In addition to their normal diet, often we like to reward our dogs with treats. This may be as a reward for good behaviour, as part of a training regime or simply because, like us humans, sometimes they just deserve a treat.
Unfortunately, many people buy pet treats from the supermarket or pet shop, unaware of the unhealthy, and sometimes harmful, ingredients that they contain. For those who like to know what they are giving their dogs, there are healthy alternatives. In fact, some of these you may well have in your fridge right now. Let’s take a look at the more natural, healthy treats that you can give your dogs.
While there are some fruits that you absolutely cannot give your dogs, such as grapes, there are many healthy options that your dog will thank you for. These include:
This delicious summer fruit can help with ageing, strengthen the immune system and can aid weight management. Cut them up into small pieces so that they don’t choke or have difficulty digesting them. For very small dogs or puppies, you can also mash them up and pop the puree in their bowl. Don’t get carried away and give too much though – check that they cope well with a small amount and keep an eye on their stools just to make sure they aren’t upsetting their tummy before you give any more.
Again, in moderation, bananas are another healthy treat for your dog. Potassium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and fibre are just some of the vitamins and minerals that your dog will benefit from. As with any treat be careful not to feed too much as bananas are high in sugar.
Sweet, juicy and crunchy, apples contain calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and pectin. Remove pips and stem before you give apple to your dog though as they contain cyanogenic glycosides. Simply slice up an apple into small pieces and give your dog a few pieces as a reward or chop off a bit of the apple that you are eating and let them share your treat.
A great source of antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals, blueberries make a lovely, healthy treat for your dog. They offer your dog the same benefits as they give you. Try freezing some for a nice crunchy treat on a hot day.
It is worth noting that not all berries are good for your dog and some can cause health hazards. Stay away from anything other strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and only give these in moderation or you will be cleaning up some interesting mess from the garden.
Watermelon is 92% water so is a great way to keep your dog hydrated as well as containing vitamins A, C and B-6 in addition to potassium help to maintain healthy muscle and nerve function.
Vegetables are a great, low sugar alternative to fruit and ensure that your dog is getting the valuable nutrients that they need. There are many different vegetables, s that are perfectly safe for your dog to the consumer, however, like fruit, they should be given in moderation.
Carrots are great for puppies who love to chew and can be frozen for a cool and refreshing snack. Alternatively, you can chop some up and pop them in a bag for your pocket as training rewards. High in beta-carotene, they help to maintain healthy skin and good eye health.
Chop up some raw cauliflower and sprinkle it over your dog’s dinner. They will love this cancer-fighting vegetable although not too much as veggies like cauliflower and broccoli cause gas.
A great source of vitamin K, cucumber is a lovely, cool, refreshing snack for your dog. Chop some up and add to their food or simply offer some as a healthy reward or treat.
Give them raw vegetables
The great thing about all of these vegetables is you don’t need to cook them. You can simply feed them raw to your dog. This is especially good if your dog is fed a raw diet as it won’t upset the balance. Once you cook vegetables they tend to lose some of their healthy nutrients and often don’t have quite the same benefits.
Give them individually
In addition to the fruit and vegetables listed above, there are many more that you consider however you must not combine too many together. Give them one at a time! If you give too many different foods at once and your dog has an upset stomach you will be unable to tell the cause. In addition to this too many sources of fibre will upset your dog’s digestive system and it will be you that is cleaning up the mess.
Try our ProDog Raw Treats range
The ProDogRaw dehydrated treat range includes some really appetising and nourishing treats for your dog. Duck Feet, Chicken Feet, Rabbit Ears and Sprats are just a few of the yummy rewards available. They make a delightful treat for an eager dog or puppy. You may also like to try our Calf Hooves or Cut Beef Trachea. These will keep your dog busy for a while. If you have a fast eater, you can fill them with raw food and watch them have to work a bit harder for their dinner. All of our treats are completely natural with no added flavourings or preservatives. Check out the range and give them a try for yourself.