The Best Healthy Dog Treats … Be Sure
Ah, those treats, who doesn’t love one? A nice slice of cake, a piece of pie, a hot fudge sundae, we all love them! Our four-legged companions are no different, but what are the best healthy dog treats? In this article, I will expand on this question and provide insights to help you make an educated, confident decision. Let’s get started.
Before I tackle the subject of healthy dog treats, I would like to first examine the detrimental effects that dog treats can have regarding the health of your dog. According to Tami Pierce, DVM, and clinical veterinarian at The University of California, Davis, “if your not careful, treats can add a substantial amount of calories to your dog’s otherwise healthy diet.” It is so easy to give your a dog two, three treats at a time not even realizing the harm you may be playing on the health of your pet.
The bottom line is this: Our pets look forward to and love getting treats. We, as pet owners, enjoy making our dogs happy and also receive a great feeling when giving our dogs the treats. Just don’t overdue the process and find some healthy ones to give your dog.
Let’s be honest, going to the local pet store and picking out a huge box of dog biscuits is quite the easy thing to do. I did this very thing for years, and proceeded to hand out these treats to my dogs like it was Halloween. Not a good idea! Are there other choices out there? Absolutely, so let’s look at a few.
What’s Hiding In Your Refrigerator?
Consider such things as fruits and vegetables as an option. I will give my beloved pet a piece of carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and occasionally apple and banana. A nicely (small piece) proportioned slice of cheese has always been a big hit with my dogs. These items are obviously much more nutritious and healthier than the store bought biscuits loaded with unhealthy ingredients including fats, sugars and artificial coloring. Take a look at the benefits the fruits and vegetables provide:
- Carrot ( Vitamin A, great for eye health, immune system, skin and coat )
- Apple ( Vitamin C, fiber, and calcium )
- Cauliflower ( Contains cancer fighting agents, not too much, can cause gas )
- Broccoli ( Vitamin C and K and anti-oxidant
- Banana ( High in fiber, promotes bone growth)
Not a fruit and vegetable type of owner? Too much work, too messy, dogs just don’t seem to have a taste for it? No reason to fret, as there are actually some quality dog treats out there that you can find at your local pet store. As with dog food, make sure you take the time to read the label before purchasing any type of treat! Let’s look at a few factors I examine before the purchase of a quality treat.
Dogs Can’t Read … But You Can!
I could spend countless hours examining and comparing various dog treats that you may find in the local pet store. As mentioned before, the one thing I always consider is the label on the back side of any brand. I look for such things as protein, carbohydrates, fat, preservatives, and anything characterized as ‘artificial.’ Remember, natural and/or organic ingredients are best to ensure a quality treat. Be careful of anything that reads, ‘meat meal’ or ‘animal fat’ due to it’s uncertainty. You should be asking, “what type of meat,” and “what type of animal?” Healthy treats will read ‘chicken’ or ‘turkey’ which indicates a healthy choice.
Dog Treats – What Do I Feed My Precious Pet?
Before I answer this question, keep in mind that I only feed my pet natural and/or organic types of treats. I absolutely will give my dog a piece or slice of vegetables and fruits. ( Her favorite is the carrot, followed closely by the apple). I also will purchase a natural and healthy treat from my local pet store which my dog also enjoys. I have found that my dog enjoys a change of pace, going from veggies and fruits to a chewy quality biscuit. Both types are used in moderation! To simplify a quality choice for you to make a decision, I will name five types of healthy treats that I have used and recommend:
- Greenies Dental Dog Treats and Chews ( Great for the teeth, low fat)
- Zuke’s Mini Natural Healthy Moist Training Treats ( Made with real meat, low calories)
- Newman’s Own Organics Dog Treats (Real meat, organic ingredients)
- PurLuv (Low in fat, can be broken down into smaller pieces)
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Treats ( First ingredient is duck, grain free)
My Choice, Your Choice, Your Dog’s Choice
Of the items mentioned above, I have used the Greenies, Zuke’s and PurLuv. All three are excellent products and I would suggest you take a look at these products (read the label) and decide which brand is best for you and your pet. Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to add any additional comment or experience you may have had regarding this topic. See you soon!