Keeping Your Pet Happy with Healthy Dog Treats
Healthy dog treats are an important part of providing your dog with optimal daily nutrition. As is the case among humans, obesity is a growing epidemic among dogs today, and just like with people, excess weight can lead to a host of serious health problems for our canine friends, many of them irreversible. One of the best things you can do for your dog if they have a weight problem is to start monitoring or changing their diet, giving only healthy treats, and incorporating regular exercise into their daily routine.
What To Look For In Healthy Dog Treats
Healthy dog treats generally are high in protein, contain natural ingredients, and are less likely to exacerbate food allergies or sensitivities. Look for dog treats without dyes, artificial flavorings or preservatives, sugars, and sodium. And also avoid treats like pieces of rawhide and pigs ears which are very high in fat and can lead to digestive problems. For the most part, all bones should also be avoided as they can splinter and cause serious damage, and they're also high in fat.
As you might expect, the healthiest of commercial dog treats will come with a higher price tag than ordinary varieties made with less than savory ingredients. However, when used in tandem with a high quality dog food, most pet owners say the difference in price is offset by fewer veterinary bills and the need for less food overall, not to mention fewer stools.
Are Homemade Treats A Good Option?
If you aren't able to find a brand that meets your approval or your dog's taste buds, which are usually not that discerning, you always have the option of making your own homemade, healthy dog treats. Not only will you have total control over the ingredients and how much fat, protein, or carbohydrates your dog is getting, but you'll also be able to make a variety of snacks to keep them interested while getting a number of different nutrients.
Vegetables are great treats for dogs, who are carnivores by nature but nevertheless like and need the nutrients found in vegetation. Before dogs were domesticated and had to hunt for their meals, they naturally consumed the entrails of their unfortunate prey, which, of course, would contain partially digested vegetable matter.
But, although tasty and good for them, dogs aren't able to digest vegetables as efficiently as we humans are. So cooking carrots, green beans, and peas and using these cooked foods as treats can be one way of improving your pet's health. Dogs will also appreciate treats like popcorn, no-salt rice cakes, cottage cheese, and hard boiled eggs.
3 Of The Best Brands
Here are three of the best brands of healthy dog treats based on their ingredients, consumer opinion, and price.
Zuke's Jerky Naturals Dog Treats
Made from real cuts of meat, apples, barley, and carrots with no wheat or fillers as well as no preservatives and artificial flavors or colors. A six ounce package costs around $7.
Newman's Own Organics Dog Treats
Made with organic flour, carrots, barley, and apples, these treats have no corn, soy, or wheat products. A 23 ounce package for small or medium dogs averages $7.
Castor & Pollux Organix All Natural Dog Cookies
These dog treats contain no byproducts, corn, or wheat and include all natural ingredients like chicken, peas, brown rice, and organic peanut butter. A 12 ounce package of the chicken variety averages $6.50.
Limiting the number of treats you give to your dog and not feeding them from the table is a great way to start them on the road to better health. Equally as important is only giving your pet healthy dog treats, as opposed to those full of cheap fillers and countless chemicals. The articles on the right side of this page will help you in your search for different types of healthy dog treats.
Healthy Dog Treats Related Articles
Vegetarian Dog Treats - What exactly are vegetarian dog treats, and what are the best brands?
Wheat Free Dog Treats - Why they might be a good idea, and information on the best brands.
Diabetic Dog Treats - What do they contain and which are the best ones for your dog?
Dog Training Treats - Information on how to use training treats and reviews on the top brands.
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