What Can I Give My Dog as a Treat?
Who can resist a good snack now and then? Not you, certainly. And probably not your pooch, either.
Of course, your pup doesn't need additional dog treats. As long as you're feeding them a nutritionally balanced diet, you don't have to account for extra nibbles. Nonetheless, healthy dog treats can be exactly that — a treat! Especially as a motivator during training and as a reward for good behavior.
The key is for you to be responsible when it comes to choosing dog treats that will be beneficial and not harmful. Below are some top tail-wagging picks.
Dog Treats From the Farm
As it turns out, dogs enjoy fresh produce. And as an added bonus, many fresh fruits and veggies are suitable as healthy dog treats. Just make sure that you serve them correctly.
For instance, slices of raw apples and pears without seeds, stems, or cores can be part of a balanced diet. Just a handful of apple and pear pieces will give your pooch a dose of vitamins C and E, as well as fiber, too. Take them with you on walks or hikes for a sharable pick-me-up.
In terms of salad fixings, bite-sized portions of carrots, celery, and cucumbers are practical dog treats. Beyond being low-calorie and high in nutrients, they help your dog's teeth stay clean and breath remain a bit fresher. Feel free to toss your four-legged pal a few sweet red pepper strips from time to time, too, as long as the pepper isn't spicy and no seeds remain on the strips.
Dog Treats From the Kitchen
Are you starting to get the picture that you don't have to go outside your home for dog treats? It's true. Right now, you probably have lots of acceptable dog treats in your pantry and refrigerator. Everything from cooked oatmeal to a spoonful of organic, sugarless peanut butter can work.
For example, the next time you're baking chicken breasts or ground turkey for dinner set aside one or two ounces. Bake it in foil until no raw pieces remain. Once the meat has cooled, you can cut it into slices or break it apart to use as dog treats. Don't season it or add any oils. Otherwise, your dog could suffer from an unpleasant stomach episode that requires emergency care.
Dog Treats From the Box or Bag
There are also countless options for dog food and treats at your favorite pet store. From traditional Milk-Bone dog treats to treats focused on a specific goal, like reducing dental plaque or tempering anxiety, you have your pick. Which ones are the best dog treats for you and your companion, though?
In general, you will want to lean toward buying dog treats from reputable manufacturers. Read reviews and always check ingredients; the fewer the ingredients, the less processed the dog treats are likely to be. That doesn't make them healthier, necessarily, but being able to pronounce every ingredient can alleviate your fears about buying dog treats that are more akin to human "junk food" than "smart snacks."
Tips for Serving up Healthy Dog Treats
You're now equipped to make confident decisions about what dog treats to serve up as a responsible pet parent. Moving forward, keep these insights in mind, particularly if you're new to raising a furry companion.
- Moderation is essential. Dog obesity is a real problem in the modern world. Make certain that you limit the number of times you offer your pooch dog treats daily. Even healthy dog treats can cause unwanted weight gain.
- Practice consistency. Establishing a feeding schedule for your dog is important. Try to feed dog food and treats at the same times each day. An example might be to provide dog treats during your midday walk and then again before bedtime.
- Keep an eye out for problems. Just because a type of food is safe for dogs to eat doesn't mean your dog can handle it. Like humans, dogs can become allergic to anything from even tiny bits of dairy to wheat. Talk to a trusted local veterinarian if you suspect your dog may have an allergy or intolerance.
To learn more about healthy dog treats, get in touch today!