Theoretically, if your dog is eating a nutritionally complete and balanced diet, they shouldn’t need any snacks or treats because they won’t be starving for nutrients or hungry in between meals. In fact, serving your dog too many “extras” outside of meals can upset the nutritional balance of those meals.
Now, let’s be honest. Snacks are beneficial for training, and dogs enjoy a tasty snack just like humans do. We can’t ignore the joy and excitement that a tasty treat can provide, both to us and to them. To ensure that treats aren’t compromising your dog’s health, just adhere to a few rules.
Here are some suggestions for selecting and feeding treats as well as a collection of straightforward, healthy snacks.
Weighing the risks and benefits of dog treats
Dogs in the United States are overweight or obese in 56% of cases, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). Dogs who are overweight are more likely to develop diseases including heart disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer, making it one of the most urgent health problems they confront.
Many commercial dog treats contain excessive amounts of calories, sugar, and questionable additives, which can lead to obesity (even healthful foodsincluding fruits and vegetablesgiven in excess can contribute to weight gain).
Researchers at the University of Padua have examined the nutritional value of 32 common dog treats, including biscuits, tender treats, meat-based strips, rawhides, chew sticks, and dental care sticks. They claim that the majority of these consumed more energy than was advised for treats each day.
Do You Know What’s In Your Dog Treats?
A dog treat’s actual components should match those listed on the label, however this is frequently not the case. Researchers from the same university found that 76% of the sweets they examined had between four and nine ingredients, which weren’t precisely listed on the labels.
For dogs on restricted diets, this poses a particular risk. Consider a canine patient with kidney illness who requires dietary protein restriction. How can you be sure that the dog treat doesn’t contain too much protein if you can’t trust the information on the label?
Additionally risky are processed jerky snacks.
Approximately 5,000 complaints of diseases linked to chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats had been made to the FDA as of 2015, according to data from products imported from China.
So what types of treats can my dog eat?
Of course, there are two options: buying treats from reputable businesses, or making your own treats under the direction of a board-certified veterinary nutritionist.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and other veterinarians promote fruits and vegetables because of their high nutrient content and low calorie count. Here are several foods that, when consumed in moderation, will benefit your dog’s health.
It’s probably for the best that an apple a day won’t keep the doctor away; doctors are quite vital! however, apples are fantastic and a nutritious treat for canines. Apples include a fair amount of fiber, which can help your dog’s digestion. Additionally, they are a strong source of antioxidants (vitamins A and C), which can help guard against the harm caused by free radicals. Additionally, they can assist in cleaning your dog’s teeth to maintain a healthy mouth and fresh breath.
Apples should not be eaten because they contain amygdalin, a dangerous type of cyanide. Therefore, always remove the seeds and core before giving your dog any food.
Bananas have a relatively high fiber content, low cholesterol and sodium content, and are rich in potassium, vitamins (particularly vitamin C), fiber, and copper, all of which can help to improve digestion, heart health, and energy levels. Serve in moderation because a small banana contains 12 grams of sugar.
In addition to being strong in fiber and antioxidants (vitamins C and K), blueberries also contain potent phytochemicals, such as anthocyanins, which give the berries their color. Next time you’re making a smoothie, add a few berries to your dog’s dish to share the health. To make blueberries more appealing to your dog, break them open to release their smell.
This tasty melon is a nutritional powerhouse for your dog, with beta-carotene, fiber, folate, niacin, potassium, and vitamins A, B-6, and C. The rind and seeds should both be removed because they may upset the stomach and create digestive problems.
Can dogs eat carrots? is a common query. Yes, it is the answer. The antioxidant beta-carotene and other minerals found in abundance in carrots may help prevent some diseases. The development of or occurrence of transitional cell carcinoma in Scottish Terriers, a urinary bladder cancer that is common in the breed, may be slowed or prevented by eating specific leafy green and orange-yellow vegetables, such as carrots.
Be sure to continue brushing your teeth though, since the texture of carrots may also assist remove film from the surface of teeth and help in a tiny way to prevent the accumulation of plaque.
There are hardly any lipids or oils in cucumbers. However, they are rich in vitamins K, C, and B-1 as well as minerals including potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin. Cucumbers are particularly beneficial during the summer and on active days because of their high water content, which will help hydrate your dog. Additionally, they deliver phytonutrients that may aid in the fight against the bacterium that causes bad breath. Cool!
