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In a way, the world of dog treats is not much different to the world of human treats. There are healthy options, and not so healthy options.
As dog parents, we go through periods where we may have to give our dogs a lot of treats to reward them for good behaviour when they’re in training. Not to mention the numerous times we want to give them a treat *just because* we love them so much.
So, it makes a whole lot of sense to prioritise healthy dog treats, especially when we feed so many of them. In this article, we’ll explore what different types of healthy dog treats there are and how they compare to each other.
What are the healthiest dog treats?
With almost half of the dogs in Australia being overweight or obese, low-fat dog treats are a great choice when it comes to healthy treats for dogs.
Here’s a quick overview of typical low-fat ingredient treat options:
- Venison (think Kangaroo, Rabbit and Deer)
- Cow ears rather than pig ears
- Lamb, Goat and Horse meat
Pro Tip: You can often buy single protein dehydrated dog chews (for example pig ears, goat horns, or antlers) and jerky treats from local small businesses, rather than buying dog treats from big retailers with a questionable ingredient list.
You can also invest into a food dehydrator and start making your own dog treats at home. That’s what we do and our dogs love it!
What are cheap healthy dog treats?
Many healthy treats can be more expensive because the brands source their ingredients ethically and sustainably, which results in higher quality treats without added grains, sugars, glycerins and added growth promoting hormones.
When it comes to training treats, it can be both healthier (lower in calories) and more cost-effective to get dogs used to really small treats. Like, size of a fingernail per treat small.
Cheap pet store treats may have questionable ingredients, so it’s often best to seek out a local small business that sells dog treats. Have a chat to them about their cheapest low-fat treat options. You can typically find them at your local farmers market, and many are happy for your dog to try a few different small pieces to see what they like best.
Is peanut butter good for dogs?
Peanut butter is high in fat and calories, so it’s best to think of it as an occasional treat only. It’s also important to check the ingredient list and look for 100% peanuts only. Some peanut butter brands may include the artificial sweetener Xylitol, which can cause a rapid release of insulin in dogs, which can be life threatening if left untreated.
What type of dog treats do dogs prefer?
All dogs are individuals, and what works for some won’t work for others. That said, dogs cannot survive without protein in their diets, and they are known for picking foods that are high in protein if given a choice.
Furthermore, they like the smell of liver and organ meats, which is why you see those type of dog treats often.
To summarise, all dogs are different, but many will enjoy high-protein meat treats more than other types of treats, such as biscuits.
- Vet Voice. “Obesity in Australian pets. https://www.vetvoice.com.au/ec/pet-ownership/obesity-in-pets/
- American Kennel Club. “Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?”. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-peanut-butter/