Treats are supposed to be special. Just like ice cream for us, they are not our main dish or our main source of nutrition. However, we can opt for frozen yogurt instead of pure loaded ice cream and that is the healthier choice. When we can, we should always try and make the healthier choice. We should do the same for our dogs as well.
Our Top Advice On How to Pick the Healthiest Dog Treats
Look at the ingredients
Not all treats are created equally. Avoid any treats with fillers like cornmeal, flour or soy. These are just as unhealthy for us as they are for our dogs. You should always buy treats made with natural ingredients. Treats loaded with sugar and fat aren’t good for you or your dog! Look for treats made from whole grains like oats or quality, single source proteins like chicken or lamb. Fish is a great snack for dogs, and it’s low in fat and calories. Try to find treats that are made with quality whole-food ingredients. Look for high-quality protein as a first ingredient. The best ingredients are meat and fruit. According to PetSafe.net, these are the top ingredients to avoid:
- Corn and wheat gluten
- Meat and grain meals and by-products
- BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
- BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
- Food Dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE)
- PG (Propylene Glycol)
- Rendered fat
Don’t forget about the calories
We are not the only ones that should count calories. Treats are exactly that, treats. That does not mean they have to be calorie laden. The best treats are low calorie. One biscuit can easily have up to 100 calories! That is quite the indulgence, especially for our little canine friends.
Give them treats for their health
Try giving your pet treats that benefit their health. Many dog treats are now formulated with supplements like glucosamine which can help maintain joint health and even relieve symptoms of arthritis. Look for bite-sized dog treats that are low in calories.
Treats should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet. Use your best judgment when deciding what dog treats are best for your pup. Learn to read labels and check ingredients. Make sure your dog’s overall diet is balanced and nutritious and he will be with you for a long, long time.
We all love our occasional treat. Our dogs love them too. They are also a great way to start training. But that doesn’t mean that they should not be healthy, or a a main part of their diet.
And of course, if you have any questions about treats you want to give your dog, make sure to contact your vet. They are always a phone call away and ready to give advice for the well being of your dog.