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Healthy Pet Treat Checklist…and Treat Ingredients to Avoid

Written by: Jackson Jones



Time to read 5 min

Although it might be counterintuitive to the connotations of the word “treat,” pet treats can – and should! – be healthy! When it comes to fur babies, treats aren’t candy or desserts. Quite the contrary, treats can be rewards, training aids, or simply part of a pet’s regular nutritious diet. As such, we should be just as diligent about the treats we give our four-legged family members as we are about their meals.

Luckily, Farm To Pet is committed to making the best healthy pet treats possible – and we believe we have succeeded! Our single-ingredient Chicken Chips and Turkey Chips treats are made from 100% all-natural, human-grade poultry, providing pure nutrition and completely free of artificial ingredients, fillers or preservatives. While you can feel good about feeding your doggo – or kitty! – our healthy pet treats, there are some unhealthy if not downright dangerous products on the market that should never make their way into pet tummies. Read on for our helpful healthy pet treat checklist to identify those that are truly healthy, and which ones to avoid.

What to Look for in a Healthy Pet Treat

Swirl, the rescue dog, eating Turkey Chips with a bag of Farm to Pet next to her.
Healthy Turkey Chips with Swirl, the rescue.

There are so many pet treats on the market claiming to be healthy – and so many are not, as you will see below – that it can be hard to identify the genuine article from the imposters. Images of nature, earth, leaves or an open range don’t mean a product is natural! And claims aren’t even regulated or policed that closely in all instances or from all sources. So play it safe and ensure you’re finding healthy treats for your beloved fur baby by looking for these clues and claims on the packaging:

  • Human-grade: This means just what it suggests - that the ingredients or food is edible by humans and contains nothing that the FDA would reject for human consumption.
  • All-natural: Another self-explanatory but very important claim, this means there is nothing artificial in the product, including flavors, colors, preservatives, etc.
  • Low- or Single-ingredient: The fewer the ingredients, the easier they are to identify and understand. It also means less chance for allergies or other adverse reactions. As we have said before, if an ingredient list reads like a chemistry glossary, move on.
  • Responsibly-sourced, ethically-produced: These claims usually indicate a level of responsibility and ethics on the part of the business and their choice of manufacturing processes that in turn, indicates a cleaner product with less impact on the environment.
  • Made in: Actually, this is where you look for places where you do not want your pet food and treats made due to lower standards for quality and purity, such as China. Stick to origins with high safety standards like the US, Canada, Japan, and the EU.
Rescue dog outside waiting to eat a Chicken Chip from Farm to Pet.
Single ingredient Farm to Pet Chicken Chips

One more tip? Check the company’s website, reviews and social media to see if they are not only talking the talk, but walking the walk of pet health and wellness every step of the way. The pet parent community is a powerful source of information and can help confirm or deny your conclusions on many things pet-related, including healthy pet treats.

Again luckily for you, our treats at Farm To Pet just happen to tick all of these boxes, and they have from day one! Our chicken and turkey chips – and antler chews and treat toppers, too, for that matter! – are all-natural, single-ingredient, ethically-sourced and produced in the US with human-grade poultry and no preservatives, fillers or artificial ingredients. If that isn’t a healthy pet treat, nothing is!

UN-Healthy Pet Treats to Avoid

Dog board with healthy dog treats including Farm to Pet Chicken Chips and others.
Healthy treat options all in one place!

While we don’t like to criticize other products, when it comes to the health and safety of our fur babies, we simply must voice warnings and concerns. Below are five types of treats we recommend you never feed your pets, and why. 

  • Sounds like Silk Tones: These bone-shaped cookies have neither milk nor bone in them. They do, however, contain BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), which is identified as a cancer-causing agent and has produced tumors in laboratory animals. If you see BHA, BHT or Ethoxyquin listed in any ingredients of food or treats your pet eats, throw it away!
  • Not Sausages: Don’t let the shape fool you. These are not cute little meat treats for your pup; they contain unhealthy ingredients made to taste good to dogs. They also contain BHA and Propylene Glycol, which can be used as a replacement for antifreeze. While it has been banned in cat treats, it unfortunately remains allowed in dog treats, despite that ingesting it can cause Heinz Body Anemia which can be fatal.
  • Not Pepperoni: Again, these are not healthy meaty treats. They are just different shapes of artificial ingredients made to taste good to our dogs – and they contain both BHA and Propylene Glycol.
  • Don’t Tempt Me: Like many treats and foods, these kibbles are made with a "meat meal.” As shocking as it may be, a generic meat meal can be "ANY meat that is not used for human consumption." That literally can include roadkill, 4D livestock, dead zoo animals or even euthanized pets, including cats and dogs. Absolutely awful and brutally harsh but entirely true, so avoid anonymous meat meal-based products.
  • Not Bacon: Don’t let your dog beg for these strips of artificial ingredients, including carcinogenic dyes like Yellow Dye #5 and Red Dye #40, both of which have been linked to hyperactivity, anxiety, migraines, allergies, and cancer. While banned in the EU, they can still be used in pet treats here, so be on the lookout. 

Hooray for Healthy Pet Treats!

Proper nutrition for our pets extends beyond the meals we put in their bowls. Treats are often a huge part of our fur babies’ lives – and diets! We use them for a variety of reasons – and sometimes for no reason at all! – from training and rewards to simply because it makes us happy to make them happy. That’s why it’s so important that we choose only healthy pet treats for them to enjoy. The unhealthy ones might still taste suitable to our pets, so it’s up to us to be discriminating and informed. Fortunately, nutritious, reputable options are available when you know what to look for. Just steer clear of the offenders above and any foods or treats with dangerous or toxic ingredients, and stick to healthy pet treats like our single-ingredient, all-natural chicken and turkey chips and toppers at Farm To Pet!

Two golden doodles with Farm to Pet Chicken and Turkey Chips in the specialty Love bags.
Golden doodles LOVING their Farm to Pet Chips.

Contact us anytime for information or answers to questions you may have about pet health and nutrition – we are here to help ensure that when you're treating your pet, it’s good for them too!

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