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 your dog.
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 pet should never eat.
But for most healthy dogs, here are six nutritious and delicious treats that won’t cause your vet to fret.
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.
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 not some fruits like grapes, raisins or currants — which can cause kidney failure in dogs.
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 flavoring.
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. Now it’s a regular – and well-loved — reward.
Yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein 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. It continues:
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).
Frozen yogurt also makes a great treat during warm-weather months.
6. Biscuits and more
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.
Do you have great ideas for healthful dog treats? Share them below or on our Facebook page.