DRBC hopes this guide helps you and your dog to a longer, happier, and healthier life. The information presented is meant to be a guide as you look for the proper nutritional program for your pet. The best program begins and remains with your veterinarian. Always include them in your discussion on diet or any other changes to your pets’ lifestyle. Be sure to make that discussion a part of your semi-annual veterinary visits.
DRBC has developed a dietary approach aimed at sound health and long life. The building blocks of this program can be found by using the menu below.
Trick or Treat
OK, we are not talking about Halloween in this section, but instead want to build an awareness of a sound approach to the quantity and quality of the treats appropriate for your dog. Navigating through the vast amount of treats available is easier than you think. Let’s apply some simple rules.
The rules for quality are simple:
- You must be willing to eat one of the treats you are prepared to give your dog.
Why? We are both mammals, and although we look very different, many of the things that affect blood pressure and overall cardiac, liver, and kidney function are similar. Many highly-marketed treats are high in sodium and contain preservatives and other chemicals that can be harmful to your dog over time.
- The treat must be safe, easily digestible, and nutritious.
We are always asked ‘what about…’, so let’s talk through some examples.
- Rawhide, Pigs Ears, and Hooves – I can’t think of a time of year that there isn’t an opportunity for get-togethers with family and friends. Imagine that instead of your normal array of snacks and appetizers, a can of lard and a bowl of toenails were left out for consumption. Ridiculous, right? OK, what do you think pig’s ears and rawhide are to the body? And hooves, when was the last time you saw a cow headed to the shower to wash off what they accidentally stepped on out in the field? Enough said.
- Freeze Dried Meat Strips – Somehow you skipped rule one on this and are still thinking about giving them. Look at the sharp edges and strange shapes. I see GI surgery in your future. Please recognize that a GI perforation or blockage can be deadly. Wait, why did they call this a treat? Humm..
Big sad eyes seem to be the rule for almost every dog we meet. So here are the most important rules to follow here:
- Don’t be taken in by ‘the look’, they are not that hungry.
- Appropriate and nutritional treats in small quantities are best for overall health.
Remember, two treats a day given consistently are probably fine. Calories count, and too many treats can make your dog overweight, quickly decreasing the quality and quantity of the years you will have with your special friend.
Our personal doxies and foster dogs all enjoy treat time. Here is what we use and recommend to you as a selection of nutritious treats:
- Fresh Tomatoes – 1/8 cup per day
- Baby Carrots – Two per Day
- Orange or Grapefruit Segments – 1/8 cup per Day
- Flour based, Size-Appropriate Commercial Treats – Two per Day
- Green Beans – Four per Day
- Apple Bits – 1/8 Cup per Day
- Bananas –2 Inches per Day
- Strawberries – 2 per Day
- Watermelons - 1/8 cup per day
NOTE: Grapes, raisins, prunes, plums, and cherries are toxic to dogs and are off our list as they may cause irreversible kidney failure. Never use frozen or canned items! This should give you a healthier and more cost-effective approach to treat time.
NOTE: Nutrition is part of the overall wellness plan you should discuss with your veterinarian. The information contained in this website and on this page specifically represent that of the DRBC organization. All of our decisions on diet are discussed with our veterinarians on a routine basis.