Green beans are still another delicious option. They are a crunchy supply of iron, calcium, fiber, folic acid, niacin, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, and K. Feed only salt-free fresh or canned types.
Pears are an usually ignored food choice for dogs and provide fiber, vitamins C and K, and other nutrients that support healthy digestion and a robust immune system. Be sure to remove the core before serving, though.
Beta-carotene, the antioxidant that gives pumpkin its deep orange color, is abundant in pumpkin, along with other nutritional powerhouses like fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Additionally, holistic vets claim that it might be beneficial in some cases of diarrhea and constipation.
We advise pumpkin puree from cans. Sugar, spices, and xylitol may be present in canned pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin could be used in place of peanut butter. Compared to 100 calories for the same amount of peanut butter, there are only roughly five calories per tablespoon.
Slices of raw red peppers are a tasty treat because they are stuffed with vitamins and antioxidants that can lower inflammation and promote immunity, provided that the stems and seeds are removed. Keep your dog away from hot peppers as well because they can irritate their stomach.
Strawberry fiber and vitamin C content are excellent for boosting immunity. Malic acid, another substance found in strawberries, may help whiten dogs’ teeth. Strawberries must be consumed in moderation because they are heavy in sugar.
Choose fresh rather than canned berries, and steer clear of fruit with added sugar or syrup. Start with tiny servings of strawberries if they are a new delight to prevent tummy distress.
Beta-carotene and vitamins B-6 and C are abundant in sweet potatoes. They also contain minerals that have a variety of functions in a dog’s body, such as potassium, which supports healthy renal function, a healthy fluid balance, and healthy neuron and muscle function. Additionally aiding digestion is their high dietary fiber content. When preparing sweet potatoes for your dog at home, either boiling or steaming.
Potatoes should only be cooked; eating them raw can be quite hard on your dog’s digestive system. Additionally, because dried sweet potato snacks have been linked to kidney illness, WSAVA warns against giving them to pets.
Watermelon is a delightful treat that helps keep your dog hydrated on a hot day because it is 92% water. Additionally, it is a rich source of potassium and the vitamins A, B-6, and C.
Watermelon seeds, like apple seeds, can impede digestion and cause intestinal blockage. Keep the rind out of your dog’s reach as well because it might cause digestive issues.
Practicing prudent portion control
Learning how to manage your portions is crucial since even eating too much fruit or vegetables can result in weight gain. The 90/10 rule, which states that snacks should make up no more than 10% of a comprehensive and balanced diet, is undoubtedly something you’ve heard about. But it’s not always easy to measure 10% precisely, and guessing might lead to overeating.
Consulting a food database, such as the one offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Data Central, is one approach to find out how many calories are in an item. Once you know how many calories your dog needs, do some simple math. Let’s take the scenario where you want to give your 20-pound dog a banana. A maximum of 32 to 40 calories per day, out of their daily caloric needs of 325 to 400, should come from sweets. It is excessive to give her an entire little banana, which has roughly 90 calories.
Not every thing on this list will appeal to every dog. Try different flavors and textures to see what your dog like. You can also use your dog’s regular food as a treat if you switch up the format if you need extra treats that will exceed the 10% restriction. Consider reserving a little amount of their regular meals and dividing it up into treats. If you’re giving fresh food, you can bake food to dehydrate it for convenience or portion out small amounts of food onto a baking sheet and freeze them in ice cube trays.
Additionally, keep an eye out for meals that you ought to never provide. Your pet may be poisoned by a number of items, including onions, chocolate, xylitol, and macadamia nuts. Before making any nutritional changes or if your dog is displaying any unusual symptoms, always consult your veterinarian because these could be signs of an underlying medical problem.
reviewed by Burrwood Veterinary’s founding physician, Alex Schechter, DVM. Prior to that, he established Pure Paws Veterinary Care.
Fruits and vegetables dogs can eat
Even while a stray broccoli floret might not make your pet jump up and down with joy, small portions of fruits and vegetables are some of the best human snacks for pets. Try different things to see what your pet prefers, but make sure to wash fruits and vegetables first. Instead of just stuffing him up with less nutrient-dense goodies, you may add a healthy reward like fresh vegetables to your dog’s diet on occasion.
