06/22/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Dangers of Dog Food and the Benefits of Organic Treats

My little Pomeranian, Mercutio, is my baby. Seriously, it's an unhealthy attachment. I just want to take him everywhere. Some places kick me out on the spot even if he's in a bag and other places like Fishs Eddy insist twice that I put Mercutio down so he could run around. Hmmm, run around in a dishware shop with stacks of breakables on the floor, thanks anyway.

Anyway, I think this attachment started with the first dog my boyfriend and I adopted, Bisou. We decided that we wanted an older dog since everyone adopts puppies -- not to mention the senior citizen would be chill and already trained (score!). We were in love with a polite 10-year-old, five pound Pomeranian; unfortunately she had seizures and arthritis.

Instantly, I became a hovering mother. I read every book on pooch seizures and was determined to make her better. Her time with us was full and rich with happiness but a few months after adopting her, she passed away from an infected uterus, something that could have been prevented if she was spayed earlier on in life. But there is a happy ending, I promise.

During her time with us, Bisou and I (yes, together) researched all about how food affects dogs' health and what exactly is in dog food. Um, it's gross, like, really gross. Without her illnesses, I might not have thought twice about giving her low-grade commercial dog food. She made me a better mutter (mother+mutt=mutter).

So what's in it you ask? Let me start off by saying there are some good premium organic dog foods out there, just remember to check the labels. The good stuff like chicken, beef, and lamb, should all be the first ingredient and never followed by the word "by-product." By-products are basically everything not fit for human consumption like organs, bones, eyes, brains, hoofs, etc.

Now, you may not think that's so bad -- dogs are animals, and after all, eat organs. But what also goes into those by-products are the 4Ds, dead, dying, diseased, and disabled animals, as well as road kill, zoo animals, and, legally, euthanized cats and dogs. Your pooch could potentially be eating an animal part that has cancer, other diseases, or remnants of euthanasia chemicals that could be fatal long term. Would you eat that? I didn't think so. I won't even get started on preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.

With all the scary stuff in dog food, I started making my own organic food for Bisou and now for Mercutio. I want Mercutio to live a long, healthy life, sans cancerous meat and other spooky bits. It's easy once you get the hang of it but you have to research dog diets to make sure your pooch is getting all the nutrients he or she needs and consult with your vet.

In addition to dog food, I also bake my own dog treats using organic, human-grade ingredients like organic brown rice flour and wholesome organic fruits and veggies. Humans can actually eat them but it won't taste good to you since there isn't any add sugar or salt. All treats are wheat-free and sans preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. Plus, they come in super cute recycled paper coffee bags.

And since I probably scared you all, I'm offering 15 percent off Variety Packs this week. Your pup will get to try a nutritious treat in four fab flavors: peanut butter carob, sweet potato oatmeal, banana carob chip, and apple cinnamon oatmeal.

Visit Get Lick'd to get your 15% discount