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Treat your Pet this Christmas

By Sue Armstrong MA VetMB VETMFHom CertlAVH MRCVS RSHom 2 years ago 13625 Views

Christmas is the time when we all want to treat friends and family and that of course includes our dogs and cats!  To help your pets have a healthy Christmas and not have it spent at the vets, read labels carefully and avoid giving foods that your pets are not used to and especially treats that are full of E-numbers, sugars and preservatives, which may have enticing pretty coloured packaging but may not necessarily be healthy choices for your dogs and cats.
At Natural Instinct we produce a range of treats that fully complement our raw diet.  They are all 100% natural meat based products that contain no added carbohydrates, colourants or preservatives and are either fresh frozen products such as the bone range or dehydrated products such as chicken hearts and liver treats. 
Giving offal e.g. liver as a treat rather than having it as a major component of the diet allows you to add it as a much loved reward and treat for those dogs with a good tolerance for offal but avoid it in those dogs who easily get diarrhoea if the diet is too rich.  Dehydrated liver is a high value treat for most dogs and an important source of vitamins A, D, E and K as well as many minerals such as iron.
Lamb Lites are an excellent low calorie option for dogs with sensitive stomachs or where excessive weight is an issue.  Whitebait is a great treat for dogs and cats and are a really good addition, sprinkled on the raw food for some of the more picky pets who need coaxing to eat.
Beef pipes that are almost pure cartilage are a lovely crunchy treat particularly loved by the big dogs and they are a wonderful natural source of glucosamine to help support healthy joints.
Our frozen bone range is made up of two different bone types:
(1) Bones for play i.e. for gnawing rather than as food.  These bone sections are from the dense load bearing bones of larger herbivores such as cattle, which are excellent for grinding and gnawing and can be a really good way to entertain dogs and keep them calm amidst all the Christmas partying and excitement.  If you have more than one dog, remember that these can be prized possessions and you must be careful to avoid fights, so take precautions e.g. separate the dogs for fresh bone sessions, if you have any possession issues.
(2) Bones for food i.e. those that form part of the diet e.g. carcass, lamb ribs, turkey-neck.  These are sections of carcass that are not load bearing from natural prey animals for dogs e.g. poultry and lamb.  The digestive system of your dog needs to be used to digesting bone in the ground form as it is in the complete raw diet before introducing these as treats to avoid issues with constipation.  Dogs that have never encountered bone before, may need to be taught how to use their teeth correctly for nipping and crushing carcass and will need supervising when they first encounter food bones. These treats should replace part of your normal dogs diet and only given a maximum of 2-3 times a week so as not to lead to constipation through excessive bone material.  This is where checking your dogs stool is very important and will help you to know when it is OK to give more. If the fresh stool is white and crumbly or your dog is straining to pass stool do not give additional bone.  
Remember The Natural Instinct Three S’s rule:

1.  SIZE
Always feed the appropriate size bone for the size of your dog. E.g. a duck neck or small play bone is suitable for a small to medium breed for a medium to large breed dog a turkey neck or large play bone will be more suitable.

 Always supervise your dog when feeding any treats or bones, especially if your dog has not been fed bones before

Bones are of high value to dogs; therefore if you live in a multi dog household separate them when feeding bones to ensure they don’t squabble.
Humans are used to treats often being sweet and fattening like boxes of chocolates or other such naughty things that are basically bad for us!  With the Natural Instinct range of treats, our dogs have the opportunity for treats to be tasty and healthy – HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

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