While choosing healthy treats for dogs, it is essential that you look for ingredients in pre-packaged food. While cooking food at home, choose natural and organic ingredients. Artificial flavors and preservatives are to be avoided.
Dogs are just like humans. They love treats. In fact, they derive some joy, happiness, and gratification whenever some treats are administered to them. However, it may not always be that the treat you administer your pet may yield the satisfaction desired.
Many treats do abound. From the homemade biscuits to the doggy bakeries to the morsel of steak, the list is virtually endless. But with these many options available, how do you arrive at the best purchase? This question forms the basis of our discussions here under.
How to Identify Healthy Dog Treats
The first part of our discussion looks at those things to look for while finding the right treatment for your pet. As hinted above, there are many kinds of treats available. Also, they differ in their tastes, preferences, and lifestyles.
It is also important to pay attention to what you order outdoors for your dog in the restaurants that allow dogs. That is why you have to adhere to these guidelines:
1) Be mindful of the formulation
While seeking the right treat, you should be mindful of the formulation of the treat. Choose only those treats which are specially formulated for dogs. This way, it will be possible for you to please the palate of your pet animal without necessarily compromising its tummy.
Failing to adhere to this requirement might normally mean choosing a product which may harm your dog altogether. This may end up making it worse off or permanently sick. Resorting its health to the proper condition may mean digging deeper in your pocket.
2) Take Care of the Nutritional Values
While seeking the right treat, you should, in addition, be mindful of the nutritional values. The right snack not only has to be nutritionally-balanced but also contains them in the right quantities. Depriving it of a specific nutrient might hamper its overall stature.
Try as much as possible to include the following nutrients: vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water. They are the most basic nutrients which they need to stay healthy and strong. In most cases, the nutritional information is contained in the labels.
A long time ignorance on what you are feeding can increase the risk of diabetes as I discuss this so important topic on how to manage diabetes in another article. Make sure you check that one also.
3) Directions of Use
As noted, these snacks come in many kinds, shapes, and sizes. This definitely means that you will have to adopt different approaches to administer them. The information regarding this is contained in the directions of use.
You will find the informed attached to the packaging used to contain it. Read through carefully to be able to know what to do while feeding your beloved pet. In case of doubt, refer to the manufacturer’s website for clarification.
4) Prioritize Natural Treats
Usually, there is often the tendency to purchase artificial rather than natural snacks. That is because they are cheaper, readily available and often contain excess calories. This should not be the case at all. It is still vital to factor the health of your pet.
This can only happen if you prioritize natural foods. They are low in calories and subsequently take less of a toll on it to digest. Moreover, by administering them to your pet, you also contribute to conserving your environment.
Just in case your dog also loves the cup cakes then do check this recipe which I have put together for dog cupcakes with/without peanut butter.
5) Emphasize those with dental benefits
It is no secret that the strength of the dogs lies in their teeth. That is why it is strongly advisable that you emphasize those treats which have dental health benefits. In many instances, these are foods that are chewable yet easily digestible.
Carrots, cassava, and beets are examples of these. In the process of chewing them, their gums strengthen greatly. Further, the flow of blood in the mouth of it improves greatly. This saves you money and time too!
For an exhaustive article on teeth health of your canine, do read this article and make notes about cleaning dog’s teeth at home.
6) Incorporate Plenty of Proteins
If yours is a young puppy, you should definitely incorporate plenty of proteins in your diet. Proteins help your puppy to grow. They are the nutrients that form the bulk of the muscles of your puppy. Check out the nutritional information contained on the labels.
In case you opt to go natural, anchovy, meatballs, and fish pellets are some of the rich sources you might want to explore. Be mindful of any allergies though before administering the stated treats.
7) Do not downplay fresh vegetables and vitamins
Many people misconstrue treats to mean expensively processed and artificial foods. Nothing could be further from the truth. Treats can also include fresh vegetables and greens. With regard to this, you should look for them and make them part of your treatment.
The broccoli, green beans, and carrots are some of the fresh veggies which dogs love. They are great in the sense that they are rich in fiber and extremely low in calories. Your pet will less likely constipate or suffer from indigestion.
8) Administer the cookie or biscuit-style treats in moderation
While not really inappropriate, you are strongly advised against administering too many cookies or biscuits to your bellowed pet. These two ingredients are high in calories, poor in fiber and contain many preservatives. They are less likely to make your pet any healthier.
If you must give them to your pet, do so in moderate quantities. Additionally, administer them irregularly to prevent it from forming any patterns and likely addictions. This should, of course, alternate with high fiber content foods.
Apart from you controlling the quantity of food, it is also important to teach dogs to control their urge. Check this video on how dogs control their urge to eat and proceed only when instructed.
I also have an article to teaching dogs to wait for eating to help you in achieving what you saw in above video. It will also be so beneficial to the readers on my website.
9) Choose only natural preservatives
As has already been stated, the best treats are those that are natural and preferably homemade. In reality, though, you will from time to time be forced to purchase processed snacks. If this is the case, you are advised to choose only the natural preservatives.
