Dogs Treats for your dog can be healthy

Published on April 13th, 2015 | by Debbie Martin


Treats for Your Dog Can Be Healthy

Giving your dog a treat is a fun way of rewarding him, building up your bond and making him feel good about life. More importantly treats for your dog can be healthy, we all love to spoil our pets and this is a simple way of doing it that you can both enjoy.

Of course, too much of a good thing can cause problems in the long run, so you will want to be sure that the treats you give him don’t cause him health problems or any other issues. The following are some of the main types of dog treats that you might be considering. So, which ones are okay and which ones should you avoid?

Typical Dog Treats

The standard sorts of dog treats are very useful for giving out as a reward and to help train your dog more easily and effectively. However, they are often packed with the same high levels of fat and sugar that are also found in many of the tastiest treats for humans. Eating them occasionally isn’t going to do them any great amount of harm but too many of these treats can upset their stomach, causing them to gain weight and possibly lead to long term nutritional problems. Small dogs don’t need to get as many calories each day and even just a couple of these calorie-laden treats can be enough throw their diet off track. Treats like this can also contain a lot of artificial flavouring and colouring. This kind of snack can also be bad news for dogs that have allergies or those with health issues such as diabetes, kidney problems or liver problems.  You certainly don’t want these to ever become too big a part of their daily diet.

Low Fat, Healthy Treats

It is now also possible to get low fat, healthy and natural dog treats instead of the classic type.  These usually don’t contain the high levels of sugar, fat and chemicals that are often present in traditional dog treats. Of course, as with most human food, it pays to read the packaging before buying it. If there are no nasty or unwanted ingredients in there then you will feel a lot more comfortable about buying some for your dog. If you are planning on using the treats for training purposes then you will feel a lot happier giving them something that is completely natural, healthy and low fat too.

Human Food Not to Give to Dogs

Who can resist throwing down a few scraps from the dinner table for their dog? While this might sound like a great thing to do, you could be giving them food that isn’t right for them. In some cases, the food that you can’t give to your canine friends is simply too fatty or greasy. This could cause them serious stomach problems or weight gain. In other cases, the food could be dangerous for them to eat. Among the human foods that you shouldn’t give to your dog are chocolate, grapes and raisins. You will also want to avoid giving them bones if they are cooked meat bones or else poultry bones, as these can be too brittle and potentially dangerous when chewed. Other food types that you might not know aren’t great for dogs are those including onions, garlic, nutmeg or macadamia nuts. Clearly anything that has a choking risk attached to it isn’t a great idea either.

Human Food That Is Ok for Dogs

The list of human food that it is ok to give a dog is longer than you might think. It includes vegetables and fruits like strawberries, watermelon, bananas and apples, as long as you take the seeds out of the apples. If you are going to give them cooked meat from your table then make sure it is the lean kind without any bones. Cooked eggs, rice, pasta, popcorn and peanut butter are other safe treats they will be happy to receive from your plate. If you have any doubts about any food you want to give them then check with a vet before you give it to them.

Bones and Other Meaty Teats

One of the classic dog treats is a nice, juicy bone, isn’t it? Many people also give their pets food such as pig’s ears and cow’s hooves to chew on. The truth is that these snacks can be dangerous for dogs, especially small puppies. For a start, they could damage a tooth on a tough treat or a chunk of it could get lodged in their throat. It is far better that you look for alternatives such as synthetic bones that they can chew on or edible treats stuffed with tasty surprises. This sort of thing can keep them happily chewing away for hours without any health risks.

Dental Treats

There are many different doggy dental treats you could buy but they aren’t all equally good. Some of them contain a large amount of calories in them while not all of them are particularly effective at helping improve dental health. However, there are some products of this type that have been proven to be safe and effective. For example, vegetable CET chews with natural ingredients have been proven to be excellent as treats and to do a good job of keeping your pets teeth clean too.

Suggested Home Made Treats

With a bit of imagination you can create some healthy treats that they love and that don’t do them any harm at all. For example, you could give them some liver or freeze dried chicken treats that are great tasting, low in fat and easy to break up into pieces. Another idea worth trying is dried fish flakes. Also low fat human breakfast cereal works well as treats or rewards for dogs. If they have any allergies or health problems you should check with your vet before giving them any treats. You should also try to add up the calories they get from the snacks and take it away from their daily food intake, to ensure their weight is kept in check.

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About the Author

Debbie Martin has worked at Beeston Animal Health for over five years, having previously worked as a nurse in equine and small animal practice. Although generally involved with aspects of marketing these days and putting her psychology degree to good use, she still has a great depth of up to date knowledge in all creatures great and small. Debbie lives at home with her partner and two children and spends much of her spare time looking after her horses, dogs and cats or at the home farm with the cows, sheep and turkeys.

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