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Whether you use treats to train, improve behavioral work, or spoil your furry companion, picking the right ones is vital. Treats serve as a reward for dogs. Additionally, dog treats can play an important role in promoting your dog’s health.
Even when it comes to treats, you’ll want to feed your dog something wholesome and low-calorie to keep them healthy, active, and playful. Ideally, healthy dog treats should include organic and natural ingredients (like our very own Victor’s Doggy Cookies). Many studies have shown that organic and natural dog treats contain more nutritional value than commercial doggy treats.
Like any other pet owner, I also want to see my two-year-old pug attentive and happily growing. For a long time, I had uncertainties about the treats I fed my pug. My pet suffered a lot from various stomach disorders and allergies. As my pug has some weight-related issues, I wanted the best natural dog treats to keep food sensitivities at bay.
After days of research and vet consultation, I compiled a list of the best healthy dog treats, and natural dog treats, to help you pick the best one for your furry friend.
But before we delve into the details, let’s discuss what you should look for when it comes to dog treats.
I admit that when it comes to choosing the right food for my dog, I take a lot of time. It takes some serious attention to check ingredients and evaluate manufacturers to ensure your dog’s diet will keep them happy and healthy.
I suggest you start with the main ingredients listed on the dog food label. Makes sure that you note how the manufacturer has listed those ingredients. Generally, the list begins with the key ingredients (quantity or weight wise) and continues down the list.
However, if all the ingredients have the same quantity by weight, the ingredients list may order them in any order. The first five ingredients in the list are always significant as they comprise 50 percent of the whole content. As such, you’ll want these ingredients to be of high quality.
The question here is, “What makes dog treats (and pet food in general) high in quality?”
The properties that indicate high quality in your food will denote quality in your dog’s food. When checking for top-quality ingredients, you’ll want these ingredients to be minimally processed, pure, and fresh.
Know that whole pet food ingredients always make a better option than by-products. For example, check if your chosen dog treats include wheat or wheat flour. (Wheat is healthier than wheat flour.) In short, the more reconstituted and processed the ingredients are in the dog treats, the more chances they have to become contaminated and adulterated. Besides this, processing dog food often decreases its nutritional value.
The best way you can assess if ingredients are fresh or not is to check their food makers. The freshest ingredients are available in the USA; if manufacturers include foreign ingredient makers in their labels, they might not be as reliable. I prefer US-grown or domestic ingredients as compared to foreign items.
However, there is an exception for ingredients that are difficult to obtain in the USA, such as organic venison. Even then, if you find dog treats that contain domestically-grown, free-range organic venison, it is better to go for it instead of buying a product with organic venison from Australia. Domestically sourced ingredients will naturally remain fresher than items that need shipping from another country.
Whether you choose commercial dog treats or go for natural dog treats, the labels should be easily recognizable. In other words, there should be no doubt about their source. For instance, if the label says “animal fat” or “meat meal,” these ingredients can come from anywhere. If you find it difficult (or impossible) to determine the food source on the dog treats, refrain from feeding it to your dog.
Choosing natural treats for dogs is ideal in this regard, as they have fewer contaminants. Reliable dog food manufacturers that specialize in making organic dog treats make a good choice as they use ingredients that receive strict scrutiny from food inspectors.
There is no denying that natural dog treats are a healthier option, but this does not mean that you cannot feed your dog healthy dog treats. Vets suggest that pet owners watch for two things when choosing healthy dog treats: specific ingredients and calories.
Just like everyone, your furry friend also loves treats and wants to keep on eating them. I usually end up overfeeding my pug, as commercial treats are very small and my little fur buddy can eat them within seconds.
Unfortunately, when the dog treats run out, some pet parents resort to giving their dogs human food as a treat. I do not recommend that substitution as many common household foods are toxic to your pet.
This is where all dog owners need to be vigilant; overfeeding may add to your dog’s caloric intake substantially and may pose health risks. You’ll want to find out the factors that make the best dog treats. Here are a few elements to consider before buying healthy dog treats:
Made from high-quality meat, including chicken, beef, or turkey, Rocco & Roxie offers some of the most reliable, healthy dog treats. The USA-based manufacturers slow-smoke meat for 15 to 16 hours to develop a unique flavor and texture.
The best thing about feeding this treat to your dog is that it does not include common fillers or artificial preservatives such as corn, soy, gluten, and wheat. However, Rocco & Roxie contains a small amount of sodium nitrate and garlic, which can be dangerous or even toxic for some types of canines.
