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Smart And Healthy Treats For Today’s Dogs

For many pet owners, making this type of healthier choice may have happened just a few short years ago when disturbing headlines were linking many poisonous pet products with thousands of illnesses and deaths associated with our pets. Combine that with questionable ingredients found in many of today’s manufactured dog foods and animal owners are facing some serious conundrums when it comes to feeding our beloved animals.

Healthy Snacks for Your Best Friend

Factor in a myriad of different dog breeds who are often finicky eaters and we have a real dilemma on our hands. The first thing we must do as masters of our four-legged children is to give them healthier treats and snacks. While many human children turn up their noises at things like vegetables, you’d be surprised to find out how many canines actually like these healthier alternatives to traditional dog treats, like:

  • Carrots are an excellent chew toy and are great for cleaning teeth and gums
  • Crunchy celery also works on dog’s choppers and freshens their breath
  • Steamed or raw broccoli is gobbled up by some of our canine companions
  • Brussel sprouts are also enjoyable, but should be given in moderation due to gas

Fruits With Little Labor

Many fruits are a delicious break from those stale, crunchy, old snacks offered in boxes or in bulk bags for our pets. What about all those preservatives put into the mix to make sure they’re “fresh,” edible, meet certain, standards, etc? What about fresh fruit instead?

Two of the best examples of healthy fruits are for dogs are pumpkins and apples, which may seem odd as a snack, but both are an excellent digestive aid for canines (minus the seeds of course). While you shouldn’t feed them a piece of this kind of pie, small portions of either solid pack pumpkin (free of sugar, salt and other additives) can be frozen as a summertime treat. Cored and sliced apples (without the skin and seeds) are nutritious on many levels.

Beware of some fruits and veggies that are unhealthy or even toxic for dogs, like avocados, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and tomatoes that could give them health problems. You can see a list of many dangerous and healthy foods here on the AKC website.

Make A Little Of Your Own Magic

Think about all those magnificent dog shows you may have seen on television back in the day. Although platforms like YouTube, Facebook and other online venues have replaced these antiquated showcases, if you look carefully, the performing canine was always given a little treat after the performance of each and every little “trick.”

That’s the key, a “little” treat and not a big, whopping piece of jerky or gigantic reward. Treats should always be something small, offered as a special reward, and not considered an incentive for regular behavior once training has been accomplished (for the most part). After all, do you reward your pet with food every time they come when they’re called, do their business outside, sit and stay, etc.

As always, check with your veterinarian before making any changes your dog’s diet or exercise regime. They’ll likely agree adding healthier treats to your dog’s dish will help them to lead a longer and happier life.

Credit: Amber Kingsley

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