If there’s one thing that all dogs have in common, it’s how much they love their food. It gives them pleasure like nothing else, and when they’re happy, we’re happy. It’s because we love them, that we naturally want to give them tasty treats and snacks from time to time.
While this is a great way to add excitement and pleasure to your dog’s day, giving too many of the wrong kinds of snacks can lead to all kinds of problems in the long term. Human treats, such as cakes, chips, and bread will do your pet no good at all. Even when they’re not actively poisonous they can lead to health problems such as obesity, stomach upsets, and tooth decay.
When you’re giving your pet some unfamiliar food, it’s always best to start with a small amount, just to ensure that it doesn’t cause digestive problems. Let’s look at some of the healthy snack options, confirmed as appropriate by the AKC, that your dog will love.
Dogs love to try foods with unexpected textures. The fascinating smell of bananas will attract many. Try using small chunks for a game of catch. Bananas contain significant quantities of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium. They also contain fiber and protein but are high in calories, so use them occasionally rather than daily.
2. Green peas
Green peas can be used as an occasional supplement to your dog’s regular diet, as they contain a range of minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Scatter some in the grass as a game and let them sniff out every last one.
Carrots may not spring to mind as a dog treat, but in fact, many dogs love them, maybe because they’re so crunchy! As they are rich in beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants, so they’re nourishing as well as delicious. Great for playing jump and catch with your pet, or using as a reward for good behavior
Strawberries are a juicy treat that some dogs love. They’re also packed with vitamin C and manganese as well as some folate (vitamin B9) and potassium. Strawberries also contain antioxidants and plant compounds. Add to your dog’s regular food, as a healthy dessert!
5. Organic Kibble
As a change from their regular dry or wet food, why not invest in a bag of top-quality organic dry food, with an unusual flavor (from your pet’s point of view) such as salmon or duck. Just as we humans may indulge in something exotic or ‘forbidden’ from time to time, use the kibbles as an extra-special occasional treat? Virtually every dog food delivery service will have a premium natural range to choose from.
Now recognized as a superfood for humans, they’re full of nutrients that are beneficial for your dog’s health, such as copper, beta-carotene, manganese, folate, and choline. Not to mention vitamins A and E. If your dog has a taste for them, they can either be added to regular food or used for chasing and jumping games.
Contrary to popular belief, most dogs love milk, and tolerate it well, although some do have an intolerance. It contains a good proportion of protein and tasty fat. Test your dog with a small amount, and, if all is well, give them a little as a treat from time to time. If they show any signs of not being able to digest it, then stick to water.
Cheese has been used for many years by dog training experts as a treat to reward good behavior. Most dogs love it. However, since it tends to be high in sodium and fat, limit the quantity, and if possible, go with lighter, and less salty options such as mozzarella.
Now we’re talking! Dogs love eggs, and they’re a powerhouse of nutrition, packed with high-quality protein, fat, iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. Dogs will make short work of a raw egg if they get hold of one, but it’s recommended that, for safety, you cook eggs before feeding to your pet. Make sure you don’t add salt or spices.
Plain yogurt is a good source of calcium and is fine to give to your dog in limited quantities. Full-fat yogurt is preferable, as it is lower in carbohydrates than reduced-fat varieties. Also, don’t give your dog flavored yogurts, as they’re loaded with sugar and other additives.
A final word of caution. There are certain foods that you should never feed your dog.
When you want to give your pet a little more variety in his or her diet, just experiment and you’ll soon find that your dog some really surprising favorites.