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Pawtributor
Floridagirl
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-06-2013

Are Beggin' Strips as bad as I recently read?

I just read an article that said Beggin' Strips are really bad for your dog but it was posted from a natural food company. I have given my 4 shih tzus these for years and it has scared me to death. Does anyone else have any other info? They are made in the USA so I thought they were ok. I don't give them anything from China since the info came out on it but according to this site, the ingrediants in the Beggin' Strips are a lost worse. Please help!

Pawesome Pal
PatrickMahaney
Posts: 395
Registered: ‎03-20-2012

Give whole foods (fruits and vegetables) instead of Beggin' Strips

FlordiaGirl,

Thank you for your question.

This is exactly the type of question that other dog owners can benefit from reading my answer.

Treats like Beggin’ Strips are highly processed and contain ingredients of vastly different from those that nature creates.  As a result of satisfying the consumer/dog owners demands to feed treats in addition to the once or twice daily meals typically provided, the option of giving a “bacon substitute” like Beggin’ Strips has emerged.

When you look at the Purina website for Beggin’ Strips (http://www.purina.com/products/beggin), under the “Ingredients & Nutrients” section, it says “Made with real bacon.”

Unfortunately, that website does not list the variety of other processed and potentially carcinogenic ingredients that are included.  It’s almost as the Purina is not willing to give complete disclosure of their product ingredients on their websites for fear that the consumer will be displeased with what they see.

 

So, I defer to the excellent PetCo.com website (http://www.petco.com/product/1922/Beggin-Strips.aspx) which lists the ingredients for a variety of Beggin’ Strip flavors.

Here are the ingredients for: Beggin' Strips Original Bacon Flavor

6 oz.; Bacon

Ground wheat, corn gluten meal, wheat flour, ground yellow corn, water, sugar, glycerin, meat, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate,soybean meal, bacon fat preserved with BHA, salt, sorbic acid (a preservative), artificial smoke flavor, calcium propionate (a preservative), glyceryl monostearate, phosphoric acid, choline chloride, added color (red 40, blue 1, yellow 5, yellow 6).

 

So, as you can see, there are a variety of ingredients that are going to be at less than healthy for your dog.  It appears as though the only “real bacon” that is included is bacon fat.  Additionally, the bacon fat used in these products is preserved with a substance called BHA that is a known carcinogen.

Here is an article from Dog Food Advisor.com that gives the toxic lowdown on BHA:

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/red-flag-ingredients/bha-in-dog-food/

 

Additionally, corn gluten meal and ground yellow corn are grain ingredients that are likely to have contamination of moles that produce toxic substances called aflatoxin.  Grains used in (most) pet products are considered to be feed grade and have a higher allowable levels of toxins then greens that are human grade.

 

Instead of feeding your pooch processed treats, why not just give pieces of real foods, like fruit or vegetables.

 

I am a big proponent of pets eating a diet rich in whole food, including real fruits and vegetables just like we people eat (especially as a means of reducing the quantity of processed pet food or treats that our canine and feline companions consume).

 

Yet, there are some fruits and vegetables that can potentially be toxic, so it’s important to focus on those that we know are safe.

 

Fruit

Fresh or frozen fruits can be given as a cooling and healthy snack.   Apple, banana, blackberry, blueberry, cantaloupe, cherry, pear, raspberry, strawberry, and watermelon are my top choices due to their accessibility in nearly every grocery store regardless of season. 

Sweet fruits tend to be more appealing to pets than those that are bland or bitter.  Ripening typically enhances fruit’s sweetness.  Outer skins (banana, melon) should be removed or opened (berries, etc) to reveal the inner fruit substance.  Fruit can also be mashed or pureed and added to your dog’s current food.

As you pointed out, not all fruits are appropriate snacks for dogs.  Avoid grapes and raisins, which have an unknown toxic effect to some dogs’ kidneys.  Dried fruits are calorically dense, can contain preservatives (sulfur dioxide, etc), and as we never know what will be ‘the next raisin’ my general recommendation is to stick to fresh or frozen forms.

 

Vegetables

So many vegetable options are available to provide beneficial nutrients often deficient in commercially available pet foods.

Veggies that grow above ground (cauliflower, cucumber, mushroom, spinach, tomato, etc) tend to be high in moisture and low in caloric density.   Below ground-growing vegetables (white and sweet potato, turnip, carrots, etc) typically contain less moisture and have a higher caloric density.  Both options can benefit your dog’s digestive health and overall wellness, but I suggest providing more of the above ground options and less of those that grow below ground (but for carrots) as snacks.

If your pet resists eating a raw vegetable, then lightly steam and mash the vegetables for easy mixing into the existing diet.  Cooked vegetables are easier to digest and less likely to induce flatulence (gas).  Potatoes should have their eyes removed and be cooked before serving.  

Baby foods can also serve as tasty vegetable options for your pooch provided they lack onion powder, starch, and other additives.

 

Start with a small quantity of fruit and vegetables (such as a a few berries, an inch wide/long/thick slice of melon, or a tablespoon of mash or puree).  Note any changes in bowel movements and urination (larger volume, altered color or smell, pattern variations, etc), which indicates your pet’s digestive acceptance of fruit and vegetable treats.  If your pet digestively tolerates this sample size, then slowly and consistently increase the volume. 

 

The fiber found in fruit and vegetables can help fill your pet’s stomach so that portions of dry or canned food can be reduced.  In doing so, weight loss and maintenance can occur without a your pet experiencing the unpleasant sensation of deprivation.

 

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) provides a great resource of flowers and plants (including fruit and vegetables) that are toxic for dogs.   Before feeding your pooch a new fruit or vegetable snack, confirm the treat’s safety.

 

Good luck,

Dr. PM

www.PatrickMahaney.com

Twitter @PatrickMahaney

Facebook Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian: Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets

Pawtributor
Cinda
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-28-2013

Re: Are Beggin' Strips as bad as I recently read?

Beggin strips are downright nasty!  The vet has put out some good ideas, and you could think about using "Blue Dog Bakery" dog treats.  These are all natural and come in a variety of flavors, although they do contain whole wheat flour.  They are fairly large, so individuals with small dogs will get a whole lot of treats out of a box.  Never feed your dog chocolate, onions, mushrooms or macadanian nuts, all of which are toxic (short list). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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