Dog treats are not created equal. There are quality treats that are vital sources of energy and support the immune system and organ function, while there are low-quality, inferior treats that can only make your dog sick. This is one important reason to choose the right treat for your canine buddy.
There are so many kinds of treats out there. Some are meat-based treats while there are vegetarian options as well. When buying treats for your pet, steer clear of products with large quantities of preservatives, salt, sugar, or artificial coloring. Since some ingredients can be harmful, you should check out the ingredients.
Pet owners should keep in mind that treats should never be considered as replacements for dog food, which means they cannot be given as a meal. Some of the best natural and healthiest treats for dogs include peanut butter, pumpkin, salmon, apple (with seeds removed), cheese, eggs, and popcorn. Yes! You can give popcorn to your pooch as long as it is air-popped and has no salt and butter (and do remove the un-popped kernels before sharing popcorn with your canine buddy. There are also ice cream and cakes that are curated specially for your canine buddies such as Puppy Scoops Peanut Butter Ice Cream or Puppy Cake Banana Cake Mix that will surely give you and your dog more bonding moments!
There are also a number of natural chew options that serve the purpose without the dangerous side effects. These include naturally-shed antlers, raw bones, bully sticks, and bone tendons, just to name a few. Bully sticks such as from Graze are actually made up of bull pizzle and are free from any additives, artificial chemicals, and hormones. Dogs love them because they retain the natural aroma and meat flavor, and bully sticks don’t splinter. These natural treats provide hours of chewing pleasure for your pooch.
Freeze-dried treats are also excellent options as the freeze-drying process naturally preserves without using any harmful chemicals. Freeze dried raw treats like Woof Freeze Dried Dog Treats and Nutreats are also jam-packed with more nutrients compared to dehydrated treats.
With all moisture removed through the process of evaporation, air-dried treats offer nearly all the benefits of raw treats. Drying by air minimizes damage to nutrients and enzymes that are present in the natural ingredients. Popular choices for air dried treats include Absolute Bites Air Dried Duck Breast, Graze Natural Lamb Munchies and Kakato Healthy Snack Treats.
Dental treats or chews for dogs are specially formulated to help prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Chewing on these treats can also help maintain oral hygiene. Chewing has also been observed to promote a dog’s physical and mental health by keeping the mind occupied while keeping his teeth clean. Here’s one precautionary measure to remember when giving dental chews to dogs--while dental chews help promote tooth and gum health, giving too many may cause the enamel layer of the dog’s teeth to wear down. It is in the enamel layer where nerves are present. Also, constant chewing can push back the sensitive gums exposing the roots of the tooth. As long as you monitor how this type of treats affect your dog this is a good choice to keep your furfriend entertained. Happi Doggy Dental Chews are the paw-parents' go to choice for this type of dog treats.
Using treats for training
Dog treats are important tools in dog training. It is used as a form of positive reinforcement, that is, to reward a desired behavior. When giving out a treat as a reward, be sure to offer it to your pet right after the desired behavior so he will know the reason for this tasty treat. This is known as “marking of the behavior”. Pooch & Mutt Training Dog Treats are a crowd favorite so be sure to check out their range of healthy snacks!
What is a limited ingredient dog treat?
A limited ingredient dog treat is packed with nutrients but low in calories. These are excellent options for pets that are prone to allergies or food sensitivities because there are no additives, fillers, and artificial food coloring added. Dogs that are allergic to beef or chicken treats can eat limited ingredient treats that are made with exotic meat like pheasant or alligator. There are also plant based like Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews or Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Fries that are rich in dietary fibers and Beta Carotene.
What dog treats are bad for dogs?
Treats can be made of various ingredients. Some ingredients are wholesome and nutritious while there are treats with ingredients that are harmful to pets such as chocolate, raisins, garlic, onion, and xylitol to name a few. This is one important reason to check out the ingredients of the treat before buying one for your pet.
How about milk bones? Are they healthy for dogs? Unfortunately, many experts think that milk bones are unhealthy treats. Here are important reasons why you should think twice about giving milk bones to your pooch:
- Some milk bones contain high quantities of sugar. Just think about the effect of sugar on your pet’s teeth! More sugar also means a lot of calories.
- Some milk bones contain Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) which is an antioxidant that is primarily used as a preservative in pet food. Unfortunately, studies done on laboratory animals showed that a BHA diet can consistently produce certain types of tumors, which means BHA is a carcinogen.
- Milk bones may also contain wheat, corn, or soya, ingredients that dogs have difficulty digesting.
How many treats should I give my dog?
Treats are important sources of calories. This is why pet nutritionists recommend that calories from treats should not exceed 10% of a dog’s total calorie intake for the day. Being too generous with treats can have its consequences. In fact, it has been linked to obesity in pets. It can also cause digestive upsets (vomiting and/or diarrhea) in dogs with sensitive stomachs. Experts recommend 1-2 daily for small dogs, 1-4 treats for medium-sized dogs, and 1-5 treats for large-breed dogs. However, the size of the treat should also be considered.
To keep your dog entertained longer without having to give more treats, you can also use interactive feeders like Feed By Paw Made Fun Feeder or toys like Paws & Pal Play Pal Circle Snuffle Mat to double the fun!