Healthy diets

What Are the Best Treats for Dogs?

Graham Harper
By Graham Harper, Journalist specialized in animal welfare. Updated: February 22, 2018
What Are the Best Treats for Dogs?

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There are many types of rewards or treats for dogs that we can find in specialized shops and supermarkets, as well as many we can find in our own home. The problem appears when we have to choose. Can my dog eat the same food as me? What is recommended to use as a reward when training?

To answer all these questions, at AnimalWised we will review the different reinforcements that we can offer our furry friend, which treats we must avoid and other fundamental advice to take into account. Find out: what are the best treats for dogs?

You may also be interested in: What is the Best Diet for Horses?
  1. What do vets recommend?
  2. Doggy treats, great to train dogs
  3. Homemade healthy treats
  4. What should we avoid?
  5. Treats for dogs with special needs

What do vets recommend?

First of all, it is crucial to note that not all foods that are healthy for humans are also healthy for dogs. Some are forbidden or should be limited, which we'll go further into later on.

Unlike cats, which are completely carnivorous, dogs are opportunistic omnivores. This means that in addition to meat and fish, they can eat cereals, fruits and vegetables, yes, but only when correctly calculating proportions.

Remember that obesity in dogs is a real and very common problem, something that you should keep in mind when choosing and offering your dog treats. For example, if you decide to buy commercial snacks, do not hesitate to check their composition and calories. That will let you know if you can offer three treats at a time or if it is preferable to only give them one.

The important thing is that when using positive reinforcement with your dog, you should do so in moderation and learn to reward them with caresses or with your voice tone too. Also, try to reward small amounts, not only to avoid obesity, but also for them to value reinforcements more or to avoid satiating them. Remember that you are not feeding them, you are rewarding your dog.

What Are the Best Treats for Dogs? - What do vets recommend?

Doggy treats, great to train dogs

When training or educating a dog, for example, by teaching basic obedience exercises, it is best to have the treats and rewards they enjoy the most to reinforce them. Although it is not the only type of reinforcement that exist (we have spoken of stroking or kind words) it is usually the most well received.

By using positive reinforcement you will see how your dog learns and remembers more easily. It is also useful to improve the bond with the owner and to ensure the welfare of the dog.

How to reward a dog during a training session

It is very important to vary the type of award, not only to balance their diets, but also to maintain your dog's interest. You should find out which prizes your dog prefers and rank them from highest to lowest.

To review orders that have already been learned, it is best to use low-priced treats. On the contrary, if you are trying to help your dog overcome a fear, teach them something very complicated, or try to make them focus in a stimulating environment, you will need reinforcements of higher value to them. If you want to know more, do not hesitate to visit our article on the best techniques for dog training.

Where can I buy them? What treats should I choose?

You can buy prizes in pet shops (online or physical store) or in a supermarket, for example. Even at the most basic supermarkets you'll be able to find dog treats. However, we recommend you go for those that are high quality, organic and natural. Failure to do so may result in problems such as becoming overweight or diarrhea.

There are many different products and finding the right one will depend on the needs of the dog and their acceptance. For example, we can find exclusive treats for puppies or for elderly dogs, although they are mostly for adult dogs. We can also find special ones for overweight dogs, which are satiating, to improve hair shine or for certain health problems, such as prizes for dogs with dermatitis.

Apart from their composition, we can also find treats according to size, such as prizes for small dogs or for large dogs.

But, what happens if we do not want to offer our dogs commercial snacks? Are there healthy homemade treats? We'll talk about them next.

What Are the Best Treats for Dogs? - Doggy treats, great to train dogs

Homemade healthy treats

It is not always necessary to go to a nearby shop to buy your dog ‚Äč‚Äčtreats. Maybe, without knowing it, you already have some in your kitchen, which are totally natural and tasty.

Crunchy treats

  • Carrots, apples, pears or green beans are excellent treats. These fruits and vegetables have a lot of fiber, are crisp and have a great flavor, which makes them a practical and cheap prize. You can offer them raw or cooked. Discover the most recommended fruits and vegetables for dogs in this other AnimalWised article.
  • Liver. Simply cut it into strips and bake, without salt or sugar. It is important to slightly open the oven when cooking it, as this removes the moisture completely to get a result that is totally crunchy and tasty, apart from being rich in taurine.
  • Peanut butter is a good choice if it's made at home, i.e. only with peanuts. Some brands in the market add xylitol, an artificial sweetener not recommended for dogs.

Soft treats

  • Blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. These red fruits offer the natural antioxidants and, in addition, they are very tasty!
  • Potatoes or sweet potatoes are excellent and are often highly prized by dogs. You can bake them, boil them and even prepare them in a nonstick pan.
  • Chicken, turkey, beef or fish, whether boiled, baked, steamed ... Remember to avoid salt and sugar altogether, as well as cooked bones and thorns. Remember to avoid salt and sugar completely, as well as cooked bones and bones.
  • Banana, melon or watermelon. Although we should not abuse these ingredients, because of their high sugar content, these fruits are usually very well received by the dog and can help you in an emergency.

Dogs, in general, adapt and get used to different types of food, especially if they are offered to them since they are puppies. Getting the dog used to eating all kinds of fruits and vegetables recommended for dogs is very positive and healthy for them.

What Are the Best Treats for Dogs? - Homemade healthy treats

What should we avoid?

It is important to remember that there are some forbidden foods for dogs, which should never be offered as a reward. We remind you of some:

  • Chocolate
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Yeast
  • Alcohol
  • Onion
  • grapes
  • Raisins
  • Salt
  • Raw eggs
  • Raw meat
  • Macadamia nuts

Can we offer our dog bones?

This is a very common question among dog owners. You should completely avoid cooked bones, as there is a high risk of splitting and causing a gastrointestinal obstruction, a tear and may even cause choking. The best thing to do is to only give them fleshy raw bones.

Treats for dogs with special needs

Now that you know more about the best treats for dogs, let's take a look at the best options for dogs with special needs, such as those with diabetes, small dogs and those with teeth problems.

Treats for dogs with kidney and liver disease

Dogs with kidney disease or kidney failure need to have a well looked-after diet the whole time. This is why, when purchasing dog treats, you should make sure they are low in sodium and phosphorus. Boiled small pieces of turkey can be a good homemade treat for a dog with kidney disease.

In the case of dogs with liver disease, you should make sure treats are low in phosphorus and sodium too. Apples are an exceptionally good treat for dogs suffering from this disease.

Treats for small dogs

When it comes to homemade treats for small dogs, you'll either want to cut the homemade treats mentioned above finely or go for the smallest natural healthy treats such as blackberries or strawberries. Banana is also a great option due to its texture, which is pretty easy to chew.

Treats for diabetic dogs

In the case of diabetic dogs, treats with high-sugar content are out of the picture, so those fruits that are high in sugar and are mentioned above should not be given to them. Although commercial treats may be labeled as suitable for diabetics it's highly important to read the package label to make sure there are no sugar substitutes such as corn syrup, fructose or molasses. On the other hand, carrots, zucchini or broccoli are indeed suitable as treats for diabetic dogs.

Treats for dog's teeth

Dogs that accumulate plaque or tartar on their teeth will benefit from special dental treats to make sure their denture is perfectly clean. When it comes to natural healthy dog treats, raw bones, crunchy vegetables such as carrot, cucumber and celery are also great for your dog as well as different types of berry.

If you want to read similar articles to What Are the Best Treats for Dogs?, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.

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What Are the Best Treats for Dogs?