Generic health treats for dogs like biscuits and dog chews can be full of additives and fillers. Treats are a great incentive when training your dog, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be healthy. If you want to avoid ingredients that don’t add any nutritional value, consider these healthy treats for dogs.
Fish-Based Treats for Dogs
Grain-free dried fish skin dog treats are good treats for older dogs and dogs with sensitive stomachs. The best dried fish skins should contain no additives and be cooked in small batches, with minimal processing, at low temperatures. Low in fat and high in Omega-3 fatty acids, air-dried fish skins offer a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals with all the added benefits of Omega-3. Omega-3 gives your dog a glossier coat, helps to lubricate stiff joints and can even improve eye health. The rough and crunchy texture of fish skin also helps to keep any dental problems at bay, as the abrasive surface effectively removes tartar and plaque.
Meat-Based Protein Treats
When buying healthy meat-based treats for dogs, you should prioritise natural snacks over processed meat. Beef is a great source of protein for dogs as it is easily digestible. These Irish Beef Patties are 100% beef, so you know everything you’re putting into your dog’s body is natural and nutritious. Duck Fillets are also an ideal lean protein packed full of iron and zinc to promote a healthy immune system in your pet. Unlike some mass-manufactured dog treats, these gently-cooked meat treats are transparent with human-grade meat and no additives, preservatives or fillers.
Pure protein doesn’t have to mean the treat is 100% one type of meat. Incorporating several proteins into one healthy treat can help optimise the nutritional value of your dog’s snacks — like these Super Training Treats that combine a mix of duck, turkey and chicken.
Healthy Natural Fruit Snacks
Fruit makes a great healthy treat for dogs, especially if you’re trying to manage their weight. Most dogs love berries like strawberries and blueberries, which are super easy to give as a small snack in measured amounts. Be mindful of how much sugar is in fruit — it’s best to try your dog with a small amount of fruit to begin with to see how their digestive system responds.
Dogs also enjoy watermelon, which will hydrate as well as nourish your pet. You will need to remove the seeds and rind before giving them the treat though. Apples are also a popular healthy treat for dogs, and because they’re low in protein and fat, they’re good for senior dogs. Similar to watermelon, ensure you have removed the seeds and core before treating your dog to some apple.
Always check before giving fruit to your dog — what might seem like a healthy treat to you could actually be poisonous to your dog.
Vegetables as Snacks or Combined in Treats
As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your dog is getting a balanced diet, and healthy snacks that combine food groups are a great way to get lots of nutrients packed into dog treats. These Salmon and Potato Cookies are an ideal way to get both protein and carbohydrates into one treat. Did you know that dogs can eat sweet potatoes, too? For an all-natural snack, simply roast some plain sweet potatoes for your dog.
Other vegetables that make great healthy treats for dogs include carrots and broccoli — both of which can be eaten raw (just make sure they’re a manageable size to avoid choking). While some vegetables can be eaten raw, remember never give your dog raw potato of any kind.