We’ve talked about treats before on Newdoggy (see Dog treats to learn more): whether they are fancy and expensive, or home-made and simple, we all know that dogs love treats. Treats are so handy for training, but we all love to occasionally spoil our dogs rotten with a pile of delicious treats.
So what exactly are the best treats? We’ve put together a list of some favourites. Some are healthy, and some are more extravagant, but your dog is sure to love at least one of them (if not more)! You can also find commercial treats containing some of these ingredients.
- Lean meat: Dogs are facultative carnivores, so naturally meat-based products are a tasty treat for any dog. Cooked meat is probably better, because although most commercial meat is prepared hygienically, there is still a small chance of it containing pathogens or parasites. You don’t need to roast the meat to a crisp; medium-rare meat should be fine. Let it cool down, chop it into small pieces, and you have a perfect meaty treat.
- Boneless Poultry: Chicken, duck, and other poultry meats make great treats. Chicken and turkey are relatively inexpensive and easy to prepare. Poultry is typically low in fat (especially if you remove the skin) so if your dog is on a diet, a little piece of chicken could be a good treat. If you want to give poultry as a treat, make sure to remove the bones first. A dog can easily crunch the bones into splinters, and the latter can hurt the dog’s digestive tract, or choke the dog. Avoid giving your dog meat that’s been drenched in sauce or deep fried; it’s not healthy for your dog!
- Fish: Salmon and tuna are ideal, as they contain omega-3 fatty acids, promoting joint health, immunity, and a shiny coat. Canned tuna often contains some mercury and sodium, so it should be fed in moderation. Do not give your dog tuna that has been kept in oil, as it can upset the dog’s digestion. Salmon should be cooked to avoid the risk of internal parasites – so no sushi for Fido. Try to remove any small bones to prevent choking.
- Pumpkin and squash: Both the fresh and tinned variants contain plenty of Vitamin A and fibre. It’s great for dogs with digestive problems, but avoid sugared or spiced pumpkin, as spices such as cinnamon are not healthy for dogs.
- Carrots: Raw carrots are good for your dog’s teeth. They are also packed with fibre, which helps to keep the digestive system healthy, and Vitamin A, which is good for your dog’s eyes. They are also low in calories, so make a good snack when your dog needs to lose weight.
- Peanut butter: A lot of dogs love the taste of peanut butter. You can give your dog small amounts as a treat, or place in it a dog toy (like a kong) to give your dog some mental stimulation. Be careful never to feed your dog peanut butter that contains Xylitol, as this artificial sweetener is toxic to dogs.
- Cheese: Cheese is a treat for special occasion – or if your dog needs a special reward in training! Most dogs adore the taste, but as dogs shouldn’t have too much dairy or fat, this should be an occasional treat. Avoid cheese with strong spices or peppercorns, or aged cheeses like Stilton: your dog will probably not like them.