A pet’s love affair with treats is as old and deep as the sea itself. Well, maybe we’re being a bit dramatic, but all pet owners know how much their pets enjoy treats. From the humble Milk-Bone to the gourmet, handmade pet treats that are so prevalent these days, it can be tough to figure out what’s safe and healthy for our pets.

We are big fans of treats here at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, and we want to help you make informed choices when it comes to selecting the treat that’s right for your pet.

The Big “No-Nos”

There are a surprising number of dangers among certain treats. Balancing the risks and benefits is key when selecting a treat for your pet. Especially hearing about so many recalls in the news. Some of the problems that may result from treats include:

  • Exposure to pathogens, such as Salmonella or E.coli
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Weight gain

We recommend staying away from the following types of treats for your pet’s safety:

  • Anything very hard, such as animal bones or antlers
  • Pig ears, rawhide chews, and treats not manufactured in the U.S.A.
  • Animal-based treats from animal parts that are not fully processed

Hidden Calories

The obesity epidemic has not forgotten our pets, and with so many pets falling into the overweight or obese categories, it’s more important than ever before to consider the calorie content of pet treats. Making your own treats out of cooked fruits and veggies, lean meats, or other safe and low-calorie ingredients is a great way to provide treats that are both tasty and nutrient dense.

Dental Chews and Treats

Dental chews are popular as a way to help a pet’s teeth stay clean, but not all dental products are created equal. Some dental chews can break into larger pieces and pose a choking hazard, and the ingredients vary widely among brands. Before you buy, check the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s website for a list of safe pet dental products that have been shown to support dental health.

Local Pet Treats

Gourmet pet treats are all the rage, and boutique companies are popping up across the country that offer delicious, healthy nibbles. By supporting locally-owned pet treat companies, you can keep your money right here in our community while providing your pet with some amazing treats:

  • Maestros Dog Haus—Located right here in Bloomfield Hills, Maestros offers an assortment of treats made in the store with locally-sourced ingredients. Also available in the shop are commercial and specialty dog foods and products.
  • Happy Howie’s—These all-natural, meat based dog treats are manufactured in downtown Detroit and are available for purchase at various locations throughout the area.

We Can Help

Your veterinarian or your friends at OVRS are happy to help you select the right treats for your pet. Give us a call for more information!