'Tis the season for some treat givin'! The perfect pleasure to stuff your dog's stocking - (cmon we know they have a stocking!) - treats, bones, antlers and more are delicious editables and our personal way of thanking our pets for their love and warmth !
Just like shopping for friends or family members, there are choices galore. Any devoted pet parent will be left wondering what flavors and types of treats are best for their buddies. Thankfully, we are here to describe some of the options.
Soft Treats vs. Hard Treats
Softer treats are great for small or older pets, as well as those in training. Using soft treats as rewards for training allows for quick consumption, less distraction, and keeps the thought process on the behavior rewarded.
Hard treats, or classic treats, maybe be too chewy or difficult for smaller teeth. But they are also less likely to contain corn syrup or gelatin products in them.
At Buddies Pet Spa and Boutique, we carry treats made from Carberry Kitchen in Weymouth, MA, which are softer, and easily broken up. We also have classic & baked treats from the New England Dog Biscuit Company in Salem, MA.
All are human grade with natural ingredients !
Dogs tend to lean towards savory flavors, with cheese, peanut butter, and fish being top favorites!
Bones vs. Antlers
Bones, the classic choice and natural dog emblem, can be found just about anywhere. White bones, meaty bones, smoked bones, marrow bones - you name it! They can be full and hard, or hollow, or filled with special flavoring. Be on the lookout for where bones come from, and whether they have been bleached, or shipped from overseas. Often, bones with stuffing will have ingredients like corn syrup or other unnatural preservatives in them. However, a good, healthy, local bone will have much to offer in flavor, juiciness, and entertainment for your dog.
Antlers or horns, the more unique choice, are great for tough chewers. They can be purchased whole or sliced, where the sliced pieces expose the inside which is softer.They will not splinter, and wear down slowly as a dog chews on them. Deer or elk shed their antlers naturally, so antlers will come harvested from the forest, with no harm to the animals. Owners of dogs with allergies swear by them. The bone texture is also beneficial towards tooth and gum cleanliness.
Buddies carries bones all made in the USA, and our antlers are harvested from Cape Cod. We have sizes big and small, whole and sliced, for any dog!
We hope that with these descriptions, shopping for your pet will be a little easier.
No matter what, they will certainly love any gift they receive this holiday season!
Let's face it - whether you just got a new puppy or kitten, or you're deciding to switch your pet over to a healthier option, you don't know where to begin. Whether you shop at a boutique, large pet store, or a general convenience / supermarket, the options are endless. This article will not be suggesting or siding with any one brand or style in particular, but we will outline some tips & guidelines to help you along the way!
Over the years pet nutrition knowledge has in creased immensely - and just like with people, companies now strive to market all natural pet food and have the best options available. Commercial food, while more convenient, is ultimately processed food. Large brands will sometimes not be making their own food, and the larger the scale the more oversights that can happen.
Be cautious also with ingredients, often protein comes from parts of an animal that humans have no use of for consumption. Always make sure to research a specific brand, and see where their food is coming from.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has established guidelines to govern claims a pet food company can make on its label.
*If the food lists a single ingredient, it must contain 95% of that ingredient, not including water
*Phrases like "dinner", "platter", and "entree" means the food must contain at least 25% of the named ingredient . If it states "with" another ingredient, then it contains at least 3% of that ingredient.
On the label, foods with heavier weight (usually that contain moisture) will be listed first. Proteins that are dehydrated for dry food will appear further down the list.
Grain-free foods are not only options for animals that have allergies, but many pet owners choose a grain-free diet for their dog or cat. Pets may also have allergies to soy, potatoes or meat (such as chicken or beef). Some owners also prefer to utilize a raw diet for their pets. While cats are a little closer to their wild cousins, dogs are more domesticated, and their diets should be adjusted. There has not been much research on feeding dogs a raw diet, but so far there is little to know about whether it substantially provides them nutrients.
The big decision now is: Dry food, Wet Food, Dehydrated Food, or Home-made food?
Dry Food: The most convenient, and can be left out for a pet to eat at their leisure. It is easy to measure out, and easier to buy in bulk. Some foods will also help with tooth and gum problems (but if your pet has missing teeth it's best to keep them off harder food). Kibble will have a reduced fat content in order to maintain their shape, so look for a brand to make up for the nutrients. Also, since it is dry, make sure dogs get the water content they need, especially in hotter weather.
Wet Food: Many animals do not get the hydration they need, so feeding wet food can give them the moisture their bodies need. Usually contain less or no synthetic preservatives compared to dry food. Also great for older or ill dogs that have difficulty eating, or may find richly smelling food more enticing. However, wet food can be messy and spoils quickly after opening.
Dehydrated Food: Dry, but all you need to do is add water. You can mix it with other wet, dry, or home made food, or even broth. Dehydrated means the food has not been processed at higher temperatures, and therefore it contains more nutrients. Great for digestibility and a source of protein. Can work as an in-between if trying out new diets for your pet.
Home-made Food: If you are more comfortable cooking up a meal for your pet, then make sure to research animal nutrition, specific diets, and consult with your veterinarian. Never feed them random dinner scraps! Know the science behind their diet, their breed, and any conditions such as allergies. Home-made means you know everything your pet is eating, and they will always have happy bellies. For more tips on home-made, check out these links: The Bark, PetMD,Founders Vet, Know Better Pet Food
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