – even frozen.
1 Try Substituting meat for fruit….
Your dog already probably gets a massive grain or potato load in their commercial dog food (up to 70%) because its cheap, not because of nutrition. To rebalance this you should divert any extra kilojoules from treats to meat and not fruits. Dogs barely get enough meat amino acids which are bioavailable and can be fully used by your dog – so its always better to add meat to their diet wherever you can, not empty fruit or grain calories.
2 If you want to feed your dogs treats in frozen water, why not try meat treats like beef or Roo jerky? Some dogs dont have very strong teeth or jaws (because of old age or small size) so freezing these kinds of longer chewing meat jerkies can make them softer and easier to eat when thawed.
3 You can always fill up several litre plastic soda bottles with water and have them for the dogs to lie next to if they are outside in summer during the day. Ice ought be used for cooling your dogs body temperature, not hiding empty calorie fruit.
4 Use robust dog treat balls filled with things like meat ball dog treats. Ours are 80% meat which are up to THREE times the amount of meat found in many dog food brands. This means when your dog actually gets the balls out, they are being rewarded with nutrition, not bad sugars.
Frozen dog treats perfect examples
1 Beef Jerky NOT Water melon
Beef Jerky dog treat
NOT Water Melon
Besides dogs never eating water melon in the wild, it is mostly water.
The only reason dogs eat it, is the crunch and sugar. But dogs dont need sugar injected into their blood from food. They already get too much of that from the carbs in grain in ‘regular’ dog food.
The reason dogs NEED beef jerky, is that while beef and chicken are the two major types of meat in most commercial dog foods, they are only supplied to meet the bare minimum requirement of the aafco tables. And because Grain proteins supply the bulk of the proteins and they are not bioavailable as meat is, your dogs are not getting enough useful protein.
If you feed your dog beef jerky not only are they likely to eat it (as its supposed to be in their main meal) but you are supplying the true form of essential amino acids they can actually use for their nutrition.
2 Kangaroo JERKY Not Strawberries or blue berries
Kangaroo Jerky dog treat
NOT Blue Berries
The random blogs that have act as link bait to encourage you to visit their site and have advertisers pay the article writer don’t have any clue about dog nutrition. You will usually notice that actual relevant (dog) nutrition is barely mentioned, and the photos are staged to make them attractive to a human mind. They have nothing to do with what the dog needs.
The reason that I have chosen blue berries in this article is that some brands are using these on the front of the pack of their dog food to entice you to buy them. Like they are selling you cereal, which pretty much they are.
HOWEVER if you check where they are in the list of ingredients, they are often around the 20 or 30 mark on the list. This means that they are included as a trace element at the most. The reason they do this is because they are expensive, and besides sugar (fructose) they mainly add anti oxidants, that in dried form are not that effective.
Dogs in the wild eat a small amount of berries, if at all, when they are desperate. AND just for the sugar for energy, not for nutrition.
3 Any fish dog treat NOT mango
HOKI dog treat
By now you might recognise a trend. Fruit is of neutral value if any at all. But the worst thing is that it is used at the expense of real nutrition from meat based dog treats.
Recently I read an article that a famous Australian smoothie shops mango smoothie has up to double the amount of sugar than a can of Coke, and often the fibre (the main value it could contribute) is removed. The point here is that a massive amount of sugar from the mango, means a massive amount of energy (Kilojoules), and you will have to sacrifice real food as fish dog treats so your dog doesn’t get obese.
If you want to use an organic really healthy, and usually low fat dog treat you will consider our Hoki, flake, or octopus. If you want arthritis relief and joint building compounds you will use Green lipped mussels or shark cartilage. And even though sardines have fat only slightly less than beef and chicken meat, the fat is the ‘good kind’ high in Omega 3 etc.
If you want to add fruit or vegetables as the main frozen dog treat, go with the lowest sugar ones.
Just because you are giving your dog a frozen dog treat, doesn’t mean you can’t make it nutritious. Including dried meat dog treats is ideal because they have been cooked and so the bad bacteria has been killed.
A note on Fruit and herbs not being ideal for dogs
” Herbivores have a high ability to extract nutrition from plant matter as the result of their ability to ferment it, and therefore have a high coefficient of fermentation. Carnivores aren’t equipped to do this and therefore have a low coefficient of fermentation. Interestingly, the coefficient of fermentation is similarly low in both dogs and cats.” The omnivore camp often quote how wolves are big grain and berry eaters, also purposefully eating the stomach contents just for a herbivore lunch, but again that has been grossly overstated. ” The wolf myth. Wolf researchers have concluded that wolves are clearly carnivorous. The current literature demonstrates that foraging is a tiny percentage of a wolf’s intake, and that wolves tend to leave stomach contents behind after a kill.” Ref 3
They go onto say that while researchers have “found a few genes that reflect a (plant eating) adaptation in dogs. .. just a few genes’ difference is regarded as an adaptive shift to a condition (not a change in eating class). These (genes) alone can’t possibly alter the entire digestive evolution of a species.” Ref 3