We give dogs treats for many reasons, most often to reward them for good behaviour. Especially when training a new dog, we may feed our dogs more treats than usual.
That’s why it’s important to ask ourselves what healthy treats for dogs are.
In this article, I won’t recommend any particular product, but rather guide you to be able to find the healthiest, locally sourced option available to you.
What Should Dogs Eat?
When asking yourself what dogs should eat, it’s important to remember that all dogs are individuals. A particular diet might work great for one dog, but could be entirely inappropriate for another dog.
That’s why you often hear about dogs who lived a long and happy life on the cheapest canned dog food available. This works for some dogs, but can end in a complete disaster for other dogs.
When it comes to what dogs should eat, keep in mind that dogs are mainly carnivores that eat some omnivorous foods.¹ Furthermore, it’s crucial that your dog’s food is both complete and balanced for its stage of life, and if it has any medical issues.
What Are The Best Healthy Treats For Dogs?
At first, I would like to ask you to be cautious with general advice on healthy dog treats that you find online.
Like we just learned, there’s no such thing as a single healthy treat, as this will always depend on your individual dog and his nutritional profile. Please don’t start feeding your dog lots of cabbage or apples because some dubious website on the internet is telling you that they’re healthy treats.
If you want to do right to your dog, it’s best to stay away from most pet shops, and instead, ask your local vet for advice.
Dehydrated Dog Treats
In my experience, there are often local suppliers who sell 100% natural, high-quality, dehydrated dog treats.
You can get something like green tripe or a beef organ mix, which you can easily break apart for training purposes.
Furthermore, these treats are often as natural as it gets, as they’re just raw meat minus the water content because they’ve been dehydrated. Store-bought treats, on the other hand, are often high in fat, sugar, and preservatives.
Your Dog’s Regular Food
The following tip is something that doesn’t work for everyone, but it works great for some. Many dog’s love nothing more than having a purpose, so why not make them work for their food, rather than feeding it to them in a bowl?
You can have daily training sessions with your dog, during which you feed your dog his regular food. This can be a fantastic enrichment activity, as well as making sure that your dog doesn’t eat too many unhealthy treats throughout the day.
How Many Treats Can I Feed My Dog?
Treats and snacks should only make up 10% of a dog’s daily calories.²
If you’re feeding your dog a lot of treats for training purposes, you can deduct the amount from your dog’s daily ration.
If you’re unsure on how to work out the numbers, ask your vet. It’s one of those things that can be difficult to figure out yourself, as it depends on the nutritional profile of your dog’s regular food.
Is Cheese Bad For Dogs?
Most dogs tolerate a bit of cheese here and there, but it shouldn’t be a regular training treat. If your dog tolerates cheese, you can use it as on occasional, high-value treat.
What Type Of Dog Treats Do Dogs Prefer?
All dogs are individuals, and what works for some won’t work for others. That said, dogs cannot survive without protein in their diets, and they are known to choose foods that are high in protein selectively.
Furthermore, they like the smell of liver and organ meats, which is why you see such dog treats often.
To summarise, all dogs are different, but many will enjoy dehydrated organ meat treats more than other types of treats, such as biscuits.
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I enjoy coming up with creative enrichment ideas for my dogs. DIY & Crafting has always been a big part of my life since I was a child.