Choosing All Natural Dog Treats

Learn how to select everyday dog treats to reward your dog

See also healthy dog food and free dog treat training guide

natural dog treatsDog treats are an excellent training tool and work well as positive reinforcement of your dog’s good behavior. 

Treats are also a way that you can communicate appreciation to your dog for just being a loyal friend. 

And as humans, we like giving treats to our dogs because they like it and it makes us feel good. 

These days dog treats come in many forms, there are dog bakeries that make fresh dog treats, simple milkbones from the supermarket, dog jerky, dog cookies and even dog bagels and dog popcorn. 

With so many choices, how do you choose the best kind of everyday dog treat for your pooch?  Read on to find out how to select dog treats and which treats are best for your dog.

Choosing Everyday Dog Treats for Your Pet

You can easily select healthy dog treats for your dog by first thinking about your dog’s activity level.  How often do you take your dog for a walk?  Does your dog participate in hunting activities or does he spend time playing or running? 

When you determine how active your dog is, it will guide your treat buying decision.  If your dog gets plenty of exercise, you can choose from a wider selection of treats.  If your dog is more of a couch potato, only treat him occasionally with treats that are smaller in size and lower in fat and calories.

Another thing that you should do when buying dog treats is to only buy treats that will fit your dog’s size.  Often a package of treats will specify the size of dog that should enjoy that type of treat.  Smaller dogs should not be eating mega size bones.

And finally, only choose treats that are specially formulated for dogs.  Human food is typically much to rich for your dog and feeding him people food can result in an upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting or even more complicated health problems.

All Natural Dog Treats

everyday dog treatsYou should try to find dog treats that are all natural and free from by products and fillers.  When you treat your dog, the idea is to give him a reward that is good for him and will promote health.  Treats containing fillers and by products like lower grade animal parts (think beaks, hooves and feet) are not good for your dog. 

Products made by companies like Old Mother Hubbard, Newman’s Own, Zukes and Wellness brand are good choices for all natural dog treats.  We really like Wellness Venison dog treats and our dog loves them. 

Look into the ingredients of the treats that you’re feeding your dog and make sure that the treats are healthy for him to eat.  Especially if you treat often, make sure the dog treats that you give your pet are helping and not hurting him.

Low Fat and Low Calorie Dog Treats

Unfortunately many of the treats available in your local pet store or supermarket are high in fat, calories and sugar.  While that may be fine for dogs that get treats only occasionally, if you give your dog treats on a daily basis or use treats in dog training you may want to limit your dog’s intake on these types of treats.

Often it is as simple as cutting your dog’s treats in half or into fourths to make them smaller so each serving is lower in fat and calories owing to its tiny size.  Smaller treats are often easier to manage for training, so this may be the best option for you. 

You can also buy some low fat or low calorie treats for your dog.  These treats are typically labeled as low fat or low cal and your dog will probably eat them with the same gusto with which he eats high fat treats.

Home Made Dog Treats

Recently there has been an increasing interest in making homemade dog treats.  If you have the time and the desire to bake for your dog, making treats at home can be a great idea.  When you give your dog homemade dog treats, you can be absolutely sure about what ingredients are included and the calories and fat that is in each treat. 

To get started, find dog treat recipes in a book from your library or bookstore – don’t trust every dog recipe you find online, they may not be well tested and could give your dog a stomach ache.  There are some ingredients that can be harmful to dogs and should be avoided.  Keep ingredients like onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate of any kind, garlic, caffeine and artificial sweeteners (like Splenda) out of your dog treats.

If you don’t have the time and you’d still like to have homemade dog treats for everyday use, there are lots of smaller dog treat companies that specialize in these types of treats.  You can also check to see if there’s a dog bakery in your city, these bake shops usually have freshly made treats available every day.