Are Dog Treats Causing Obesity.

Are Dog Treats Causing Obesity.

Leading Pet Treats Stuffed Full of Calories

Gravy Bones by the Sackful
Sack fulls of Gravy Bones are stored for movement to the stores.

Are Some Popular Treats Harming Our Pets>: Research recently completed by Direct Line Pet Insurance reveals that many dogs and cat treats are far higher in calories than a Big Mac.  

One of the most serious problems is the calorie and fat content and the level of obesity this could cause.

This is rarely shown on the packaging, making it impossible for pet owners to choose natural and healthy treats and food.

The treats I use and sell are all totally natural as nature intended and very low in fat and calories. All are air dried rather than cooked, therefore maintaining the goodness without anything artificial. The very best available.

Direct Line states that there are many well known high street brands that are high in gut-busting ingredients. One of the worst is the very popular Pedigree Gravy Bones for dogs, with Purina’s Bonio’s coming a close second.

Bonio dog treats, at 323 calories per 100g, contain around 53% more calories than a McDonald’s Big Mac burger. Gravy bones will be in excess of that. One Bonio dog biscuit has 78 calories, about 7% of an adult Labrador’s daily allowance if it is exercised normally. Far more for a smaller dog.

Let us remind ourselves of the makers of all of the treats named and tested in this research. They are Pedigree and Purina. Pedigree is owned by the Mars Corporation and Purina is owned by Nestle. Their main flagship food is Pedigree and Bakers.

These two brands are the biggest selling dog food products in the UK, yet I believe they may be the worst for ingredients, calories, and additives. The research from direct line talks about calories, and that is very important. However it is often the Es, preservatives, and additives that are routinely added to dog food and treats, that may be the greatest threat. Every treat that was mentioned in this research was made by Pedigree and Purina. Why does that not surprise me?

Clearer Labeling: I have written an article on Bakers and Pedigree Dog Food, listing contentious ingredients such as; cereals, meat derivatives, sugars, fats, vegetable derivatives, colourants, antioxidants, and preservatives. See bottom of article.

Cocker Waiting For a Treat But Will It be Healthy?
Cocker Waiting For a Treat But Will It be Healthy?

When I wrote the original article in December 2013, Bakers had 13 separate E-numbers in their Bakers Complete Dog Food. I do not believe that the ingredients have changed since then.

10 of these E-numbers have been flagged as causes of concern at different levels. That is more than 2/3 that are seen as controversial.

Marc Abraham, a vet, and animal welfare campaigner said: “Animal obesity is on the rise and as pet owners, it’s up to us to control how much and what type of food our pets eat.

he also said “I would be delighted to see calorie information made available on all pet treats and believe it would have a positive impact in helping tackle the country’s growing pet obesity crisis.

I agree with Marc, but I would go much further and say that pet food and treats must have far clearer labelling.

I would prefer a whole restructure and law change regarding full disclosure of additives, ingredients, Es and calorie content. America has far more stringent requirements than the UK when it comes to pet product labelling.

It has been said that over 50% of our dogs and cats are overweight. Obesity can lead to numerous life-threatening health problems, the most common of which is arthritis and heart conditions in dogs, and diabetes in cats.

Dogs Calorie Content
Calorie content per 100g (calories per recommended serving size) Pedigree Gravy Bones 343 (14) Bonio Dog Biscuits 323 (78) Winalot Shapes 320 (16) Misfits Wonky Chomps 304 (255) Bakers Allsorts Whirlers 269 (23):

Cats Calorie Content
Dreamies Cat Treats 415 (21) Whiskas Temptations 415 (16) Felix Goody Bag Original Mix 401 (60) Felix Crispies 386 (46) Whiskas Dentabites 343 (14) 

I own five dogs, and I only ever use or sell treats that are totally natural. The ones I sell are all air-dried and low in fat and have no other additives. Natural Healthy Dog Treats

© Stan Rawlinson “The Ethical Behaviourist”
June 2015. Updated regularly the last update November 2017

Further Reading

Natural Dog Treats

Dog Food and Behaviour

The High Protein Myth in Dog Food

Bakers and Pedigree

Natural Healthy Dog Treats

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