Healthy dog treats made from just 1 ingredient
By Nicole Simone
We all know our dogs love treats but have you considered what’s in your dog’s favorite snack? Some dog treats include preservatives that can be harmful to your dog’s health (think HA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, TBHQ, and Propyl Gallate). These excess ingredients can irritate your dog’s allergies, cause troublesome skin and coat conditions, and sometimes do far more harm than good.
In order to give our readers some alternatives to store-bought snacks we’ve pulled together this handy list of healthy, all natural treats you can give to your dog! There are even several uncommon (and doggone odd) goodies that you may not have considered, so take a look at the list and start snacking the smart way!
What could be better than a fishy popsicle, right? Perfect for bigger dogs, you can buy sardines frozen and keep them in the freezer for easy storage. Sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, potassium and calcium. Your dog’s coat will thank you!
Cooked pumpkin is delicious! Adding it to your dog’s food will add extra fiber, omega fatty acids, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, riboflavin and a whopping dose of Vitamin A. Remember to give them roasted or steamed pumpkin, not canned pumpkin pie, which is packed with harmful preservatives and refined sugar.
High in protein and low in fat, this single ingredient treat might seem a bit exotic, but it’s certainly gaining popularity. Kangaroo jerky is high in anti oxidants, has among the highest level of Omega 3 versus lamb, beef & pork treats, and contains a high concentration of Vitamin B12 (great for cell renewal). Plus, it boasts less than 2% fat and is allergen free! These healthy strips are great as a treat for medium to large dogs, or as a longer lasting chew for small to medium dogs. We like these ones from our friends at cleardog.com, all the way in Australia.
Apples are a great source of fiber and Vitamin C. Remember to always give slices of apples with the skin on, since most of the nutrients are in the skin. Never give your dog a whole apple or an apple core as the seeds are extremely toxic for dogs.
Dehydrated Chicken Breast Bites
Packed with protein, these snacks are free from chemicals and preservatives and are perfect for active dogs. Try our favorite from All Good Dog Food Co.
Raw carrots can help dogs maintain strong teeth because of the veg’s crisp and crunchy nature. Carrots also contain plenty of fiber, antioxidants, a low number of calories, and high concentration of beta-carotene, great for your dog’s coat, nails and eyes, and are excellent additions to a balanced diet. As your dog ages, it’s a wholesome and easy to chew treat to steam carrots and add them to your dog’s food.
Give your dog a spoonful or two of cooked quinoa as a special treat or mix it in with their everday food. It contains zinc, magnesium, folate and tons of Vitamin E. All excellent for your dog’s health and well being!
This sweet treat is easy to carry on walks and you can enjoy it too! Dried (sugar-free) apricots are particularly high in Vitamin A and iron. Don’t overfeed your pet though, as large amounts of these delicious treats can be high in calories!
Coconut is an excellent source of fiber! It sounds so simple, but dehydrated slices of coconut are another sweet treat that both you and your dog can enjoy. Also, if your dog is constipated, raw coconut meat (discard the shell) is a great natural laxative due to it’s abundance of natural oils.
Sweet potatoes are delicious and nutritious. Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, niacin, and B Vitamins are all found in sweet potatoes. You can serve them steamed as part of your dog’s dinner or as dehydrated sweet potato chews!
Loaded with Vitamin A, cantaloupe helps to maintain your dog’s eyesight! Also rich in beta carotene, it can help to reduce the risk of cancer and also prevent cell damage. We suggest you slice and freeze your cantaloupe and serve it to your pup on hot days as a cool treat.
When the summer months heat up and you’re enjoying a watermelon at your family picnic, why not toss a slice to your dog? Lycopene, which watermelon has a lot of, is a cancer fighting antioxidant that also helps maintain healthy eyes.
If you can’t get your kids to eat them, might as well serve them up to your dog! The best thing about these vitamin rich snacks is that they’re already bite sized! Halve and steam these delicious little veggie balls and store in the fridge for handy rewards for your pup’s good behavior. And who knows, maybe your kids will come around if they see the dog enjoying them.