Being a dog parent often means great responsibility, obviously, your top priority will be the health and well-being of your dog. You cannot choose any food or treat at random for your dog.
The decision to choose suitable dog treats for your dog should depend on different factors. You cannot simply make a decision based on what your pet likes, but you must look for the type of ingredients on the packaging.
So how do you select a beneficial, healthy, and tasty treat for your dog and what should we look for in dog treats?
First of all, dog treats must be organic or natural because unhealthy chemical processed treats and food will result in undesirable weight gain and, in later stages, will cause different diseases.
Dogs are also prone to different food allergies like humans and show symptoms like skin irritation, diarrhea, or ear infection.
Here we will discuss how to select dog treats for your furry companion and what are the potential health benefits of natural dog treats.
How to identify healthy dog treats?
As people seek to incorporate more organic and natural foods into their dog diet due to their nutritional value and health benefits, a lot of dog treats come on labels with natural or organic products on the market.
The question is how can you decide which treat is best for your dog. Processed food has labels on which nutritional facts are written but sometimes you cannot understand what does that means.
In the same way, if organic is written on a different dog treat labels, not all are created equal and contain the same amount of natural ingredient
Here are some terms that are written on the dog treat labels and their meanings:
- “100% Organic”: It means that this product contains ingredients that are 100% natural and contains no artificial chemicals and colorings.
- “Organic”: It means that this product contains up to 95% natural ingredients, and artificial ingredients may also be added in a small percentage.
- “Made with organic ingredients”: It means that this product contains only 70% of the ingredients, which are truly organic.
The Association of American Food Control Officials implements transparent and proper labeling on pet food packaging. This is useful for pet owners to make their purchase decision easier.
If you still can’t rely on commercial organic dog treats, you can go for a homemade treat or pet artisanal as a healthy alternative. The internet is full of natural food and treats recipes for dogs from pet owners.
Now, some companies also offer dog treats made with natural ingredients like lean meat and vegetables. Some of them have freeze-dried ingredients that are safe for animal consumption because freeze-drying is a natural process of food preservation.
Health Benefits of natural treats for your dog
When you give your furry companion natural and organic treats instead of low-quality alternatives, these right treats will help maintain the good health of dog with no side effects.
Here are some of the potential benefits of natural and organic treats for dogs like:
- Defends the body against disease
Natural and organic dog treats contain high-quality ingredients such as chicken, beef, or other meat, on the other hand, lower quality and artificial dog treats contain ‘meat and animal derivatives’, which can be any part of any animal, including feathers and fur.
Dogs’ bodies are sensitive compared to humans. If any unknown material enters the body, it will cause illness in dogs.
You should be aware that your dog needs wholesome nutrition that must also be hormone-free and antibiotic-free. If the treats are made with meat from animals raised with antibiotics and hormones, this will have a very negative impact on the dog’s health.
As you know, antibiotics are administered to animals to protect them from disease and hormones to encourage rapid growth and muscle development. When their meat and by-products are used in pets’ diets, it will increase resistance to antibiotics and hyperactivity or other health conditions.
If dog treats contain chemicals, it will lower immunity against allergies. Some low-quality treats that are not 100% lean meat also include another part of the animals, so you should carefully check the labeled ingredient.
While selecting pet treats, choose 100% organic or you can also make homemade treats for your dog to ensure quality.
- Efficient Weight Control
Dog nutritional requirement depends on different factors such as age, body weight, breed, and life stages. For example, according to recommendations on this resource if you choose a grain-rich food for a dog you need to be sure that your dog is not allergic to grains, they will not cause harm. Also, it is important to monitor the quality of the grain that you feed your canine buddy.
The recommended calories are known for each stage of your dog’s life. When giving your dog treats, always keep your dog’s requirements in mind to avoid obesity.
If your dog treats contain 75 calories then it will not be suitable for small dogs because the smallest dog requires 40 calories per pound. Larger dogs need 20 calories per pound per day.
- Improved brain health and appearance
“You are what you eat”, this human saying is also applicable to dogs. When you fed your pet healthy treats, this will have several health benefits.
Your pet’s external appearance can be severely affected if food or treats contain synthetic preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, or coloring. Your dog may show these signs, such as skin rashes, dull hair coat, itchy ears, and excessive hair shedding.
Some natural treat ingredients are also good for the brain, such as coconut oil and salmon oil. It will increase the training capacity and your dog will learn the trick quickly.
These healthy oils also have a beneficial effect on the hair coat – they work as a beauty booster and your dog has a shinier coat.
You can add almond oil to the place where peanut butter is used when making homemade treats. Almond oil contains three times more vitamin E than peanut butter, which is very beneficial for the dog’s skin.
- Better for the Tummy
If your dog’s treats are high in fat, the stool will harden because the fats are more difficult to digest. The dog will feel difficulty passing stool and even damage the lining of the rectum and cause bloody stool.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, it can show these signs like vomiting, flatulence, and diarrhea, etc.
You can guarantee your dog good intestinal health by choosing natural dog treats. It will also provide ease to the dog to pass stool without difficulty. Natural ingredients are also good for dogs with a sensitive stomach and digestive problems.
Some dog treats and treats contain a good amount of fiber content that will make your dog’s digestion easier. Some natural ingredients contain high fiber content recommended by veterinarians such as psyllium husk fiber, inulin, and beet pulp, etc.
- Stronger Dental Health
If your dog has bad breath and rotten teeth, it will be unpleasant and difficult to mask. In the case of weak gum and tooth health, your dog may have cavities, injuries, swollen pockets, tarter, and a rotten odor that you can feel when your dog is around.
Daily brushing of your teeth is very essential. You can also choose some natural treats that are good for dental health. Hard or solid food will help remove residue from teeth compared to wet food.
You can easily spoil your dog by giving him lots of healthy treats; always feed them according to their calorie requirements. Never feed your pet table scrap or any cheap ingredient that can make him sick.
Vicki Smirnova is a professional pet writer and Senior Content Editor of ThePets.net. She’s passionate about sharing pet health knowledge to help pet parents to care for their pets. ThePets team includes pet experts who provide reliable information about keeping your animals healthy and happy. Also, become a fan of ThePets on Facebook.