Last week's blogs were all about nutrition.  One thing that I didn't touch on was treats, snacks or cookies.  Snacking happens to be one of Luke's favorite things to do; that is if the snacks are presented at the appropriate time.  Try to give him a snack when it is nap time midday and it is not going to happen.  But when it is snack time; during a walk or tv time at night, then stand back.  So what is a snack, treat or cookie in our house?  Anything can be a snack; from turkey, cheese, homemade cookies, store bought treats etc. etc.  But the one thing that does not fall under the snack or treat department is preservatives or chemicals. 

My go to snack that is carried with me when we walk is the organic chicken and rice sticks from Trader Joe's.  I often grab a cheese string, a bag full of chicken or homemade cookies as extra snacks.  Luke literally wants to snack the entire time we are out; which is a great time to get calories into him.  When he does decide to get snacking I try to get as much as I can into him while he's on a role. 

For me, snacks should be healthy.  One thing that I stay far away from is anything advertised on television.  Last night I saw that ad for Begg'n strips again.  It is probably one of the most annoying ads that there is on tv and worst things that you can give your dog.  Read the ingredients.  I often find myself on a reading mission.  Of course I do not buy treats from the big box stores; the treats they carry which are specifically made for dogs. 

Begg'n strip ingredients

Bacon & Cheese Flavor
Ingredients: Ground wheat, corn gluten meal, wheat flour, ground yellow corn, water, sugar, glycerin, soybean meal, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, bacon (preserved with sodium nitrite), salt, bacon fat (preserved with BHA), meat, phosphoric acid, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried cheese powder, calcium propionate (a preservative), natural and artificial smoke flavors, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1).

Milkbone is another one that you want to skip in the cookie/treat department.  Many of the low grade treats and snacks are preserved with BHA.  Read about it here on a great article:

Dog Food Advisor - BHA A Time Bomb? 
The above ingredient list tells a story of garbage; not something that our dogs should be eating. 
Luke and Elsa love bacon but like us, they only eat the kind that is not preserved with nitrites.  Real food is good for us and good for our dogs.  Don't buy into the whole "people food" idea that many vets and dog food companies try to brain wash us with.  Real food is real food, for us and for our dogs.  Snacks or treats can consist of just that; a piece of chicken, cheese, liver or anything else. 

As far as I'm concerned you shouldn't buy any processed treats, snacks or cookies for your dog at the big box stores.  Before you head to the cash with that bag of treats in your hand, read the label.