Artificial preservatives are rich in calories and may subsequently not be easy to break down. Other than this, the natural preservatives contain high levels of Vitamins C and E. their intake bring in more benefits to your dog other than merely extending the life of the food.
10) Give more preference to organic ingredients
Lastly, you should give more preference to the organic ingredients. They are better than their inorganic counterparts. This stems from the fact that they contain fewer contaminants, break down faster, and are healthier.
It is not uncommon for your animal to be allergic. However, fewer if any are allergic to things organic. This is yet another benefit you stand to derive from these wonderful ingredients. What’s more? They are also safer for your environment!
Things to Avoid for Good Dog Skin and Fur
Having exhausted what to look for, it is now time to look at what you should avoid. Knowing these is as good as knowing what to look for. That is because making the wrong decision may often be counterproductive. It may as well most likely imperil the life of your bellowed pet.
1) Artificial Preservatives
Try as much as possible to stay away from treats that contain excessive amounts of artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners contain high levels of sugar and calories. As a result, they are difficult to break down and ingest in the system.
While searching for the right product, have a look at the product label that is fixed on the packaging. Pay attention to the butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene, sodium nitrate, potassium sorbate, and ethoxyquin.
2) Artificial Coloring
Colors are not only unhealthy but also potentially harmful. That is because they are primarily added to appeal to you rather than your pet. Most of them do not contain any nutritional values as a matter of fact.
Not all colors may be harmful though. However, to be on the safe side, it is better to stick to those treats which have no artificial colors. Remember, you want to acquire a snack which is as healthy and as natural as you possibly can.
3) Artificial Sweeteners
Just like artificial coloring, you should also avoid artificial sweeteners. They too contain higher calorie levels and are potentially difficult to break down. On the contrary, insist on natural sweeteners as they are better.
Some key examples of these are honey, applesauce, and molasses. Even then, you should administer them in moderate amounts and irregularly for that matter. That is because dogs are generally averse to anything sweet.
4) Chemical Humectants
Most manufacturers of pet foods use chemical humectants to maintain their foods in moist conditions. While they do a good job to maintain the foods moist, chewy, and un-discolored, they are not really safe for your dog.
Prefer instead the more natural counterparts like the molasses and vegetable glycerin. These are low in chemicals and also digest faster. They will hence less likely affect your dogs adversely as their chemical counterparts potentially do.
5) Sweet Confectioneries
You should also avoid some sweet confectioneries like chocolates, raisins, grapes, and onions. Chocolates contain theobromine which may be toxic to your pet due to the difficulty in metabolizing it. Onions and grapes are just toxic to them.
Raisins, on the other hand, dehydrate your dog quickly. When taken in sufficient amounts, they absorb too much of the moisture which it relies on to stay afloat. This might end up choking it to death. Just avoid giving them.
Precautions for Choosing Healthy Dog Treats
While finding and administering the healthy dog treat, there are issues you need to be mindful of. Adhering to them will enable you to do a better job. Also, you will be able to arrive at the best kind of dog treat on the whole.
1) Consult Your Veterinarian
It is necessary that you consult your veterinarian before embarking on the process of finding the right treat for your pet. Doing so shall ensure that you anticipate and take care of any eventualities. These are allergies or any possible adverse reactions.
Your veterinarian should also take you through the processes of identifying the crucial nutrients which your dog requires. He will be able to clarify what each nutrient entails and how likely it is to impact your dog.
2) Keep the Ratio at Comfortable Levels
Treating is good, as stated. However, you should not overdo it. While at it, be sure to maintain the treats at comfortable and manageable levels. Usually, a 10% level is highly advised. This way, you will less likely lose focus and stray from administering to it good food.
Yet again, you will have to ask your vet to guide you in this. Ask them to recommend to you the right proportion of the diet of your dog that a treat should constitute. They will factor the weight, how active yours is and the preferences of your pet to arrive at this.
3) Monitor the Calorie Intake
While treating your pet, do not lose sight of the calorific intake. Remember, these snacks also contain sufficient amounts of calories. You do not want to stuff in too much of them to your dog because the end results are unpleasant.
Find the right calories for your dog and make deliberate steps not to exceed them on a daily basis. This shall require a great deal of patience on your part. It also applies to the main meals as well.
4) Feed Your Dog Properly
Lastly, you have to feed your dog properly. Do not take it for granted that just because yours is being treated, the normal rules do not apply. They still do. You have to balance the meals, provide sufficient water and be mindful of the frequency of eating.
All these have a bearing on their overall health and well-being. To do this, you will have to exercise patience and a higher degree of attentiveness to details.
Since dogs are naturally given chew behavior by God, it is so essential to keep a check on common household hazards that can be dangerous for the dogs.
We have done our part by showcasing to you what to do to make a good choice of healthy dog treats. What is now left of you is to implement the recommendations we have suggested. Always refer to our site if you happen to get stuck.
It is always our joy when people make meaningful progress with the information they obtain from us. When are you planning to treat your dog? Kindly let us know in the comment segment below…