Functional Dog Treats for Health Benefits: Dental care, bad breath & managing obesity
To make new media, many people think you need to come up with new buzz words. The concept of functional dog treats has been around for a while, but what does it really mean?
Functional treats claim to solve the following issues: dental health, weight loss, allergies & immune health, joint function but what else do they have in them? Is functional dog treats really a thing and are they different from healthy dog treats?
The theory is that Functional dog treats are ones with much more substance than just a junk food treat or ’empty calories’. Each functional treat is supposed to support a specific health purpose in your dog.
Some say that they need to contain a high level of these treats contain vitamins, essential oils, probiotics and amino acids (protein) that benefit your dog’s specific well-being.
From the get go, you should know if you have read any of the other articles on this site, this is exactly why we always recommend MEAT based dog treats. They are species (dog) specific. with the minerals and vitamins not just in some chemists wish list, but in actual natural correct amounts, and ratios. They are also bioavailable so that your dog will actually be able to use them, not pass them straight through or struggle to convert them to something useful.
So let’s look at the fine print of Functional dog treats, and assess if healthy dog treats are really the same:
Functional Dog Treats for Dental Care/Bad Breath:
For a long time, we have been recommending the harder 100% meat jerky and tendons for assisting removal of tartar and plaque on dog’s teeth. We do this as the dog gets amazing nutrition from the meat, as well as their teeth cleaned, as they would in the wild.
Most forms of wet and dry commercial dog food stick to a dog’s teeth leading to bad build-up and corrosion of the surface.
The bad odour in a dogs mouth is usually from little bits of grain left behind from eating dog food pellets or anything that easily flakes off and is not swallowed. Dogs feed on a raw diet, and eating healthy dog treats rarely have bad mouth odour issues.
We do sell bulk biscuits that have mint and parsley to freshen up a dogs breath, and charcoal biscuits to assist upset stomachs. But many people prefer their dog treats straight up meat or bone!
If you really want to scrape a dog’s teeth naturally, not with a toothbrush or a vet visit, then we recommend bones. If big regular shaped bones are too risky for you, or your dog is too small the get the use, we recommend lambs necks and roo tail pieces, as the honeycomb structure is perfect for NATURALLY getting a good teeth clean while the meat provides exceptional nutrition.
the ‘Miracle’ of our functional treats, are they are 100% natural (really natural, as in meat based) they usually take time to eat (provide a distraction), and they have incredible nutrition behind everything your dog consumes.
If you don’t like giving your dog an artificial green compressed vegetable matter. expensive stick of no nutritional value, to your dog, then why not try something 100% natural?
FUNCTIONAL Dog Treats for reducing obesity or pancreatitis
We have written whole articles about this subject matter before.
A note on pancreatitis is that is a very serious disease, and you should always consult with your vet. But from our reading, we see that low fat treats, used in conjunction with a calorie controlled low fat main dog food diet, can still be very beneficial to these dogs.
In summary, the main issues if a dog is overweight, if it is able to walk ok, is that it is fed too much (or of the wrong stuff) or it is not given regular exercise off lead.
We never recommend artificially LOW or NO fat treats, as these are over processed and often not that healthy for a dog.
You need to use the most natural treats (made of meat) that you can get, and they are typically fish or kangaroo 100% original and just dried. These treats have around 2-4 % natural fat levels, and they are mostly the “good fats”.
Some sites suggest using treats with added ‘ L-carnitine” for added weight loss, but this is just one of the essential amino acids that you will find in meat protein.
In this article, we have looked at ‘functional treats’ for your dog teeth and gums, and for keeping them slim. The natural Meat based solutions are ALWAYS better for your dog (unless they are allergic to meat)!