As with all new dog treats, always check with your vet first to make sure your pet won’t suffer harm from any of the ingredients contained in the treats you’re considering. He may have an allergy you don’t know about, and that could lead to major problems. Always err on the safe side to help make sure your dog stays as healthy as possible for many years to come.
Dog food – Yep, plain old dog food also works great as a treat. If you typically feed him dry food, a couple of pieces of kibble will help satisfy those cravings your canine might be experiencing between meals. Dogs usually don’t care a whole lot about what kind of treat they get, just as long as they get something. You’ll be surprised just how effective dog food can be.
These bone-shaped treats also do not contain any preservatives, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, sugar or salt. Pet owners who live healthy lifestyles and practice healthy eating habits are very satisfied to find a product for their pets that is aligned to their own food choices. Their canine companions can now enjoy healthy and organic snacks, which are not only tasty but also a good source of carbohydrates, minerals, and proteins.
The more treats you feed your dog, the fewer calories those treats should have! The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention suggests that a dog weighing around 50 pounds should get 700-900 calories a day. A few low-calorie treats here and there shouldn’t have much of an impact on your dog’s health or weight, but treats should not make up the bulk of your pet’s daily calories.4
In the south of England it is much the fashion to give sporting-dogs a food called dog-biscuit instead of barley-meal, and the consequences resulting from this simple aliment are most gratifying. Barley-meal, indeed, is an unnatural food, unless it be varied with bones, for a dog delights to gnaw, and thus to exercise those potent teeth with which nature has furnished him ; his stomach, too, is. designed to digest the hard and tough integument of animal substance; hence, barleymeal, as a principal portion of his subsistence, is by no means to be desired. In small private families it is not always possible to ohtain a sufficiency of meat and bones for the sustenance of a dog, and recourse is too frequently had to a coarse and filthy aliment, which is highly objectionable, especially if the creature be debarred from taking daily exercise, fettered by a chain, and restricted, by situation, from obtaining access to grass ; and no one who has not watched the habits of our faithful allies (as we have done), can be aware of the absolute necessity which exists for his obtaining a constant supply of it. If no other good effect resulted from it than the sleekness of his coat and clearness of his skin, these benefits ought to the procured for him; but when his health and comfort are to be also ensured, who, that has a grain of benevolence in his disposition, would hesitate to perform so simple and gratifying an act of duty?
Riley’s Organics has again come up with a great food option for dogs and ranks as the seventh best healthy dog treats choice on this list. Like other Riley’s products, this is made in the US and certified organic by the USDA. These finger-licking peanut butter biscuits are made from the finest human-grade ingredients. There are no wheat, corn or soy ingredients, which are often the source of allergies.
In terms of what to avoid, start with any artificial additives and agents that are known to cause health problems in dogs. For example, food dyes are unnecessary when choosing the best healthy dog treats and so is glycerin (a preservative), because some studies have shown their dangers. Also, while some dog treats brands still use these, BHT and BHA preservatives may be harmful, according to some experts. That said, some other preservatives can and should be used to avoid spoilage, but only as long as they have been proven to be safe for dogs. Vitamin E and Vitamin C are some of those few that are allowed.
Most dog owners (or any pet owners!) would never just grab the first thing off the shelf when buying treats, but you need to make sure you read the labels carefully. All manufacturers are required to list all of their ingredients on the label – with the ones that are more prevalent at the top of the list. So look for products that have real meat at the top of the list – especially ones that are advertised as meat-flavored. For example, if you see a treat that says it’s beef-flavored, but beef is far down the list, look for something else.