Many unhealthy dog treats out there have a high-fat content, masses of sugar, and artificial colors and flavors. None of these are suitable for your dog and, at the very least, will make your pooch pile on weight. However, there are other health concerns when you feed your pet the wrong treats.
We’ll discuss the best natural homemade treats for dogs a little later in the article, but first, it’s crucial to understand why feeding your dog the wrong treats and food is so harmful.
We are what we eat, and the saying works just as well for our fur family. What you feed your dog today will have consequences down the road, impacting physical and mental well-being. It can even reduce their life expectancy if you feed your dog the wrong type of food and treats.
By deciding to begin feeding your dog all-natural products is a massive step in the right direction. For most people, the simplest and quickest way to get going with this is with your dog’s favorite food – his treats.
All-natural treats can be just as tasty, but they have the advantage of being of outstanding quality, loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals, and no downside. Naturally, you’ll still need to ensure treats are part of a calorie-controlled diet and do not exceed 10% of his total daily calorie intake.
Why Choose All-Natural Homemade Treats
Free From Low-Quality Ingredients
Many store-bought dog treats contain inferior quality ingredients and artificial colorings and flavors. Some of these ingredients can be from animals that have been given large doses of antibiotics. Your dog may build up a resistance to antibiotic treatments they could need later in life. Many treats are highly processed and contain high sugar levels, artificial coloring, flavors, preservatives, and carbohydrates.
Processed dog food and treats contain hydrolyzed proteins that can cause brain inflammation, leading to a hyperactive and unstable pet.
Homemade natural treats will not contain any of these harmful ingredients because you simply will not add them to the treats you make. Make good food choices for you dog, not just for yourself. It’s also good for their mental health.
If your dog suffers from allergies, you’ll know just how difficult it can be to pinpoint what’s causing the allergy. The last thing you want to do is gamble that the treats you feed them will not trigger an allergic response. Allergic reactions typically cause severe skin conditions for dogs.
Homemade natural treats are the safest option to prevent allergies because they won’t contain any of the most common allergens, wheat, beef, egg, soy, pork, fish, rabbit, lamb, chicken, and dairy.
Almost 30% of dogs in North America are obese, and 45% between 5 to 11 years old are overweight. Carrying around all this excess weight will stress your dog’s body and worsen other health concerns, such as arthritis and heart disease; this can reduce the life expectancy of your dog.
It’s always been the case that an overweight dog will have a shorter lifespan than leaner and fitter dogs. Recent research with Labradors found that being overweight can reduce lifespan by almost two years.
Overweight dogs have a higher risk factor for these health conditions:
- Heart disease, several types of cancer, diabetes, and hypertension
- Bladder stones
- Osteoarthritis and higher than average degeneration of arthritis affected joints
- Complications with anesthetics
3 Excellent Natural Homemade Treats For Dogs
We’ve discussed why it’s crucial to your dog’s health to give him all-natural homemade dog treats, so now let’s take a look at three that your furry friend will love.
Dried Papaya Treats For Dogs
You can feed papaya to your dog in both fresh or dried varieties; both are good for your dog. The difference between the two is that the drying process removes a lot of the water content from the fruit, making it a much chewier snack. All dogs love to chew; you’ve undoubtedly seen this with your dog, so dried papaya will not only satisfy him from a snack perspective but will also release those chewing hormones.
One word of caution, be mindful of the amount of sugar in this snack, and don’t feed it too often. If your dog is diabetic or overweight, then our advice would be to avoid dried papaya altogether and go with small amounts of fresh papaya.
Fresh papaya contains 88% water and 11% carbohydrates (sugar and fiber), plus there are several nutritional benefits.
Antioxidants: which are excellent for the dog’s heart and immune system.
Fiber: beneficial for the digestive system.
Digestive enzymes: these assist in the breakdown of proteins in the food.
Minerals: including potassium, folate, and calcium. These are all good for healthy blood and bones.
Vitamins: A, C, E, and K. Provide support for skin and coat and the immune system.
Homemade Pumpkin Treats For Dogs
Pumpkin by itself is a great natural treat for dogs with plenty of health benefits.
It has a good amount of Vitamin A, C, and E, iron, potassium, plus other antioxidants, providing great immune support, and vitamin A provides brain and eye support. The winter squash also helps a dog’s digestive system because of the high levels of fiber.
We advise against feeding your pet pumpkin with added spices such as nutmeg and similar; these can make them pretty sick. You can use canned pumpkin if you always want to have pumpkin available for your dog but buy only without sugar or artificial sweeteners such as xylitol.
Because we’re talking about the best natural homemade treats for dogs, here’s a brilliant recipe for you to follow for DIY pumpkin and peanut butter biscuits and popsicles; your canine will simply love these. You can use them as a training aid or help with your dog’s digestion, especially if they suffer from constipation.
Frozen Watermelon Treats For Dogs
Have you wondered if watermelon might be a safe treat for your pooch? Well, the good news is it’s a good, healthy treat if you follow a few guidelines.
The central pink to red fruit (the redder the fruit, the more ripe and more sugar) has plenty of healthy nutrients for your furry family.
Let’s take a look at what health benefits watermelon has
Watermelon contains vitamin C and potassium. There’s also Vitamins A and B6. There is some sugar in watermelons, but there’s no blood sugar spike. The high fiber content means sugar is absorbed slowly into a dog’s bloodstream. The fruit is over 90% water with no cholesterol, fat, or sodium.
The only parts of watermelon you should avoid giving to your pet are the seeds and the outer skin.
One excellent way dogs can enjoy watermelon is as a frozen treat, especially when it’s a boiling hot day. The high water volume in watermelon is ideal for hydration.
One frozen watermelon treat you can quickly make at home contains only two ingredients. The treats only take a few minutes to make and a couple of hours in the freezer, and you can give one to your dog (they’re so lovely you might want to try one yourself).
Take two cups of watermelon fruit, ensure you have removed all the seeds, and one cup of coconut milk. If you want the treat to have a creamier taste, only use coconut milk and not coconut water. Blend them. Pour the resulting liquid into an ice tray, preferably a silicone tray, because it’s easier to remove the treats one at a time.
Give them at least two to three hours in the freezer, and they’re ready to go. Don’t worry about them hurting or cracking your dog’s teeth because they are pretty soft. Once they’re in your dog’s mouth, they’ll melt quite quickly.
Preparing natural homemade treats for your dog is great fun, and you know you’re giving your pup the very best: no additives, or artificial colors, or flavors.
Remember to include your homemade treats into the 10% treat allowance in your dog’s daily calorie intake.