Everything you need to know about dog treats
The benefits of dog treats
Dog treats are complementary dog food. We all love to give our dogs a treat, but a lot of the time these can do more harm than good.
Did you know?
When you give your dog a treat such as a cube of cheese or a digestive biscuit, not only are they not great for them (high fat, artificial additives or lactose) but you are giving them far more than you think.
1 digestive biscuit for a medium-size dog is the equivalent of giving them a cheeseburger! And 25g of cheese is the equivalent of one and a half cheeseburgers! Some treats made especially for dogs are just as bad!!
This is why nowadays we have a major problem with obesity in our pets. They look at us with those big eyes, and we just can’t resist giving them something. Of course, we want to share with them, it’s human nature and we love them. We want to reward them with a treat or give them something before bed. And of course, they quickly learn to expect this!
At Healthy Hounds, we love to treat our dogs, but we remember to stick to some important rules, to keep them at a healthy weight and with a healthy balanced diet.
- Treat your dogs with appropriate treats, such as our Mini Treats or Mutt Butter.
- Adjust your dog’s feeding to reflect this. Sometimes we need to give more treats, such as if we are training our dog.
- Your dog will enjoy a treat made especially for them as much as a human one.
- A small treat with a big punch of flavour such as our Mini Treats will give as much enjoyment as a larger bland treat, with a lot fewer calories.
- Keep your treats as natural and healthy as possible.
- Don’t get carried away and feed too many. Your dog will never say no, and doesn’t stop to think “I shouldn’t, I might put on weight!”
- Stretch your treats out by making your dog work for them – Hide in the garden, or around the house, use an interactive puzzle toy, Kong, or lick mat.
What ingredients to look for in dog treats?
Our simple answer to this would be as few as possible! You want the ingredient list on your treats to read like a recipe, where you understand and know what all the ingredients are.
You want the treats to be made from natural ingredients, and if possible, fresh ingredients.
Take our Poultry Mini Treats, for example, they’re 80% meat and contain just 6 ingredients
- Sweet Potato
- Chicken stock (literally just the juices from the chicken)
You also want your treats to be made from quality ingredients, not just buy products. All of our treats are made from the highest quality fresh ingredients.
What are the healthiest treats for dogs?
The healthiest treats for dogs are ones with natural ingredients and reasonably low-calorie content.
It’s also really important that you know the origin of the treats. Some companies sell treats that look like they are natural and made from one or two ingredients, but actually, the process involved in making them isn’t ideal and may have used chemicals in a dehydrating or drying process.
Other treats that look natural such as rawhide are actually very dangerous to dogs. They can as mentioned above be produced using dubious methods and from dubious sources and can be a choking hazard, or cause obstructions in your dog’s digestive system.
Other traditional treats such as pigs ears can be extremely high fat (an average pig’s ear can be the equivalent of up to 4 cheeseburgers).
So you see, it is important that you choose the right things. Look for treats that have been made from fresh, natural ingredients, and are properly regulated and tested.
What should not be in dog treats?
Things that should not be in dog treats
- Fillers such as wheat and corn
- Meat bi-products
- Artificial additives / preservatives / colourings
- High amounts of fat
- Over processed ingredients
- Sugar / Sweeteners
How many treats can you give your dog per day?
This is all dependant. Smaller dogs obviously need less than larger dogs.
Sometimes your dog will have more, as you are training them. Or depending on that day’s activity levels.
All of our treats have recommended daily guide amounts on the packaging, however like people all dogs are different, and some may be able to have slightly more, while some need slightly less. Your aim is to be able to treat your dog without them putting on weight, and if you have a day with a lot of training etc. then adjust the food you give them at their main meals to reflect this.
In other words, just be sensible!
To buy our dog treats, please visit our shop page.