Healthy dog treats are becoming more and more popular with pet owners, trainers and all types of dogs. When you buy or make healthier snacks for your pets, you’re more likely to reward your dogs for just being themselves and offering unconditional love. You don’t have to worry about feeding your pet foods that aren’t good for them when you prepare dog treats in advance. Some of the best ideas for healthy dog treats include:
– Simple Foods from the Table
You can feed your dog from the table with simple treats like baby carrots, a piece of broccoli or a green bean. Food doesn’t have to be meaty or fatty to impress your dog. Most pets are delighted to get any kind of treat.
Some kinds of fruit are healthy for dogs, and dogs love the natural sweetness of fruit. Banana slices, watermelon chunks and apple slices are perfect – without seeds. Avoid fruit like raisins and anything with chocolate, processed sugar or caffeine.
– Commercially Prepared Dog Treats
There’s no need to be a treat snob. Many companies produce balanced treats for dogs that are gluten-free and made from healthy ingredients. Just check your label, and avoid treats with sugar, processed food, salt and other unhealthy ingredients. Stick to the 10% rule, however. Don’t feed your dog more than 10% of its diet in snacks.
– Homemade Popsicles
You can help your pet cool off on a hot day with homemade popsicles. Mix one cup of unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter with half a mashed banana or ½ cup of yogurt. Add a little water if needed. Freeze the mixture in bite-sized pieces for a cool dog treat on hot days.
– Homemade Sweet Potato Jerky
Nothing could be simpler than scrubbing a sweet potato, slicing it in ½-inch strips and baking the jerky for 3 to 4 hours in a 225-degree oven.
– Dog Biscuits
You can customize your own dog biscuits. Mix 2.5 cups of whole grain flour or oats with 1 egg and beef or chicken bouillon granules. You can add enough water, chicken broth, wheat germ or bacon bits to the dough to make a stiff dough – about ½ cup of liquid. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and knead the dough until it forms a ball. Roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness, and cut shapes for your dog biscuits. Bake on a lightly greased or sprayed cookie sheet for 30 minutes.
Moderation and the 10% rule can keep you from feeding your dog too many snacks. Otherwise, it’s safe to feed dogs most of the healthy foods that you eat. Just don’t feed them processed foods, spicy foods and foods that you know cause digestive distress.