Dog Lifestyle, Pet Health

What Dog Treats Not to Give Your Dog. Four types of dog treats to avoid

There is rarely a dog treat where my dog will turn his nose up just like myself with ice cream but that does not mean that they are all equal.  Learn more about what dog treats not to give your dog.


We talk a lot about dog treats, dog treat recipes, dog treat containers and even CBD dog treats but just because we like spoiling our pups it does not mean we can just give our dogs any old dog treats there are certain treats that you should not give your dog. 


What dog treats not to give your dog


After chatting with our Vet Tech friend, Virginia Jones, here are some that cause some of the worst problems.  


Sugar laden treats.  Dogs do not need sugar.  Sugar affects their system much like humans in a more exaggerated way causing blood sugar spikes and inevitable health issues.  


According to Dr. John Faught  “Dogs need sugar of some sort. They need carbohydrates [which are broken down into sugar or glucose by the body] to live and operate. We just don’t need to be giving them candy since there’s no real added value,” says John Faught, DVM and medical director of the Firehouse Animal Health Center in Austin, Texas. “Excessive amounts causes inflammation all throughout the body, and it’s just not necessary.”

So while it is fun to share ance cream dog treat with your pet every once in a while try to instead make a dog treat snow cone (recipe featured in our new book Motherpuppin Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s coming October 29, 2021 to one of your favorite booksellers which will contain special fun recipes to enjoy with your pet and they are all sugar free!


High unhealthy fat treats.  One of the issues with a high fat diet is the potential for pets to get Pancreatitis.  High fat foods, including dog treats are a major cause which can lead to inflammation of the pancreas.  

There are so many great options for homemade dog treats along with healthy store bought dog treats that there is no need to use high fat treats that will affect your dogs digestions and have an inflammatory response.  



Treats with Artificial colors and flavors.  Those bright orange treats may not be the best for your pup.  If the color does not seem natural it is likely it is not and many dyes and artificial colors contain preservatives and additives that are not healthy for your pet. 

According to Patrick Mahaney, the Wellness Vet Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellow 5 and 6 have been documented to contribute to hypersensitivity (allergic-type) reactions, behavior problems, and cancer in humans. More recently, caramel color has come under fire as it contains 4-methylimidazole (4-MIE), a known animal carcinogen. When it comes down to it, artificially coloring food only appeals to humans and not pets.



Your pet does not care what the color of their food is so when you notice something off there is likely a dye in it.

According to Patrick, additives to avoid in Pet Food include:

Ingredients to avoid:

  • Corn and wheat gluten
  • Meat and grain meals and by-products
  • BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Food Dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE)
  • PG (Propylene Glycol
  • Rendered fat                                                                                     



Chocolate Treats.  If you have experienced the panic of realizing your dog has consumed an entire basket of chocolate stolen from a stray easter basket or halloween bag then you have likely researched and found that chocolate can be toxic to pets. 

According to Dean Vickers, Director of Animal Welfare Studies and Education at PetSafe Pets and chocoholics are not a good mix. We all know that chocolate can be toxic to pets, it contains theobromine and pets are not able to fully metabolize it. If they consume enough chocolate, it can be fatal.  According to Vickers it does depend on the type of chocolate ingested and the amount eaten, as to what problems can occur. White chocolate has the least amount of stimulants and baking chocolate has the highest.  Check out our handy dog chocolate toxicity chart.  


Chocolate on treats can be replaced with carob or even beef gravy but honestly dogs do not care.  They know treats are special but they really do not care if they are sweet, sour, salty or otherwise decadent like people as we noted in our article on dog’s sense of taste.


The next time you reach for a bag of treats, consider what dog treats not to give your dog for top tips and you will have not only a happy dog drunk on treats but a healthy dog as well.