Healthy dog treats are a perfect way to encourage good behaviour, reward your dog and keep them satisfied between meals –– without negatively affecting their health. Some treats are healthier than others, so it’s important to know what different treats contain before giving them to your dog.
What Are Healthy Dog Treats?
Meat and fish makes for healthy dog treats. Fish contains high levels of Omega-3, which has numerous health benefits to keep dogs healthy. Red meat –– such as beef –– is high in protein, which aids cell regeneration and helps dogs maintain healthy muscle mass.
Dogs have evolved to digest meat and fish easily and it’s a natural source of nutrition for them. Angell Petco offers a wide variety of meat and fish-based treats that will suit any dog’s taste –– including pigs ears strips, duck fillets, beef patties and fish treats.
The healthiest treats for dogs are typically those with less than eight easily recognisable ingredients. The best treats should contain no foreign chemical ingredients, be low in fat and contain around 30% protein so your dog is getting valuable nutrition with their treat. A gentle cooking process will also help to preserve the nutritional value of the treats, allowing your dog to absorb more of the nutrients from the fresh ingredients.
What Are Unhealthy Treats for Dogs?
Cheap, low-quality dog treats high in saturated fat, sodium (salt) and carbohydrates. These products are mass-produced, so they’re usually full of unhealthy additives and manufactured with chemicals to preserve them for as long as possible.
Always check the packaging of treats for a list of ingredients. Wheat, corn syrup and gluten can also upset your dog’s stomach and cause weight gain and diabetes if they are consumed regularly by your dog.
Some brands of dog treats claim to have natural ingredients such as fish and meat, but they’re in very small quantities and the treats are actually filled with cheap ingredients. Make sure to check the fine print to see the ratios of each ingredient.
Can I Give My Dog Human Food as a Treat?
Never feed your dog tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, grapes, raisins, avocado, lemons, limes, macadamia nuts, onions or garlic –– all contain compounds toxic to dogs. Avoid giving dogs processed foods as dogs’ digestive systems are much different from humans and will struggle to digest certain processed foods like crisps.
Can I Treat My Dog with Fruit and Vegetables?
Yes, in moderation. But be extremely careful, as certain fruits and vegetables are toxic to dogs (including those mentioned above).
Healthy vegetable options include peas, carrots, green beans, broccoli and cooked potatoes (including sweet potato). Although these vegetables might not spark as much interest from your dog compared to meat-based treats, they’re healthy alternatives to other processed treats and are often found in dry dog food.
You can also treat your dog to fruit in small quantities, but be aware that fruit is naturally high in sugar, which can be bad for your dog.
Dogs can only eat certain fruits: watermelon, apple, banana, strawberries and blueberries, but only in their natural form –– not dried, as this concentrates the sugar levels. Avoid other fruits, as they could be harmful to your dog’s health.