With so many different brands, flavors and ingredients, picking the best dog treat for your pup may seem overwhelming. The right treats will not only keep your furry friend happy, but will also come in handy during the training process and are much healthier and safer than feeding your dog whatever you didn’t finish for dinner. When shopping for dog treats, there are few factors you should consider.
You should always start by looking at the ingredients in the treats. There are many healthy products that your pup will still love.
Look for dog treats that have a short list of recognizable ingredients that you can easily identify. For example, it’s a good idea to avoid products with vague-sounding ingredients like “animal fat,” as you can’t really pinpoint what animal the fat is coming from. Look for treats with primarily meat-based ingredients. If your dog seems to be sick of beef and chicken, try buying treats with fish. According to PetMD, fish is a great source of protein and can decrease your dog’s inflammation.
Though they might be on the pricier side, you may want to look for treats with all-natural, locally sourced ingredients and added supplements like glucosamine. According to American Kennel Club, this common dog supplement can alleviate joint pain and other structural problems.
You want to avoid products with artificial colors or flavors and chemical preservatives. If you want to give your dog something sweet, look for natural sweeteners, like applesauce, molasses or honey.
The FDA has warned against giving your dog bones, as they come with a number of health risks including gastrointestinal obstruction and splinters that can give your dog serious mouth wounds. Although bones can clean your dog’s teeth, you should look for safer treats that come with dental benefits.
After vetting the dog treat ingredients, you should take a look at the calorie count. According to the American Kennel Club, no more than 10 percent of the calories in your dog’s diet should be consumed from treats, so you must first figure out how many calories your pup consumes per day. Overindulgence in treats can lead to obesity, which can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. To keep your pup healthy, buy low-calorie dog treats or break up bigger treats into small pieces.
According to American Kennel Club, if you are training your puppy, you should look for treats with a high reinforcement rate. These treats are often small and easy to digest, making the training process more efficient.
If these dog treat tips are making you reconsider your dog’s diet overall, keep your pup healthy by purchasing one of the healthiest dog food brands.