We’ve all heard it said before, “You are what you eat.” Well, the same goes for our cats and dogs. We all like to give our pets treats, especially to reward good behaviour or to let them know we love them but, not all treats are the same. Some could be the cause of excessive gas emanating from your beloved friend.
I sat down with Katharina from The Golden Bone Bakery to hear what she had to say on the issue. Having a furry friend of my own who perpetually farts (the silent but deadly kind), I was keen to pick her brain to see if she had a possible solution.
Katharina help me! Why does my Madison fart so much?
Well, that could depend on how often you give her treats. Many sugars used in treats are difficult for pets to digest. When a treat is not able to digest properly it gets fermented by bacteria in the colon. This bacteria produces excess gas that results in farting.
I think we all agree that excessive farting is a health issue that makes our pets uncomfortable. But feeding your furry friend continuously with low quality dog treats or salty/spicy table scraps can lead to serious health issues in the long run.
My Madison is a really good girl and I like to reward her, are you saying I shouldn’t give her treats anymore?
My advice is simple: read the ingredients listed on any food product you feed to your pet. It can be quite difficult to spot unhealthy treats in supermarkets or pet shops, as most pet treat producers make the packaging look really healthy and natural but use the cheapest ingredients when producing their products.
Can you give me an example?
I often read ‘All natural soft treats!’ but to keep a treat soft with a long shelf life artificial preservatives and other chemical additives are needed. Xanthan gum, for example, is one of these additives that is used as a stabilizer. It is sugar based with little nutritional value for your pet and can cause allergic reactions like farting.
Many ordinary supermarket treats contain added sugars and excessive fats to give the treat extra flavour and a sweet taste, but this can lead to obesity and dental problems in the long run. If a pet treat includes ingredients you can’t pronounce or you have never heard of before, don’t buy them.
So what should I look out for when buying Madison a treat?
If you read ‘meat by-products’ on the label chances are it isn’t real quality meat. Look for chemical additives such as added flavour or added colours. One of the hardest additives to spot are sugars. Many producers know that pet owners are becoming more health conscious and don’t want to give their pets extra sugars, so they use trivial names such as sucrose, glucose, or dextrose which are all sugars you should avoid in your choice of treat. Never give your dog products that include Xylitol. This is a sugar substitute often found in peanut butter or sugar free foods and is highly toxic for dogs.
Also, keep your hands off treats imported treats. Some are contaminated with melamine which causes kidney failure and death in dogs and cats.
So what do you suggest for a good treat?
Today we know that cats are obligate carnivores which means they must eat meat to survive. They don’t actually need vegetables and carbs in their diets, so look for 100% meaty cat treats including fish treats. At The Golden Bone Bakery we offer delicious Cat Munchies which are made of 100% Australian lamb lung. Dogs who enjoy fruits and veggies will love you for giving them some here and there. I know many dogs that love the crunchy sound of munching on a fresh carrot!
A golden rule is to feed your pet no more than 10% of its daily diet in treats. In regards to meat, ask your local butcher the next time you’re there if they have any raw beef bones for your dog to chew on. Never give your furbaby cooked bones, as they are prone to split and can cause internal injury. Safe choices to send your pet into chewing heaven are our goat horns and deer antlers. Their mineral rich marrow is nutritious, delicious and keep your dog occupied for longer.
But isn’t it more expensive to buy healthy treats?
Paying a few more dollars for treats that you know are good for your pet and do not cause long term health issues is the best investment you can make towards ensuring they have a long, healthy, and happy life. Continual consumption of bad food can lead to obesity in your pet which can lead to osteoarthritis, cancer, respiratory, and heart diseases or diabetes. These health issues can cost you an arm and a leg for medication and treatment, not to mention the potential suffering they can cause due to the risk of a reduced lifespan for your furbaby.
Before I started The Golden Bone Bakery and creating our own treats, our dog Jett suffered from a lot of farting. We decided to look into it further and play with different healthy ingredients such as turmeric, organic cold pressed coconut oil, and herbs like parsley and rosemary. After changing what we were feeding Jett we noticed that Jett passed much less smelly winds, his breath smelled better, and even his fur showed less dandruff and more shine.
So, a tasty, healthy treat isn’t an oxymoron after all?
No, you can have both! There are so many great treats that are nutritious and super delicious too. I love giving Jett our Golden Bone Bakery’s Beef Hooves, for example, because they are filled with kangaroo mince which is very tasty as well as nutritious.
Our supportive veterinarian Dr Gillian Sylvestre from Little Critters Peterinary Care in Ipswich is actively included in every research and development phase for our new recipes. We started off with our four low fat vegan treat flavours including vitamin rich pumpkin, beetroot, carob and carrot, and healthy herbs like parsley and mint.
A couple of months ago we added our meaty Puppy Lamb treats to our portfolio of crunchy biscuits. We love the antimicrobial effects of organic cold pressed coconut oil which we use in our whole crunchy biscuit range. All of our meaty long-term chews such as our beef hooves filled with Kangaroo mince. Plus our goat horns, deer antlers, and range of dehydrated ears and jerky are perfect for keeping teeth and gums healthy.
It’s so important to give our pets treats to reward their good behaviour. Spoiling your best friend with delicious, clean and healthy treats is fun for both of you: it deepens the wonderful bond between you and your pet while having a good conscious that you are treating them with the best!
A big thanks to The Golden Bone Bakery for answering our questions