Healthy Dog Treats - How To Make The Best Choice (+ Home Recipe)
Whether you're training your puppy, playing with him, or just wanting to cuddle him, a doggie treat is always a great way to make him feel appreciated and loved. It is recommended that your dog takes 90% of his nutrition needs from a balanced and healthy diet and only 10 percent from snacks and treats.
Not only treats have a significant impact on a dog's behavior and their relationship with us. It can also help in promoting optimal dental health. But when it comes to choosing which treat to give our dog, both quality and quantity are essential.
With so many options available in the pet food market today, choosing the best treat can be very difficult. Let's make things easier for you and take a look at the main factors to consider when choosing the right treat for your dog.
Consider some factors before selecting the right treat
Dog's age/ life stage
You must choose a treat that nutritionally matches the age of your dog.
If your dog's weight is above or below the average recommended range, they might need different nutrition, and the treats must match those needs.
If your dog has any medical condition such as diabetes, cancer, or digestive problems, the treat must be appropriate for that condition. In this case, it is best to ask for your vet's recommendation.
Ideally, you should feed your dog the best food you can offer, so make sure to plan your budget carefully.
With the tons of well-formulated options available nowadays in the market, it is totally fine to keep experimenting with different food treats to see what your dog prefers.
Checking the nutritional value of the treats is a must before buying. It is best to choose treats that are highly digestible and rich in protein. Look for ones that have fish, meat, or eggs listed as the first ingredients.
Besides, make sure that the snacks also contain minerals, vitamins, omega 3 acids, and of course, anti-oxidants. Finally, be very careful not to overdo the fat and not to exceed the daily calorie count.
Dog Treat Categories
Dog treats can now be classified into 3 main categories:
Grocery store: Generally the least expensive, nutrient-dense, and ingredients quality.
Premium: They are more expensive than grocery store ones. They are made from higher quality ingredients but still contain artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and fillers.
Healthy: They are the latest and best addition to the pet food market so far. The ingredients are of the highest quality among all the others. They are the most nutritious and healthy.
Natural Dog Treats
Although it is best to feed your dog specialized food for them, some natural treats are still excellent options to consider.
Natural treats to avoid completely
Dog treat recipe (no baking needed)
This recipe does not need an oven and contains coconut oil, which is good for the dog's skin and coat. Besides, it improves breath and helps eliminate fleas and ticks. It also has cinnamon that is not toxic for dogs but should never be substituted for nutmeg.
1 cup of peanut butter
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of coconut oil
1. Boil all the ingredients in a pot until it starts to bubble.
2. Pour the mixture into a silicone ice tray and freeze.