These dog treats make another healthy choice for your furry companion. These dog treats are great for training and do not contain wheat, gluten, and soy. The training treats come with zero artificial colors and flavors. They are also low-calorie and have a sufficient quantity of Omega-9.
Greenies are the top choice of many dog owners as they have 2-in-1 qualities. The dog treats also make tasty dental chews for your pet. Greenies are, no doubt, a healthy choice for your dog, but these treats are not natural. They typically serve to reduce dental issues in dogs as well as satiate hunger.
Greenies are, without a doubt, safe for your dog to chew and digest. They are low fat and can help you maintain and promote the dental health of your dog. These doggy treats can help dogs fight bad breath, plaque, and gum issues. They also add minerals and vitamins to your dog’s daily diet.
Simpler and meatier, chicken jerky dog treats are USDA certified. Manufacturers use premium quality chicken breasts, which are dehydrated and offer all-natural goodness your dog will love. I found this treat quite healthy and ideal for my dog’s training. The jerky treat helped me supplement my dog’s diet.
The reason I consider this doggy treat a healthy choice for my dog is the manufacture’s guarantee that it is free of preservatives or additives. Note that the jerky strips are extra crunchy and may break after undergoing handling and shipping.
These low-calorie dog treats top the list of natural dog food with their benefits for your furry friend. The crunchy, heart-shaped dog treats come in plenty of sizes and flavors, including salmon, sweet potato, peanut butter, and cheese. The recipe contains a blend of natural and organic ingredients and contains no artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.
The treats are completely organic and natural as there is no wheat, corn, and soy in the recipe. The high-grade meats make the best dog treats as they include only certified organic and healthy ingredients.
Made of 100-percent organic potato puree, 4Legs are delicious bite-sized morsels. The dog treats come packed with fiber and vitamins and can be an ideal choice for a furry companion that suffers from food sensitivities.
The dog treats are all-natural and do not contain wheat, corn, artificial preservatives, or sodium.
USD certified, Wet Nose Organic dog treats offer another excellent choice to complement the healthy growth of your dog. The dog treats come in three delicious flavors: pumpkin, peanut butter, and cheddar.
These all-natural dog treats include only human-grade ingredients. That means there are no artificial preservatives, wheat, corn, and animal by-products in these doggy treats. If you buy a pumpkin variant, it smells of ginger and cinnamon, which often soothes a dog’s stomach.
Moreover, these natural doggy treats do not contain dairy or eggs, which are common allergy triggers and may cause gastrointestinal issues for dogs. If you are a dog owner who has spent a lot on your dog’s allergy problems, these natural doggy treats can be a great relief for both you and your dog.
Naturally, we love seeing our four-legged friends delighted and healthy. And nothing can make them happier than tasty treats. But feeding them too many treats can make them sick and prove harmful to their health, particularly their high-calorie content.
As such, choosing natural treats is ideal. Not only do they help satisfy your dog’s hunger but they offer benefits toward your dog’s long-term health.
Look at these reasons to find out why natural dog treats are beneficial:
As mentioned earlier, the best doggy treats are ones that have natural or minimal ingredients. Most of the natural dog treats contain only 3 to 4 organic ingredients; this makes it easy for dogs to digest food and maintain their health.
The level of quality sets organic dog treats apart from commercial ones. The single-ingredient natural dog treats are easy to digest because they do not include artificial colors, preservatives, and fillers. This will also help you maintain a healthy weight for your dog.
Feeding your dog natural and organic treats not only aids digestion but also provides them with sufficient energy for their activities.
Not all commercial dog treats are healthy. The labels on commercial doggy treats are often misleading. No matter how many times the label states it is non-artificial, if it contains fillers and by-products, it may be harmful to your pet’s health.
The dog treats may also contain vegetables, but this does not mean that they are healthy. It is important to see exactly what vegetable manufacturer has added to the treat. For example, if the treats include beet pulp or corn, these products do not necessarily support your dog’s health.
Overall, treats make a vital part of your dog’s diet. Feeding your canine the best treats with all-natural ingredients will help them with digestion and can also enable them to live longer.
Make sure that you read the labels carefully before buying dog treats. Give your dog only the best food by confidently choosing dog treats that are the best fit for your dog.
The medical, nutritional, or behavioral advice we provide is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our editorial content is not a substitute for formal or personalized medical advice from a veterinary professional. Only board-certified veterinary specialists who have examined your pet should diagnose medical conditions, provide personalized treatment, or prescribe appropriate medication. For questions regarding your pet’s health, or if your pet is exhibiting signs of illness, injury, or distress, contact your veterinarian immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.