Debunking Dog Treats – Are You Really Treating Your Dog?

Welcome to the New Year!

With all my New Year’s resolutions so fresh in my mind…eating right, being healthy, losing weight, hitting the gym… I wanted to kick off the year with a video about doggy treats. A quick vid to help you understand what to look out for and what to avoid, so that this year can be your pup’s healthiest, happiest and safest yet!

I recently ducked down to a very well known, very well regarded international supermarket and spent roughly ¥250 on buying 9 different types of dog treats so I could have a close look at what is out there available to the general public. Some of the treats are big international brands, some are smaller domestic brands, but all of them had one thing in common: I wouldn’t feed any of them to my dog.

There are many doggie treats out there and they all seem to offer a broad range of flavors and functions and benefits, but to simplify things down a bit, I have put them into 3 categories which covers many of the reasons for giving a treat.

Firstly, the “dental treat”. As you would have seen in the previous video Bad Doggie Breath, we talked about the importance of dental hygiene for your pupster and just how important it is over the long term. The concept of the dental treat is great, we strongly support owners who want to take care of their dog’s teeth. What we want to avoid is a dental treat that is so unnatural in its construction that we are throwing away the value of dental health with the impact of poor dental treats our dog’s general health! Feel free to contact us for free advice about how to improve your pup’s dental health.

Secondly, the “post activity treat”. This is something given as a reward for being a good pup, perhaps after doing something a little out of the ordinary, for example getting a wash, going to the vet, after coming back from a great walk, sitting quietly being adorable etc etc. This is an excellent time to give your dog a treat, to finish an event that we want them to know went well, so they will be looking forward to that same experience more next time. What we want to avoid here is raw hide, which is incredibly hard to digest, and imitation meats full of additives and preservatives.

Thirdly, the “training treat”. These are those little fingernail sized treats that you want to have ready to go at a moments notice when you are working with your dog on improving their skills. They need to be high enough in value to motivate your dog, but not so rich that your dog’s tummy will get upset at ingesting too many of them. What we want to avoid here is the sugary doggy biscuits, the nutritional value of those is incredibly poor and has the potential to lead to all sorts of dental issues!

5 Top Tips when shopping for treats:

Take advantage of technology. WeChat has an excellent picture translation function built into it. For simple things like ingredients list, it is perfect for translating that list of things on the back of the pack from Chinese into English. Knowing what you are really getting in the treat will make you think twice before buying junk!

Understand labelling law. Food labelling laws in China are getting better and better every day (even for animals!). If any food you buy for your dog doesn’t have at a minimum the ingredients, production address, complete company name, contact details and production certificate number, then it is probably not even a registered food producer (yes, all dog food production companies in China must be certified). If it is not certified then it doesn’t have any third party quality control at all and we suggest to avoid it.

Learn to read the label and ingredients list. Forget the big smiling dog and fresh looking meat on the front of the packaging, the label and ingredients list on the back tells you what you are really giving your dog to eat. It’s important, take a minute to review it. The more preservatives, additives, extra salt and sugar and general crap that you can’t even pronounce which is in there, the further you should run away from it! Look for simple natural ingredients with fewer items on the list.

Buy REAL BRANDS from a RELIABLE SOURCE. There is a very large amount of fake and imitation food available for animals in China. Do you think that people producing this type of food care about what they put in? Firstly, question the brand’s legitimacy and secondly ask yourself: does this retailer have my individual furbaby’s best interest at heart?

Treats can also be the source of your dog’s food intolerance or allergy reaction. If you are finding your pup has had a bad reaction to their food – don’t forget that it may also be the treat. Keep this in mind when you are discussing it with your vet!

Chateau Canine has a great (and growing) list of recommended treats for you to look at here. Feel free to contact us on our Customer Service WeChat Account (chateaucanine) at anytime to talk more about what is the right treat for your dog and your needs! Our goal is healthy, happy and safe doggies in China!


Found this article interesting or useful even? Support our efforts by taking a look at Chateau Canine’s Social Responsibility Initiatives and see how you can change a street dog’s life, just by buying a toy / treat / food / bed / clothes / dewormer etc etc for your own dog! That sounds Barking Awesome doesn’t it 😉

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