Healthy snacks for dogs
All James Wellbeloved’s diets are nutritionally complete, so feeding your dog supplementary treats is not generally necessary. Just like humans though, dogs love a treat and are prone to over-indulging when allowed. When their nose starts twitching and they look longingly at you, it can be hard to resist spoiling them with some table scraps from your plate. However, this can be harmful to your dog, causing disturbance to their digestive routine and increasing their calorie intake to unhealthy levels. Having a healthy alternative is therefore key.
In this article, James Wellbeloved explores healthy snacks for dogs, providing guidance on suitable treats and portion sizes for your furry friend.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU TREAT YOUR DOG?
The amount of treats you can feed your pet varies greatly, depending on the dog’s size, breed, and even activity level. However, the generally accepted rule is that treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake, regardless of what kind of treat you are giving your dog. Even healthy dog snacks must therefore be given in moderate portions.
Also remember that, while it can make a nice change for your pet, using extra foods to treat them is not necessary. Especially for overweight dogs, setting aside a small portion of their main meal and using this for treating them can be a great idea.
TREATING YOUR DOG TO FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Many fruits and vegetables make wonderfully healthy dog treats, offering a balance between nutritional benefit and taste. Recommended fruit and vegetables for your pet pooch include:
- Pumpkin – low in fat and high in fibre, pumpkin makes a great treat when served fresh. Just remember to throw away the peel and only feed your dog the flesh
- Carrots – serve these versatile and sweet treats raw and chopped to an appropriate size for your dog. A whole carrot can be a fun activity, taking longer to eat, but only for larger dog breeds
- Green beans – a tasty treat for your dog, green beans are rich in vitamins and iron, making them a great addition to your pet’s diet
- Courgettes – these tasty vegetables are also low-calorie, making them a great treat for your pooch
- Broccoli – high in fibre, as well as vitamins A and C, broccoli is a great treat for your dog. However, it can cause flatulence and gastric irritation if consumed too often
- Blueberries – with numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, these flavoursome berries are a wonderful treat for most dogs
While fruit and vegetables are generally healthy, they can be high in sugar and so should still only be fed to your dog in moderation. Chopping them into smaller sizes can help with managing the portion sizes and will also reduce the risk of your pet choking.
Further, remember that a dog’s digestive system is different to a human’s. Some fruit and vegetables that humans enjoy are in fact harmful to dogs, including grapes, mushrooms and onions. You should always consult a vet before feeding your dog new food, to minimise the risk of exposing them to these unsuitable foods.
TREATING YOUR DOG WITH SOME MEAT
Although fruit and vegetables tend to be healthier, you can also occasionally treat your dog with some meat. Moderation is essential when doing this, as meat can be high in calories and fat. If you want to treat your dog with some extra meat, this ought to be a lean cut and must be cooked, preferably by boiling. Meat that has been cooked in fat or sauce should never be given, as this will contain too many calories. Furthermore, you should also avoid feeding meat that has been seasoned, as this can be disruptive to your pet’s digestive system.
TRY SOME JAMES WELLBELOVED TREATS
If you would rather use a commercial dog treat, try James Wellbeloved’s treat range. Delicious and nourishing, Cracker-Jacks and Mini-Jacks make perfect healthy snacks for your dog. Using a carefully selected handful of ingredients, James Wellbeloved creates naturally hypoallergenic treats that are rich in the vitamins and minerals your dog needs. As with any treats though, remember that these must be given only in moderation and should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
So, there’s James Wellbeloved’s guide to healthy snacks for dogs. Next time you’re eating your dinner and your dog looks at you with those pleading eyes, try giving them one of these tasty treats instead.