As pet owners, we love to show our pooches how special they are with the occasional dog treat, but how do we know if we’re giving them healthy dog treats or not?
Dog treats are a great way to show your pooch some love. They can be anything from a few scraps of juicy meat to a more extravagant treat from the pet shop. But with so many so-called ‘healthy dog treats’ available, it can be easy to feel bamboozled by everything there is on offer. In fact, it’s even harder to find true healthy dog treats than it is to find healthy snacks for us humans – because what a dog needs can be completely different to what humans need.
It’s understandable you might be looking for information on healthy dog training treats and the types of things to look for. We’re here to demystify dog treats to help you make healthy dog treat choices that also keep Fido’s tail wagging and his or her body healthy.
Keep your pup’s weight healthy with healthy dog treats for weight loss
Obesity is one of the biggest health crises among dogs in the UK. As is the case with humans, obesity can lead to all kinds of health problems like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and more. Keep an eye out for natural healthy dog treats that are also low in calories but high in essential nutrients like iron, zinc and the B vitamins. It can also be a good idea to break dog treats up so you can use them in smaller pieces throughout the day.
Always read the label
Just as we are encouraged to do while shopping for our own groceries, reading the label is a key part of ensuring your hound gets the nutrients he or she deserves. There are some definite things to avoid when looking for healthy dog training treats, such as:
- Added nasties – Any type of dog treat that includes added salt, sugar, syrup and molasses. Be aware of something called ‘ingredient splitting’, which is when manufacturers use different ingredients to make the sugar content look lower. For example they may use a lower individual amount of more types of sweeteners, making that ‘healthy dog treat’ actually unhealthy.
- Low quality ingredients – When it comes to meat quantity and quality, the ‘acceptable’ standards are a lot lower for animals than they are for us humans. So, even though a label might tell you that the dog treat is a certain percentage of meat, it’s always worth seeing if it tells you where that meat is from. If you can, opt for a healthy dog treat with a high proportion of quality meat ingredients.
- Check for allergens – If your pup has a sensitive tum or allergies, you’ll need to know every little ingredient in your treats. If your dog has allergies, you’ll probably want to avoid any dog treats that contain wheat, soy, and corn.
- Look for whole foods – High-quality healthy dog treats use first-class ingredients that are as minimally processed as possible. Whole food ingredients are better than by-products or food fractions. As an example, ‘wheat flour’ is better than ‘wheat bran and wheat germ’. The more processed the dog treat is, the more nutrients it will have lost in the manufacturing process. Look out for healthy dog training treats that include ingredients like whole meat, grains (if your dog is not allergic to them), fruits, and vegetables.
Overall, healthy dog treats can be great rewards for your pooch and are ideal for getting your dog through positive reinforcement training. But just like humans, keeping treats healthy is the key to your dog’s overall health. Just because you choose a healthy dog training treat doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious too. Nibble and Nosh believe that a dog can have his or her treat and eat it – all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Check out their range of healthy dog treats and healthy dog treats for weight loss here.