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5 Bad Dog Treats for Dogs


frenchie sniffing treats


When you give your dog a cookie, you’re letting them know just how much you love them. However, not all dog treats demonstrate the same level of care, especially when you consider that some treats are detrimental to your dog’s health. Unfortunately, many dog owners have no idea that many dog biscuits available on the market in Australia are unhealthy and even dangerous for their dogs. So, what treats are bad for dogs? Read on to find out.

What Makes Some Treats “Bad Treats for Dogs”?

If you read your dog’s treat packaging, you will likely notice the feeding instructions will tell you that the product should not account for more than 10% of your dog’s caloric intake [1]. Because treats account for such a small percentage of your dog’s diet, they are not held to as high of a standard as dog food. Some companies take advantage of this and cut corners.

So, What Makes Some Treats for Dogs Unhealthy?

With all the advancement in dog nutritional science, you can now provide your dog with snacks that support their health. However, many of the “old fashioned” dog biscuits, cookies and chews only provide your dog with a dose of artificial flavours and synthetic scents. And while dogs love these, they often mask subpar ingredients.

The most common “unhealthy” ingredients are inexpensive fillers. These include corn, wheat, and soy, all of which are nutritionally incomplete. But treats can also contain synthetic ingredients that have been linked to the formation of cancer. 

Some of the most common include: 

  • BHA
  • BHT
  • Ethoxyquin 
  • Food dyes
  • Propylene glycol

One of the Worst Offenders: Rawhide

While other treats for dogs contain unhealthy ingredients, others such as rawhide pose more of a physical threat to a dog’s health. Rawhide treats do not break down in your dog’s digestive tract. This can lead to gastrointestinal blockages [2]. And because rawhide can be brittle, some dogs are able to tear it apart quickly, turning the “treat” into a choking hazard. Furthermore, rawhide is a top contender for bacterial contamination and harmful toxic chemicals [3].

Why Does It Matter If You Feed Your Dog “Bad Dog Treats”?

brown wooden rolling pin on brown wooden table

Selection of the right treats for dogs is essential. The last thing you want is to give your dog a delicious snack for being such a good boy or girl, just to have to take them to the vet because they’re choking on it or unable to pass it. Worse, you don’t want to feed your dog, treats with low-quality ingredients and discover years later that your dog has cancer.

When it comes down to it, you provide your dog with a healthy lifestyle when you can. Healthy treats for dogs provide a health boost for your dog. From dental benefits to joint support, choosing bad treats for dogs is a missed opportunity. 

Treat Brands to Avoid

When choosing types of treats for your dog, the quality rarely depends just on the brand name. However, some big brands’ most popular products are not the most healthy choices for your dog. For example, Milk-Bone makes biscuits, dental chews, and gnaw bones. All of which have varying levels of low-quality ingredients. 

So, before purchasing a package of treats for dogs, no matter the brand, check where the treats were manufactured and packaged. You want to avoid any treats that are imported from China since Chinese-manufactured treats often wind up on the recall lists [4]. 

At-a-Glance Types of Bad Treats to Avoid

  1. Any treats from China
  2. Cooked or raw bones
  3. Rawhide treats
  4. Treats with unnatural coloring
  5. Any treats that contain sugar
  6. Treats that are high in corn, soy, or wheat
  7. Treats that appear on the recall list [5]

A List of Bad Treats for Dogs

fawn pug lying on floor

While it’s difficult to pinpoint specific treat brand to avoid, there are some your dog is better off without. Here's some treats for dogs that better left at the grocery store:

  1. Milk-Bone Biscuits

While these biscuits are fine once in a while, their number-one ingredient is wheat. This filler isn’t the healthiest option for dogs. Furthermore, Milk-Bones contain artificial colourings, Red 40 and Yellow 5, which have been linked to health issues, including cancer [6]. In fact, Yellow 5 requires a warning label in Europe.

  1. Purina Alpo Snaps

Like Milk-Bones, Alpo Snaps are high wheat. In addition to wheat being the top ingredient, Snaps also contain sugar, which dogs simply do not need and can become addicted to. Finally, Snaps contain Red-40, Yellow-5, and Yellow-6.

  1. Pup-peroni

While Pup-peroni treats do contain beef as their top ingredient, they also contain sugar and salt. Furthermore, they use Red-40.

  1. Pedigree MarroBones

Despite their name, MarroBones only contain a small bit of marrow. Their top ingredient is wheat flour, their third most abundant ingredient is sugar while marrow is the sixth ingredient on the list. 

  1. Beneful Baked Delights

These dog cookies look tasty, but their ingredients are far from being canine-balanced. The first five ingredients you’ll find in Baked Delights are brewer’s rice, ground wheat, glycerin, ground yellow corn, and wheat flour. All of these are inexpensive fillers that some dogs struggle to digest. 

Treat Your Dog to Long-Lasting Health and Happiness

Provide your doggo with tasty, nutritious, and natural treats instead of biscuits made from fillers and artificial ingredients. Always read what goes into your treats, and opt for Australian-made treats with real meat and natural ingredients. When you feed your dog nutritious treats, you’re supporting their health while strengthening your bond.

Looking for natural treats that will make your dog’s mouth water? Petzyo selects only natural treats that benefit man’s best friend. Check out our selection guide on best treats for dogs