Which treats are the dogs’ favorites?
Treats for your dog that are healthy and natural that you already have in the kitchen? Yes! No need to go to the pet store. Numerous fruits and vegetables make excellent dog treats. They are obviously nutrient-dense foods, making them excellent for health. Because many of these are staples that you typically keep on hand for your family anyhow, they are frequently incredibly convenient. Additionally, they have fewer calories than typical dog biscuits or comparable treats. This significantly lessens the difficulty that many of us have finding a balance between caring for our dogs and maintaining a healthy weight for our long-term wellbeing.
What are some easy, all-natural dog treats that you can add to your routine? Some of our favorites are listed here!
A whole apple would be too much for a dog, and an apple a day doesn’t necessarily keep the doctor away, but apples are healthy for dogs just like they are for us! These are excellent snacks, being rich in fiber and nutrients. Just be careful not to give your dog the core or the seeds.
Green peas are a healthy treat that most dogs enjoy, whether they are frozen or fresh. Give your dog a few as rewards during training, or you could even put some in their dish. Easy-peasy!
Carrots are a near-certainty in your kitchen and are rich in beta carotene and other vitamins. Why not use some bite-sized chunks as a nutritious reward? If your dog is one of those that like to swallow things whole without chewing (labs and beagles come to mind), make sure the carrot chunks are the right size.
Green beans are also edible to dogs! Make sure the green beans are unseasoned if they have been cooked. Please be plain. These are an excellent source of fiber and greens.
Like most people, most dogs adore watermelon as a delicious, hydrating, and healthy food. Don’t give your dog the rind, and make sure to take out any seeds.
Although cooked sweet potatoes might not seem like the epitome of convenience, since they store nicely in the refrigerator, it’s actually very easy to roast up extra to share with your pet family member throughout the week. Keep them simple whenever possible. Never feed any sort of uncooked potato to dogs.
Bananas, as we all know, are a great source of healthful nutrients. They are a natural choice that you probably always keep on hand because most dogs adore them as well. Just watch out not to go overboard. Given their high sugar level, it’s advised to only occasionally give bananas to dogs.
The health advantages of cruciferous vegetables are well recognized, and broccoli is a fantastic option for puppies. You are welcome to treat them to a couple tiny pieces. These can be served unseasoned and can be eaten raw, roasted, or steaming. Although either is harmless, dogs frequently have an easier time digesting cooked high-fiber diets.
Cooked squashes are excellent all-natural dog treats! This is an excellent option all year long because there are various varieties of squash that are healthy for dogs. Zucchini, butternut squash, or yellow squash are all delicious. and pumpkin! Just be sure to take out the seeds and, in the case of the butternut, the rind.
Dogs adore strawberries because they are tasty tiny vitamin C nuggets. They are heavy in sugar, much like bananas, so bear that in mind when deciding how many to distribute.
Blueberries are excellent, healthful, and simple dog treats, just like strawberries are.
It’s usually advisable to start with little servings of new treats for your dog and monitor how their GI tracts react.
Additionally, there are a lot of foods in your kitchen that dogs should avoid eating. See our list of typical foods that are poisonous to dogs.
What treats is a dog on a diet allowed to have?
Carrot sticks, zucchini slices, apple slices (without seeds), cooked lean meats, small pieces of baked potato or baked sweet potato (no unripe potatoes or potato plants), unsalted almonds, plain cooked pasta, broccoli, tomato, pumpkin, blueberries, and zucchini slices are additional low-calorie treats for dogs.
What food from humans may dogs eat?
Can my puppy eat any human food? These are some healthy human foods that your dog can consume: Greek yogurt with peanut butter Beef and chicken are lean proteins. Apples Italian Bread Watermelon Wheat Rice Yummy potatoes Everyone is aware that your dog makes the saddest noises while you’re eating your favorite snacks “I’m so ravenous! the face of the
Everyone is aware that while enjoying their favorite delicacies, their dog will suddenly display the saddest expression “I’m so ravenous! the world’s face. While we’ve all occasionally caved in to our dog’s little pranks, it’s important to always keep in mind that your puppy should only be eating dog food. There are some human foods that your dog can consume, of course.
