At some point as a pet owner, you have probably felt overwhelmed by the plethora of dog products on the market today. From the healthiest foods to the safest toys to the best collars, selecting the right ones can be daunting. Choosing treats or chews for your dog is a tough decision, too, due to the sheer number of varieties.
Chewing is an essential behavior for dogs and it’s very important for their mental as well as dental health. It can help eliminate behavioral problems, act as a training tool and alleviate boredom. Dogs explore with their noses and mouths, so selecting the right chew is essential. Among the various chews and treats found in pet stores and online, those with a “function” continue to grow in popularity and variety.
Besides tasting good, functional treats are designed to serve a purpose, such as promoting joint or dental health, mitigating pain and helping to relieve stress. Here are a few new treats I found that offer one or more of these benefits.
These new-to-market treats are made with cannabidio (CBD), which is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. While studies of CBD are just officially beginning, preliminary testing indicates that it can help manage chronic pain and decrease anxiety in pets. Canna-Biscuits are natural, non-GMO treats available in a number of flavors, all of which include Canna-Pet®’s CBD formula made from hemp.
Designed to be fully digestible—unlike dental chew toys—a great example are the dental chews from Whimzees. Vegetarian and gluten-free, they are made in Holland and their shape and texture helps remove plaque and tartar, while giving your dog some solid chewing action.
Joint Health Chews
Glucosamine and chondroitin, which help support joint health, are now routinely included in a variety of pet treats and chews. Engage-ables from Indigenous Pet Products are wholesome, long-lasting chewy dog treats in the form of “gummi-bears.” (Actually, it’s similar to one large gummi bear.) Made in the USA, the treats are grain-, gluten- and GMO-free.
Bedtime Bones™ are an organic, chamomile bedtime treat for your dog. Chamomile can have a calming effect on pets (just as it does for humans). These crunchy treats come in 30-day boxes, one for each evening. They also make a great gift for small dogs. And for extra environmental consciousness, the packaging is made from recycled materials that are made with wind power.
There are quite literally thousands of natural treats to choose from, including those mentioned above. The trick is to find a treat your dog will love from a company you trust. Many smaller companies are demonstrating a strong commitment to proper sourcing, testing and manufacturing. Case in point: The Honest Kitchen has a wonderful collection of treats in all sizes your dogs are sure to love. Other favorites of mine include lamb lung treats and trachea chews from Clear Conscience Pet, and new, alternative-protein chews and bones (such as crocodile bones and kangaroo chews) from Barkworthies.
About the Author: Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com and the bestselling author of “Shepherd’s Moon.” Learn more great tips for living with animals by visiting PetsWeekly.com or get to know a little more about the author at www.StacyMantle.com