7 Healthful Treats for Your Dog

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Want to reward your pup? Here are some nutritious and delicious treats that won't cause your vet to fret.

Most dog owners know that it’s not a good idea to feed a pup table scraps or other unhealthy snacks. But when Rover, Fifi or Spot wags that tail and looks up at us with those big brown puppy dog eyes, our best friend is hard to resist.

Fess up: You’ve done it too. If you’re a sucker for a pooch’s mooching ways, we have some good news: There are many healthful treats that you can offer to your dog at dinner and throughout the day.

Each dog is different, and some pets might have health conditions that make certain types of treats a bad idea. And there are some foods your dog should never eat.

But for most healthy dogs, here are seven nutritious and delicious treats that won’t cause your vet to fret.

1. Cheese

When dishing out dog treats, it’s good to go with Gouda — or cheddar or Swiss. According to Modern Dog magazine:

Most dogs simply adore a tidbit of cheese, making it a great high-value reward for training. Just mind those calories, and keep in mind that softer unripened cheeses are more likely to cause stomach upset.

Helpful hint: Cheese is also a great vessel for disguising your dog’s medications.

2. Fruits and vegetables

When it comes to fresh produce, what’s good for man is typically good for man’s best friend. According to A-Z Vets:

Just like us, dogs need the vitamins and fiber contained in fresh fruit and veg. Most dogs love crunching down on baby carrots or chewing through green beans.

Keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule. Vegetables are fine, but do not feed grapes, raisins or sultanas to dogs — all are toxic to canines, says A-Z Vets.

3. Oatmeal

You’re not the only member of your household who can start the day with some warm and hearty oatmeal. Experts say it is especially good for senior dogs with bowel irregularity issues.

Just make sure to cook it before serving, and avoid unhealthful added sugar and flavorings.

4. Peanut butter

Want to butter up your four-legged friend? Stuff some raw, unsalted peanut butter into a Kong treat dispenser for hours of delicious entertainment!

My pup didn’t care for peanut butter at first — if you can believe it! But now, it’s become a regular – and well-loved — reward.

5. Rawhide

Rawhide is another great choice, especially for pups who love to chew. Just make sure it’s healthy for your canine’s choppers. How can you tell? Look for the “VOHC Accepted” seal, which indicates that it’s been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

Because rawhide becomes soft as your pooch chews on it, experts recommend constant supervision. According to WebMD’s Healthy Pets section:

Always watch your dog when she’s gnawing on rawhide, as it can break into little pieces and get lodged in her throat. Best to take it away when it starts getting small.

6. Yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of calcium and proteins for humans and canines alike, according to Modern Dog. The magazine suggests selecting a yogurt with live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners.

The active bacteria may act as probiotics. If your pooch is pudgy, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes (e.g., Simplesse or Olestra).

Helpful hint: Frozen yogurt makes a great treat during warm-weather months.

7. Biscuits and more

Finally, there may be times when you want to splurge and get a little more creative when treating your best buddy. Martha Stewart has several simple recipes you can whip up. Most are variations on biscuits, including apple-cheddar and blueberry flavors.

Other sites that offer homemade canine treat ideas include Allrecipes and the kitchn.

Do you have great ideas for healthful dog treats? Share them in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Stacy Johnson

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