Yes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates products marketed for dogs, prohibits dog treats that contain anything that is considered by the FDA to “cause cancer or any other illness in humans.” If your dog chews or swallows a treat for your health (even if it’s a little chewed or swallowed) and it isn’t in compliance with the FDA’s dietary guidelines, the FDA can take action against it, including confiscating it, or it may be sent back for further inspection. This is done to ensure there aren’t any ingredients that are illegal or pose a threat to health.
The FDA can also take action against any other items that your dog is “incidentally” swallowing, even if they come from a food the dog consumed before you found out about it and even if the dog eats something the treats that’s been linked to cancer.
Can dog treats be treated if they contain ingredients I can pronounce?
Unfortunately, no. While there may be a few rare exceptions in the few dog treats that the FDA finds to be in conformity with the FDA Dietary Guideline for Dogs, for the most part, dog treats are regulated based on the dog’s diet (as opposed to people’s diets).
How can I tell if my dog ate a treat that is listed on the label?
Generally, because pet foods are regulated (and are subject to a number of requirements on ingredients and packaging), and pet treats are marketed for dogs, you should be able to tell if they are labeled for dogs, at least in terms of the dog’s nutritional needs.
For example, if a particular pet treat recipe calls for eggs or milk, but includes other ingredients that may not meet the same nutritional requirements for dogs, you may be able to tell because the ingredients are written so that you can only substitute for those that do meet the dog’s nutritional needs.
Does dogs need to eat dog treats made with ingredients not on the food label?
Some dog treats are indeed made without “animal by-products”. So, unless dogs are on a dog food, the dog can be safely and healthily eating them!
As a general rule, dogs can eat dog treats that are marketed for humans, as long as they are in compliance with the FDA’s dietary requirements (and no artificial flavorings, artificial textures, or other additives are added). This is because they generally have the same nutritional needs as humans.
Are dog treats made with animal fats allowed?
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