What dog treats can you use for dog food?
It was only a few centuries ago that the majority of ‘tame’ dogs were still allowed to catch their own food in the wild or around the farm. In the early days of dog domestication, most dogs in the terrier class were used to find and kill and eat vermin. The only reason that they would be stopped from eating the vermin were if the vermin/rodents were sick. Except for infections these dogs were far healthier than the average non exercised modern day dog, because of diet and exercise.
Flash forward to the 21st century and most owners prefer to place a few handfuls of grain, with a side order of average to below average meat into a bowl for their dogs (its called kibble or pellets).
Even the best branded, most expensive dog food is still grain or vegetable based which is taking a dog to the far limits of the nutrition they need to perform basic bodily tasks like body maintenance, let alone dog body repair tasks and removal of oxidants.
What dog treats can you substitute as dog food?
Your dog food seller and maybe a few vets will tell you that its dangerous to feed a dog anything but grain from their shelves. And if you have to swap over to vegetables (on their shelves) then so be it. But the truth is dogs thrive on meat as their main meal. If you don’t want to prepare raw meat and offal and bones in the right proportion for your dog, meat based dog treats are an ideal option.
Because of the low meat quantity in most dog food (30% max) it would take a lot of raw meat or meat based dog treats to reach the preferred 80-90% total meat proportion in a domestic dogs diet.
The main thing that dog food will give your dog that meat might not is an over abundance of vitamins and minerals. The affco tables that your dog food maker is guided by uses vitamin and mineral levels that no NATURAL combination of foods (meat or vegetable) can reach. HENCE ensuring that most people use manufactured dog food by being scared into it.
However even dog nutrition books such as the Canine and Feline Nutrition book (Mosby publishers) admit that you can replace up to 25% of a dogs grain diet with MEAT and still achieve those table recommendations.
So the point here is REPLACE, not ADD. The Kj energy value of grain and dried meat are around the same, so you can replace on a weight per weight basis. Make sure that the treats are HIGH meat percentage such as Blackdog (80% plus) or our Bruce Brand jerkies (100% meat). If you are using anything besides Meat based dog treats you are just giving your dog more grain and no real nutrition advantage.
I always prefer a meat source my dog doesn’t get as his regular main meal, so that there is protein and fats diversity for his health. For most people that means selecting kangaroo or the fish based dog treats …