If your dog is eating a nutritionally complete and balanced diet, they will never go hungry in between meals; however, everyone loves a treat. This mix of fruits, veggies, and other treats are safe and healthy to feed your dog. To keep things balanced, try to keep the total treating calorie count to less than 10% of your dog’s daily diet.
An apple a day keeps the doctor and the vet away— or something like that. Packed with fiber and vitamins A and C, an occasional apple is a great way to add extra nutrients to your dog’s diet. Their low protein and fat content makes them the perfect snack for senior dogs. It is important to always remove the seeds and core before offering them up to your pup because apple seeds contain cyanide and can have toxic effects on your dog if consumed regularly over time. You can find apples baked into delicious treats that are easy to serve, travel with, and use during training.
Bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They are loaded with potassium, vitamins, fiber, and copper which all promote a healthier heart, better digestion, and increased energy. Bananas are also low in cholesterol and sodium. If you choose this treat, keep in mind that they are high in sugar, so serve in moderation.
A superfood for humans and dogs alike, blueberries are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals, which can prevent and fight disease.
If you are looking for a good addition or alternative to brushing your pup’s teeth, carrots are a great addition to diet and lifestyle. The texture of carrots actually helps remove plaque and other buildup from the surface of teeth— which can keep them healthy for longer. Carrots are also rich in fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin A as well as low in calories, making this veggie a real win-win.
Cucumbers are nearly completely devoid of fats and oils, making them a superb snack choice for an overweight dog. Loaded with potassium, copper, magnesium, biotin, and vitamins K, C, and B-1, cucumbers might be light in calories, but they are heavy in nutrition.
A crunchy source of iron, calcium, fiber, folic acid, niacin, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, and K, green beans are another excellent choice for overweight dogs. If you choose canned green beans, make sure to select the unsalted versions. Green beans also make an easy, texture improving complement to meals— mix them right in with your dog’s regular food.
Pumpkin is deliciously rich in carotenoids, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, fiber, zinc, iron, potassium, and vitamin A. It’s also a quick antidote for an upset stomach. Make sure to never serve raw (cooked or canned) and always remove stems, skins, and seeds, because they can be poisonous when ingested. This favorite flavor has been added to many pup-friendly recipes and can be found in easy to serve, baked treats as well.
First, a word of warning, raw potatoes of any kind are very high in fiber and rough on your dog’s digestive system. Once cooked, however, sweet potatoes are a great snack for pup. They are high in beta-carotene and contain fiber and vitamins B-6 and C. Another favorite ingredient of ready-made treats, you can find this flavor in healthy varieties in trusted retailers.
Like apples, watermelon seeds can cause intestinal blockage and digestion problems, so share only seedless slices with your dog. Keep the rind out of reach too— it can also lead to gastrointestinal upset. Since watermelon is 92% water, it’s a tasty way to keep your dog hydrated in warm weather. Packed with potassium and vitamins A, B-6, and C, Watermelon is has a high impact on health with a very low calorie count.
All-Natural, Organic Baked Treats
Fresh snacks are always a great choice, but for training and traveling purposes baked and shelf-stable snacks are an important addition to a dog owner’s cabinets. Choosing the right treats is very important; make sure to read the labels, seeing where they are made (USA is preferred because of the country’s higher production standards), and what ingredients are included (keeping a watchful eye for fillers and preservatives). Your best bets are organic, all-natural, limited ingredient, grain-free treats, made in the USA— and are sure to get your pup’s tail wagging.