Treats can be a great way to supplement your dog’s diet. They are also extreme helpful during obedience training and just a great way to show your dog affection.
However, like human treats, many brands of dog treats are basically junk food.
Some are loaded with salts, sugars, and fats that can be unhealthy for your dog, especially in larger quantities. So it’s important to make sure that when giving your dog a treat, you are feeding them something that supports their health. Here is our simple guide on how to pick a great dog treat that is both delicious and healthy.
Read The Label Carefully
Just like when picking your dog’s food, you want to read the label on dog treats to make sure what you are giving them is healthy. Dog treat manufacturers will sometimes make claims about their treats being healthy or natural, but are heavily processed with artificial ingredients. So start by making sure that the treats do not contain any artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Secondly, make sure the treats are no loaded with salt which may be listed as sodium. Then make sure there are no sugars which could be listed as corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, or anhydrous dextrose. Finally, watch the fat content of a treat to make sure it isn’t too unhealthy.
Reward Treats Appropriately
When giving your dog treats, remember to treat appropriately. Never overindulge in treats because it can lead to health problems like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Also if you overindulge in treats, your dog may start rejecting their food. Even if you feed your dog the healthiest treats on the market, overindulgence is a huge problem. Also make sure that you aren’t replacing affection with treats. If you do this, your dog will develop an unhealthy relationship with treats. So always make sure that treats are treated as special.
What To Look For In Healthy Treats
The best thing to keep in mind when picking out treats for your dog is that they support dog nutrition and are easily digestible with minimal processing. When picking treats look for:
- Single-Ingredient Treats: Single ingredient treats are made with one ingredient like 100% chicken or 100% sweet potato. Single ingredient treats are healthier and easy to digest.
- Natural Ingredients: Treats that only use natural ingredients like organic, free-range, or grass-fed ingredients tend to be much healthier and easier to digest. You also want to make sure that if a dog treat claims to be “natural” that the ingredients match their claims.
- Dehydrated Or Freeze-Dried Treats: You want a treat that has been minimally processed so they are not added preservatives or salts. Dehydrating and freeze drying are two of the best methods to preserve treats without having to rely on unhealthy artificial additives.
- Nutritionally Dense: Treats can be a great way to supplement the essential vitamins, minerals, and oils a dog needs. So try finding a treat that is nutritionally dense is a great option to support your dog’s health.
Three Great Dog Treat Recommendations
It can be hard figuring out what treats fit these recommendations, so we’ve put together a list of some of the best treats that support dog nutrition:
Whole Life dog treats come in salmon, duck, chicken, and turkey. They are a single ingredient freeze-dried jerky treat so they are safe, healthy, and easily digestible.. Freeze-drying not only prevents the need for artificial preservatives but also helps concentrate the flavor. So Whole Life dog treats are not only a wholesome treat to feed to your dog they are also delicious so your dog will love them.
If you are looking for a classic, biscuit-style treat, Old Mother Hubbard dog treats are a fantastic option. They are made with natural ingredients with minimal processing and no artificial colors or flavors. Old Mother Hubbard treats come in a variety of delicious flavors and varieties to support different health needs. Old Mother Hubbard has been making natural dog treats for 90 years, so they are a great brand if you are looking for a healthy treat.
Premium Pure Antarctic Krill Oil treats are a great supplemental treat. Krill oil the best source of the omega 3 fatty acids essential to your dog’s heart, skin, and joint health. These nutritionally-dense treats are made very simply with krill oil and flaxseed, another great source of omega-3s. They are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, so they are a great option if you are looking for a treat to supplement your dog’s diet.
Picking a healthy dog treat can be a big task. There are so many unhealthy options on the market that do nothing to support dog nutrition. However, next time you are shopping for a treat if you read the label and pick healthy options like minimally-processed, single-ingredient treats, you will be able to give your dog something really healthy. Just remember to treat appropriately, so your dog doesn’t gain too much weight or reject their normal food.