Dog Treats

What Should I Watch for in Dog Treats? 

Our beloved furry friends trust us to provide the love and nourishment to keep them happy, healthy, and wagglingly cheerful from head to tail! 

Dog treats are: 

  • A staple in many dog owners’ households 
  • Serving as a reward for good behavior 
  • A way to bond with our furry friends 

These treats offer delightful flavors to make any dog drool, promoting oral health and reducing stress.  

All dog treats may look and taste good, but not all have the ingredients to keep our dogs healthy. As pet parents, it’s essential to understand what goes into the treats we give our furry friends, including food that promotes strong muscles, bones, heart health, and a gorgeous coat. 

However, not all dog snacks and treats are made equal, and it’s essential to understand what goes into these treats. As responsible pet parents, it’s up to us to treat our canine companions with nutrient-rich food for stronger muscles & bones and heart health—all encased within glimmering fur coats! 

Here are some key factors you must consider when choosing the best dog treats. 

Facts about Dog Treats: Everything You Should Know 

Dogs find treats irresistible because they’re not part of their regular diet. But it’s essential to give them in moderation to maintain their dietary balance and avoid health issues such as weight gain. Some human foods, including chocolate, grapes, raisins, and avocados, can be dangerous and cause digestive problems or death.  

Avoid harmful ingredients such as BHA/BHT, white flour, artificial colors, MSG, gluten, and brewer’s rice when choosing treats. Opt for healthy, soy-free treats made with fresh ingredients and free from corn syrup and pea protein – they make p-awesome treats!  

What to Look for in Dog Treas? 

When shopping for dog treats, it’s essential to consider the following factors: 

  • Ingredients:  

Look for high-quality, natural ingredients and avoid artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. Also, check the ingredients list for any allergens your dog may be sensitive to. 

  • Artificial Preservatives:  

Artificial preservatives, such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), are commonly used in dog treats to extend shelf life. However, BHA has been linked to cancer and other health problems in dogs, so it’s best to avoid treats that contain this harmful ingredient and look for natural alternatives, such as vitamin E. 

  • Protein Source: 

It’s important to choose treats that contain high-quality protein, such as meat, fish, or poultry. Avoid treats that contain filler ingredients, such as corn, wheat, or soy, which provide little to no nutritional value for your dog. 

  • Purpose:  

Some treats are formulated to address specific health concerns, such as dental health, joint support, or weight management. Consider your dog’s needs and choose treats to support them. 

  • Manufacturing Process:  

When choosing treats, pay attention to their source and manufacturing process. Opt for treats made in the USA with strict regulations and avoid high heat processing as it can destroy essential nutrients. Instead, choose treats made with slow-baking or dehydrating methods that preserve more nutrients. 

  • Brand Reputation:  

Investing in a reputable brand can make all the difference in your pet’s health and well-being. Before making a purchase, research the brand, read customer reviews, and seek your veterinarian’s advice to ensure you’re getting the best products for your dog. 

What Does BHA Do to Dogs? 

BHA – or Butylated Hydroxyanisole – is a preservative used in dog treats and pet food to prevent fat spoilage and oxidation. Although classified as a “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) substance by the FDA, BHA usage in pet food has decreased as manufacturers shift to using natural preservatives like Vitamin E and rosemary extract.  

BHA’s safety has been debated as studies suggest a connection between long-term exposure to high levels of BHA and an increased risk of cancer in laboratory animals. BHA is not recommended for pets with sensitivities or certain health conditions. 

BHA is also found in various pet food products – not just dog treats – so checking the ingredient list when purchasing any pet food is essential. Additionally, when looking for no BHA dog treats, you must also steer clear of preservatives like BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), which is chemically similar to BHA and has similar health concerns. 


It’s always best to check the ingredient list of dog treats and consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s diet or potential food allergies or sensitivities. 

At Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists, your pet’s health is our top priority. Don’t hesitate to bring your furry friend to us in a food emergency — our emergency team is available 24/7. Contact us right away for more queries or services! 

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