What human foods can my puppy eat?
Your puppy can eat a variety of foods, some of which are even nutritious when consumed in moderation. Be careful to do your homework and review ingredient labels before making any selections. These are some healthy human foods that your dog can consume:
- When provided in moderation, peanut butter is a healthy and secure treat for your dog! Always check the label to make sure the peanut butter doesn’t belong to the select group that has Xylitol or salt and sugar. Many natural peanut butters are available that work well.
- Greek yogurt: Compared to other types of yogurt, plain greek yogurt is healthier and safer for dogs. Your dog will benefit greatly from the high protein content and the probiotic, which helps prevent yeast infections.
- Lean proteins: Because they are good sources of protein, chicken and beef are among the most popular components in dog diets. These lean proteins should be consumed by your dog without any seasoning or sauces, as these may include elements that are unhealthy for him.
- Apples: Apple slices are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which is good for your dog’s digestive system. Never forget to take out the seeds first!
- Pasta: Since all it is essentially made of is flour and water, dogs can eat it. Don’t forget to omit the pasta sauce!
- Bread: Your dog can occasionally have a treat of plain white or whole grain bread without harm.
- Before giving your puppy watermelon, make sure to remove the rind and seeds. Watermelon is a highly healthy treat because it is low in calories and rich in nutrients.
- Maize: Since corn is a wonderful source of vitamins, dogs can consume it in moderation.
- Rice: Very digestible for dogs and may help settle an upset stomach. Brown or white rice cooked to perfection can be eaten by dogs.
- Sweet potatoes: These foods are incredibly high in vitamin A, which is wonderful for your dog’s immune system and eye health. In moderation, sweet potatoes are a safe and nutritious food.
What are common toxic foods for puppies?
Even while we would love for our puppies to join us for dinner every night, some foods are simply too poisonous, too salty, or too sweet for their digestive systems to handle. Definitely keep an eye out for the following human foods:
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can make it difficult to breathe and move around; it can even kill you or put you in a coma.
- Avocados: Avocados contain persin, a toxin that can make people feel sick or constipated or even cause pancreatitis.
- Caffeine: A high caffeine intake can cause a rapid heartbeat, hyperactivity, elevated blood pressure, tremors, seizures, and even death. Immediately seek veterinarian assistance if your dog has ingested coffee grounds.
- Caffeine is often present in chocolate, but the toxin methylxanthine is the true issue. It could take hours for symptoms to appear. Hyperactivity, vomiting, an increased pulse, tremors, fever, pancreatitis, or seizures may result from ingestion.
- Cooked bones: When chewed, cooked bones might splinter or become ingested in overly-large chunks. This could result in serious disease or death due to choking, internal bleeding, or intestinal obstructions.
- Dogs can readily chew and swallow the actual cob of corn. Digestive obstructions brought on by bits of corn can be dangerous and manifest as vomiting and diarrhea. An entire blockage is fatal if left untreated.
- The bacteria Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can be lethal to dogs if left untreated, is poisonous in raw salmon and trout. Fever, vomiting, yellow diarrhea, and discharge from the nose are among the symptoms that typically show up 5 to 7 days after consumption.
- Nuts, raisins, and grapes all contain toxins that can harm the liver, cause kidney failure, and even result in death. As little as one cup can cause symptoms.
- Onions and chives: These foods include sulfoxides and disulfides, which can both harm red blood cells and induce anemia. Hemolytic anemia can be brought on by consuming a lot of foods that contain onions. Weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and dark urine are among the symptoms.
- Pits and Seeds: Persimmon seeds, peach and plum pits, and other pits and seeds are sources of the toxic substance cyanide. Avoid giving your puppy any of these foods.
- Foods that have been processed are more likely to have elements that are harmful to dogs. Dietary products frequently contain Xylitol, while cookies or granola bars frequently have raisins or chocolate. Chips frequently have onion powder and too much salt.
- Xylitol: Sugar-free goods, breath mints, and chewing gum frequently include xylitol. Xylitol can cause kidney failure, mortality, and insulin overproduction even in modest doses.
When giving your best buddy a piece of human food, always use your best judgment since while it may seem like there are a lot of things to be on the lookout for, it’s actually just common sense.