Finding dog treats that are healthy and nutritious is a challenge most dog parents can relate to, and commercially prepared ones are laden with unhealthy calories and nutrients that in the ling run cause long term effects on our furry friends.
After many trials it's been discovered that a lot of human foods especially most fruits and vegetables can replace commercially prepared dog treats. As long as they are prepared well, and eaten in moderation since most fruits contain a lot of carbohydrates and sugar which when eaten in excess can quickly cause stomach upset for your dog. Remember when choosing to give fruits or vegetables as treats to your furry friend, don't over do it because fibre and sugar can quickly add up and give your dog digestive problems. One of the commonest fruits dogs love are Apples, washed cut stem and seeds removed and diced are great dog treats and also acts as a cleaning agent for your dogs teeth, they are high in fiber and vitamin C.
Another super fruit dogs love are carrots, they can be cooked before giving them to your dog, and it's good for dog's teeth too, they should be used in moderation though as too much may give your dog digestive problems, they are however a good source of vitamin A, and Beta carotene and high in fiber too. Blueberries, another favorite treat of dogs although messy is easy to manage when frozen is high in good fat, high in fiber and vitamin C, be careful however not to stain yourself when handling blueberries. Dogs can also benefit a lot from watermelons the seedless ones of course which is almost 92% water full of potassium and magnesium. Pumpkins also loved by dogs is a super fruit low in calories, rich in Vitamin C & A, beta carotene, calcium, zinc, fiber and magnesium. You can get it either canned or cooked whichever way they are both healthy treats. Diced frozen Bananas are another healthy option for dog treats without the extra sugars in commercially prepared treats, rich in vitamin C and B. Not leaving out strawberries too high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, iodine, folic acid, omega 3 fatty acids excellent for dogs and vitamins B1, B6 and C.
Apart from Fruits as treats for dogs, vegetables especially the leafy greens are another excellent option of healthy dog treats, one of them is celery crunchy, rich in vitamins A & B, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. Excellent when diced into bite sizes. Another great vegetable treat is sugar snap peas rich in nutrients, fiber, protein, phosphorous, folate, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Broccoli another good leafy green for dogs can also be used as a healthy treat but should be given in moderation because it contains isothiocyanates which sometimes causes stomach upsets in dogs, it's also said to increase dogs chances of hypothyroidism. Apart from them tasting delicious and are healthy too, sweet potatoes no doubt is added to the list of healthy vegetables you can serve your dog as treat, boiled or baked and diced they are excellent for your furry friend and rich in Vitamins A, B5, B6, and C. They are also rich in fiber, manganese,& potassium. You can also add green beans another healthy leafy green to the list as they are also a good source of zinc, folate, magnesium and potassium for your dog. Wash, cut ends, and you are good to go.
Remember, that fruits and vegetables should form only about 25% of your dog's diet, and although they are excellent as optional treats for your dog, a balanced diet full of other nutrients are key to a healthy lifestyle for your dog and should be included in their diets as often as you can.