Healthy Treats for Dogs
Updated: Jan 18
Happy New Year, Friends! It’s been a wild ride this holiday season. We are excited to welcome a more peaceful time of year, one in which we can plan for the future, rest from the past, and enjoy the present. While we’re thinking about our resolutions for 2023, we thought we might share some of our favorite healthy treats for dogs. If you’re improving the way you eat this year, you can do the same for your beloved best friend.
Dog Treats to Stay Away From
Many of us don’t have the time to make dog treats regularly. Especially if we only have one dog that isn’t treated often, homemade treats may not be the best use of our time and resources. If that’s the case for you, please don’t purchase just any treat that’s on the market. Unfortunately, many of the dog treats that are for sale at major retailers are full of fillers, chemicals, and potentially dangerous ingredients. A rule of thumb to follow is that if you cannot pronounce a component in your dog’s treats, it’s best to avoid them. Also, avoid treats made in China where the quality standards and regulations surrounding pet food manufacturing are limited at best.
Dog Treats to Consider
If again, making dog treats doesn’t sound like an activity you’d enjoy, you can always buy high-quality treats with a relatively long shelf life. When browsing your grocery store, pet supply store, or discount shops, look for treats that are made in America using single ingredients. And, opt for those that are freeze-dried or dehydrated. Organ meats like chicken livers, beef hearts, etc. sound gross but are a very nutritious and delicious treat for dogs.
By keeping your dog’s treats simple and strategic, you’re not only giving them the best stuff, but you’re also preventing stomach upset, mysterious illnesses, and possible toxicity or allergic reactions.
Homemade Dog Treats
Making dog treats can be a fun way to spend a few hours with family and friends. Invite your neighbors over, engage the help of your kids, or have your significant other participate in making your dog’s day.
When choosing recipes, keep them simple and try to keep carbohydrates to a minimum. Opt for omega-rich recipes, high-protein options, and recipes that can be frozen to ensure your efforts don’t go to waste. One of our favorite holistic veterinarians, Dr. Judy Morgan, has a great recipe for dehydrated dog and cat treats using strips of meat, sweet potatoes, and some fruits. All you need is an oven but, keep in mind, you will be cooking these foods for 8-12 hours. To make the most of your gas or electric bill, make these treats in bulk then freeze and thaw them as needed.
Pawsome Recipes has a great option using coconut flour and other simple ingredients. These treats have a high protein content and are ideal for dogs of all ages. If you have a diabetic or overweight dog, however, make sure you account for treats when portioning out their food each day. If you’re overtreating and not adjusting your pets’ calorie intake, they will gain weight.
Finally, these Keto Dog Bites are a hit with all dogs, no matter their nutritional needs. They are made with pumpkin, eggs, and coconut oil, all things dogs enjoy. These ingredients are also chock-full of nutrients making these treats a winning combination.
Yorktown Dog Treats
If you and your dog are up for a visit to a local dog bakery, check out Gangster Dog’s homemade dog cookies. These gourmet dog treats are all-natural and made by hand here in Yorktown, Virginia. Gangster Dog has two locations, one on the waterfront in historic Yorktown and another in the heart of East Beach. Bring your dog and their appetite when you visit!
At Hearts at Home Pet Sitting, we are unyielding about the quality of our care. Like us, we encourage you to choose only the best for your pets, whether it be your pet care provider or the treats you offer them. Our pets can’t make their own choices in these matters, it’s up to us to choose the best for them every time. To learn about our extraordinary team, our dog walking and pet sitting services, or to inquire about our service areas, please call 757-745-9868 or email Hello@HeartsAtHomePetSitting.com.