Having a healthy dog means having a happy dog. Who doesn’t want the best for their furry friend? While we might try to pay attention to the ingredients in our dog’s daily food, how many of us take that extra step to see just what’s in their favorite treats as well? Unfortunately, many dog treats are downright unsafe and unhealthy. With additives like sugar to poor designs that break off and hurt dogs, there is a lot to look out for today.
With so much to stay away from, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to natural treats. What’s safe for dogs, and what should you skip at the pet store? Once you figure out the natural snack options and play toys for your dog, you’re able to feel confident in your choices. Here are some of the best natural treats to start with.
Fruits & Veggies
While not all foods from the kitchen are safe for dogs, most fruits and vegetables are a good option. While many store-bought snacks are known to be high in fat and sugar, vegetables are virtually calorie free. Dogs don’t usually care if you’re feeding them gourmet treats or a handful of carrots as long as they get to have something.
What are the best fruits and veggies to try? Baby carrots, green beans, and broccoli are excellent for the health of your dog, and they’re sure to love them. You can also try fruits like sliced up bananas, watermelon, and apple slices. Avoid fruits that have seeds, and never feed dogs grapes, onions, raisins, or onions which can all be toxic.
Not all chews are safe for dogs, but many owners still want to find a way to help their teething dogs get their energy out. Chewable treats like bully sticks can be a safe option as long as you’re aware of the best bully sticks and choose wisely. The most important rule of thumb is ensuring the treat isn’t too hard. When treats are too hard, you run the risk of the dog hurting its teeth. You should be able to comfortably press into the treat with your fingernail and leave a slight mark.
There is one big exception to this rule: rawhides. While rawhides start off as a chew, they become soft as your dog enjoys them. These are notoriously full of chemicals and even illnesses, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. No matter what kind of chew you choose, make sure you monitor your dog and take away pieces that have broken off or become too small.
Finally, the best natural treat might be one your dog is already used to. If a dog is already food motivated, you might not need to introduce new foods into their diet. This is especially true if the dog is already facing health concerns or might not respond well to new foods. Y
You should always consider any dog treats your pet gets throughout the day to be a part of mealtimes. They aren’t an addition to their daily food intake, simply a small percentage of it. See how your dog responds to their own food outside of meal times. Odds are he’s really excited about it! These small kibble bites are also perfect for training since they’re small enough to be enjoyed, but not too filling.
While dog treats should be high-quality, that doesn’t mean they have to be expensive. You probably already have healthy pet treats in your kitchen already, and you can always fall back on their daily food. Always check ingredient lists and online resources for any health information or concerns. It’s important to be aware of what you’re feeding to your pet to make sure they’re not ingesting anything unnecessary or harmful. These natural ideas above are the perfect alternative to harmful treats in some pet stores today.