Treats instill joy into your dog’s day—and ours. When we see our furry friends lick their lips and gaze at us longingly, there is no question that treating our pets is equally as enjoyable for us, as owners. While high-calorie, sugar- and fat-laden dog treats should be given sparingly, you don’t have to give your dog fewer treats. By switching to healthier options, you can please your dog, without the worry. Here are our five favorite treats that your pup—and you—can enjoy.
#1: Calming, homemade dog biscuits
This recipe from the Animal Humane Society pairs delicious, healthy ingredients like peanut butter and applesauce with calming components, such as lavender and chamomile. They are a great treat option for any dog anytime, but can be especially beneficial for anxious or stressed pets. If you choose to make these treats, be sure the peanut butter you use doesn’t include xylitol, a common sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs.
#2: Frozen “pupsicles”
A wonderfully refreshing treat, these frozen pops from Baking Mischief pair thirst-quenching watermelon with tasty yogurt for a simple but satisfying snack. While they can be enjoyed year-round, you and your pup may find them particularly enjoyable during the warmer spring and summer months. A plain yogurt pupsicle with no added sugar is an extra-healthy option.
#3: Sweet potato jerky for pups
Sweet potatoes and yams are garden jewels, packed with vitamin A, fiber, and a delicious flavor. This recipe from Food.com adds a textured kick to this favorite root veggie—one your chowhound is sure to love. All you need is a sweet potato or yam, an oven, and a little bit of time. Before you know it, you and your pooch will be enjoying this unique, guilt-free snack together.
#4: Pets do love fresh fruits
Fruits are known as nature’s candy, and for good reason. Who can resist the sweet, refreshing taste of ripe peaches, melon, or oranges? Believe it or not, many canines enjoy these delicious treasures as much as we do. Fruits are not only tasty, but also provide added fiber and countless vitamins and minerals, making them an unbeatable dog treat. Some great options to try include:
- Melon (watermelon, honeydew, or cantaloupe)
- Kiwi fruit
- Peaches or nectarines
Try each fruit solo, or mix them together for more good taste and fun. In short, most fruits are healthy for dogs with the exception of grapes, which are linked to kidney failure in dogs. Always remove any pits, seeds, or cores, because they can become lodged in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
#5: Fresh veggies for pets
Last, but certainly not least, veggies take the cake when it comes to healthy dog treats. Like fruits, fresh vegetables are packed with nutrients, fiber, and flavor that will keep your pet satisfied, and satiated. Experiment by offering some of the following veggies to your pet, or add some grated vegetables to the calming dog biscuit recipe above:
- Green beans
- Green peas
- Zucchini, or summer squash
- Spinach, or kale
Treating your pet should be a fun, rewarding experience for both you and your dog, but you must practice responsibility and moderation. If your pet has a chronic medical condition or allergies, or is fed a special diet, check with your Tidmore veterinarian before feeding her any new treats. Contact us if you are unsure, or still have questions regarding treats for your canine companion.