By the Cloud Star Staff
Food is a universal bond that brings friends and family together. Whether it’s pizza or a pot roast, sharing a snack or meal with others creates warmth and makes us feel connected in a way that gatherings without food and drink do not.
Our relationship with our pets is no different. Splitting a bag of popcorn with your dog on a road trip, or giving her a piece of chicken at a backyard barbecue, makes you both feel happy and closer to each other. Aside from getting a yummy treat, your dog feels loved and part of the pack, because she’s participating in the same activities as her human family. And you, too, feel a special bonding seeing your “best friend” enjoying the same delicious food you’re eating.
But unfortunately, this well-intentioned act of sharing food can be hazardous to pets’ health. Pet owners may be unaware that many popular human foods – including some given to dogs most often as treats — can cause serious medical conditions, both immediate and long-term.
Pet professionals can help their clients avoid trips to the veterinarian, or worse, by alerting them to the perils of feeding human foods to dogs. They can also suggest alternative treats that are scrumptious and special enough to evoke that warm bonding feeling while delivering positive nutritional benefits to dogs, such as the human-inspired canine treats that Cloud Star focuses on.
Food Toxicity May Be Surprising
Some human indulgences are widely known to be hazardous to dogs, such as chocolate, which contains theobromine, a stimulant that is difficult for canines to metabolize, and can cause cardiac symptoms and seizures if consumed in large enough amounts. But many pet owners may be surprised to learn that even foods considered “good” for people can have high toxicity to dogs. Fruits like grapes and raisins can cause canines to vomit repeatedly and may even lead to kidney failure. Macadamia nuts are rich in nutrients and antioxidants beneficial to humans, but as few as six of them can make a dog very sick with muscle spasms, vomiting and fever. And that guacamole dip you made for the whole gang to share during the big game can be downright lethal to Fido. That’s because avocados contain a substance called persin, which not only triggers diarrhea and vomiting in dogs but may also cause fluid to accumulate in their lungs and chest, leading to serious and even fatal breathing difficulties.
Pet owners who don’t read product labels may inadvertently be giving their dogs treats infused with deadly ingredients, such as xylitol, a sugar alcohol that can cause canines’ blood sugar to plummet, leading to seizures and a coma. Xylitol is often used to sweeten candy and gum but, unknown to many, can also be found in some peanut butter, baked goods and condiments.
Other human foods may not result in immediate serious illness or death, but can cause pups to feel pretty crummy and may produce health issues over time. The lactose in human ice cream, cheese and pizza is hard to digest and can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Human jerkies and processed meat are loaded with salt, sugar, nitrates and preservatives. And cookies and baked goods are full of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and chemical preservatives.
All pretty scary stuff—so does this mean your clients must forego the fun and bonding experience of sharing food with pets? Happily, there’s a solution that allows dogs to be treated with delectable human-type snacks, while also benefiting from good nutrition that will enhance their health and well-being. Cloud Star makes mouth-watering canine treats, inspired by human foods, that are as fun for pet owners to feed as they are delicious and nutritious for dogs to eat. Pet professionals can suggest these products as wholesome alternatives to their clients.
For example, at the next cookout, instead of hot dogs or other fatty human meats, why not give pups their own healthy homestyle barbecue treats. Cloud Star’s USA-made Wag More Bark Less Kansas City Style and Texas Style Gourmet Jerkies are made with real meat as their #1 ingredient and use simple ingredients to emulate the authentic BBQ cuisine each region is known for. The Texas Style jerky is made with delicious beef, along with tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice and turmeric to impart a savory flavor, while the chicken-based Kansas City recipe includes applesauce to add the sweetness associated with that city’s BBQ style. The gourmet jerkies have been so popular that Cloud Star has just added another iconic local favorite: Philly Cheese Steak Jerkies. Pet owners will love giving their dogs these meaty treats modeled after classic American regional fare, knowing that the minimally processed jerkies contain no grains, added glutens, corn, wheat, soy, animal by-products or artificial colors and flavors.
Looking for something sweeter to give as a special treat? Cloud Star’s new Wag More Bark Less Birthday Bites are a yummy and healthy alternative to human cakes and confections on birthdays, special occasions or anytime. These soft-texture bites are gently baked with natural peanut butter and honey, then mixed with real fruits—cranberries, blueberries and coconut flakes, plus carrots—for a unique sweet treat that is both healthy and indulgent.
Treats for Pets and People to Share
Also on the sweet side from Cloud Star are Wag More Bark Less Sandwich Cookies, and Wag More Bark Less Iced Treat, a frosty non-dairy “doggy ice cream.” The Sandwich Cookies are just like the ones humans eat with a real peanut butter filling layered between two crunchy cookie biscuits. The Iced Treat is made with a delicious coconut cream base and either natural peanut butter or natural banana.
The sweetest thing of all about Cloud Star’s Sandwich Cookies and Iced Treat is that not only are they modeled after human favorites, they’re also made completely with human-grade ingredients. This means that people will enjoy eating these delectable desserts too. So humans CAN experience the close bonding that comes from sharing food with dogs – as long as our pets are the ones who share their food with us!