Dogs love treats, and we humans love making dogs happy. While everyone is aware that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, few consider the health benefits of giving our dogs varied and healthy treats in place of the same old bag full of preservatives and artificial flavors.
Here is our list of healthy dog treats that your dog will go nuts over!
Fruits and vegetables
“[Vegetables] have virtually no calories, and dogs don’t care if you’re not giving them something meaty and fatty. They just want you to give them something.” -- Tami Pierce, clinical veterinarian at the University of California, Davis.
One of the healthiest treats you can give to your dog is actually the apple! It is available everywhere, and they are fairly cheap too. Do you know that apples are a good source of vitamin A and C, as well as dietary fiber and antioxidants? Just make sure you remove and discard the apple's core as well as the seeds.
Canned pumpkin is another great healthy treat that your dog can take as its fiber helps to prevent diarrhea. Pumpkin has the ability to convert beta-carotene into vitamin A. However, try not to give too much of this to your dog as an overdose in vitamin A can be bad for your furry friend.
A lot of dogs love cabbage, and it's actually very good for their digestive system and skin. Cabbage is rich in antioxidants, and even fights cancer.
While the cabbage is one of the healthiest snacks you can give to your dog, do be careful with it as it is known to cause gas issues.
Beef jerky is certainly a tasty snack for dogs, just get the right kind. Avoid beef jerkies that contain fillers like wheat and soy -- these have close to zero nutritional value to the dog. Get the pricier pure beef ones. You can also choose chicken sources. Beef jerky will help to add more protein to the dog’s diet, and this is good since there is a lower fat content in the snack.
Sardines -- actually fishes in general -- are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids as well as proteins. Omega-3 fatty acids is one of the best nutrients to ensure a healthy and smooth skin as well as coat. Also, the fatty acid does help to boost your dog’s immune system also.
A good way to do up a sardine treat for your dog is actually to cut them into small pieces and put them in the freezer. Once it's frozen, you can bring it out for your dog to enjoy!
Commercial dog treats
Note: We are not affiliated with or in any way compensated by any of these companies.
Zuke’s Training Treats
Zuke's was founded in 1995 "on the realization that pets need healthy, natural treats, just as much as people do" and have 108k likes on Facebook. Zuke’s Training Treats uses organic duck, chicken and salmon meat, and also have a peanut butter and oats variant. There is no corn, soy, or wheat in Zuke's, and the calorie counts are very low. Some of their treats contain cherries and turmeric to make them wonderfully tasty to your dog.
Dental care treats
If your dog has bad breath, then you can opt to give them treats that help to promote good dental care in your dog. These treats help to clean your dog's teeth, yet at the same time allowing your dog to have a fun time chewing on the dental care treats itself.
An example is the Purina DentaLife Daily Oral Care Mini Dog Treats, which helps to reduce the presence of tartar in your dog’s teeth and freshens his breath instantly. A packet of the dental care treats should last you for a few months.
Just make sure to practice moderation, and you will get to enjoy a happy and healthy dog for a long time yet!
Have any tips for healthy treats? Add them in the comments and maybe we'll add it to the list! (with credit)