Over the past few years, pet food manufacturers have been increasing the amount of sugar they add to pet treats to make them more appetizing, according to Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. According to this recent article from Businessweek, veterinary experts believe these sugary treats are one of the main causes for today’s pet obesity epidemic.
As with human desserts, sugar improves the look and taste of pet treats. However, pet food companies generally do not have to list the amount of sugar they use in treats.
Del Monte Foods, one of the major pet food manufacturers, told Businessweek that when pet parents give their dogs and cats treats in moderation, treats simply enhance the bond between pet and pet parent, and do not contribute to weight gain.
Veterinarians encourage pet parents to avoid buying pet treats that list sugar as one of the first three ingredients on the packaging, and to remember that treats should only make up 10 percent of a pet’s daily calorie intake.
Probably like many pet parents, I give my cat Millie a few too many salmon-flavored treats when she does something cute. Instead, I’m going to reward her with a fresh catnip toy or a long play session with the laser pointer—both of which are calorie-burning activities!
Aside from treats, how do you reward your pet?